Saints: Marshon Lattimore drops on NFL Top 100

New Orleans Saints corner Marshon Lattimore was graciously included in the NFL Top 100, a list where NFL players vote for the best in the league going into 2021. But Lattimore’s rankings dropped 10 places from last year, and it could be the start of a downward trend.

Lattimore ranks 86th in the Top 100 ahead of Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson but behind Dallas Cowboys guard Zack Martin.

Lattimore is the first player to be named in the Top 100, but he’s definitely not the last. Four other teammates join him in the 41-100 rankings so far, and the rest of the list will be revealed later this week.

This marks the third time that Lattimore has made the list in four pro seasons, and he can boast regularly consistent numbers in each of those years. From earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2017 to recording a career-high 62 tackles in 2020, Lattimore knows he’s extremely valuable to the Saints.

His production nonetheless declined a bit last year, which accounts for his lower ranking.

New Orleans Saints corner Marshon Lattimore tumbles down Top 100 rankings

Partly due to early-season penalties and errors, Lattimore struggled at the start of 2020, but ultimately got his third Pro Bowl nod. In 14 games, Lattimore recorded two interceptions and eleven passes defended, which was good but nowhere near his 2017 production level.

Currently, Lattimore is playing on his restructured fifth-year option, and he could win a huge contract depending on how he plays in 2021.

What threatens Lattimore from achieving career-best numbers this season, though, is his potential suspension at the start of the season. That puts New Orleans’ defense in a tricky situation since Lattimore is their No. 1 corner, and the player who was supposed to start alongside him, Patrick Robinson, recently retired.

Lattimore’s lowered rankings heading into the 2021 season makes sense, or at least more sense than, say, ranking Trey Hendrickson over Terron Armstead. His best defensive days are behind him, and he’ll have an uphill battle to climb if he does miss a significant stretch of the season.

But Lattimore also has the chance to make a bigger impact in the Saints’ threadbare secondary this year, and if he steps up, his teammates and peers are sure to take notice.

The Saints’ cornerback unit needs Lattimore on the field as soon as possible, so let’s hope his comparatively low Top 100 ranking doesn’t get to his head.