It's that time of year again, when NFL players cast their votes to identify the best in the league heading into the 2020 NFL season. From Sunday through Wednesday, NFL Media will reveal a new set of names from the "Top 100 Players of 2020." Check in here and on NFL Network each day at 8 p.m. ET to see where your favorite players rank.
One of the newest faces of the league, Watson vaulted 31 spots up the list to come in at No. 20 and it’s arduous not to predict he’ll move up further in his burgeoning career. Watson dazzled again in 2019, racking up a second straight Pro Bowl bid as he led the Texans to a second consecutive AFC South title. This was a campaign of clutch performances for Watson, who rallied his squad to an eye-popping eight wins by seven points or less – and one more in the playoffs. Now, a pivotal season awaits as Watson, who accounted for 33 touchdowns and 4,271 yards of offense, will take to the field without DeAndre Hopkins and is also likely in line for a huge payday. Watson’s earned it, just like his ranking.
Though his numbers waned this past season, it’s clear Mack’s status as one of the most dominant pass rushers and general wreakers of havoc remains. Along with his stats and the Bears’ playoff plight, Mack did fall, though, dropping 16 slots from No. 3, but he stuck around in the top 20 for the fifth year in a row. Impressive strings are nothing new for the Bears’ bruiser, as he’s the only player in the NFL with 300-plus tackles and 50-plus sacks since 2015.
A crucial piece in the Chiefs’ championship run, Kelce hauls in his highest ranking thus far. The star TE’s 1,229 yards receiving led K.C.’s high-octane offense and resulted in the fourth year in a row in which he’s tallied 1,000 yards. It’s something no tight end in NFL history has ever done and something matched currently only by the wideout hierarchy of Mike Evans, Julio Jones and Michael Thomas. One of the major reasons the Chiefs are champs, Kelce is no longer just one of the best tight ends, but one of the elite offensive players in the game.
Accolades and accomplishments were in abundance for Bosa during a rookie campaign for the ages and continue with the highest ranking in the history of The Top 100 for a rookie defender. The first-rounder earned Pro Football Focus’ top rookie grade of 86.7, bringing a stellar skillset to the Niners’ pass rush and run-stopping. In addition to garnering AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, Bosa was a Pro Bowl pick who spearheaded a San Fran front brimming with top-round talent that led an ascent to the Super Bowl. With a 13.9 quarterback pressure rate that was second in the NFL, Bosa’s future bodes well for the Niners and just the opposite for opposing signal-callers.
Though Rodgers’ numbers aren’t as sensational as they once were, reports of his downfall are clearly premature in the eyes of his peers. When throwing for 4,002 yards and 26 touchdowns to just four interceptions isn’t one of your best seasons, that stands as evidence enough to Rodgers’ greatness. Having earned his eighth Pro Bowl bid, Rodgers – the No. 1 ranked player in 2012 and one of only a phenomenal four to have made this list all 10 years – was one of the final four starting QBs left standing as he quarterbacked the Packers back to the top of the NFC North and the doorstep of the Super Bowl.
Since 2016, Jones' 60 sacks lead the NFL and he’s finally beginning to receive his just accolades and appreciation. A force off the edge overlooked in the desert, the not-so-little brother of a UFC champion delivered more than his share of big shots as his career-high 19 sacks were second in the league in 2019 and his eight forced fumbles were first. Having tallied double-digit sacks for three seasons running, Jones earned his third Pro Bowl trip, second All-Pro accolade and soared to No. 15 in on this list after he was snubbed in 2019. The offense gets most of the attention in Arizona, but the Cardinals’ best player is one of the NFL’s most dominant defenders.
Thrice the No. 1 name on this list, Brady’s final season in New England saw No. 12 take No. 14. It’s a stumble of eight spots from last year’s ranking and his lowest rating since The Top 100’s genesis in 2011. Nonetheless, it’s still telling how highly regarded the GOAT remains even in the shadows of a “down” season. Eclipsing 4,000 yards passing for the third straight campaign and an astounding 11th time in his career, Brady’s play captained the Patriots to an 11th consecutive AFC East crown. Likewise, it was 11 straight seasons in which Brady posted double-digit wins as a starting QB. And that’s what Brady’s done better than any player in history: Win. Tampa Bay’s banking on that continuing.
Tallying more tackles than anyone else in the NFL, Wagner’s mark of 159 concluded his fourth straight season of 130 or more tackles. A tackling machine running on high, Wagner was an All-Pro for a fifth time this past season and a Pro Bowler for a sixth consecutive campaign. While the Seahawks defense is hardly what it was seasons ago, Wagner remains one of the finest defenders in the game and a middle linebacker akin to those of autumns past, playing all downs, tackling anything that moves and going sideline to sideline. Consistently great each season, Wagner’s among the top 15 players for a second year in a row.
Missing five games with a bum thumb might well have been the reason for Brees' 10-spot fall from last year’s No. 2 ranking, but he’s still clearly one of the best at his craft. The most accurate passer in the game, the 41-year-old led the NFL with a pristine 74.3 completion percentage and a 27-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. It was the third year in a row in which Brees led the NFL in completion percentage, which figures considering he’s the NFL all-time leader in the category at 67.6%. The all-time leader in passing yards (77,416) and touchdowns (547), Brees’ elongated excellence continues to defy age and produce records, spectacular stats and Saints wins.
Consistently spectacular, Jones drew a top-15 ranking for the sixth straight year -- though he did drop from the top 10 after a four-year run. Jones’ production is historic and a constant no matter if the Falcons are triumphing or struggling. Turning in 1,394 yards receiving, Jones tied the longest streak in NFL chronicle for seasons with 1,300-plus yards at six. A catch away from 100 for the fourth time in his career, Jones is a model of outstanding play year in and year out. Highlights were hard to come by for Atlanta in 2019, but when they were had it was often via Jones. This was perhaps most evident when he caught the game-winning 5-yard TD with 5 seconds to go for a riveting comeback over the future NFC champions, culminating a win in which Jones had two scores, 13 catches and 134 yards. Consistently spectacular once again.