NFL Top 100 players in 2023: Patrick Mahomes, Micah Parsons and the best NFL players

Who are the top 100 players in the NFL right now? Sportsnaut’s NFL Top 100 players list for the upcoming 2023 season takes a look at the best players in football today.

The focus with all NFL Top 100 players list centers on the quarterback and it should come as no surprise that Patrick Mahomes is number one on our list. After the reigning Super Bowl MVP, though, the list of the 100 best NFL players in 2023 opens up with a lot of young, ascending talent on defense.

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Let’s dive into our NFL Top 100 players list for 2023.

NFL Top 100 players in 2023

100. David Bakhtiari, offensive tackle, Green Bay Packers

David Bakhtiari can still be one of the best left tackles in the NFL. Even last season, he ranked second in pass block win rate (95%) and didn’t allow a sack across 339 pass block snaps. Unfortunately, his body hasn’t proven it can stay healthy and recurring issues can be costly when he’s inactive.

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99. Corey Linsley, center, Los Angeles Chargers

Corey Linsley is everything the Los Angeles Chargers signed up for and more. He has missed at least one game in each of the past three seasons, but he’s also a two-time All-Pro selection who only allowed five pressures across 552 passing downs last year.

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98. DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans

  • DeAndre Hopkins career stats: 853 receptions, 11,298 receiving yards, 71 touchdowns

Injuries and a suspension have limited DeAndre Hopkins to just 19 games over the past two seasons. It’s prevented him from playing like an All-Pro weapon, pulling down contested catches and serving as one of the most trusted receiving options in the NFL. After being released by the Arizona Cardinals, Hopkins signed a two-year contract with the Tennessee Titans. He should have an opportunity to return to earlier-career form.

97. Joe Thuney, guard, Kansas City Chiefs

Signing Joe Thuney worked out brilliantly for the Kansas City Chiefs. He earned his second All-Pro nod last season and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time. When you have a guard who ranks first in pass block win rate (99%) and fifth in run block win rate (76%), you know he’s one of the best at his position.

96. A.J. Terrell, cornerback, Atlanta Falcons

When there’s absolutely no help around you and you play a volatile position, regression will happen. A.J. Terrell surrendered an average 115.8 QB rating and nine touchdowns last season. However, he’s just a year removed from holding opponents to a 47.5 QB rating with only three touchdowns allowed. The Atlanta Falcons finally improved their defense this spring and that should help Terrell return to a Pro Bowl level.

95. Tyler Lockett, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

  • Tyler Lockett career stats: 533 receptions, 7,100 receiving yards, 54 touchdowns

Seattle Seahawks star Tyler Lockett is one of the smoothest route runners in the NFL, ranking fifth in win rate vs man coverage (46.3 percent) and ranking fifth in total route win rate (51.3%). In 2022 alone, Seahawks’ quarterbacks averaged a 114.2 passer rating when throwing his way.

94. Tremaine Edmunds, linebacker, Chicago Bears

Tremaine Edmunds is the only Chicago Bears player on our NFL Top 100 players list, but that could change quickly. Signed this offseason, Edmunds is going to play a vital role in Matt Eberflus’s defense. Expect Edmunds to be one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL and we might also see Eberflus find some unique ways to help the 6-foot-5 linebacker with a 4.54 40-time become an even better player.

93. Chris Olave, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints

Chris Olave is already the New Orleans Saints best receiver and his rookie season only provided glimpses into his long-term outlook. He is excellent against man coverage and his route-running makes getting receptions 10-plus yards downfield look easy. While he’ll never be a huge YAC threat, that’s not necessary when you make plays in the intermediate field.

92. Dre Greenlaw, linebacker, San Francisco 49ers

When you have two of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL, stopping the run becomes a lot easier. Dre Greenlaw, a fifth-round pick in 2019, is one of the most unheralded pieces on the San Francisco 49ers defense. While he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl, that just reflects the voting process.

91. Matt Milano, linebacker, Buffalo Bills

Selected with the 163rd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano has become one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL. He allowed just a 70.6 QB rating when targeted last year with five pass breakups, three interceptions and only 8.5 ypc allowed.

90. Tony Pollard, running back, Dallas Cowboys

Tony Pollard is one of the best running backs in the NFL when he’s on the field. In 2022, he ranked fifth in yards per touch (5.9), third in breakaway runs (17) and fourth in yards per route run (1.82). He did all of this despite the Cowboys’ offensive line not being at its best. What prevents Pollard from being higher on the NFL Top 100 players list, for now, is his recovery from leg surgery and some uncertainty about how he’ll effective he will be in an even larger role.

89. DK Metcalf, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
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  • DK Metcalf career stats: 4,218 receiving yards, 35 touchdowns in 66 games

Seattle Seahawks wideout D.K. Metcalf is one of the best deep threats in the NFL. Opponents already have enough trouble containing his speed (4.33 seconds), but it’s the size (6-foot-3) and ability to adjust his body deep downfield that makes covering him a nightmare. He likely won’t post a monster stat line this season, sharing targets with Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but Metcalf’s influence on defenses won’t change.

