NFL Top 100 Players of 2021: The GOAT is #1, Chiefs’ Kelce Top 10

By Malcolm Michaels

The two most-recent NFL MVPs. Record-breaking contracts and record-setting performances. As we delve into the NFL top 100 for the 2020 season, prepare to be surprised who is within the top five. Also, prepare to disagree with where one future Hall of Fame quarterback is ranked.

Swipe down to see our NFL top 100 picks, or tap here to jump to our top 50.

Updated: February 20, 2021 at 1:00 PM EST

Related: 50 Top NBA players of 2021 – Ben Simmons plummets, Jaylen Brown soars.

100. Marcus Maye, safety, New York Jets

NFL Top 100 Players
Oct 18, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (20) intercepts the a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Preston Williams (18) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After the Jets traded Jamal Adams, Maye became the focal point of New York’s secondary. The 27-year-old free safety played extremely well during the 2020 season, grading as one of Pro Football Focus’ top cover safeties (No. 4 with an 85.8 grade). Playing so well amid the worst of circumstances result in Maye being rewarded with a nice contract this offseason — whether it’s with Gang Green or a new team.

Read More: New York Jets draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

99. Joel Bitonio, guard, Cleveland Browns

NFL top 100: Joel Bitonio
Oct 11, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive guard Joel Bitonio (75) is introduced before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few mainstays in Cleveland amid constant regime changes in recent years, Bitonio is a rock on the offensive line, which is the Browns’ most improved unit and a big reason for their resurgence in 2020. Bitonio ranked right among the NFL’s elite this year as a key cog in Cleveland’s No. 1-ranked offensive line by PFF, so his inclusion on the top 100 list is definitely merited despite the position he plays lacking glamor.

Read More: NFL world reacts to the Cleveland Browns clinching first playoff appearance since 2002

98. Jonathan Jones, cornerback, New England Patriots

Nov 17, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones (31) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the shine in New England’s defensive backfield rightly goes to Stephon Gilmore and the McCourty twins, but don’t sleep on Jones’ contributions. He was PFF’s fifth-ranked cornerback overall this year, and ranked 19th the previous season. Jones is emerging as one of the NFL’s premier slot corners, which is an increasingly valuable position in the modern game as teams like to spread defenses out with three-wide formations.

Read More: New England Patriots congratulate Tom Brady after seventh Super Bowl victory

97. Trey Flowers, defensive end, Detroit Lions

NFL top 100: Trey Flowers
Oct 25, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers (90) reacts after recovering a fumble by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) (not shown) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The only reason Flowers isn’t higher on this list is because the Lions’ defense has been awful of late. Nevertheless, his individual play and consistency from season to season is undeniable. Garnering grades of 80-plus over the past four years in PFF’s system, Flowers is among the NFL’s most steady — if not spectacular — producers at one of the game’s most important positions. Maybe a new head coach in Dan Campbell will help spotlight Flowers’ brilliance better as the Detroit works to execute a serious rebuild.

Read More: Former Lions QB Matthew Stafford speaks out on trade to Los Angeles Rams

96. Eric Kendricks, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings

NFL Top 100 Players
Nov 22, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) celebrates after making an interception against the Dalles Cowboys in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Once a star on UCLA’s campus, Kendricks has found a home on Minnesota’s defense. The former second-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft elevated his game last year, earning first-team All-Pro honors, and he must be recognized as a member of the NFL top 100. He backed up that highly decorated 2019 campaign with a strong year this past season, grading as PFF’s No. 3 linebacker overall.

CHECK OUT: Love Minnesota sports? Head to Minnesota Sports Fan now for the very best local headlines.

95. Joe Burrow, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

NFL top 100: Joe Burrow
Nov 22, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) passes the ball under pressure from Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) in the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine if Joe Burrow didn’t get his knee blown out behind a horrendous offensive line, or actually went to a franchise that had some semblance of a competitive roster in place. As the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Burrow made an immediate splash as a rookie. He kept Cincinnati relevant despite the team being set up to lose. If he comes back healthy in 2021, Burrow is in for a rapid climb up this list.

Read More: Brian Baldinger praises Joe Burrow’s football IQ, sees bright future for Bengals QB

94. Terry McLaurin, wide receiver, Washington Football Team

NFL top 100: Terry McLaurin
Nov 26, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) waves to the Dallas Cowboys fans during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After bursting onto the scene as a rookie, McLaurin continued his stellar form in the NFL during his sophomore campaign, amassing 87 receptions for 1,118 yards. Adjusting to a new system with no offseason and instability at the quarterback position hasn’t stopped McLaurin from continuing to be a premier playmaker — and he’s really the only go-to wideout on Washington’s roster. As the Football Team acquires more weapons and establishes continuity, look for McLaurin to boost his game to another level and join the NFL’s true elite at wide receiver.

Read More: Washington Football Team draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

93. Ronnie Stanley, offensive tackle, Baltimore Ravens

Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley injured during NFL game
Nov 5, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (79) injured on the field during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens rewarded Stanley with a massive contract, because the 26-year-old is an elite left tackle and earned his status as the highest-paid offensive lineman. MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson needs to be protected in the coming years, and Baltimore made the right move by securing his blindside protector long-term. Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury in 2020, and his absence took a toll on the Ravens — further proving his immense value.

Read More: Ravens GM: Lamar Jackson deserves long-term contract

92. Josh Allen, defensive end, Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL top 100: Josh Allen, Jaguars
Nov 8, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) celebrates after a fourth down stop against the Houston Texans during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have made plenty of draft blunders in recent years. Taking Allen with the No. 7 overall pick in 2019 isn’t one of them. He racked up 10.5 sacks in his rookie season, proving he wasn’t a fluke at Kentucky. Allen will be one of the NFL’s top pass-rushers here soon, and now that Urban Meyer is hopefully bringing a culture change to Jacksonville, look for Allen to flourish in this new Jags era.

Read More: 5 reasons why Urban Meyer will thrive as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach

91. Adrian Amos, safety, Green Bay Packers

Jan 24, 2021, Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers strong safety Adrian Amos (31) breaks up a pass intended for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) during the NFC championship game Sunday, January 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field Mandatory credit: Dan Powers / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

If you want to know why Green Bay’s defense has gotten the Packers to two straight conference championship games, just watch their secondary. They boast one of the best two cornerbacks in the NFL in Jaire Alexander, and Amos is among the greatest, most versatile safeties in the sport. Across 1,123 snaps this season, per PFF, Amos boasted a top-two grade among all safeties. He was in the box for 387 snaps, played 590 snaps at free safety and even aligned at slot corner for 108 plays in 2020.

Read More: Green Bay Packers DC Mike Pettine won’t return in 2021

90. Allen Robinson, wide receiver, Chicago Bears

NFL top 100: Allen Robinson
Oct 8, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson (12) attempts to make a catch against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (24) during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the same story in Chicago as he went through in Jacksonville. Robinson is an elite wide receiver, but poor quarterback play constantly hurts his stats — or at least prevents him from being even better. He’ll likely be available for NFL teams in free agency, or in a potential tag-and-trade scenario if the Bears decide to franchise him. We hope Robinson lands in the right spot after having to catch passes mostly from Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles and Jaguars bust Blake Bortles to begin his NFL career.

