Jonathan Vilma, Jahri Evans Next Saints On NFL’s Top 100 List


NFL Networks controversial series  “The Top 100: Players of 2011″ is set to unveil players 41 to 31 this Sunday. Two more New Orleans Saints are scheduled to make an appearance somewhere in the top forty, middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma (present by Drew Brees) and right guard Jahri Evans (presented by Sean Payton).

Two weeks ago the Saints were finally represented with wide receiver Marques Colston, who came in at number 53, and left gurd Carl Nicks who came in at number 55 overall.

Nicks is beginning to be recognized as on of the best guards in the league. As for Colston, a man who never seems to get the respect he deserves, his selection at 53 puts him ahead of other wide receivers such as the Cowboys Miles Austin and the Packers Greg Jennings.

Vilma was traded by the Jets to the Saints in February of 2008 after becoming expendable when the team switched from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. New Orleans gave up a fourth round pick to get him — a cheap price given his production.

In his three seasons with the Saints Vilma has tallyed 347 tackles, seven sacks, seventeen pass deflections and five interceptions. He has been voted to the Pro Bowl two of the last three seasons and is largely responsible for the Saints recent defensive success as he “quarterbacks” team mates from the middle.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams relies heavily on Vilma to run the defense making him responsible for many of the teams audibles inside his complicated 4-3 scheme. Without him the defense does not function to the same capacity, which is good considering he has never missed a game with injury.

Evans is considered by many as the leagues best right guard, which when paired with Carl Nicks forms one of the NFL’s best guard tandems. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, the same draft that Reggie Bush, Roman Harper and Marques Colston were selected.

In 2010 Evans was re-signed to a seven-year, $56.7 million dollar contract extension making him the highest paid right guard in the NFL still to this day.

The contract was warranted however as Evans has started every game since being drafted, now having started 80-consecutive contests. That’s the most for a Saints offensive linemen to begin his career and the second-most in the history of the Saints franchise.

Evans was selected to the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons and was was a 2009 and 2010 first-team All-Pro selection.