88. Garrett Wilson, wide receiver, New York Jets

New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson recorded 1,103 receiving yards as a rookie despite experiencing some of the worst quarterback play in football. Now that Aaron Rodgers is under center, the wide receiver who had the sixth-most unrealized air yards (837) and ranked 19th in total route wins (229) should thrive.

87. Trevon Diggs, cornerback, Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Trevon Diggs. A year after he recorded 11 interceptions with two pick-sixes, Diggs snagged just three picks in 2022 and he allowed a higher completion rate (64.7%) than the previous season. If he became a more consistent player, which the addition of Stephon Gilmore can help with, Diggs can be one of the best NFL cornerbacks.

86. Quenton Nelson, guard, Indianapolis Colts

After earning four consecutive All-Pro selections to begin his NFL career, Quenton Nelson took a step back in 2022. The 330-pound guard didn’t crack the top-20 for interior linemen in pass block win rate or run block win rate and he allowed 31 pressures. He’s clearly capable of playing at a much higher level and the Colts desperately need that version of him to return.

85. Za’Darius Smith, edge rusher, Cleveland Browns

While it’s evident that durability will remain an issue for Za’Darius Smith, especially as he enters his 30s, production doesn’t lie. Smith netted 78 pressures and 10 sacks in 495 pass-rush snaps last season. He now partners up with Myles Garrett, one of the best pass rushers in all of football. With Garrett often facing double teams, that opens up a lot of one-on-one opportunities for Smith and it’ll give him a shot at eight-plus sacks.

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84. DeVonta Smith, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

There were concerns about DeVonta Smith’s frame (170 pounds) when he entered the league, but the Heisman Trophy winner has carried over his success to the NFL. He’s eclipsed 2,1000 receiving yards across his first two seasons and he had the seventh-most yards after catch (485) in the league last year.

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83. Austin Ekeler, running back, Los Angeles Chargers

  • Austin Ekeler stats (career): 7,175 scrimmage yards, 63 total touchdowns

From receiving a $5,000 signing bonus as an undrafted free agent in 2017 to becoming one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL, Austin Ekeler is a fan-favorite across the league. The 5-foot-10 running back out of Western State has delivered at least 1,500 scrimmage yards in three of his last four seasons and he’s coming off a year with a league-high 18 total touchdowns.

82. Micah Hyde, safety, Buffalo Bills

One of the most significant injuries during the 2022 NFL season was Micah Hyde’s neck issue. It removed an All-Pro safety from the Buffalo Bills’ defense, removing a veteran who was critical to the success of the pass coverage. With Hyde now returning, the entire Bills’ secondary should look better this year.

81. Matthew Judon, edge rusher, New England Patriots

Matthew Judon was a productive edge rusher with the Baltimore Ravens, but he’s become something completely different with the New England Patriots. In just two seasons as Bill Belichick’s best pass rusher, Judon racked up 132 pressures, 53 QB hits and 28 sacks.

80. Kirk Cousins, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is known as the player who struggles on some of the biggest stages. However, that narrative doesn’t recognize some of the great things he does as a quarterback. Cousins had the seventh-most money throws (28) in the NFL last season, boasted the highest completion rate vs zone coverage (77.8%), and has a 100.9 QB rating with a 153-50 TD-INT line and a 46-33-1 record as the Vikings’ quarterback.

79. Stephon Gilmore, cornerback, Dallas Cowboys

While Stephon Gilmore is no longer the type of player who can challenge for Defensive Player of the Year, he’s the perfect No. 2 cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys. He allowed less than 35 receiving yards in nine separate games last season and didn’t allow a touchdown in 16-of-17 starts. Lined up opposite Trevon Diggs, the duo can make a great defense even better.

78. Joey Bosa, edge rusher, Los Angeles Chargers

Joey Bosa needs to stay on the field. Talent alone makes him one of the 50 best NFL players, but he has consistently struggled to stay on the field. When he does play 10-plus games, though, Bosa is a lock for the Pro Bowl with double-digit sacks and 20-plus QB hits.

77. Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles

While Darius Slay might no longer be playing at an All-Pro level, the 32-year-old cornerback remains one of the most trusted options in man coverage. Opponents averaged just a 76.8 QB rating against him this past season and he only allowed 60-plus receiving yards in one game across the entire 2022 campaign.

76. Shaquille Leonard, linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

When Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard is on the field, he’s one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Unfortunately, Leonard appeared in just three games last season and there is still uncertainty regarding his return from back surgery. If Leonard experiences more setbacks this year, this will be his last appearance on the NFL Top 100 players list.

75. DeForest Buckner, defensive tackle, Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts’ decision to trade a 2020 first-round pick for DeForest Buckner worked out perfectly. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, the 6-foot-7 defensive tackle is responsible for 66 QB hits, 31 tackles for loss and 24.5 sacks in 49 games with the Colts.

74. Kevin Byard, safety, Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard remains one of the most underrated players in the league. The 29-year-old has a pair of first-team All-Pro selections (2017, ’21) and is a stabilizing presence roaming deep for a secondary that is especially weak at cornerback. If the Titans ever decide to trade Byard, he’ll be one of the most coveted players available.