Read More: Chicago Bears draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

89. Chase Young, edge rusher, Washington Football Team

NFL top 100: Chase Young
Dec 7, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) reacts after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Washington won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 2 overall pick is doing everything we knew he was capable of coming into the NFL. He is a force off the edge who created all kinds of havoc in his maiden pro campaign with 44 stops, 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. It’s not quite to the level of his former Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa, but it won’t be long before Young is playing at that level as he fills out a more sophisticated, diverse pass-rushing arsenal.

Related: NFL defense rankings – Offseason outlook for top defenses, breakout teams in 2021.

88. Calais Campbell, defensive end, Baltimore Ravens

NFL top 100: Calais Campbell
Oct 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell (93) celebrates after a sack against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In what might be one of the most lopsided trades in NFL history, the Ravens acquired Campbell for a Day 3 draft pick in the spring of 2020. A defense that was already frightening added a five-time Pro Bowl selection to its defensive line, and although he didn’t play quite as well in 2020, he is turning 35 just ahead of the upcoming season. The fact he’s still on the NFL top 100 list at this phase of his career is a testament to Campbell’s consistency and overall greatness.

87. Keenan Allen, wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

NFL top 100: Keenan Allen
Nov 29, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) following the game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Since missing most of the 2016 season, Allen has returned to NFL stardom. Coming off three consecutive seasons with 1,100-plus receiving yards and six touchdowns, the Chargers and fantasy owners know they can always count on Allen to deliver, and even as he was banged up throughout this last year, he still managed 100 receptions for 992 yards and matched a career-high with eight scores, forming a strong connection with young phenom Justin Herbert.

Read More: Los Angeles Chargers draft picks: Top selections, prospects to target in 2021 NFL Draft

86. Amari Cooper, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper entered Week 2 on the injury report
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While Rex Ryan might not have paid Cooper, NFL teams were more than happy to do so. The Washington Football Team tried to steal him from Dallas, but there was no way Cooper would turn down that eye-popping contract and the No. 1 spot in one of the NFL’s top offenses. With Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb proving to be exceptional weapons themselves, Cooper is still the go-to guy for Dak Prescott. Even with Prescott out for most of 2020, Cooper racked up a personal-best 92 receptions for the season, mostly from Andy Dalton.

Read More: Troy Aikman weighs in on uncertain future for Dak Prescott with Dallas Cowboys

85. Demarcus Lawrence, defensive end, Dallas Cowboys

NFL top 100: Demarcus Lawrence
Dec 15, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (90) on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The sack production hasn’t been there for the past couple seasons, yet Lawrence, for the past four seasons at Pro Football Focus, has an overall player grade ranking that easily gets him inside the top 10 of the NFL. Now, how much stock can you put into PFF grades? It can’t be the sole determining factor. However, it’s a good starting point, and perhaps data that beats back the notion Lawrence is in decline despite diminishing sack totals. In addition to continuing on as a top-tier pass-rusher, Lawrence has learned to defend the run better, too.

Read More: Former Dallas Cowboys star Jason Witten hired to be Texas high school football coach

84. Demario Davis, linebacker, New Orleans Saints

NFL top 100: Demario Davis
Oct 4, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis (56) after the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Davis bounced around the NFL from 2012-17 with the Jets and Cleveland Browns, then he found a home in New Orleans. One of the league’s most underrated defenders, this former third-round pick’s road to becoming an All-Pro linebacker is incredible. After leading all linebackers in PFF grades during 2019, Davis followed up with a top-five ranking this past season.

Read More: New Orleans Saints draft picks: Top selections, prospects to target in 2021 NFL Draft

83. Brian Burns, edge rusher, Carolina Panthers

NFL top 100: Brian Burns
Nov 22, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (53) during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina drafted Burns with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, recognizing an edge rusher with elite physical tools. We’re seeing that athleticism and explosiveness turn into production and it’s only his second season. His 16.5 sacks and 37 QB hits in 31 career games are solid figures, but bear in mind he’s made only 19 starts. Now that he’s a full-time fixture in the lineup, Burns is on track to be a future All-Pro edge rusher.

Related: Weve already got our 2022 Super Bowl pick, along with next year’s NFL playoff teams.

82. Shelby Harris, defensive lineman, Denver Broncos

NFL top 100: Shelby Harris
Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris (96) reacts during the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most underrated defensive linemen in the NFL, Harris logged six sacks in 2019 and is proving to be a menace as an interior pass-rusher. The 290-pound defensive tackle recorded 49 combined tackles, four tackles for loss and knocked down nine passes that season. His continued impact in 11 games last year helped compensate for the loss of injured superstar Von Miller — and drove up his free-agent price tag. Broncos coach Vic Fangio knows how valuable Harris is to his defensive system, so a contract extension for the 29-year-old should be among Denver’s top offseason priorities.

Related: Top 50 NFL free agents of 2021.

81. Justin Herbert, quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers

Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) gestures at the line of scrimmage during the first half against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a phenomenal rookie campaign, Justin Herbert earns a spot in the NFL top 100 despite his relative inexperience. He may well emerge as the best QB prospect of the 2020 draft despite being the third off the board behind Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. With incredible arm talent, excellent athleticism and an ability to thrive with pressure in his face, Herbert has the makeup to be a true franchise signal-caller and someone the Chargers can rally around for the next decade.

Read More: NFL expert Brian Baldinger breaks down Justin Herbert and his rookie season

80. Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Dec 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) drops to throw during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Many will say Roethlisberger doesn’t belong here right now, but despite his shocking decline toward the end of 2020, it’s worth pointing out that he did steer the Steelers to an 11-0 start. They also had unquestionably the worst running game in football, which put Big Ben in many compromising, obvious passing situations. At this juncture of his career, that’s not where he’s best suited. Let’s see if Pittsburgh gets a little more balanced on offense and helps its QB out before totally writing Roethlisberger off just yet.

Read More: Pittsburgh Steelers draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

79. Ryan Ramczyk, offensive tackle, New Orleans Saints

NFL top 100: Ryan Ramczyk
Sep 29, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk (71) blocks Dallas Cowboys defensive end Kerry Hyder (51) in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

A first-round pick out of Wisconsin back in 2017, Ramczyk has started all 63 regular-season games in which he’s appeared in four seasons with New Orleans, missing only one game. He’s coming off an All-Pro performance manning right tackle for the perepetual Super Bowl contenders. Along with left tackle Terron Armstead, he’s one of the primary reasons Drew Brees was sacked just 28 times in his last 26 starts, counting the playoffs.

Read More: NFL salary cap tracker: Where each team stands in 2021

78. Harrison Smith, safety, Minnesota Vikings

NFL top 100: Harrison Smith
Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings strong safety Harrison Smith (22) in action during the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

A first-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Smith has blown past all expectations since joining the Vikings. He was unarguably one of the NFL’s best defensive backs over the last decade and he continues to play at a high level to this day. The question is whether he’ll finish his career with Minnesota or chase a Super Bowl somewhere else.

