Broncos S Kareem Jackson Blasts NFL, Calls Pro Bowl, Top-100 Voting 'a Joke'
Kareem Jackson is a man who speaks his mind. Just last week, the Denver Broncos' 11th-year defensive back blasted Pro Football Focus for its NFL secondary rankings.
Over the weekend, in defense of his safety partner Justin Simmons, Jackson took aim at the NFL — specifically, the league's Pro Bowl voting and Top 100 Players voting.
"Cmon man @NFL how the hell @jsimms1119 not make top 100?? I saw the safeties on that list and he better than all of them hands down!! Y’all gotta stop wit this clown sh*t smh. Pro bowl, top 100, etc all a joke," Jackson tweeted on Saturday.
Jackson has a fair point. It's one many Broncos fans have made over recent years.
Simmons established himself last season as a top-5 safety in the NFL. He was PFF's No. 2 overall graded safety and the Pro Bowl completely snubbed him. Simmons wasn't even an alternate.
Jackson played at a Pro Bowl level last year himself, and while he didn't get the nod in the voting, he was voted an alternate. Meanwhile, Simmons garnered second-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press.
Fast forward to this summer, and as Jackson said, Simmons did not make the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2020 list. He did, however, make the 'best of the rest' list, checking in as the No. 108 player overall *yawn*.
Only two Broncos made the Top 100 list — Von Miller and Jurrell Casey. That left a quartet of deserving Broncos on the outside looking in, including Jackson, Simmons, Courtland Sutton, and Phillip Lindsay.
Even though it might be justified, Jackson could be harboring some sour grapes at the Pro Bowl/Top 100 process. Entering the league as Houston's first-round pick back in 2010, Jackson has never earned a Pro Bowl nod.
Last year was the closest he's ever gotten to all-star honors. And it came in his 10th season. Jackson's career hasn't always been smooth sailing, as he had a few forgettable years in Houston early on. But he's been one of the NFL's premier defensive backs for the last five years.
Meanwhile, Simmons had established himself as a two-year starter entering the 2019 season. He'd shown tremendous talent and versatility over those years but didn't break into the stratosphere until last year. But when I say 'break into the stratosphere', Simmons did that and then some.
How any objective process of voting (by the players) could leave Simmons off of the Top 100 list is mystifying. Considering that the NFL's formula for the Pro Bowl voting includes fan participation online, as well as coaches and player votes, it's a little easier to understand how he might be overlooked as a one-year wonder.
But the players, who purportedly make up the entirety of the NFL's Top 100 voting, ought to know better. Jackson is right.
All the Broncos safety duo can do is use the snubs as fuel and focus on making 2020 a breakout year so undeniable, no player, coach, or fan could leave either off the Pro Bowl voting, or the Top 100. Considering Vic Fangio's extremely safety-friendly scheme, it wouldn't surprise me to see both Jackson and Simmons garner individual accolades this coming season.