73. Charvarius Ward, cornerback, San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers needed a No. 1 cornerback last year and struck gold with the signing of Charvarius Ward. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, Ward has developed into a high-end starter. This past season for the No. 1 defense in the league, Ward allowed just an 88.2 QB rating when targeted in coverage and was also outstanding against the run.

72. Mark Andrews, tight end, Baltimore Ravens

Now that the Baltimore Ravens have a modern offense and a strong supporting cast around Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews should find it easier to make plays. The 6-foot-5 tight end might not receive the volume of targets he’s used to, but he’ll remain an outstanding red-zone target and chain mover in the Ravens’ offense.

71. Zack Martin, guard, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin has earned eight All-Pro selections in nine seasons, becoming one of the best interior linemen in the last decade. He wasn’t quite as crisp last year, allowing 14 hurries and struggling as a run blocker, but nearly a decade of playing at an elite level suggests he’ll return to form in 2023.

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70. Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had some issues with interceptions last season, but he’s still one of the best quarterbacks in football. Over his last four seasons, Prescott boasts a 99.3 QB rating with a 67% completion rate and 99 passing touchdowns. With the addition of Brandin Cooks, Prescott should be even more effective.

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69. Penei Sewell, offensive tackle, Detroit Lions

While drafting Ja’Marr Chase over Penei Sewell proved to be the right move for Cincinnati, it also benefitted the Detroit Lions. Penei Sewell earned PFWA All-Rookie Team honors in 2021 then made the Pro Bowl last season. He’s a future All-Pro selection at right tackle, especially as the Lions gain more attention as a playoff contender.

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68. Jordan Mailata, offensive tackle, Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Mailata is one of the best stories in the NFL. Coming from the league’s International Player Pathway Program, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round having never played American football. Fast forward to 2023 and he’s one of the best left tackles in the NFL with only nine sacks allowed in the past two years.

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67. Derwin James, safety, Los Angeles Chargers

Derwin James is a Swiss Army knife. No matter what role you need the Los Angeles Chargers safety to play, he will excel at it. The 26-year-old was finally healthy in 2022 and he earned All-Pro honors for the first time since his rookie season.

66. Brandon Graham, edge rusher, Philadelphia Eagles

It would’ve been reasonable if Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Brandon Graham tailed off at the end of his NFL career. After all, he barely saw the field in 2021 and there was reason to believe things wouldn’t get better in his age-34 season. Instead, Graham racked up 48 pressures, 16 QB hits and 11 sacks in only 294 pass-rushing snaps. This might be his last season, but he should remain a highly-productive pass rusher for the Eagles.

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65. Jonathan Taylor, running back, Indianapolis Colts

The 2022 season was a complete disaster for Jonathan Taylor. When he wasn’t sidelined or limited by a recurring ankle problem, the Indianapolis Colts asked him to make something happen behind a bad offensive line. If he’s healthy and Indianapolis is stronger in the trenches, Taylor can return to the player who led the NFL in rushing yards (1,811) and touchdowns (20) in his second year.

64. Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Miami Dolphins

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins
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Tua Tagovailoa just needs to stay healthy. When the Miami Dolphins quarterback was on the field, he led the NFL in yards per attempt (8.9), tied Patrick Mahomes in touchdown rate (6.3%) and had the highest passer rating index in the NFL. Long-term concerns with concussions are the only thing preventing Tagovailoa from being higher among the NFL Top 100 players.

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63. Tee Higgins, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

It’s not often you see two of the best wide receivers in the NFL on the same team. Despite having to share targets with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins delivered his second consecutive 1,000-yard season and he’s responsible for over 3,000 yards in his first 46 games. The production might not match some of his peers, but Higgins’ talent speaks for itself.

62. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, New York Jets

  • Aaron Rodgers career stats: 59,055 passing yards, 475 touchdowns, 103.5 QB rating

It’s reasonable to blame a down season from Aaron Rodgers on the broken thumb he played through for the majority of the 2022 season. With that acknowledged, he also was part of the problem with the Green Bay Packers offense and Father Time can be brutal to quarterbacks once they hit their late-30s. Rodgers is a franchise-changing quarterback upgrade for the New York Jets, but his days as an MVP candidate are almost certainly over.

61. Von Miller, edge rusher, Buffalo Bills

  • Von Miller career stats: 245 QB hits, 164 tackles for loss, 123.5 sacks

If Von Miller is healthy, he remains one of the best players in the NFL. However, this is a 34-year-old edge rusher returning from ACL surgery in December and there’s elevated risk associated with that. If Miller returns early this fall and isn’t limited, he’ll make a monumental impact on the Buffalo Bills defense.

60. Jaylen Waddle, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins
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Jaylen Waddle is one of the fastest players in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins are perfect for him, with head coach Mike McDaniel maximizing Waddle’s explosiveness. When you have one of the highest route win rates (49.2%) and are dangerous after the catch (462), you’re going to be on the NFL Top 100 players list every year and Waddle will likely keep climbing.

