NFL Top 100 Players of 2023

The NFL season is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for me to update my list of the top 100 players. These rankings should be seen as a projection for the upcoming season, but are largely based on the most recent data points for players. This is a long, arduous process and… eh, who am I kidding, I live for this stuff.

There were significant changes from last year, including 36 names on the list that weren’t there last year. That group is headlined by Jalen Hurts after leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes, who bested Hurts in that game, gets a proper ranking after being too low last year and plenty of young players saw big jumps up the board.

Feel free to give me a shout on Twitter if/when you disagree with your favorite player’s ranking. Let’s dive in.

Advanced metrics sourced from ESPN, Football Outsiders, and PFF

#100: ED Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After a relatively quiet rookie season, Jaelan Phillips emerged last season with 70 total pressures, tied for the sixth-most among edge rushers. Still just 24 years old, the former first-round pick is now poised for a significant breakout season under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

#99: S Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans Saints

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

In his first season in New Orleans, Tyrann Mathieu led all safeties with an 87.9 PFF coverage grade and only gave up one reception of 20+ yards all year. His remarkable versatility and elite instincts made him an invaluable part of a defense that ranked sixth against the pass by DVOA.

#98: OT Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: 76

One of the more unique success stories in the NFL belongs to Jordan Mailata, a former seventh-round pick and converted rugby player who stands at a menacing 6’8”, 345 lbs. Mailta was second among all offensive tackles with an 83% run block win rate, but his inconsistencies in pass protection – he allowed six sacks – saw him slip in these rankings.

#97: C Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After a toe injury kept Frank Ragnow out of most of the 2021 season, he gutted through a setback with the same toe last season. He led a top seven offensive line by adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate allowed in 2022. Now further removed from the injuries, expect an All Pro level season from the former first-round pick.

#96: OT Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers

2022 Rank: 84

After a standout rookie season, Rashawn Slater only got on the field for 175 snaps last year as he suffered a torn bicep. Still, he won 66 of his 69 pass-blocking snaps, and his impact was evident in Justin Herbert’s production. Herbert had a QBR of 72 with him in the lineup and 58 without him.

#95: WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

2022 Rank: 38

In 2021, Deebo Samuel was a First Team All Pro player with 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns. That fell to 864 yards and five touchdowns last year. Still, he ranked sixth at the position with 1.69 yards per route run and led the league with 8.9 yards after the catch per reception.

#94: OG Mike Onwenu, New England Patriots

2022 Rank: 75

An iron man for the Patriots’ offensive line, Onwenu has played over 2,600 snaps at three different positions for New England since being drafted in 2020. Over that span, he has allowed just six sacks. Onwenu was a full-time right guard last year and ranked eighth at the position with a 95% pass-block win rate.

#93: ED Brian Burns, Carolina Panthers

2022 Rank: 97

Still just 25 years old, Brian Burns is coming off a breakout 2022 season with 12.5 sacks. He also tied for ninth in the league with 68 total pressures. The next step in his evolution will be improving his consistency as his 10.5% pass rush win rate was 50th among qualified edge rushers. Expect that to happen under new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.

#92: QB Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

As a passer, there’s no denying that Justin Fields has left a lot to be desired. He was 34th out of 34 qualified quarterbacks in DVOA last year and 27th in passer rating. However, he ran for over 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns while leading the league with 7.1 YPC. The Bears are taking steps to make Fields’s life easier with improved pass-catching and blocking, and that should boost his efficiency as a passer this season.

#91: OT Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After a tumultuous rookie season where Penei Sewell played both right and left tackle, he settled in on the right side last year and led all tackles with 321 run block wins. Sewell was also excellent in pass protection, allowing just two sacks all season. He doesn’t turn 23 years old until after Week 5 of this upcoming season.

#90: WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 Rank: 48

Mike Evans has established rare consistency in his future Hall of Fame career, breaking the record to start a player’s career with nine straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Evans’s efficiency wasn’t quite on par with the best players at the position, but he did lead qualified receivers with a 65.4% contested catch rate as he continues to be dominant at the catch point.

#89: QB Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets

2022 Rank: 3

After his second straight MVP season in 2021, Aaron Rodgers declined precipitously in 2022. He fell from 1st in QBR to 27th and 1st in DVOA to 21st. Was that the result of losing Davante Adams and a nasty thumb injury in his throwing hand? Or is the soon-to-be 40-year-old over the hill? Only time will tell.

