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Top 100 Players of 2021, Nos. 10-1: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes reigns as No. 1 ranked player

It's that time of year again, when NFL players cast their votes to identify the best in the league heading into the 2021 NFL season. Check out the results of this year's voting to see where your favorite players rank.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · QB

After becoming the first Buffalo Bills quarterback to enter the Top 100 in Year 2, Allen improves 77 spots to crack the top 10. Completing 392 passes for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns (with eight rushing TDs to boot), Allen’s career-highs, which finished top-five in the NFL in each of those categories, manifested a true breakout season. The 25-year-old has developed into a great deep-ball passer, going 26-of-64 for 771 yards (9:3 TD-to-INT ratio) with a 106.2 passer rating on pass attempts of 20-plus air yards. Allen also brought the Bills to the AFC Championship Game for the first time in 27 years and has conjured unmatched excitement among the Bills’ enthusiastic fan base.  

T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers · OLB

With a league-leading 15 sacks (61 pressures), Watt was the most disruptive pass rusher in the NFL by the numbers in 2020, doing so in 15 games. The 26-year-old’s speed off the edge, along with the well-conditioned motor that sustains it through four quarters, is a key aspect to what has become an impressive four-year start. Watt has compiled 49.5 sacks in 62 games with his season total growing every year. His ranking in the Top 100 grew 16 spots, becoming the highest-rated disruptor on the list. Entering a contract year in 2021, Watt is plenty motivated to maintain the promising pace.

DeAndre Hopkins
Arizona Cardinals · WR

Hopkins repeats as the No. 8 overall player after his first season in Arizona. Tying a career-best 115 receptions in 2020, Hopkins gained 1,407 yards to become the 49th receiver in NFL history to surpass the 10,000-yard mark. Scoring only six touchdowns in 2020 may’ve prevented Hopkins from earning his fourth consecutive All-Pro season, but he was at the receiving end of one of the most memorable plays in 2020. Known as the “Hail Murray,” Hopkins’ career-long reputation of pulling off impossible catches up in the air was exemplified by winning NFL Honors Play of the Year. 

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · QB

Brady earned the No. 1 spot in the debut of the Top 100 list 10 years ago and lands at No. 7 fresh off winning his seventh Super Bowl. Brady’s presence on the Top 100 has persisted through its first decade -- falling out of the top 10 just once in 2019 (No. 14). In his first season with Tampa Bay, Brady threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns, which was the second-best total of a 21-year career. Guiding the Bucs through three road playoff wins and a first-ever home-field Super Bowl, Brady added 1,061 passing yards and 10 passing TDs to pad all-time playoff stats that nearly double whoever places second. If there are more accolades to be had in such an accomplished career, Brady is sure to find them as he approaches his age-44 season with a Super Bowl-caliber team looking to repeat. 

Davante Adams
Green Bay Packers · WR

Adams tops all wide receivers on the Top 100 after one of his most productive seasons in 2020, grabbing 115 receptions for 1,374 yards yards and 18 touchdowns in 14 games. Often overlooked in the discussion of the NFL’s best wideouts, Adams’ 18 TD receptions and 98.1 receiving yards per game led the league. The versatile pass-catcher does it all despite the grand attention he gets from opposing defenses, using an uncanny awareness running routes and having the wherewithal to line up anywhere on the field. Improving 51 spots from last year’s ranking, Adams, 28, is peaking five years into a career that is starting to get its well-deserved recognition.

Travis Kelce
Kansas City Chiefs · TE

Staking his claim as the best pass-catching tight end in the NFL, Kelce set the all-time single-season mark for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards in 2020. Kelce’s 105 receptions and 11 touchdowns were career-highs and he continued his stellar year in the playoffs with 31 catches for 360 yards and three TDs. The 31-year-old’s consistent production is also entering historic proportions, becoming the only TE to log five 1,000-yard seasons and the only one with multiple 100-catch seasons in NFL history. Kelce is also the only player in the NFL with 90-plus receptions and 1,200-plus receiving yards in each of the last three seasons. 

Derrick Henry
Tennessee Titans · RB

The 2,000-yard club has its eighth member in Henry, who ended with 2,027 rushing yards (fifth-highest all time) and 17 rushing touchdowns to win the NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year award. Henry reached the 2K mark with a phenomenal 250-yard game in Week 17 -- which was the third 200-plus yard, two-TD game of his season and fifth of his career. Although he was handed the ball an eye-opening 378 times in 2020, the high volume prorated to a career-high 5.4 yards per carry. A 6-foot-3, 247-pound bruiser, Henry is something else in today’s pass-happy NFL. With his size and power not hindering his speed and footwork, amazement amplifies against expecting defenses. Improving four spots in the Top 100, Henry cracked the top 10 in consecutive seasons and became the first back-to-back rushing champion since LaDainian Tomlinson (2006-07). 

Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers · QB

2020 furnished a hallmark campaign for Rodgers, 37, who reestablished his excellence with eye-opening efficiency to claim his third NFL AP Most Valuable Player award. Rodgers completed 70.7% of his 526 pass attempts for 4,299 passing yards and had 48 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Rodgers’ NFL-best 48 passing TDs also set a franchise record and the Packers became the fourth team in NFL history to have more passing TDs than punts (47). Under Rodgers, the team averaged 31.8 points per game and scored TDs on 48 of its 60 red-zone trips, both being league bests. Rodgers finished the year with a 121.5 QB rating, second all time to his 122.5 in his first MVP season 10 years ago. After his third first-team All-Pro season (nine Pro Bowls), Rodgers is back in the top five of the NFL 100, a list he’s made no lower than 16th during its 10-year period.

Aaron Donald
Los Angeles Rams · DE

Donald, 30, is reaching otherworldly dimensions with his third NFL AP Defensive Player Award in four seasons. The Rams defensive tackle recorded 13.5 sacks (45 pressures) and forced four fumbles during what was his sixth consecutive first-team All-Pro season in 2020. Becoming such a dominant enforcer in the trenches forces double and sometimes triple teams on Donald, who still manages to muddle offenses while allowing teammates to make plays. The Rams were second in the league with 56 sacks and finished with a league-best 281.9 yards allowed per game by a wide margin. Donald has been voted among his peers as a top-three player in the Top 100 for the third consecutive year. 

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · QB

Mahomes reaches the pinnacle of the Top 100 after consecutive No. 4 rankings and adds another accolade to a young resume that has seemingly accomplished everything already. In 2020, Mahomes threw for 4,740 passing yards and 38 touchdowns in 15 games (14-1) to lead the Chiefs to their third straight AFC West title and grinded through an injury-laden playoff run to Kansas City’s second Super Bowl appearance in as many seasons. Mahomes is winning at a historic pace in his three seasons as a starter with a 38-8 regular-season record and 6-2 playoff record. Although he didn’t match the numbers of his MVP season two years prior, Mahomes was noticeably improved in the advanced details of the QB position in Year 4, improving on his throwing accuracy and his ability to make plays on the run. Everything Mahomes does on the football field seems to have an exciting appeal, and at just 25-years-old, he’s being recognized as the NFL’s best player with plenty of time to get even better. 

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