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59. Demario Davis, linebacker, New Orleans Saints

Just a few years ago, Demario Davis was bouncing around the NFL with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. Landing with the New Orleans Saints in 2018 became a turning point in his career. Davis has earned All-Pro selections in four consecutive seasons and has become one of the standouts in run defense at his position, all while holding his own in coverage in his mid-30s.

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58. Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars

It’s amazing what can happen to a player when you take them out of a toxic environment and provide them with a quality coach who looks out for them. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence struggled early – 78.7 QB rating, 6.6 ypa, 5-5 TD-INT ratio from Weeks 4-9 – but he finished the regular season with a 103.8 QB rating and 14-2 TD-INT line in his final eight games. With Calvin Ridley now lined up as the No. 1 receiver, Lawrence can be even better.

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57. Jaelan Phillips, edge rusher, Miami Dolphins

Labeled as a high-upside pass rusher coming into the league, the Miami Dolphins saw the pieces start fitting together for Jaelan Phillips in his second year. He recorded 25 quarterback hits, posted a higher pass rush win rate (24%) than Nick Bosa and nabbed a career-high 70 pressures. With the assistance of Vic Fangio, Phillips could be one of the best NFL pass rushers in 2023.

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56. Derrick Brown, defensive tackle, Carolina Panthers

After showing flashes of the ability to become a high-end interior disruptor in his first two seasons, Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown broke out last fall. He was credited with 40 pressure, set a career-highs in pass deflections (seven) and posted the third-best run stop win rate (42%) among defensive tackles.

55. Amon-Ra St. Brown, wide receiver, Detroit Lions

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown stats (2022): 106 receptions, 1,161 receiving yards, 68 first downs

Amon-Ra St. Brown was the best NFL slot receiver in 2022. In his second season as a pro, he drew 146 targets and tied the NFL record for consecutive games (eight) with eight-plus receptions. While he might not make many plays deep, a 111.8 QB rating when targeted helps capture why St. Brown is a target monster.

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54. Saquon Barkley, running back, New York Giants

Good health and the arrival of Brian Daboll turned everything around for Saquon Barkley. After averaging 4.2 yards per touch and 3.5 yards per carry from 2020-’21, he averaged 4.7 yards per touch and 4.4 ypc this past season. While durability will always be a worry, Barkley is one of the best home-run hitters at his position. The only question here is when Barkley will suit up in 2023. He has yet to sign his franchise tag and could hold out.

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53. CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb cleaned up his issues with drops (nine in 2021), letting just three footballs slip through his hands this past year. He is electric with the football in his hands (11.1% juke rate), is one of the most effective route-runners in the NFL (2.63 yards per route run) and should be even more effective now that Brandin Cooks joins the mix.

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52. Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander’s effectiveness dipped a bit last season – 572 receiving yards allowed (2022) vs 506 yards allowed (2020-’21) – but he remains one of the best NFL cornerbacks in 2023. When lined up in one-on-one coverage, Alexander is the cream of the crop.

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51. Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
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The Pittsburgh Steelers traded a first-round pick to acquire Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2019 and that says something for a franchise that rarely trades its top picks. After a poor season in 2021, Fitzpatrick returned to form last fall with 11 pass deflections and a career-high six interceptions. He’s made first-team All-Pro in three of his last four seasons and a testament to his impact is what happens to the Steelers’ defense when Fitzpatrick isn’t on the field.

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50. Laremy Tunsil, offensive tackle, Houston Texans

Laremy Tunsil might not be the best player in the NFL but there are few better than him at using leverage to win in contract negotiations. Tunsil has signed two contracts that made him one of the highest-paid offensive tackles in the last four years. Signing short-term deals is a part of it, but Tunsil also only allowed one sack and three hits in 676 pass-block snaps last season.

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49. Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans

  • Derrick Henry career stats: 1,750 carries, 8,335 rushing yards, 81 total touchdowns

Derrick Henry keeps defying expectations. After accumulating nearly 1,500 touches in his first six seasons, many thought Henry would slow down in 2022. He led the NFL in carries, turning them into 1,538 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. The Tennessee Titans offensive line should be better in 2023, but the football world should appreciate what might be the last true dominant season from one of the best running backs in the last 15 years.

48. Christian Wilkins, defensive tackle, Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins can take over a game. The 13th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft didn’t receive a Pro Bowl nod or All-Pro selection in 2022, but he deserved it. Wilkins led all defensive tackles in run-stop win rate (46%) and netted 30 total pressures. With even more talent around him now in Miami, Wilkins can put up the statistics to receive the accolades he earned a year ago.

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47. Christian Darrisaw, offensive tackle, Minnesota Vikings

Christian Darrisaw, a former three-star recruit, put it all together in his second season. A year after being selected with the 23rd pick by the Minnesota Vikings, Darrisaw became one of the top run blockers in the NFL and he steadily improved in pass protection. If he can take another step forward with sealing off the edge, Darrisaw can be an All-Pro left tackle.

