Nitpicking Giglio’s Top 10 Philly Athletes List

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Giglio wrote a “top 10 Philly athletes” post for Audacy. I think he does one every year.

This is what he came up with in 2022, noting that “This list isn’t for the next five years. It’s not about who I’d build around. It’s not about upside. It’s right now, as in today.” – 

  1. Bryce Harper
  2. Joel Embiid
  3. Jason Kelce
  4. A.J. Brown
  5. Zack Wheeler
  6. Darius Slay
  7. DeVonta Smith
  8. Jalen Hurts
  9. Aaron Nola
  10. Tyrese Maxey

Obviously Joe is a baseball guy, and this is a WIP list, so you’re not gonna find any Union players on here and probably wouldn’t find any Flyers even if the team was good. You could make a case that a healthy Coots is a top-ten Philly player, but not “right now,” as Joe’s criteria states, since he’s been injured and is a few years removed from the Selke. No other Flyers would sniff this list, but the Union’s Kai Wagner is easily a top-10 Philly player right now who will be transferred to Europe sooner rather than later. Andre Blake, Jose Martinez, and Daniel Gazdag can go on the list, too.

Anyway, some thoughts on the rest of the list:

  • Jordan Mailata should be on here.
  • Embiid and Harper can be reversed with no issues. It’s basically 1a and 1b, in whatever order. Harper won NL MVP but Embiid had as strong a case as anyone for the same award in his sport.
  • Jason Kelce at #3 feels high, but there really is a drop off once you get past the first two. Past iterations of these lists would have had somebody like Claude Giroux up there, but there really isn’t a slam dunk 3rd or 4th guy right now, which is concerning.
  • Feels weird to have A.J. Brown up there, since he hasn’t played a snap yet, but looking at what he did for the Titans, I can’t make a compelling argument that he should be any lower. Maybe you could even have him 3rd and put Kelce 4th.
  • Jalen Hurts probably shouldn’t be on the list. I’m not even sure he’s a top-eight Eagles player right now. I’d very easily rank him below Kelce, Brown, Mailata, Slay, Smith, Haason Reddick (11 sacks last year), Lane Johnson, and Javon Hargrave, and then maybe also below Josh Sweat.
  • Nobody gives a shit about kickers, but Jake Elliott went to the Pro Bowl last year and deserves some love.
  • Aaron Nola is not a top 10 Philly player.
  • Disappointment justified, I don’t know if I can leave James Harden off the list. He could be #10.

This shit is all arbitrary, but here’s how I’d do it if we’re including Union players:

  1. Embiid
  2. Harper
  3. A.J. Brown
  4. Zack Wheeler
  5. Kai Wagner (for real, dude is gonna be playing in the Bundesliga soon)
  6. Slay
  7. Jordan Mailata
  8. Maxey
  9. Kelce
  10. Andre Blake

And here’s how I’d do it if we’re keeping it four for four:

  1. Embiid
  2. Harper
  3. A.J. Brown
  4. Zack Wheeler
  5. Slay
  6. Jordan Mailata
  7. Maxey
  8. Kelce
  9. a healthy Coots
  10. Harden or Lane Johnson

We were kicking this idea around in the CB Slack channel and consensus was that Mailata and Johnson both deserve a nod. The Eagles O line is that good and that important. But Joe’s list was pretty solid, I just think the one glaring thing was putting Hurts on there. Hurts for me is hovering right outside of the top 15.

Anyway, it’s a slow day before the NBA Draft. We’re nitpicking lists over here.