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2021 NFL Top 100: 90-81

NFL Top 100

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 90-81 in our list of the 2021 NFL Top 100.

90. Ezekiel Elliot

NFL Top 100
Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys had a down season, but expect much more in 2021. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Zeke set career lows in rushing yards, yards per carry, yards per reception, and total touchdowns. But those stats alone don’t tell the whole story of the Dallas Cowboys season. Tyron Smith only played two games, Dak Prescott played five, and Zack Martin played ten.

Without top-tier talent (and lots of salary) on the field with the offense, Elliott’s ceiling was pretty low. Expect a bounce back from one of the top running backs in the NFL. -Jack Kochman

89. Kendall Fuller

The Washington Football Team was a defensive force in 2020. They gave up the second fewest yards per game and tied for second fewest touchdowns allowed. The elite defense was anchored by a few key pieces.

In his third season in the league, Kendall Fuller has started to make a difference. He had a team-high four interceptions and allowed career-lows in passer rating against and yards per target. 2021 will be an opportunity for Fuller to blossom with a young and sturdy Washington Football Team defense to try and become an elite cornerback. -Jack Kochman

88. Mike Evans

Evans is the first receiver in history to total over 1,000 yards in each of his first seven seasons. He has even missed six games in his career, which adds to the improbability of the feat.

He totaled 1,006 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns in a 2020 season which ended without a Pro Bowl appearance. Instead, he received a Super Bowl victory, which is a nice consolation prize. Whether or not he stays in Tampa and continues to play with Tom Brady, NFL fans can expect Mike Evans to continue to put up huge numbers in 2021. -Ben Hendricks

87. Derwin James

NFL Top 100
Derwin James has proven himself as one of the best safeties in the league when healthy. (Photo by Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

The Chargers’ Derwin James is one of the better safeties in the NFL. He has the ability disrupt the passing game by pressuring the quarterback. He forced pressure on the quarterback 11 times in the 2018 season and totaled 3.5 sacks.

The Pro Bowl defensive back has been plagued with injuries, missing most of the 2019 season and suffering a meniscus injury in 2020 that ended his season before it even started. However, James is a huge defensive weapon and they can count on him to make some noise when he gets healthy again. -Matthew Brown

86. Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce is the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense. Since entering the league in 2011, he has been one of the very best offensive lineman, earning four Pro Bowl selections and making three All-Pro teams.

His 2020 season was no different, as he played and started in all 16 games for his fifth straight season. He has taken 95-100 percent of offensive snaps in every one of those seasons. Considering the sheer number of snaps he has taken, the fact that he only had four total penalties is even more impressive.

Simply put, Kelce is still one of the best lineman, let alone centers in the NFL. He is on the fast track to the Hall of Fame and deserves a spot in the NFL Top 100. -Ben Hendricks

85. Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman may have lost a small step in terms of speed and ball-hawking ability, but he is still by far the most cerebral cornerback in the NFL. His game sense is second-to-none on the defensive side of the ball, and serves as a defensive coach as much as a player.

This is why he deserves a spot in the NFL Top 100, even though he only played in five games and collected just one interception. When he returns to the field in 2021, he will surely be eager to prove he belongs even higher on a list like this. -Ben Hendricks

84. Calvin Ridley

NFL Top 100
Calvin Ridley is quickly earning a place among the league’s top receiver threats. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The former Alabama star has proven that he can be just as productive in the NFL. In his first two years in the league, Ridley compiled 821 yards in 2018 and 866 yards in 2019. He caught a combined 17 touchdowns during in those two seasons.

Ridley went from being very solid to being truly elite in 2020. He totaled more then 1,300 receiving yards along with nine touchdowns. The Falcons wideout is known for his for superb route running that allows him to break away from defenders and come up with the ball. Ridley, who is a pro bowler, should be a stand out receiver in the NFL for years to come. -Matthew Brown

83. Terron Armstead

The only problem with Terron Armstead is his durability. He has never played a full season, and 2020 was no different.

In his eight year career, Armstead has missed 39 games. But the fact that he remains on this list should say volumes about the quality of his protection and run-blocking when he is on the field. He has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons and is surely on the road to more. -Ben Hendricks

82. Saquon Barkley

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has proven himself to be one of the league’s elite running backs. He rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns his rookie season. He had another spectacular year in 2019, rushing for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns.

Barkley is a strong 5’11 running back who is hard to bring down and he knows how find holes in the line to burst through. He has also proven that he has the ability to turn on the jets when he gets out in the open field. The former pro bowler was injured most of the 2020 season, but be on the lookout for him to shine again in 2021. -Matthew Brown

81. Roquan Smith

It’s hard to see past Khalil Mack when naming highlights of the Bears defense. A closer look will reveal that Roquan Smith is almost as vital of a piece and deserving of a place on the NFL Top 100 list.

Smith took a big step forward in his coverage game allowing a career-low of 59.6 in passer rating when targeted. He started every regular season game and was estimated to have the highest approximate value of any Bears player according to Pro Football Reference. Even though pass rushing isn’t Smith’s priority, he still managed four sacks on only 33 blitzes. As Chicago assesses what to do at quarterback, look for Smith to be a defensive cornerstone for the foreseeable future. -Jack Kochman

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1 comment

2021 NFL Top 100: 80-71 March 11, 2021 at 2:14 pm

[…] [Check out the previous entry on our list here!] […]

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