46. Trey Hendrickson, edge rusher, Cincinnati Bengals

Many wrote off Trey Hendrickson’s 2020 season (25 QB hits, 13.5 sacks) because of the talent around him. In the past two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Hendrickson has proved he’s one of the top edge rushers in the AFC. He’s responsible for 137 pressures, 51 QB hits and 22 sacks in the past two years. Plus, he’s been especially key for Cincinnati’s defense in critical moments.

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45. Lavonte David, linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lavonte David will likely get to spend his entire career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he’ll eventually be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor. Even as a 32-year-old linebacker, David played at an extremely high level. While he’s losing some of his athleticism, he’s still one of the most well-rounded linebackers of his era.

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44. Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Seattle Seahawks

Bobby Wagner is a future Hall of Famer and he’s now defying Father Time. Many assumed when he signed with the Los Angeles Rams that the 32-year-old would be a shell of his former self. Instead, he proved he’s one of the smartest and most sound linebackers in the league. Now returning to Seattle, Wagner will end his career on a high note.

43. Haason Reddick, edge rusher, Philadelphia Eagles

One of the best signings in NFL free agency a year ago, Haason Reddick took his game to new heights with the Philadelphia Eagles. He recorded 16 sacks, led the NFL in forced fumbles (five) and finished fourth for Defensive Player of the Year. Reddick also posted the second-highest pass rush win rate (28%) among all pass rushers.

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42. Rashawn Slater, offensive tackle, Los Angeles Chargers

A torn biceps tendon prevented Rashawn Slater from making a true impact in 2022, but let’s not forget he earned second-team All-Pro honors at left tackle in his rookie year. Drafted out of Northwestern, Slater has allowed just seven hits and five sacks in his first 19 games.

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41. Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens

NFL: Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Lamar Jackson career stats: 12,209 passing yards, 101 passing touchdowns, 96.7 QB rating, 4,437 rushing yards, 6.1 ypc, 24 rushing touchdowns

Injuries and Greg Roman are the biggest reason why Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson won’t be higher on NFL Top 100 players lists in 2023. Jackson will likely pass Randall Cunningham (4,928) for the third-most career rushing yards by a quarterback. What should have NFL fans even more excited is that for the first time in Jackson’s career, he gets to play in a modern offense with high-end wide receivers helping him.

40. Josh Jacobs, running back, Las Vegas Raiders

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Las Vegas Raiders
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Raiders exploded in 2022, leading the NFL in rushing yards (1,653), touches (393) and scrimmage yards. He also led the NFL in yards created and evaded the second-most tackles (123) in the league. With the Raiders’ run blocking further improved and in a contract year, Jacobs should prove he’s one of the best NFL running backs in 2023 if he reports after prolonged contract discussions led to him threatening a hold out.

39. Joel Bitonio, offensive guard, Cleveland Browns

Since Joel Bitonio entered the league as a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he’s been one of the best interior offensive linemen. From 2018-’22, he earned five All-Pro selections and has made the Pro Bowl in five consecutive seasons. Putting his dominance into perspective, he allowed just four sacks in the last three years.

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38. Jason Kelce, center, Philadelphia Eagles

One of the oldest players in football is also still one of the best. Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce contemplates retirement then decides to stick around and his franchise is grateful for it. Not only is Kelce the leader for the best offensive line in the NFL, he’s also just an outstanding blocker. With five first-team All-Pro selections in his career, Kelce will head to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after he retires.

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37. Jeffery Simmons, defensive tackle, Tennessee Titans

Now one of the highest-paid defensive tackles in the NFL, Jeffery Simmons signed a contract he certainly earned. He’s been named second-team All-Pro in each of his past two seasons and his influence on the entire Tennessee Titans defense is massive. Entering his age-26 season, Simmons will be on the NFL Top 100 players list for years to come.

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36. Nick Chubb, running back, Cleveland Browns

  • Nick Chubb stats (career): 6,341 rushing yards, 52 total touchdowns, 5.2 ypc

Nick Chubb is one of the best pure runners in football. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Chubb has averaged 5 yards per carry in every season. What makes Chubb an All-Pro player is his vision, elusiveness (133 evaded tackles) and his ability to use all of his skills to consistently rip off big runs (23 breakaway runs in 2022).

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35. Tristan Wirfs, offensive tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tristan Wirfs has solidified himself as one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. In his first three seasons, Wirfs allowed just 10 hits and five sacks in over 2,000 pass-blocking snaps. One of the best pass blockers in the NFL, there’s no reason to think Wirfs couldn’t handle the transition to left tackle and there’s certainly more money on that side.

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34. Ja’Marr Chase, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

Syndication: The Enquirer
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

While Ja’Marr Chase isn’t quite on par with former LSU teammate Justin Jefferson, the Cincinnati Bengals star is still responsible for 2,500 receiving yards through his first 29 games in the NFL. If not for the presence of Tee Higgins, Chase’s target rate would be even higher and he could lead the league in receiving.