Read More: Minnesota Vikings draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

77. Lavonte David, linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dec 21, 2019; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) reacts as he makes a tackle against the Houston Texans during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 21, 2019; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) reacts as he makes a tackle against the Houston Texans during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason, David is not mentioned among the best inside linebackers in the NFL. While he’s getting more shine after the’ Buccaneers Super Bowl LV triumph, he still continues to fly under the radar. Despite this, the former second-round pick from Nebraska continues to prove his worth. David, 30, recorded 117 combined tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six passes defended and three forced fumbles for the Bucs last season.

Read More: 5 moves to keep Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster strong in Super Bowl repeat bid

76. Justin Simmons, safety, Denver Broncos

NFL top 100: Justin Simmons
Nov 8, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus (17) after an intercepted pass during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s pretty sensational what Simmons has done in Denver since the team made him a third-round pick from Boston College back in 2016. The safety has recorded 37 pass breakups and 16 interceptions since becoming a full-time starter as a sophomore. He’s coming off a Pro Bowl campaign and will soon be among the highest-paid safeties in the NFL after his lucrative one-year deal expires. He’s a legit top-100 player in the NFL.

75. John Johnson III, safety, Los Angeles Rams

NFL top 100: John Johnson
Dec 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams strong safety John Johnson (43) defends as Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) attempt to make a catch during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Darious Williams has emerged from obscurity this year to shine in LA’s defensive backfield. Then, of course, there’s the elite talent of cornerback Jalen Ramsey. One man who often gets overlooked is Johnson — but not here! After being banged-up and appearing in only six games in 2019, under coordinator Brandon Staley, Johnson flourished again as a cornerstone of perhaps the NFL’s best secondary. Johnson can drop deep in coverage as the last line of defense and also happens to be a tackling machine. That’s a pretty killer combo.

Read More: Jared Goff comments on unceremonious trade from Los Angeles Rams

74. Marlon Humphrey, cornerback, Baltimore Ravens

NFL top 100: Marlon Humphrey
Nov 1, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) fights for extra yards as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey (44) defends during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Just ask the New England Patriots what it’s like to face Humphrey. He has become one of the NFL’s rising stars on the defensive side, earning All-Pro honors in 2019. Humphrey is a big reason why Baltimore boasts one of the NFL’s best defenses and secondaries.

Related: NFL defense rankings – Offseason outlook for top defenses, breakout teams in 2021.

73. Darren Waller, tight end, Las Vegas Raiders

NFL top 100: Darren Waller
Nov 22, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Waller recorded a combined 18 receptions in his first four NFL seasons after the Ravens made him a sixth-round pick back in 2015. Breaking out big time with the Raiders in 2019, the Georgia Tech product recorded 90 receptions for 1,145 yards while catching 77% of his targets. The inevitable increased attention he drew from opposing defenses didn’t hurt his 2020 production at all, as Waller ascended to new heights with 107 catches, 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns.

CHECK OUT: If you’re a Raiders fan and you’re not checking out Silver & Black Today daily, you’re missing out.

72. Andrew Whitworth, left tackle, Los Angeles Rams

NFL top 100: Andrew Whitworth
December 21, 2019; Santa Clara, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone loves to talk about Tom Brady beating Father Time, but Whitworth’s success is just as incredible. A second-round pick in 2006, the 39-year-old tackle is still a force in pass protection and can maul against the run with the league’s best. Whitworth was called upon for 402 pass-blocking snaps this last year, and held up extremely well. He is one of the oldest players in the NFL — and still one of the best. He’s said he “doesn’t see any reason” he wouldn’t return in 2021 to block for a new, better quarterback in Matthew Stafford.

Read More: Winners, losers from blockbuster Matthew Stafford trade to Los Angeles Rams

71. Tyler Lockett, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

NFL top 100: Tyler Lockett
Oct 25, 2020; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) makes a first down against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half during a game at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK Nfl Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

Another player who doesn’t necessarily stand out from a national perspective, Lockett has quickly become Russell Wilson’s favorite target in Seattle. Over the course of the past three seasons, the Kansas State product has recorded a resounding 76.6% catch rate while putting up north of 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. He’s a legit No. 1 receiver, making him an ideal complement to the more explosive DK Metcalf. 

70. Adam Thielen, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings – Best undrafted player

NFL top 100: Adam Thielen
Dec 6, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries limited Thielen to just 30 catches for 418 yards during 2019. This doesn’t take away from what the Minnesota State product has done since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, though. Combined, Thielen tallied north of 200 catches for nearly 2,600 yards in 2017 and 2018. He returned to form and health in 2020 with 14 touchdown grabs on 74 catches for 925 yards, as he and Justin Jefferson formed an exceptional duo for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Read More: NFL wide receiver rankings: Who are the most dynamic duos?

69. Josh Jacobs, running back, Las Vegas Raiders

NFL Top 100: Josh Jacobs
Nov 29, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) avoids a tackle by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Darqueze Dennard (34) during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The only other member of this Las Vegas team to crack the top 100 aside from Waller, Jacobs was absolutely sensational as a rookie. The former Alabama star tallied over 1,300 total yards at a clip of 5.0 yards per touch. Due to injuries and lackluster play to the Raiders’ interior offensive line in 2020 — and the fact that their defense was bad and caused them to abandon the running game earlier than they’d have liked — Jacobs saw his yards per carry drop below four in his second season. It’s only a matter of time before he finds more running room.

Read More: Jon Gruden is a great football coach, Las Vegas Raiders need a defense

68. Cameron Jordan, defensive end, New Orleans Saints

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league, all Jordan has done since New Orleans made him a first-round pick back in 2011 is show a level of consistency few others have reached. He’s put up 7.5 sacks or more in each of the past nine seasons while playing extremely well against the run. At this point, Jordan seems to have Hall of Fame credentials. 

Read More: Winners, losers from Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-20 win over New Orleans Saints in NFL Playoffs

67. Aaron Jones, running back, Green Bay Packers

NFL top 100: Aaron Jones
Dec 6, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) stiff arms Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Michael Jacquet (38) during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s still baffling that Jones is not talked about among the game’s elite backs. All the former mid-round pick from UTEP did last season was record 1,459 total yards and 11 touchdowns even as quarterback Aaron Rodgers was in the midst of his own MVP season. Plus, the team had invested a second-round draft pick in AJ Dillon. None of that fazed Jones. He’s among the most electrifying playmakers who could make or break whether or not the Packers make a third straight conference title game next season.

Read More: Best Aaron Jones landing spots, potential contract in 2021 free agency

66. Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Tennessee Titans

NFL top 100: Ryan Tannehill
Nov 29, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) passes the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tannehill’s career resurgence was one of the best ongoing stories in the NFL. He went from backup quarterback to leading the Titans to the AFC Championship Game in only a few months. He’s now one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks, and he earned the raise by taking Tennessee back to the postseason and winning the AFC South in 2020.

