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2021 NFL Top 100: 50-41

NFL Top 100 2021

Ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, the TGH staff have ranked their top 100 players for the 2021 season.

Five TGH staff members voted on their top 75 players, who were given scores based on their ranks, then sorted by their final score. The players were ranked regardless of position, and the editors broke any ties at their discretion.

Each article in this series will list 10 players at a time, with brief comments on their 2020 performances and what is expected of them in 2021. Make sure to check back every Friday for the next 10 players in our list!

Today, we list and evaluate players 50-41 in our list of the 2021 NFL Top 100.

[Check out the other entries in the 2021 NFL Top 100 here: #100-91, #90-81, #80-71, #70-61, #60-51, #40-31, #30-21, #20-11, #10-1]

50. Za’Darius Smith

Smith’s second season in Green Bay translated to his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. He played and started in all 16 games for the second time in his career (both of those seasons came as a Packer), while collecting 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 52 combined tackles.

NFL Top 100 2021

Za’Darius Smith has been one of the most important signings in recent memory for the Packers. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Essentially, Smith has gained a new NFL life as a member of the Packers. He has not just put up career high numbers each of his first two seasons there, but had stats that any outside linebacker would be jealous of. His production in 2020 was almost equivalent to his 2019 season. All that did was make him one of the best linebackers in the game, so there is no reason to think he will not return to that same form in 2021. -Ben Hendricks

49. Tre’Davious White

White is a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback that knows how to gain positioning on the receivers and defend passes. He also plays intelligently and can make reads on what the receiver will do before the play has started, based on how the receiver is lined up.

The Bills cornerback can create turnovers in bunches. He had six interceptions in 2019, which tied theNFL-high. In 2020, White had a total of 57 tackles, three interceptions, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He has been a beast in the NFL since he was a rookie in 2017 and should continue to put up the same numbers for years to come. -Matthew Brown

48. Kyler Murray

Murray was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in the 2020 season. This was after he had an impressive rookie year in 2019, passing for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns. 

In 2020, Murray had even more passing yards and touchdowns. He had 3,971 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Kyler is known for being a dual threat quarterback and can expand plays by using his legs. Murray is also dangerous in the deep passing game as he is highly accurate. 

The Cardinals have missed the playoffs the last two years with Murray at the helm. If Murray develops more and gets more weapons on offense, expect Murray and the Cardinals to be a dangerous team in the coming years. -Matthew Brown

47. Brandon Scherff

Despite playing in only 13 games, Scherff earned his fourth Pro Bowl selection and his first career First Team All-Pro honors. That goes to show the impact he had on Washington’s line when he suited up. It may mean even more that he appears on this list at the relatively unsung right guard position.

Scherff was only penalized twice while playing 79 percent of Washington’s offensive snaps. He also contributed to special teams a bit, which is another testament to his work ethic and flexibility. 2021 will be his seventh NFL season and it seems as if he is entering his prime. Expect to see him on these kinds of lists in the future. -Ben Hendricks

46. Garrett Bolles

With so much attention given to skill position players, it feels difficult to find long-term stability at offensive line. The Broncos were young on their offensive line with four starters having five years or fewer of experience. Garrett Bolles, in his fourth season, continued to return on first-round value. He played in over 90% of snaps for the fourth consecutive year and drastically cut his penalties down from ten to four. As Denver tries to build an offense around guys like Noah Fant and Jerry Jeudy, a stud lineman like Bolles will act as an excellent building block. -Jack Kochman

45. Jamal Adams

Surely the Seattle Seahawks were hoping to rekindle some of their old “Legion of Boom” energy by signing Jamal Adams after a huge season with the Jets. One of the elite pass-rushing safeties, Adams was the only qualified safety to pass rush on over 10% of his snaps. 9.5 sacks was good for his role but quarterbacks had a passer rating over 100 when targeting Adams. Maybe we see a title change for Jamal Adams in the coming years to better describe his purpose on a defense. In the meantime, he continues to be one of the most dynamic playmakers on the defensive side. -Jack Kochman

44. George Kittle

Kittle is one of the more dominate tight ends in the league. He is a two-time pro bowler and has earned First Team All-Pro honors. 

His big frame allows him to drag defenders after he makes the catch and gain extra yardage. Kittle is also a reliable pass catcher in clutch situations. He can use his big frame to out-muscle players and make a play on the ball. Kittle had two 1,000 yard receiving years before the 2020 season and scored a combined 10 touchdowns in those two seasons.

He didn’t produce as much in 2020 due to aninjury he suffered during the season that put him on the shelf the rest of the reason. During the eight games he played, he had 634 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Kittle was on track for another 1,000-yard receiving year. Expect Kittle to come into 2021 and be that same dominate tight end that fans have become used to in the past four years he has been in the NFL. -Matthew Brown

43. DK Metcalf

DK Metcalf is already one of the most exciting players in the NFL (Photo by Rajan Nanavati/The Medium)

Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have quickly ascended as an elite wide receiver pair. Metcalf gets much more attention due to his imposing frame and physical play. That attention is also merited, according to the numbers. Metcalf ranked Top 10 in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, receiving first downs, and yards per target in 2020. He saw an increase in every major receiving stat from his rookie season including a 6% increase in catch rate. Now that Russell Wilson is likely to stay in Seattle, Metcalf has a chance to take another leap forward on the Top 100. -Jack Kochman

42. Jack Conklin

Oddly, Jack Conklin has two First Team All-Pro selections, but has never been elected to a Pro Bowl. He spent the first four years of his career in Tennessee, but returned to All-Pro form during his first year as a Cleveland Brown.

In 15 games, he was only flagged for holding once at the right tackle position, which is very impressive. Conklin was a big part of a very potent rushing attack that led the Browns to their first playoff berth since 2002 and their first playoff win since 1994. He should be a big part of the offense going forward. -Ben Hendricks

41. Darius Leonard

In only his third year of NFL service, Leonard has managed to earn two Pro Bowl selections, two First Team All-Pro honors and was even given Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018.

In 14 games and starts in 2020, Leonard had three sacks, 132 combined tackles, defended seven passes and forced three fumbles. He was the anchor to a surprisingly stout Indianapolis Colts defense that garnered some head coaching buzz for defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Even though his turnover and sack numbers do not jump off of the page, Leonard is clearly the heart and soul of this unit that is only going to get better in 2021. -Ben Hendricks

Featured Image courtesy of Getty Images

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