Philadelphia Eagles News

Samuel Named Fifth-Best CB In NFL's Top 100

UPDATE: Samuel was named the 54th-best NFL player by his peers on Sunday night's episode.

Asante Samuel will be the first of five cornerbacks unveiled in NFL Network's countdown of the Top 100 Players of 2011 on Sunday night at 8 PM. This week's episode will list the players ranked from No. 60-51.

Samuel will be presented by defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Samuel is the second of four Eagles players to be showcased. Defensive end Trent Cole ranked No. 73 on the list.

The rankings were done by NFL players who each listed their top 20 regardless of position. A player was given 20 points for a first-place vote, 19 for a second-place vote and so on.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl champion, Samuel has led the NFC in interceptions in each of the past two seasons. The big-ticket free agent signing of the Eagles in 2008, Samuel has earned Pro Bowl honors in all three of his seasons with the Eagles. With four consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, Samuel's streak is currently the longest at his position in the league. Samuel was originally a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2003 and played in New England for five seasons.

Last year, Samuel had seven interceptions and four of them came against the Manning brothers (Indianapolis' Peyton and New York's Eli). What makes his interception total even more impressive is the fact that, according to Stats Inc., Samuel was targeted just 45 times and gave up 20 completions for 194 yards and only one touchdown. Yes, one out of every 6.42 passes thrown at Samuel in 2010 was intercepted.

For his career, Samuel is going to make a strong case for the Hall of Fame. With 42 career interceptions, Samuel is third among all active cornerbacks and fifth among all active players. Since his breakout season of 10 picks in 2006, he has not had fewer than four in a year. If he continues his current pace of about five interceptions a year for the rest of his contract (2013), Samuel will have 57 interceptions which would be right on the cusp of top 10 all-time in NFL history. Only two players in the all-time top 10 list of interceptions are not in the Hall of Fame.

Samuel has also enjoyed plenty of postseason success. He's played 19 career playoff games including five conference title games and three Super Bowls. Samuel has seven career postseason interceptions and four of his career eight touchdowns have come in the playoffs.

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