Read More: Winners, losers from Baltimore Ravens’ 20-13 NFL Wild Card victory over Tennessee Titans

65. Myles Jack, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL top 100: Myles Jack
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Myles Jack (44) celebrates on the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There haven’t been a lot of bright spots for the Jaguars of late. One of the few, Jack becoming one of the NFL’s best linebackers. He is outstanding against the run, excels in coverage and can rush the passer. Under contract through the 2023 season, Jack is the heart of Jacksonville’s defense.

Read More: Jaguars draft picks: Top 2021 selections, prospects to target after Trevor Lawrence

64. Devin White, inside linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Feb 4, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside linebacker Devin White (45) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We discussed earlier how Lavonte David doesn’t get his due for Tampa Bay, and part of that may be White’s fault. He’s the much more explosive athlete who’s still polishing up his gap discipline and technical work in pass coverage. Nevertheless, White is a supreme athlete and possibly the most freakishly gifted ‘backer in the entire NFL. He shined during the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV run with multiple big plays, and is a lethal interior blitzer who had a whopping nine sacks during the 2020 regular season.

Read More: Sports world reacts to Tom Brady partying it up at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl parade

63. Shaq Barrett, outside linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL top 100: Shaquille Barrett
Oct 25, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yet another former undrafted free agent, Barrett flew under the radar during a five-year stint with Denver. That changed big time after signing a free-agent deal in Tampa Bay ahead of the 2019 season. The Colorado State product responded by racking up 37 quarterback hits while leading the NFL with 19.5 sacks, and backed that up with a phenomenal performance when it mattered most as part of a championship defense. Barrett has to be among Tampa Bay’s top priorities to re-sign in the 2021 offseaosn, if not the highest.

Read More: Bruce Arians speaks out on Tampa Bay Buccaneers key free agents

62. Julio Jones, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Eagles Nnamdi Asomugha Falcons Julio Jones
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 28: Wide receiver Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a pass for a second quarter touchdown in front of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 28, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

It’s hard to imagine that Jones is in his 10th season in the NFL after Atlanta pulled off the blockbuster trade for the Alabama product during the 2011 NFL Draft. Despite some bumps and bruises throughout said career and appearing in only nine games in the latest season, Jones remains among the best receivers in the game when healthy enough to play. As professional and consistent as they come, Jones averaged 104 receptions for 1,565 yards from 2014 through 2019. 

Read More: Atlanta Falcons GM doesn’t rule out selecting 1st-round QB in 2021 NFL Draft

61. Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle, Atlanta Falcons

Dec 22, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) runs onto the field before their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a reason the Falcons signed Jarrett to a massive contract extension in July 2019. One of the biggest steals of the 2015 NFL draft, Jarrett has ascended from fifth-round pick to an All-Pro defensive tackle in a few years. With 77 quarterback hits and 51 tackles for loss in 93 games, few interior linemen can match his disruptive abilities.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons cut cap deficit by releasing veterans Ricardo Allen and Allen Bailey

60. Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings

NFL top 100: Justin Jefferson
Dec 6, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It takes a lot for a rookie to jump onto the NFL top 100 players list during the season. However, Jefferson is quickly proving he deserves the recognition. Despite dealing with some middling quarterback play especially early on, he recorded an even 1,400 receiving yards in his first year. We knew the 2020 draft class was loaded at receiver, but Jefferson might prove to be the best.

Read More: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson has message for teams who passed on him

59. Saquon Barkley, running back, New York Giants

Saquon Barkley TD
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) points to his family on the sideline during warmups before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK

Historical. Electric. That’s what we saw from Barkley as he ended up winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2018. That season saw the Penn State product gain a league-high 2,028 total yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging nearly six yards per touch. Injuries hampered Barkley to an extent as a sophomore, but he was still able to go for 1,441 yards in 13 games. Sadly, the injury bug bit again in 2020. The hope is Barkley can return to an improved Giants team in 2021 at full strength.

Read More: New York Giants draft picks: Top options in a strong class, ideal 2021 NFL Draft targets

58. Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Something tells us Jerry Jones and the Cowboys will regret not signing Prescott to a long-term extension sooner. After losing Prescott to that gruesome, season-ending injury, the Cowboys wound up falling short of the playoffs despite the NFC East being won by Washington with a losing 7-9 record. With each passing loss, Prescott’s asking price went up, and Dallas needs to secure his services for the long haul to ensure its ongoing relevancy. Or, the Cowboys could go a totally different direction at the most important position, which wouldn’t exactly be the most logical route.

Read More: The Dallas Cowboys could select Dak Prescott heir-apparent No. 10 overall in 2021 NFL Draft

57. Nick Chubb, running back, Cleveland Browns

Jan 3, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball en route to scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Chubb is one of the most difficult players to tackle in the NFL. He rushed for nearly 1,500 yards behind a bad offensive line in 2019, which the Browns addressed in a big way by bringing aboard Jack Conklin, drafting Jedrick Wills and getting incredible play from Wyatt Teller at guard. Injuries didn’t stop Chubb from piling up 1,067 yards rushing (5.6 yards per carry) and 12 scores in just 12 games last season. Don’t be shocked if Chubb helps Baker Mayfield carry Cleveland deep into the playoffs this next year.

Read More: Baker Mayfield fires back at Deshaun Watson to Cleveland Browns speculation

56. Za’Darius Smith, outside linebacker, Green Bay Packers

Jan 16, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) celebrates against the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Divisional Round at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers heard plenty of skepticism when they signed Smith to a $66 million contract a couple offseasons ago.Two years later, the deal looks like a bargain after Smith recorded 60 quarterback hits and 26 sacks while helping Green Bay get to within one win of a Super Bowl berth in consecutive seasons.

Read More: Green Bay Packers CEO: ‘We’re not idiots. Aaron Rodgers will be back’

55. Jack Conklin, offensive tackle, Cleveland Browns

Sep 27, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) celebrates after running back Nick Chubb (not pictured) scored a touchdown during the second half against the Washington Football Team at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Conklin turned out to be a home-run free agency signing by new Cleveland GM Andrew Berry, who was the youngest in his post in NFL history but retooled the Browns roster amid yet another regime change within the organization and helped them finally return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Not bad for a first season’s work as the top executive. However, Conklin had to go out and play right tackle at an elite level to justify his acquisition, which is precisely what he did throughout Cleveland’s surprisingly successful 2020 season.

Read More: NFL rumors: Could Cleveland Browns trade Odell Beckham Jr. in 2021?

54. D.K. Metcalf, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

NFL top 100: DK Metcalf
Nov 30, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) attempts to leap over the tackle of Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (24) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Metcalf proved to be more than just a workout warrior in his rookie season. He posted some gaudy stats (900 receiving yards, seven touchdowns) for a rookie and it turned out we were just seeing glimpses of his potential. The rising star has proven to be a fantasy football monster after an 83-catch, 1,303-yard, 10-touchdown stat line from 2020. Now that the Seahawks are breaking in a new offensive coordinator, Metcalf could wind up ascending even higher.

