NFL Top 100 Players of 2021: The GOAT is #1, Chiefs’ Kelce Top 10(2)

100. Marcus Maye, safety, New York Jets

NFL Top 100 Players

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.

99. Joel Bitonio, guard, Cleveland Browns

NFL top 100: Joel Bitonio

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.

98. Jonathan Jones, cornerback, New England Patriots

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.

97. Trey Flowers, defensive end, Detroit Lions

NFL top 100: Trey Flowers

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.

96. Eric Kendricks, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings

NFL Top 100 Players

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.

95. Joe Burrow, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

NFL top 100: Joe Burrow

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.

94. Terry McLaurin, wide receiver, Washington Football Team

NFL top 100: Terry McLaurin

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.

93. Ronnie Stanley, offensive tackle, Baltimore Ravens

Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley injured during NFL game

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.

92. Josh Allen, defensive end, Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL top 100: Josh Allen, Jaguars

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.

91. Adrian Amos, safety, Green Bay Packers

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.

90. Allen Robinson, wide receiver, Chicago Bears

NFL top 100: Allen Robinson

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.

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