For the second time in as many years, Patriots guard Logan Mankins has cracked the top 100 players in the NFL as voted on by the players, checking in at No. 64 in NFL Network's 2012 ranking.
He joins nose tackle Vince Wilfork (No. 81) as the first two Patriots on the list.
Mankins' ranking marks a steep drop-off from 2011, when he topped all NFL guards as the 39th-best player on the list. Some believe Mankins had a down year by his lofty standards, but he gutted through a late-season ACL tear to play in the Super Bowl, a further testament to the toughness that has become one of his hallmarks.
As part of the segment that aired on NFL Network, Eagles offensive lineman Evan Mathis shared his opinion of Mankins.
"Really laid-back guy off the field, doesn't say much, but when it's time to perform, he gets out there and he's mean, playing with aggression, and playing through the whistle," he said.
Added longtime Colts defensive lineman Raheem Brock, "He's just a great overall offensive lineman. He's not just a great pass-blocker, he's a great run-blocker, too. He's pretty good at trying to disguise the run and the pass. In Indy, they know how we played. We spin a lot, and one play or another, he might set me up, knowing I'm going to spin and the other guy is coming to clean me up. They'd kind of laugh at you because it was kind of a setup."
Mankins’ play also still merited him a spot on the second-team All-Pro list for 2011, and he was invited to his fourth Pro Bowl in the past five seasons. He is the second guard to appear on this year’s list, with Carl Nicks (now of the Buccaneers) already having been voted as the 76th-best player.
"People don't pay to see offensive linemen play, but he's one of the best," Brock said.