Read More: Seattle Seahawks steal new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron from Rams

53. Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Dec 8, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) runs after a catch in the first half against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

For all the deserved love Julio Jones gets in Atlanta, Ridley has proven more adept at getting it done on the most important downs in the scoring zone. In only three seasons as a pro, Ridley’s 26 receiving touchdowns are almost half of Jones’ career total of 60. Whether that’s thanks in part to the attention Jones attracts in the red zone is unclear, but Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sure likes to look Ridley’s way when he needs a score. It’ll be interesting to see how Ridley is utilized in new head coach Arthur Smith’s scheme.

Read More: Power ranking every NFL head coach hiring for 2021

52. Danielle Hunter, defensive end, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter in NFL Week 11
Nov 19, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Danielle Hunter (99) celebrates his sack in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

When the Vikings invested a third-round pick in Hunter, they hoped he could develop into a productive pass rusher. He blossomed into an unstoppable force off the edge. Just look at Danielle Hunter’s career stats (54.5 sacks in 78 games) and appreciate it, because his future is uncertain after neck surgery cost him the 2020 season.

Related: 2021 NFL mock draft – Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots land quarterbacks in 2021 NFL Draft.

51. Budda Baker, safety, Arizona Cardinals

Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (32) reacts in the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to his ability to blur the line between linebacker and safety with his unique physicality and skill set, Baker earns a spot pretty high up on this list. Although he’s predominantly a defensive back, there’s no question the Cardinals can get as creative as they are on defense thanks to Baker’s versatility and a knack for playing in coverage and getting physical versus the run.

Read More: Arizona Cardinals draft picks: Top selections, prospects to target in 2021 NFL Draft

Next Up: The NFL Top 50

50. Stephon Gilmore, cornerback, New England Patriots

Patritos ALl-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore is the subject of NFL trade rumors
Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) breaks up a pass to Denver Broncos receiver DaeSean Hamilton (17) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

One of the very few big-time free-agent successes around the NFL in recent years, Gilmore earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors for the Patriots two seasons ago. It’s a campaign that saw him record league highs in passes defended (20) and interceptions (six). Gilmore also yielded a sub-50 passer rating when targeted, but with so many Pats opting out of the 2020 season, the New England secondary suffered, and Gilmore regressed. Nevertheless, he’s still among the 50 best players in the game.

Read More: New England Patriots draft picks: Best 2021 NFL Draft targets, potential draft selections

49. Michael Thomas, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints news: Michael Thomas to IR for rest of regular season
Dec 29, 2019; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) runs after a reception in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

More history in the NFC South. Throughout the start of his young career, Thomas recorded 470 receptions for 5,512 yards and 32 touchdowns in four seasons. He broke the single-season mark for receiving yards last season with 1,725. Thomas is also catching a ridiculous 77.6% of the passes thrown in his direction thus far. However, the Saints are in a bad salary cap situation for the foreseeable future, and the quarterback situation is uncertain. Oh, and Thomas appeared in only seven games in 2020 and made waves within the organization. All of these elements are suddenly leaving Thomas’ future in New Orleans up in the air.

Read More: Saints’ star Michael Thomas out for Week 5 after fighting teammate

48. Chandler Jones, outside linebacker, Arizona Cardinals

Chandler Jones celebrates

Looking back to ahead of the 2016 season, it seemed to be a fantasy to believe Jones would turn into one of this generation’s top-100 players. He had performed well with New England in 2015, recording 12.5 sacks. Since then, the former first-round pick has been on an upward trajectory. This includes Jones tallying 98 quarterback hits and 60 sacks in four prior seasons with the Cardinals. Unfortunately, his 2020 campaign got cut short to a right biceps injury, and he might not be in Arizona much longer.

Read More: Arizona Cardinals likely to keep Chandler Jones in 2021

47. Christian McCaffrey, running back, Carolina Panthers – Best running back

NFL injury report
Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Historic. Any attempt to explain what McCaffrey did in his first three seasons would fall short. In 2019 alone, McCaffrey led the NFL in touches (403), total yards (2,392) and total touchdowns (19). He also averaged north of 100 receptions per season leading into 2020. Then, he dealt with injuries and appeared in just three games. With a hopefully improved quarterback situation next season and superior health, perhaps McCaffrey will get back to the phenomenal form that once had him much higher in the NFL Top 100.

Read More: Carolina Panthers ‘willing to scour the earth’ for new long-term QB in 2021

46. Garett Bolles, offensive tackle, Denver Broncos

NFL top 100: Garett Bolles
Dec 29, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles (72) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This past November, Bolles agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $68 million, proving he’s worth every penny in 2020 with an elite year at the left tackle spot. That deal made him the fourth highest-paid player at his position in the league. No matter who the quarterback is in Denver going forward, the Broncos have found a key piece in the trenches in Bolles, a 2017 first-round pick who’s living up to his potential.

Read More: Denver Broncos draft picks: Best 2021 NFL Draft targets, potential draft selections

45. Jessie Bates III, safety, Cincinnati Bengals

Dec 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III (30) reacts while running onto the field prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Guess who was PFF’s highest-graded safety last season? Not many would have Bates at the top of the list. Alas, there he was, playing incredible ball for a lost Bengals team whose roster was much worse than previously feared. Just about every area of the team has room to improve in Cincinnati, but the safety position is one exception. That’s largely thanks to Bates, who will soon be up for a massive contract when he hits free agency in 2022 unless the Bengals step in and ink him to a lucrative extension first.

Read More: Cincinnati Bengals draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

44. Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Only two players in NFL history recorded 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons: Hall of Famer Randy Moss and wide receiver Mike Evans, who developed excellent chemistry with TB12 as a member of the Super Bowl champion Bucs. Evans did Moss one better by eclipsing 1,000 yards once again in 2020, and hauled in a personal-best 13 touchdowns.

Read More: Top takeaways from Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl LV victory over the Kansas City Chiefs

43. Lamar Jackson quarterback, Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens will extend Lamar Jackson, but must get MVP more weapons
Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter of an AFC Divisional Round game at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a disappointing 2020 season for Jackson to follow his MVP award-winning effort as a second-year stud, but a lot of this falls on the Ravens. The offensive line took a massive step back, no receivers can get open and Greg Roman’s offense is being called out by defensive players. Eventually things will get turned around, but the good news is, in the midst of all that, Jackson managed to earn his first playoff win, which is a huge confidence boost going forward for one of the game’s most incredible talents.

Read More: Lamar Jackson answers critics, exercises playoff demons with Ravens win over the Titans

42. Cameron Heyward, defensive tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL top 100: Cameron Heyward
Nov 1, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) turns to get around Baltimore Ravens offensive guard Bradley Bozeman (77) during a game at M&T Bank Stadium at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

One of the unsung heroes of Pittsburgh’s sensational defense, other studs at flashier positions such as T.J. Watt or Minkah Fitzpatrick get more exposure than Heyward. Meanwhile, the 10th-year pro continues to go about his business and trucks along as one of the most consistent players in the entire league. Heyward was a first-team All-Pro in 2017 and 2019. Even at this relatively later phase of his career, the 31-year-old is a critical building block for the Steelers’ D.

