It's that time of year again, when NFL players cast their votes to identify the best in the league heading into the 2022 NFL season. Check out the results of this year's voting to see where your favorite players rank.
Kelce comes in as the highest-ranked tight end in the Top 100 for the second consecutive season with 92 receptions for 1,125 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021. Benefitting from a simpatico rapport with his quarterback, the Chiefs’ sure-handed TE is a model for consistency and seizes big moments to help maintain success in Kansas City. Entering his 10th season, Kelce, a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, is putting together a career of historic proportions at his position. The 32-year-old is approaching the 10,000-yard mark for his career (9,006) and would surpass Rob Gronkowski (9,286 yards; fourth all time among tight ends) and Shannon Sharpe (9,961, fifth all time) in 2022 should he reach that milestone. That’s Hall of Fame-worthy territory for an overlooked third-round pick out of Cincinnati in 2013.
Ramsey produced yet another All-Pro and Pro Bowl campaign during his second full season in L.A., garnering a five-spot improvement to earn his highest ranking in the Top 100 and the top spot for a corner this year. Notorious for closing off half the field for opposing quarterbacks, Ramsey tied his career high with four interceptions while adding 16 passes defensed, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2021, and did it all while playing with two injured shoulders. Ramsey’s boisterous bravado on the football field goes hand in hand with his elite skillset as a one-on-one cover man, which makes the 27-year-old the NFL’s premier corner. Following the Rams’ Super Bowl-winning campaign, wide receivers lining up across Ramsey are sure to be reminded who’s assigned to them.
Last year’s conqueror of the Top 100, Mahomes’ seven-spot drop is the largest decline among those with a top-20 ranking in 2021. It isn’t necessarily a regression for Mahomes, rather the continuation of a fruitless chase toward the numbers from his remarkable 2018 MVP campaign. Mahomes nearly became the third quarterback in NFL history to surpass the 5,000-yard mark a second time, producing 4,839 passing yards off a career-high 436 completions (37 touchdowns, 13 interceptions) in 2021 while posting career-high rushing totals (381 yards; two TDs). Through five seasons, Mahomes has become not only a gunslinging QB with a rocket arm, but one with a gumby-like escapability in and around the pocket which often ends with a seemingly impossible throw. After leading Kansas City to its fourth straight AFC Championship Game, the 26-year-old Mahomes is in the top 10 for the fourth straight year.
Leading the league in receiving yards (6,195) and receiving touchdowns (57) the past five seasons combined (three catches short of leading in receptions, too), Adams personifies what a premier NFL wide receiver is with a combination of sure hands, size, speed, route-running and awareness on the field. In 2021, Adams notched career highs in receptions (123) and receiving yards (1,553) while adding 11 touchdowns to earn consecutive All-Pro and Pro Bowl seasons. The 29-year-old became the highest-paid WR in NFL history over the spring with the Raiders acquiring his services, effectively ending a memorable QB-WR duo with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but proving Adams is the best pass catcher money can buy.
Watt entered rarified territory in 2021 with his record-tying 22.5-sack season to clinch the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and rightfully tops all edge rushers in the Top 100. Turning in his fourth consecutive double-digit sack season, Watt’s tenacious motor on the gridiron reflects his historic pace in Pittsburgh. The 27-year-old already ranks fifth on the Steelers’ all-time sack list with 72.0 through five seasons, and is 8.5 sacks away from surpassing James Harrison for the crown in Year 6. Earning his third consecutive All-Pro honor, Watt added 64 tackles, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a league-high 21 tackles for loss during his historic 2021 season.
The NFL’s reigning champion rusher, Taylor’s second season was nothing short of amazing in an age where the league continues to thrive through the air. Not only did Taylor’s 1,811 rushing yards lead the league by a whopping 552 yards, but the 23-year-old found the end zone more than any player in 2021 with 20 total touchdowns (18 rushing). His 360 receiving yards off 40 receptions also made Taylor the league’s scrimmage-yard leader, amounting to his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Leading the league with an astounding 50 10-plus-yard runs according to Next Gen Stats, Taylor’s big-play capability sets him apart from the rest; having the foresight to use his blockers efficiently, possessing the balance to break tackles and having the breakaway speed for those long gains. The breakout season from the young Colts star justly earns him the top running back ranking on the Top 100.
Capturing the wide receiver triple crown in 2021, Kupp is the highest-ranking pass catcher in the Top 100. Kupp’s 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns made him the fourth player since 1970 to achieve the rare feat of leading the league in every major receiving category. The numbers earned him the 2021 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award and he even garnered votes for MVP. Kupp followed up his finest season with a stellar playoff run that saw 33 receptions for 478 yards and six touchdowns in four games. Highlighting his historic season was a dominant display during the Rams’ game-winning drive in Super Bowl LVI, securing the Super Bowl MVP trophy in the process. Kupp’s 2021 season is up there with the greatest ever at his position, and it’s mind-blowing to see his only previous appearance on the Top 100 came in 2020 at No. 89.
Rodgers followed up a hallmark campaign with another AP NFL Most Valuable Player award-winning season in 2021, becoming just the second player in NFL history to win MVP four times. Rodgers led Green Bay to its third consecutive 13-win season with an efficient 4,115 yards passing for 37 touchdowns to just four interceptions, the third-highest TD-INT ratio in NFL history and one of the sixth-highest marks of all-time -- all of which are owned by the Packers quarterback. Rodgers was especially great with comebacks during the 2021 season, notching a 71.8 completion percentage, a 14:2 TD-INT ratio and a 126.1 passer rating when trailing in games. A mainstay within the top 20 of the Top 100 since its inception, the 38-year-old Rodgers became the highest-paid player in NFL history on an annual basis following his 17th season.
Regarded by many as the greatest defensive player of his generation, Donald stands as the highest-rated defender on the Top 100 for the fifth year running and does so now as a Super Bowl champion. Often tasked with having to fight through multiple blockers on the interior, Donald tallied 84 tackles (19 tackles for loss), 12.5 sacks (64 pressures) and four forced fumbles in 2021. Donald’s game-clinching pass rush in Super Bowl LVI was a fitting display of his dominance that doesn’t always reflect on the stat sheet. It nearly became the final play of a Hall of Fame-worthy career until the Rams lured Donald out of the thought of retirement by making him the highest-paid non-QB in NFL history this offseason. Donald earns a top-three ranking in the Top 100 for the fourth consecutive season, which is a streak that pales in comparison to his ongoing streak of seven straight All-Pro honors.
Brady, the NFL’s oldest active player at 45 years old, reclaims the Top 100’s No. 1 spot for the fourth time since the list’s inception in 2011. Brady posted career-high numbers in completions (485) and passing yards (5,316) while tossing 43 touchdowns to just six interceptions in what was his 22nd season in the league. At this point, Brady’s year-by-year stats are merely padding every all-time quarterback record he holds, but the Bucs QB continues to compete at a high level and is sure to contend for his eighth Super Bowl ring in 2022. As if he doesn’t hold enough regular-season and playoff QB records, Brady owns all Top 100 accolades since his No. 1 debut 12 seasons ago and has yet to receive a ranking lower than No. 14 (2020). The context of Brady’s legendary career is often unfathomable and it shall continue in Year 23 following the G.O.A.T.’s 40-day long retirement this offseason.