The two most-recent NFL MVPs. Record-breaking contracts and record-setting performances. As we delve into the NFL top 10 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.
1. Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Best quarterback of all-time
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.
2. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback Kansas City Chiefs – Highest paid NFL player
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.
3. Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams – Best defensive player
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.
4. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
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.
5. Travis Kelce, tight end, Kansas City Chiefs – Best NFL tight end
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.
6. Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
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.
7. Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers – Best NFL wide receiver
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.
8. T.J. Watt, outside linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers – Best NFL edge rusher
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.
9. Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Houston Texans
Lost in the shuffle of the performance we’ve seen from Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson over the past two years, Deshaun 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.
10. Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans – Best NFL running back
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.