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33. Creed Humphrey, center, Kansas City Chiefs

Creed Humphrey is the best center in the NFL and it’s been that wait for two years. The former 63rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has allowed just 28 pressures, three quarterback hits and one sack in over 1,500 pass-blocking snaps. Humphrey is also one of the best run blockers in the NFL today.

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32. Cooper Kupp, wide receiver, Los Angeles Rams

  • Cooper Kupp career stats: 508 receptions, 6,329 receiving yards, 294 first downs

Before his season-ending injury, Cooper Kupp was on pace for his second consecutive season with 120-plus receptions and 1,400-plus receiving yards. While Kupp is now playing for a rebuilding Rams team, he remains an unguardable slot receiver who should remain the focal point in Sean McVay’s offense.

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31. Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Miami Dolphins

Jalen Ramsey will thrive with the Miami Dolphins. In Vic Fangio’s scheme, the six-time Pro Bowl selection will be used in a similar fashion to how Brandon Staley deployed him in Los Angeles. Ramsey might not be the best cover cornerback in the NFL, but he’s phenomenal against the run, can be used as a blitzer and is highly effective from the slot. He likely won’t lead Miami in interceptions, but Ramsey will be one of the five most important Dolphins players in 2023.

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30. Chris Lindstrom, guard, Atlanta Falcons

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Lindstrom is the best guard in the NFL and the 2022 season captured why. He surrendered just nine pressures across 500 pass-blocking snaps, created massive running lanes on a regular season and was flagged for penalties just twice in 17 games. Lindstrom is one of the biggest reasons the Falcons have a top-five offensive line in 2023.

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29. Fred Warner, linebacker, San Francisco 49ers

NFL: Washington Commanders at San Francisco 49ers
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 70th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Fred Warner keeps proving why he’s one of the best linebackers in football. The BYU alum set a career-high in pass deflections (10) and he remained outstanding in pass coverage and was one of the best run-stuffing linebackers in the NFL. Warner is the definition of a do-it-all- defender.

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28. A.J. Brown, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Brown found the perfect home with the Philadelphia Eagles, serving as the perfect complement to DeVonta Smith and helping put this offense over the top. Eagles’ quarterbacks had a 118.8 QB rating when targeting Brown last season and he ranked second in the NFL in yards after catch (543) and yards per route run (3.01).

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27. Justin Herbert, quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers – Highest-paid NFL player

Syndication: USA TODAY

There’s a reason why the Los Angeles Chargers made Justin Herbert the highest paid NFL player ever. In terms of pure skills, Herbert is right up there with Josh Allen as one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the league. Unfortunately, Herbert’s talent was limited by offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Now that Kellen Moore is taking over the Chargers’ offense, Herbert’s deep ball, athleticism and touch will be on full display. Don’t be surprised if Herbert is among the top MVP candidates this year.

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26. George Kittle, tight end, San Francisco 49ers

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
  • George Kittle career stats: 395 receptions, 5,254 receiving yards, 31 touchdowns

George Kittle doesn’t have the stats to match Travis Kelce, but he’s just as important to an offense. The 6-foot-4 tight end’s production varies – 478 of 765 receiving yards in five games – but that’s also because he’s a chess piece for Kyle Shanahan, excelling as a run blocker and opening up areas of the field for Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. When you consider everything Kittle does, it’s obvious why he’s a three-time All-Pro selection.

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25. Cameron Heyward, defensive tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers

Syndication: Beaver County Times
Michael Longo/For USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward has always been a good player, but he’s on a four-year run of dominance right now. From 2019-’22, Heyward earned three All-Pro honors and four Pro Bowl selections with 82 quarterback hits, 33.5 sacks and 22 pass deflections in 65 games. Last season’s accomplishments were arguably even more impressive considering T.J. Watt missed significant time.

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24. Quinnen Williams, defensive tackle, New York Jets

NFL: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Before suffering an injury in December, New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was playing like one of the best players in the NFL. Williams is responsible for 54 quarterback hits, 25 sacks, 10 pass deflections and four forced fumbles in his last 44 games. This led to a record-breaking contract extension for Williams ahead of the 2023 season.

Related: New York Jets schedule

23. Dexter Lawrence, defensive tackle, New York Giants

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It all came together for Dexter Lawrence in 2022, with the 342-pound defensive tackle becoming one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL. Over 16 games, Lawrence amassed 63 pressures, 38 stops, 28 quarterback hits and 7.5 tackles for loss.

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22. Maxx Crosby, defensive end, Las Vegas Raiders

NFL: New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Since entering the league as the 106th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Las Vegas Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby has been one of the best pass rushers in football. He’s responsible for 93 quarterback hits and 37.5 sacks over the last four seasons, earning two Pro Bowl selections in the process. Now paired up with Tyree Wilson, Crosby can look forward to not being the only dynamic disruptor on the Raiders’ front.

21. Andrew Thomas, left tackle, New York Giants

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There can be a sharp learning curve for NFL rookies. After being selected No. 4 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Andrew Thomas allowed 39 hurries and 10 sacks in his rookie season. Across 619 pass-blocking snaps last year, Thomas allowed just 15 hurries and three sacks. He’s on the verge of becoming the best left tackle in the NFL and with another outstanding season, New York should be ready to make him one of the richest offensive linemen in NFL history.

