The Seahawks had an NFL-high eight players unveiled on NFL Network's Top 100 Players list last year, but the individual that's kicking off Seattle's inclusions on the network's 2016 list wasn't one of them.
Doug Baldwin was unveiled at No. 72 on NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2016 on Wednesday night, the Seahawks wide receiver's first appearance on the player-voted index.
"First and foremost, I'm honored that my peers would select me to be on this list," Baldwin told NFL Network after Wednesday's Top 100 show. "But at the same time, I'm 72, so there's a little bit of motivation to get a little bit lower."
The way Baldwin finished 2015 made him an obvious choice to make this year's lineup. Baldwin, who according to NFL Network is one of five undrafted players to make 2016's list, recorded career highs in catches (78), receiving yards (1,069), and touchdowns (14) this past season.
His 14 scores, 11 of which came in the Seahawks' final six games, tied for the NFL lead and Baldwin became the franchise's seventh player to ever record a 1,000-yard season, the first to do so since Bobby Engram in 2007. The numbers he posted in 2015 make him one of just three players in club history to record 1,000-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in a season, joining Joey Galloway and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Largent.
"Doug has the most confidence in the world, and he's going to absolutely show you," Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu said during the segment announcing Baldwin's rank. "He's always ready. I appreciate competing with him."
Baldwin joins Emmanuel Sanders (No. 74), Julian Edelman (No. 87), Allen Hurns (No. 89), Jeremy Maclin (No. 93), Sammy Watkins (No. 96), and Jarvis Landy (No. 98) as wide receivers to appear on the list so far. Ten more wideouts will eventually appear ahead of Baldwin as the NFL Network's countdown of the Top 100 Players of 2016 continues at 5 p.m. PT next Wednesday with Nos. 70-61. So what does Baldwin have to do to rank higher on this list next year?
"To be completely honest with you, I can't even think about it," Baldwin said. "My mindset is I'm going to be the best receiver that I have to be for the Seattle Seahawks, be as consistent as I can be, and ultimately my goal is to help this team win championships. If I'm consistent in that nature and I continue to do what I'm capable of doing, and continue to elevate my game, then hopefully I'll fall into place where I think I should be."