41. Corey Linsley, center, Green Bay Packers

January 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley (63) before the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

PFF ranked Linsley as 2020’s top-graded center, as he snapped the ball to MVP winner Aaron Rodgers and made sure the superstar signal-caller was checked into all the right protections and blocking schemes up front. Due soon for a handsome payday, Linsley is among the steadiest interior offensive linemen in the league, so Green Bay must do what it can to retain him.

Read More: Green Bay Packers draft picks: Best 2021 NFL Draft targets, potential draft selections

Next Up: The NFL Top 40

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

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle
December 29, 2019; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco made him the highest-paid tight end in NFL history for a reason. George Kittle’s stats are certainly gaudy with 2,430 yards over the prior two seasons and 634 yards receiving in only eight 2020 games, but ruthless pancake blocks like this make him the best overall tight end in football other than Travis Kelce.

39. Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

Dec 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Minkah Fitzpatrick trade might go down as one of the best moves in the Steelers’ recent history. He made the same impact for Pittsburgh’s defense that he did for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Frankly, he is one of the NFL’s best playmakers and is showing no signs of slowing down with a long career ahead of him.

38. Zack Martin, guard, Dallas Cowboys

Courtesy of USA Today: Dallas went with a less-sexy option in Zack Martin in May, but it’s paying off now.

Martin could retire today and probably be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The decision to draft him over Johnny Manziel pays off to this day and he could well be considered one of the best guards ever when he’s finished playing. Before going down with a calf injury last season, Martin further proved his value and versatility by excelling at right tackle for an injury-depleted offensive line.

37. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Kansas City Chiefs

Jan 24, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) gestures toward fans in the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes might have won Super Bowl LIV MVP, but the Chiefs don’t complete that fourth-quarter comeback without Jones. He earned every dollar of that $85 million contract and will be essential for this team to become the next NFL dynasty. He responded to his lucrative long-term deal with a 7.5-sack 2020 campaign and graded as PFF’s No. 2 interior defender behind only Aaron Donald.

36. Kyler Murray, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals – NFL breakout player

NFL top 100 players
Michael Chow-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Grand Canyon-sized leap we saw from Lamar Jackson from 2018 to 2019? Something similar happened this past year with Murray, who became a more decisive, devastating ball-carrier and improved as a passer. He fits perfectly into Kliff Kingsbury’s scheme, and the addition of DeAndre Hopkins is paying off big time. Murray was on pace to become the first quarterback in NFL history with 4,000-plus passing yards and 1,000-plus rushing yards in a season, but got banged up down the stretch. It’s very possible Murray hits those historic numbers in 2021.

Related: NFL MVP odds – Aaron Rodgers looks to win fourth award in 2021.

35. Tre’Davious White, cornerback, Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills helmet
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

It would have been devastating for the Bills if Tre’Davious White opted out of the 2020 NFL season. Fortunately, he decided to play and helped boost Buffalo to the AFC Championship Game. The All-Pro cornerback deserves to see his previous Madden rating (90) go up. As strong as the Bills’ secondary is across the board, White is definitely the best player in their defensive backfield.

Read More: Madden 21 Ratings: NFL’s most underrated and overrated players

34. Tyrann Mathieu, safety, Kansas City Chiefs

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the second quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the second quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Honey Badger’s story is of consequence. Here’s a dude that was kicked off the LSU football team due to off-field issues. Mathieu then entered the NFL as a major question mark after Arizona made him a third-round pick back in 2013. Since then, he’s morphed into an elite-level cover safety. Mathieu led the Chiefs to a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance this past season, earning first-team, All-Pro honors for the third time in his career and second year in a row.

Read More: Report: Tom Brady apologizes to Tyrann Mathieu via text

33. Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Seattle Seahawks

Sunday Night Football drew great ratings for the NFL in Week 7
Oct 25, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) looks down Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

An unheralded second-round pick out of Utah State in 2012, Wagner became one of the best linebackers of the decade. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection and six-time All-Pro, Wagner is living the dream and will one day be a Hall of Famer.

Read More: Seattle Seahawks draft picks: Top selections, prospects to target in 2021 NFL Draft

32. Darius Leonard, linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

From second-round pick in 2018 to instant star. Leonard didn’t just win Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, he was also named first-team All-Pro as a rookie. From FCS star to one of the game’s best linebackers, Leonard proves NFL teams can find talent anywhere.

Read More: NFL world reacts to Carson Wentz being traded to Indianapolis Colts

31. Nick Bosa, defensive end, San Francisco 49ers

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Not only did Bosa earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last season, he put up one of the greatest initial seasons in NFL history. The Ohio State product recorded 25 quarterback hits, nine sacks and one crazy interception last season. He also put up an absurd 102 pressures. One. Hundred. Two. The only question: how will he look in 2021 coming off a torn ACL?

30. Joey Bosa, defensive end, Los Angeles Chargers

Oct 25, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws against the defense of Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (97) during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Signed to the richest contract for a defender in NFL history at the time he put pen to paper, Bosa has more than lived up to that billing. The former No. 3 overall pick from Ohio State has recorded 109 quarterback hits and 47.5 sacks in five NFL seasons. Bear in mind that he missed four games as a rookie, nine in 2018 and four this past season. Provided he stays healthy in his prime, Bosa has the production and elite skill set to ascend much further up the NFL top 100 list.

29. Fred Warner, linebacker, San Francisco 49ers

Dec 7, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) looks down Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco found a gem in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Warner is emerging as one of the NFL’s best young defenders with a track record of causing problems for the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.

CHECK OUT: Every Giants fan should listen to the top-rated Fireside Giants podcast. Available for free now.

28. Khalil Mack, defensive end, Chicago Bears

Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) walks off the field after losing to the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

A former NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the then-Oakland Raiders, Mack has not lost a step since the Bears acquired him in a blockbuster trade ahead of the 2018 season. Mack has put up 129 quarterback hits and 70.5 sacks in seven NFL seasons. That sustained success has led to six consecutive Pro Bowl trips. 

Read More: Chicago Bears add ex-Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to coaching staff

27. Brandon Scherff, guard, Washington Football Team

NFL top 100: Brandon Scherff
Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team guard Brandon Scherff (75) prepares to block against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

A fixture on Washington’s front ever since being chosen fifth overall in the 2015 draft, Scherff is slated to hit free agency this offseason, and the Football Team would do well to re-sign one of football’s premier interior offensive linemen. Scherff is a four-time Pro Bowler who will be a key building block for whichever offense he’s playing for in 2021 and beyond, and is truly capable of playing anywhere in the trenches if need be. His dependability and versatility warrant a high NFL top 100 bid.

Read More: Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team agree to 2-year contract extension

26. Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Los Angeles Rams

Jan 16, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers during a NFC Divisional Round playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Some fans may think he is one of the most overrated players in the NFL, but that feeling isn’t shared around the league. Ramsey is a shutdown corner and an incredible trash talker, who deserves the record contract he received in the form of five years and $105 million.