Best NFL players right now: Top 20 players in NFL 2023

20. Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
  • Stefon Diggs stats (career): 703 receptions, 8,812 receiving yards, 59 touchdowns

Stefon Diggs is one of the best route-runners of his era with five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons helping prove that. One of the best ways to highlight Diggs’ greatness is his influence on Josh Allen. Before Diggs arrived in Buffalo, Allen had a career 78.2 QB rating with a 56.3% completion rate and 6.2 ay/a. Since Diggs’ arrival, Allen holds a 98.4 QB rating with a 65.% completion rate and 7.6 ay/a.

19. Patrick Surtain II, cornerback, Denver Broncos

NFL: Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The second-year leap everyone was expecting from Patrick Surtain II happened in 2022. The 6-foot-2 cornerback earned first-team All-Pro honors coming off a regular season that saw him allow just 417 receiving yards in 17 games. He boasts all the skills you could ever want in a shutdown cornerback and we’re excited to see him be one of the best defensive players in the NFL for years.

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18. Lane Johnson, offensive tackle, Philadelphia Eagles

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries are the only thing that prevents Lane Johnson from being even higher on Sportsnaut’s top 100 NFL players list. The fourth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has played in just four games over the last four seasons. However, per PFF, Johnston has only allowed seven quarterback hits and two sacks over that stretch (1,672 pass-block snaps). With a Super Bowl ring and three All-Pro selections, Johnson is headed for Canton, Ohio whenever he retires.

17. Christian McCaffrey, running back, San Francisco 49ers

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey found the perfect home with the San Francisco 49ers. Despite facing the hurdles of overcoming a midseason trade, McCaffrey generated 1,210 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns on just 211 touches in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. As long as McCaffrey stays healthy, he’ll keep demonstrating why he’s one of the best NFL players in 2023.

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16. Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles – Best quarterback in NFC

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

It might seem outlandish to call Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts one of the best NFL players in 2023 after one breakout season. However, it’s worth taking a look at just how dominant Hurts was. Before his shoulder injury in Week 15, Hurts had a 22-3 TD-INT line with a 68% completion rate, 108.4 quarterback rating, 686 rushing yards and 10 scores. In Super Bowl LVII, Hurts delivered an MVP-caliber performance, tying Super Bowl records for rushing touchdowns (three). He also became the first NFL player to throw for 300-plus yards, complete 70 percent of his passes and rush for 70-plus yards with three scores in a single NFL game. That’s why Hurts is here.

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15. Davante Adams, wide receiver, Las Vegas Raiders

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Davante Adams career stats: 9,637 receiving yards 87 touchdowns

While he didn’t go from one Hall of Famer to another, Davante Adams proved that he can deliver outstanding production no matter who throws him the football. The Las Vegas Raiders offense was a mess at times in 2022, yet Adams led the NFL in receiving touchdowns (14), set a career-high in yards per catch (15.2) and posted his second consecutive 1,500-yard season. If Adams replicates that success this fall, he’ll become just the eighth wide receiver in NFL history with 100 career touchdowns and 10,000 career receiving yards.

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14. T.J. Watt, edge rusher, Pittsburgh Steelers

Syndication: Beaver County Times
Michael Longo/For USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

Injuries limited T.J. Watt to only 10 games last season, but he still earned a Pro Bowl selection with 12 quarterback hits and 5.5 sacks in 10 games. We see no reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 6-foot-4 edge rusher can’t return to the form we saw in 2021 when he was credited with 62 pressures and 22.4 sacks on his way to winning Defensive Player of the Year.

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13. Tyreek Hill, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins

NFL: Pro Bowl Skills Competition
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New quarterback, same Tyreek Hill. One of the fastest NFL players ever received the change of scenery he wanted and blossomed. Hill turned in career-highs in receptions (119) and receiving yards (1,710), recording seven 100-yard games and four performances with 160-plus receiving yards. He’s only sticking around for a few more years, so enjoy him while he’s still around.

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12. Sauce Gardner, cornerback, New York Jets – Best NFL cornerback

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner might’ve had the best rookie season in NFL history. Playing a position where so many first-year starters struggle, Gardner was the best NFL cornerback in 2022. He allowed just 34 receptions (45.9 percent reception rate) and one touchdown across 642 coverage snaps (PFF), with opponents averaging a 53.9 passer rating against him. If that’s just his opening act, we can’t wait to see what else Gardner can do with more experience under his belt.

11. Travis Kelce, tight end, Kansas City Chiefs – Best tight end in NFL

NFL: NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Travis Kelce career stats: 814 receptions, 10,344 receiving yards, 69 touchdowns

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce already has two Super Bowl rings and is tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns (16) in playoff history. On top of that, the seven-time All-Pro selection and member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team holds NFL records for most 1,000-yard seasons by a tight end (seven) and most receiving yards in a season by a tight end (1,416). You can debate exactly where he ranks, but Travis Kelce is one of the best NFL tight ends ever.

