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Top 100 Players of 2021, Nos. 30-21: Lamar Jackson falls 23 spots; new No. 1 will be crowned

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.

Aaron Jones
Green Bay Packers · RB

Entering a crucial Year 4, Jones logged career-best totals in rushing (1,104) and scrimmage yards (1,559) to earn his first Pro Bowl selection. The do-it-all back reached consecutive 1,500-plus all-purpose-yard seasons in 14 regular-season games, and his 5.5 rushing yards per attempt in 2020 led the NFL for any running back with at least 200 carries. Once an overlooked fifth-round pick out of Texas-El Paso, Jones cemented his role with the Packers as not only their featured back but as a commanding locker-room presence. Green Bay retained the would-be free agent with a four-year, $48 million contract in March. 

Julio Jones
Tennessee Titans · WR

Jones fell 18 spots in the Top 100 after an injury-laden season held him to 51 receptions for 771 yards (3 TDs) across nine games, which ended a six-year streak of totaling at least 1,300 receiving yards. The 32-year-old has maintained an extraordinary pace after a decade in the league with his 12,896 receiving yards being second to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (13,725) as the best 10-season start in NFL history. While 2020 ended up being his final year in Atlanta, Jones fittingly became the Falcons’ all-time leader in receiving yards and receptions (848) and the 6-foot-3 high-flyer eyes more legacy-making milestones going forward with the Titans.

Devin White
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · LB

White’s debut on the Top 100 comes off a star-making playoff run that helped the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl LV victory. The second-year linebacker was an exuberant fixture of a marauding championship defense, amassing 38 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in three playoff games. White’s speed and energy was a catalyst for the league’s top rushing defense in 2020, and his 97 solo tackles and 15 tackles for loss placed him third in the NFL in both categories. Adding nine sacks and 16 QB hits to his breakout season, the No. 5 overall pick in 2019 looks to be a prominent defender in Tampa Bay for years to come. 

DeForest Buckner
Indianapolis Colts · DT

A high-priced trade commodity entering 2020, Buckner paid dividends for the Colts with 58 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 26 QB hits, 10 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles, earning first-team All-Pro honors for the first time. Buckner’s mere presence elevated the Colts defensive unit into the second-best rushing defense (90.5 yards allowed per game) and fifth-best with 25 total takeaways. Buckner, a rare three-technique specialist, proved more than worthy of the 13th-overall pick Indianapolis gave up to acquire his services, and the 26-year-old is trending upward by improving his Top 100 position by 29 spots.

Nick Chubb
Cleveland Browns · RB

Chubb turned in consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the first time in Cleveland since Jamal Lewis (2007-08), and the 25-year-old did it in only 12 games (1,067 rushing yards) while logging a career-high 12 rushing TDs. An ideal mixture of speed and power, Chubb’s knack for breaking tackles wears down defenses and opens up passing attacks. In Year 3, he contributed greatly to a franchise-cleansing season for the Browns, who scratched and clawed their way to their first playoff berth in 18 years and went on to their first playoff victory in 26 years by virtue of Chubb’s 40-yard TD reception versus the Steelers.

Bobby Wagner
Seattle Seahawks · MLB

Consistently great, Wagner comes off his fifth consecutive All-Pro selection and seventh straight Pro Bowl bid, registering 138 total tackles (81 solo; seven tackles for loss) and nabbing three sacks (11 QB hits) in 2020. Wagner has eclipsed the 100-tackle mark in each of his nine seasons and can now be considered an iron man having only missed nine games in his career. The reliability of Wagner captaining the Seahawks defense has put Seattle in the playoffs eight times during his tenure and, despite falling 10 spots on the Top 100, the 31-year-old is considered a top-25 player for the fourth year in the row. 

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · QB

Last year’s No. 1 player on the Top 100, Jackson put himself in the record books again by becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to produce consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. While Jackson’s 2,757 passing yards and 1,005 rushing yards (33 total TDs) last season didn’t reach the remarkable numbers of his 2019 MVP campaign, the 24-year-old made strides with his first playoff victory. Few ball carriers in the league bring the type of bewildering excitement in open space than Jackson, and he continues to conjure ideas of what a QB in the NFL could be as he enters Year 4. With an organization fully behind his effort of changing the game, there’s no telling how far this playmaker dynamo can go. 

Khalil Mack
Chicago Bears · OLB

Playing in all 16 games for the sixth time in a seven-year career, Mack produced 50 tackles (11 tackles for loss), nine sacks (13 QB hits), three forced fumbles, one INT and scored his first career safety in 2020. Mack has been voted a top 25 player for the sixth straight year among his peers and while his stellar reputation isn’t one built on gaudy numbers, the bullying edge rusher is the point of contention for any opposing offense when he’s on the field. Pro Football Focus ranks Mack as the No. 1 edge defender entering 2021 and the 30-year-old is one of just a handful of players fit to be a true foundational piece of a defense. 

DK Metcalf
Seattle Seahawks · WR

Metcalf followed a promising rookie season with a Pro Bowl-caliber year that offered several memorable highlights. The 6-foot-4, 229-pound receiver set career-high marks with 83 receptions for 1,303 yards and 10 TDs, but made perhaps his most unforgettable play when chasing down a would-be pick-six the length of the field. Metcalf has already exceeded the hype very few believed, but Seattle’s second-rounder has gotten it one of the emerging deep threats in the NFL. The 23-year-old improved 59 spots in the Top 100.

Fred Warner
San Francisco 49ers · MLB

Coming off his first All-Pro season, Warner has materialized into the best pass-coverage linebacker in just three seasons. The 24-year-old made Next Gen Stats’ top 10 coverage players of 2020 as a linebacker -- the only non-defensive back on the list. Warner nabbed two INTs and had six pass deflections in coverage while posting a career-high 125 tackles in his third straight 16-game season. Jumping 49 spots in the Top 100, Warner was recently given a prosperous five-year extension and will be the centerpiece of San Francisco’s defense for years to come. 

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