Read More: NFL worlds reacts to Jalen Ramsey’s record-breaking contract extension

Next Up: The NFL Top 25

25. Alvin Kamara, running back, New Orleans Saints

Nov 28, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) celebrates after he ran for a first down in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) celebrates after he ran for a first down in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Kamara fought through a variety of injuries during the 2019 season, which limited his explosiveness and hurt his production. Now that he’s healthy, Kamara is back to doing jaw-dropping things on the football field. He finsihed with 932 yards rushing and 756 receiving last season, as he continues to rank alongside Christian McCaffrey as the best all-around offensive weapons out of the backfield in all of football.

Read More: NFL world reacts to record 6 TDs for Alvin Kamara on Christmas Day

24. Dalvin Cook, running back, Minnesota Vikings

NFL top 100 players: Dalvin Cook
Dec 6, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A monster in fantasy football and a dangerous all-purpose threat on the field, Cook is the engine that drives the Vikings’ offense. If Minnesota can upgrade at quarterback from Kirk Cousins someday, perhaps Cook can be even more dangerous in the prime of his career now that his future with the franchise is secure with a long-term contract.

Related: Fantasy football dynasty rankings – Young NFL stars to target in 2021

23. DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals

NFL top 100 players: DeAndre Hopkins
Nov 15, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (center) catches a Hail Mary pass for a touchdown in the closing seconds of the game against the Buffalo Bills at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Breen-USA TODAY NETWORK

Here ends the run of wide receivers. Shockingly acquired from the Houston Texans, Hopkins has been a dominant force throughout his career. We’re talking about a young man who is producing at a rate unmatched by anyone in the NFL right now. In his first year with Arizona catching passes from Kyler Murray, the Cardinals’ newest playmaker to take up the mantle from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald put up 115 receptions, 1,407 yards and six touchdowns.

Read More: Twitter reacts to DeAndre Hopkins game-winning catch for Cardinals

22. DeForest Buckner, defensive tackle, Indianapolis Colts

Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (99) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts could have taken their chances on a rookie with the No. 13 overall pick. Instead, they traded it for Buckner. After making him one of the highest-paid defensive players in NFL history, we expected the All-Pro defensive tackle to push this team into the playoffs, and he did just that with an exemplary 2020 in which he 58 combined tackles and 9.5 sacks as PFF’s fifth-ranked interior defender.

Read More: Indianapolis Colts draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

21. Jamal Adams, safety, Seattle Seahawks – Best safety

Nov 8, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts to a defensive play against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A malcontent during his three-year stay with the New York Jets, Adams finally got his wish and was shipped off to the Pacific Northwest. He’ll now act as the face of a secondary previously known as the “Legion of Boom” after earning consecutive Pro Bowl trips in Jersey. One of the best safeties in the NFL, Adams recorded 190 tackles, 21 quarterback hits and 19 tackles for loss in his last two seasons with the Jets, and fought through multiple injuries in his maiden year with Seattle to put up 83 combined tackles (11 TFL) and 9.5 sacks in 12 games. 

Read More: Seattle Seahawks rumors: Team reportedly won’t trade Russell Wilson

Next Up: The NFL Top 20

20. Trent Williams, offensive tackle, San Francisco 49ers

Nov 29, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco lost left tackle Joe Staley and replaced him with another top pass protector. Even after a year away from football, Williams has shown everyone why his new teammates were so elated to land him, earning PFF’s No. 1 overall grade for offensive tackles.

Read More: Take 5: NFL free agents that will have huge impact on 2021 offseason

19. Wyatt Teller, guard, Cleveland Browns

Nov 29, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive guard Wyatt Teller (77) takes his helmet off during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland dominates with its running game and Teller is pivotal to that success. A fifth-round pick in 2018, turned out to be an absolute steal for the Browns in a seemingly trivial trade carried out by departed GM John Dorsey. Teller absolutely dominates as a run blocker, and now that he’s thriving with a full-fledged starting opportunity, Teller can prove he is the best guard in the NFL in 2021.

Read More: Cleveland Browns draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

18. Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Green Bay Packers

NFL top 100 players: Jaire Alexander
Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) is shown Monday, August 24, 2020 during the team’s training camp at Ray Nitschke Field in Ashwaubenon. Packers25 19 Hoffman

Meet the NFL’s new shutdown corner. Alexander is proving to be the top cover player in the NFL, shadowing No. 1 wide receivers and routinely taking them off the map. Keep in mind, he’s doing this with a defense that doesn’t have much in the way of cornerback depth. Alexander seemed like almost a certain lock to earn first-team All-Pro honors, but he made the second team in 2020 — despite being PFF’s top-graded corner. Expect that to motivate him to go to another level as he tries to will the Packers to a Lombardi Trophy next season.

Read More: Green Bay Packers to hire Joe Barry as defensive coordinator

17. Xavien Howard, cornerback, Miami Dolphins – Best cornerback in NFL

NFL top 100: Xavien Howard
Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Jeff Smith (16) in the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 18, 2020. [ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post]

Is it buying into coach Brian Flores’ system, the presence of Byron Jones, or both that has led to a renaissance for Howard in 2020? The issue is, Howard has flashed this type of brilliance before, only to see his production and player grades fall off a cliff the next year. When he’s locked in, Howard has the tools to be as good as any player at his position. Until he strings together multiple top-shelf seasons, though, it’s hard to push him higher in the NFL top 100 list. No less, he’s here after a mind-boggling 10 interceptions last season.

Read More: 4 most extreme NFL QB trades that could happen in 2021 offseason

16. Myles Garrett, defensive end, Cleveland Browns

NFL defense rankings
Dec 6, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) takes a deep breath as he leaves the field after a win against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Myles Garrett will forever be known for striking Mason Rudolph in the head with his helmet. But, there’s also no denying he is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. We told you he could’ve won Defensive Player of the Year before this last season and with 12 sacks, he is well on his way to achieving that accolade soon enough.

Read More: J.J. Watt reportedly smitten with Cleveland Browns as 2021 free-agent destination

15. David Bakhtiari, offensive tackle, Green Bay Packers

Packers news: David Bakhtiari
Dec 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (69) following the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fitting that a team with a rich history in the NFL thrives at finding offensive linemen late in the draft. Bakhtiari, a fourth-round pick in 2013, has become an outstanding pass protector and a pillar on the left side protecting Aaron Rodgers. Now the highest-paid tackle in NFL history, Bakhtiari will be anchoring left tackle in Green Bay for years to come. Unfortunately, he’s recovering from a season-ending knee injury suffered just before the Packers’ playoff run in practices leading up to Week 17.

Related: NFL QB rankings – Tom Brady soars after Super Bowl LV, Joe Burrow eyes huge Year 2 leap.

14. Quenton Nelson, guard, Indianapolis Colts – Best NFL offensive lineman

Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson (56) blocks for quarterback Philip Rivers (17) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It was somewhat of a surprise that Indy exhausted a top-six pick on a guard back in 2018. At the very least, it was a surprise to those who didn’t see Nelson dominate at Notre Dame. He’s a generational talent, and has proven that in three seasons. Still so young, Nelson already seems to be on the trajectory that will land him in Canton as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. 