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NFL top 100 players in 2023: 10 best NFL players right now

10. Nick Bosa, edge rusher, San Francisco 49ers

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Bosa is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year and he might have even more accolades on his resume if not for an ACL tear in 2020. In three healthy seasons, Bosa compiled 43 sacks and 105 quarterback hits in 49 contests. Not only is he an elite pass rusher, Bosa also grades as one of the best run stuffers in the NFL over the last two seasons.

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9. Myles Garrett, edge rusher, Cleveland Browns

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Washington Commanders
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

High expectations are put on the shoulders of the No. 1 overall pick. Through his first six seasons, Garrett has lived up to the hype. The 6-foot-4 defensive end is credited with 124 quarterback hits, 67.5 sacks, 12 forced fumbles and 12 pass deflections in his last 73 games. An All-Pro selection in each of his last three seasons, Garrett is proving to be one of the best pass rushers of his era.

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8. Trent Williams, offensive tackle, San Francisco 49ers – Best lineman in NFL

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

If beating cancer isn’t enough to impress you, we’ve got numbers to prove Trent Williams is the best offensive lineman in the NFL. He allowed just one sack across 466 pass-blocking snaps last season (PFF) and has surrendered just six sacks in 1,536 passing snaps since he joined the San Francisco 49ers in 2020. Williams is defying Father Time and we see no reason to believe he won’t earn his third consecutive first-team All-Pro selection in 2023.

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7. Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings – Best NFL wide receiver

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has 4,825 receiving yards through his first 50 career games. Putting that into perspective, Jerry Rice (4,164), Randy Moss (4,272) and Terrell Owens (2,770) are all short of that mark. While playing in a pass-heavy league helps, it’s also not as if Jefferson is catching passes from a future Hall of Famer. Simply put, Jefferson is on an early path toward being among the all-time NFL leaders in receptions and receiving yards. We’re witnessing someone truly historic and he’s still just 24 years old.

6. Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills

Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle
Tina MacIntyre-Yee /Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen can be one of the best NFL players when he’s at his best. The 2020 season – 107.2 QB rating, 69.2 percent completion rate – and his first six games in 2022 – 109.1 QB rating, 17-4 TD-INT ratio – are a reminder of Allen at his best. Then, you get the down moments when some poor decision-making and the pressure he puts on himself leads to poor results )18-10 YD=INT, 87.5 QB rating in final 10 games). That’s why Allen drops after being No. 1 on our NFL top 100 players list in 2022.

Related: NFL QB rankings

5. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones still might be one of the most underrated players in the NFL. A four-time All-Pro selection, the 6-foot-5 lineman delivered one of the best stretches we’ve ever seen from a defensive tackle. From Weeks 7-17 in 2022, Jones recorded 22 quarterback hits, 12 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 11 games. He also dominated in the playoffs, helping pave the way to a second Lombardi Trophy.

4. Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald only played in 11 games last season. With injuries and age starting to become issues for the 6-foot-1 defensive tackle, he drops a few spots on our list of the best NFL players right now. However, Donald is still responsible 237 quarterback hits, 160 tackles for loss and 103 sacks in 138 career games. As he nears the end of his career, fans should appreciate seeing him in 2023 because Donald is one of the best defensive linemen in NFL history.

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3. Micah Parsons, edge rusher, Dallas Cowboys – Best defensive player in NFL

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Micah Parsons is the best defensive player in the NFL right now. As he makes the move to defensive end, fans should be elated about what’s to come. He ranked sixth in PFF’s pass-rushing productivity (11), led the NFL in defensive pressures (106) and posted the highest ESPN pass-rush win rate (30 percent) in the NFL last season. Parsons is the best pass rusher in the NFL today and another Defensive Player of the Year-caliber performance will result in him becoming one of the league’s highest-paid players.

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2. Joe Burrow, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Burrow is already the best Cincinnati Bengals player ever. He’s accomplished more in the last two seasons than any player in franchise history. The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is just beginning what looks like a Hall of Fame career. As long as he’s under center in Cincinnati, the Bengals are a Super Bowl contender. Considering this is the poorest NFL team, that makes Burrow’s accomplishments even more incredible.

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1. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs – Best NFL player 2023

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes is the best NFL player in 2023 and he’s on a trajectory to be one of the best players in NFL history. While Tom Brady won more Super Bowls (three) than Mahomes by age-27, Mahomes is shattering NFL records for passing yards, wins, touchdowns and passer rating through his first 80 career games. If he maintains his trajectory, Mahomes will be in the conversation for the best NFL player ever.

Who is number 1 on NFL Top 100 players?

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is No. 1 on the NFL Top 100 players in 2023 list. The reigning Super Bowl MVP is on pace to become one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

How are the NFL Top 100 players selected?

The Sportsnaut NFL Top 100 players list for the 2023 season used a combination of statistics from 2022, career performance, advanced stats, positional value and projections to order its NFL Top 100 players list. NFL Network’s Top 100 players list is voted on by the players, with players voting on their top 20.

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