INDIANAPOLIS — T.Y. Hilton is back where he belongs — on the NFL's Top 100 Players list.
The Indianapolis Colts' No. 1 wide receiver — and the reigning National Football League receiving champion — tonight was revealed as the 61st-ranked player in the league, as voted by his peers across the NFL.
For Hilton, his inclusion on this year's list is a bit of a vindication from last year, when he was somehow not voted into the Top 100 Players of 2016, despite the fact he was coming off a second straight trip to the Pro Bowl and another 1,000-yard receiving season — all in a year in which his quarterback, Andrew Luck, also missed nine games due to various injuries.
Hilton's ranking tonight also seems to mostly line up with his No. 54 ranking in Pro Football Focus' "Top 101 Players From The 2016 NFL Season" list compiled in February.
Hilton simply thrived with Luck back in the saddle in 2016, as he became the first Colts wide receiver since Reggie Wayne to lead the NFL in receiving, logging career bests with 91 receptions for 1,448 yards and adding six touchdowns. He also earned his third straight Pro Bowl selection.
Hilton, whose 1,448 yards from scrimmage in 2016 were also a career best, also led the league with 16 25-plus-yard receptions, as he continued to establish himself as one of the top deep threats in the NFL.
Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said Hilton was a very good wide receiver prior to last season, but he was able to elevate himself into being a great receiver by tirelessly working on his all-around game.
"Last offseason coming in and taking the approach he did and making the improvements he has, becoming a complete receiver," Chudzinski said. "Going down inside, playing outside, can play everywhere and doing the things he's done and the approach he's taken and the leadership role that he's started to really take in this season in terms of the team."
Hilton in 2016 topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the fourth straight season, and is only the third player in franchise history to post four or more career 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison and Wayne, a probable future Hall of Famer, each in eight seasons, have done it more.
Hilton is also continuing to build quite the career thus far, as his 5,861 receiving yards are the ninth-most all-time among players in their first five seasons. Seven of the others on that Top-10 list were first-round draft selections; Hilton was a third-round selection in 2012.
With so much already accomplished, however, Hilton isn't about to become satisfied. He said he's spent this entire offseason again continuing to work on everything he can to ensure he improves once again and remains a threat all over the field.
"I just tackle everything. Leave no stone unturned," Hilton said last month of his offseason training approach. "So for me, I work on everything – footwork, speed work. Just continue to train everything – my hands, eye-hand coordination. Just everything that I need to get better at."
This year's inclusion in the NFL Top 100 Players list is the second in Hilton's career; he was voted as the 35th best player in the league two years ago.
Hilton is also the first Colts player to appear on this year's Top 100 list so far. One might imagine Luck, who is also coming off a career year, might make an appearance at some point, as well.
Here's the 2017 NFL Top 100 Players list so far, including tonight's selections:61. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
- Cameron Wake, DE, Dolphins
- Chris Harris Jr., CB, Broncos
- Casey Hayward, CB, Chargers
- Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Vikings
- Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
- Geno Adkins, DT, Bengals
- Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins
- Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins
- Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
- Taylor Lewan, T, Titans
- Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
- Harrison Smith, S, Vikings
- Delanie Walker, TE, Titans
- Justin Houston, LB, Chiefs
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Packers
- Brian Orakpo, LB, Titans
- Sean Lee, LB, Cowboys
- LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots
- Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs
- Clay Matthews, LB, Packers
- Calais Campbell , DE, Jaguars
- Mike Daniels, DT, Packers
- Chandler Jones, LB, Cardinals
- Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans
- Travis Frederick, C, Cowboys
- Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks
- Thomas Davis, LB, Panthers
- Malcolm Jenkins, S, Eagles
- Lorenzo Alexander, LB, Bills
- Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings
- Brandon Graham, DE, Eagles
- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Patriots
- Kelechi Osemele, G, Raiders
- Damon Harrison, DT, Giants
- David DeCastro, G, Steelers
- Adrian Peterson, RB, Saints
- Malcolm Butler, CB, Patriots
- Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
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