Read More: Andrew Luck rumors: Indianapolis Colts owner throws cold water on QB coming out of retirement

13. Tyreek Hill, wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Electric. That’s been the name of the game for this two-time All-Pro since the Chiefs made him a fifth-round pick back in 2016. Hill is only continuing to evolve as a receiver. Despite some injury and off-field issues, he remains one of the game’s top playmakers. That’s not going to change moving forward. 

Read More: Super Bowl 2022 odds: Kansas City Chiefs still favorites despite loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12. Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills

NFL top 100: Josh Allen, Bills
Dec 7, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

We doubted Allen coming into the season, as accuracy was an alarming concern. While there is still the occasional erratic play from the 24-year-old gunslinger, his 69.2% completion rate last season was a stunning improvement over his mark in 2019 (58.8%). Plenty of credit goes to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and receiver Stefon Diggs, but Allen’s progress is undeniable, and arguably the biggest Year 3 progress leap an NFL quarterback has ever taken.

Read More: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen to reportedly discuss ‘massive’ contract this offseason

11. Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

Dynasty rankings: Stefon Diggs
Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) makes a catch during warm ups before an AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

There were some concerns about how Diggs would fare in Buffalo with Josh Allen, a shared belief that a quarterback with ball placement issues would be a major problem. It turns out, this is the perfect pairing. Diggs wound up leading the NFL with 127 receptions and 1,535 yards receiving in 2020. It’s scary to think what the Bills could accomplish offensively in 2021 with Allen’s improvement and Diggs having an entire offseason to gain more chemistry with his cannon-armed QB.

Read More: Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley played entire NFL Playoffs with a broken fibula

Next Up: The NFL Top 10

10. Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans – Best NFL running back

Jan 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs onto the field during pregame introductions before a AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A former Heisman winner at Alabama, Henry’s first two seasons with Tennessee was nothing to write home about. The bulldozer of a back recorded an average of 617 rushing yards during that span. Since then, however, he’s been nothing less than dominant. Henry went for a whopping 1,746 total yards and 18 touchdowns in 2019 en route to leading the Titans to a shocking appearance in the AFC Championship Game. His follow-up act in 2020? Leading the NFL in carries (378) rushing yards (2,027) and rushing TDs (17). Yep, the Triple Crown for King Henry.

Read More: NFL world reacts to Titans’ Derrick Henry’s walk-off TD against Ravens

9. Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Houston Texans

New York Giants rumors: Deshaun Watson
Sep 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) is sacked in the fourth quarter by New York Giants defensive tackle Mario Edwards Jr. (99) at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Lost in the shuffle of the performance we’ve seen from Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson over the past two years, Watson has proven to be a franchise quarterback himself. After the Texans fired Bill O’Brien, Watson actually improved and proceeded to lead the NFL in passing yards this past season despite playing for a horrible Houston team. This offseason, he’s made himself the hottest quarterback commodity ever by requesting a trade.

Read More: NFL rumors: Carolina Panthers to make ‘strong run’ at Deshaun Watson trade

8. T.J. Watt, outside linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers – Best NFL edge rusher

Pittsburgh Steelers star T.J. Watt
Dec 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) celebrates with inside linebacker Avery Williamson (51) during the third quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Watt has easily gotten out of the shadow of his brother J.J. in recent years to carve out his own legacy as the Steelers’ next elite defensive player in an extensive franchise history of them. He continues to do eye-popping things on the football field, and was frankly snubbed as Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 after logging 41 quarterback hits, 15 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, seven pass deflections and an interception.

Read More: Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Donald, Derrick Henry win PFWA awards

7. Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers – Best NFL wide receiver

Worst performances during 2021 NFL Divisional Round Day 1
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) splits the defense of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) and outside linebacker Samson Ebukam (50) during their divisional playoff game on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Credit: William Glasheen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Adams is proof that the draft bust label can be applied too quickly. After two seasons, the former second-round pick seemingly couldn’t put it together. He put in the extra effort, realized his full potential and is now one of the best players at his position. As a key cog in Aaron Rodgers’ MVP season, Adams accumulated 115 receptions, 1,374 yards and a ridiculous 18 touchdown catches.

Read More: Green Bay Packers announce releases of Christian Kirksey, Rick Wagner

6. Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

NFL rumors: Russell Wilson
Jan 3, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson is living the dream life as an NFL star. Well, except for the fact that the Seahawks seem to routinely not give him enough pass protection. The former third-round draft pick still hears jokes about his height (5-foot-11). However, Wilson can just laugh as he continues to dominate his peers with a Super Bowl ring on his finger, incredible stats and a future bust in Canton, Ohio. Can Seattle surround him with better offensive linemen in 2021? Wilson is growing impatient as he pursues a second championship.

Read More: Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson ‘frustrated with getting hit too much’

Next Up: The NFL Top 5

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

Super Bowl LV: Super Bowl 2021
Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) reacts against the Cleveland Browns during the second half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

An argument can be made that Kelce is the game’s best tight end. The five-time Pro Bowler is averaging over 101 receptions for 1,327 yards over the past three seasons. He’s one of the primary reasons Patrick Mahomes has morphed into the NFL’s best quarterback after such a short time under center — and why the Chiefs have made three straight AFC title games.

4. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Madden 21 ratings, Aaron Rodgers
Dec 13, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gestures during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers‘ demise was greatly exaggerated. He came back with a vengeance after the Packers drafted Jordan Love with one phenomenal performance after another last season. He graded as PFF’s top-ranked quarterback in 2020, and it’s easy to see why with the 48-5 TD-INT ratio and 121.5 quarterback rating. Keep in mind, he did that without Green Bay giving him any additional weapons.

Read More: Brett Favre on Aaron Rodgers rumors: ‘I wouldn’t pay much attention to it’

3. Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams – Best defensive player

NFL defense rankings
Dec 6, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) sacks Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) in the first quarter at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty questioned Donald coming out of college because of his height at 6-foot-1. For those 12 teams that passed on him in the 2014 NFL Draft, it’s a day that will live in infamy. Donald is the best defensive player in the NFL and with 85.5 career sacks already, he’ll one day retire as one of the NFL’s all-time greats on the defensive line.

2. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback Kansas City Chiefs – Highest paid NFL player

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes during NFL game against the Broncos
Dec 15, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) looks to pass during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a reason the Chiefs signed Patrick Mahomes to a $500 million contract last offseason. He makes throws that seem humanly impossible and defy physics. When his career is over, we could be talking about Mahomes as the best player in NFL history. Even some of his incompletions in a disappointing 31-9 blowout loss to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl LV were mind-boggling. Mahomes should bounce back from the disappointing performance versus the Bucs and have the Chiefs in championship contention on an annual basis for the next decade.

Read More: Patrick Mahomes: I’ll be motivated the rest of career by SB loss

1. Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Best quarterback of all-time

NFL power rankings: Tom Brady: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is the best player in NFL history. He is also the best player in the NFL, as evidenced by leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl title. There has to be regret in New England these days, as the GOAT is now bringing championships to south Florida at the ripe old age of 43.

Read More: Tom Brady to undergo minor knee surgery this offseason