Just over a week away, and it’s the NFL season again! It’s that time of the year for the annual ranking of the league’s best 100 players. But here’s the catch. We’re not going to trot out predictions from well-known NFL experts, sports analysts, networks, and whatsoever here.
On this side, we’ll see who are the best players this season, as voted by the football players themselves. Each season, the NFL picks some players and asks them to rank the players who play best in their sport. Check them out here:
1. Lamar Jackson, QB (Baltimore Ravens)
When it comes to signature stats, leading the list is sure a winner. While facing man coverage last season, Lamar Jackson posted a 91.0 total QBR—the highest in the four seasons. Not only that, but his 25 touchdowns against the said coverage were the most, not to mention that it’s by any player with one to no interceptions in that similar span.
What’s more, he rushed yards by a quarterback with 1,206, setting the single-season mark. He also spearheaded the league with 36 touchdown passes. What’s even surprising is that, even after all of these, he was still able to do strides as a passer, particularly on downfield throws. There’s no wonder why he became the second unanimous NFL MVP—and the first in the eyes of the other players!
2020 projection: 3,427 passing yards, 26 TDs, 10 INT (901 rushing yards)
2. Russell Wilson, QB (Seattle Seahawks)
While being second on the list, Wilson’s hard work is known as second to none. He had the most completions of any player since entering the NFL in 2012. In fact, last season, he spearheaded the league with 22 completions, traveling at least 25 yards past the line of scrimmage.
Also, among many players who sacked at least 40 times in a season, his 6.2 TD-INT ratio was the second-highest, following Rodgers with 12.5 in 2018. Other players might have considered that his current MVP-level trajectory, his capability for more explosive plays, and, of course, his amazing durability will all set him up for a strong season this year.
2020 projection: 3,668 passing yards, 29 TDs, 9 INT (397 rushing yards)
3. Aaron Donald, DE ( Los Angeles Rams)
Who’ll ever miss the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year after leading the rankings last season? With a pass rush win rate of 24.5%, Donald spearheaded all interior linemen last year, recording the first pressure on 175 plays for the past three seasons.
At 29 years old, Donald is now going to play his seventh season this year. According to him, he felt like he’s going to perform better this time. Alongside Donald, other players are also looking forward to having another “Defensive Player of the Year Type of Year” award this season.
2020 projection: 49 tackles, 10 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
4. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Kansas City Chiefs)
Mahomes has never played a below-average game. Throughout the 36 matches (including postseason) he participated in, he had never been beaten by more than one score nor posted a Total QBR below 50 in a game. Since the first metric calculated way back in 2006, Mahomes has the most back-to-back matches with a QBR of 50 or more as a rookie.
More importantly, he ranked first in several key stat categories, particularly QBR. This is one of the reasons why many players thought that if they have to choose one player who’s truly deserving of the biggest contract in American sports history, they’ll pick Pat Mahomes.
2020 projection: 4,477 passing yards, 33 TDs, 10 INT (281 rushing yards)
5. Michael Thomas, WR (New Orleans Saints)
Gone were the days when Michael Thomas’ success is always compared to QB Drew Brees. Just last season, he blew out the NFL record with 149 catches! While backed up by Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater, Thomas had caught three touchdowns and 50 passes for 616 yards, which happened after Brees had a thumb injury and failed to participate in five-plus games.
For the most in a player’s first five seasons, Thomas’ total number of catches is just 11 points apart from tying with Jarvis Landry. The thing is, Thomas has made this total (470 career catches) just through four seasons—totally a big difference!
2020 projection: 114 catches, 1,352 yards, 9 TDs
Where Can I Check More Info?
With the advancement of technology, bettors no longer have to scour for information regarding NFL updates. Nowadays, there are several online platforms that provide up-to-date NFL updates like schedules, stats, and scores, as well as fantasy football, game-day coverage, analyses, video highlights, projections, and so much more. For example, the official site of the NFL or other betting platforms, such as Betmaster online sports betting.
Moreover, as you’ve noticed, most players had voted for Jackson as the number one player in the NFL. Expectedly, several Mahomes fans were upset about this. Furthermore, this list made the Chargers wideout to end up feeling disrespected, prompting a wide receiver beef between Keenan Allen and Mike Evans. If you’re going to check the full NFL Top 100 list, you’ll see that the majority of players enlisted were from the Ravens and Saints. Jadeveon Clowney also had made it to the top 100 list even though he remained as a free agent. It seems like he’ll find a team soon.
Unfortunately, there were no players from the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Washington Football Team who made it into the list. Also, there were no special teams players in the list, like kickers, long snappers, punters, or return specialists.
Since this list is decided by the players, no writer or expert will be vented out with anger, making it a better topic of discussion. That said, the COVID-19 crisis has been forcing everyone in the NFL to adjust to the new normal procedures. The pandemic might favor the team with the best adaptability. It’s more likely that there’s less second-guessing for the predictors, even for the players themselves.
Kyle Ross is a content creator of sports, gaming, and betting trends. He’s been in the industry for some time, providing readers with the exciting and latest sports news and trends, especially in the NFL. Of course, he’s an avid fan of American football, too!