#88: WR Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Despite suffering through severely limiting quarterback play from three different starters in 2022, Garrett Wilson won Offensive Rookie of the Year with 83 catches for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns. Even if Aaron Rodgers isn’t an MVP-level quarterback at this point in his career, he’ll offer stability to Wilson that should support a massive second-year breakout.

#87: ED Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals

2022 Rank: 71

When the Bengals signed Trey Hendrickson in free agency in 2021, there was much discussion of his 13.5-sack 2020 season being unrepeatable. However, he has 22 sacks in two seasons with his new team and ranked fifth among qualified edge rushers with a 17.9% pass rush win rate. He’s an invaluable part of one of the best defenses in football.

#86: CB Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Trevon Diggs’s boom-or-bust nature has made him a polarizing player, but it’s hard to argue with 17 interceptions and 49 pass defenses through his three years in the NFL. In arguably Dallas’s most impressive win last season, Diggs held Justin Jefferson to just two catches for 19 yards on four targets.

#85: LB Shaquille Leonard, Indianapolis Colts

2022 Rank: 34

Known as “the Maniac,” Shaquille Leonard set the league on fire to start his career with a Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2018 and an All Pro nod in each of his first four seasons. However, he played just 74 total snaps in 2022 and needed two back surgeries within five months. Hopefully, he can reach that All Pro level again.

#84: ED Matthew Judon, New England Patriots

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

In his two seasons since joining the Patriots, Matthew Judon has 28 sacks. His 11.7% pass-rush win rate ranked just 43rd, but it’s difficult to argue with the productivity as his 116 pressures over the last three seasons are the fourth-most among edge rushers. Judon was arguably the defensive MVP for New England last year as they ranked third in DVOA.

#83: RB Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

In 2022, the Cowboys finally gave Tony Pollard a chance to be more of the featured back, and he delivered with almost 1,400 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns. He finished with 3.82 yards after contact per attempt (2nd) and 17 runs of 15+ yards (T-3rd). With Ezekiel Elliott off to New England, expect another highly productive year from Pollard.

#82: DL DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis Colts

2022 Rank: 47

DeForest Buckner has faced 1,645 double teams since 2017, more than any player other than Aaron Donald over that span. Despite that, Buckner has been incredibly consistent with between 48 and 56 pressures in all seven of his seasons. He’s coming off a career best 56 pressures and 47 run stops and only fell in these rankings due to elevated play from some of his peers at the position.

#81: WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After a relatively quiet rookie season, DeVonta Smith enjoyed a sophomore breakout with 95 catches for 1,196 yards and 7 touchdowns, all of which were top 12 among receivers. The former Heisman winner also had a 114.3 passer rating when targeted (7th) and was eighth in DYAR.

#80: LB Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Matt Milano has been one of the more productive linebackers in the NFL for a while now, and he was rewarded with his first All Pro and Pro Bowl selections in 2022. His work in coverage is particularly impressive, as he had a career high three interceptions and 11 pass defenses.

#79: DL Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee Titans

2022 Rank: 94

Despite playing through an ankle injury in the first half of the season, Jeffery Simmons finished with over 50 pressures and 7 sacks for the second straight year. He also ranked eighth among interior defensive linemen with a 41% run stop win rate, leading the Titans to the top ranked defense against the run on early downs by EPA.

#78: WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Despite catching passes from nine different quarterbacks, McLaurin has over 4,000 yards through four seasons. He’s coming off a career-high 1,191 yards and could surpass that once again under new offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy. McLaurin was also excellent after the catch, tying for sixth with 5.1 YAC per reception.

#77: CB Jaycee Horn, Carolina Panthers

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Injuries have hampered Jaycee Horn to this point as he’s only been on the field for 16 games through two seasons, but he led all qualified cornerbacks with a 52.6 passer rating allowed in coverage last season. A third-year ascension seems likely with new defensive coordinator Ejrio Evero, who just facilitated a career year from Horn’s draftmate Patrick Surtain.

#76: QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season was a disaster by all respects, but under new leadership from Doug Pederson, he finished with over 4,000 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. Lawrence also led the Jaguars to a wild come-from-behind win against the Chargers in the playoffs. Lawrence could ascend to MVP-level play with Calvin Ridley entering the fold this season.

#75: S Jessie Bates III, Atlanta Falcons

2022 Rank: 100

The Falcons handed Jessie Bates a four-year, $64 million contract this offseason, and he’s expected to help transform a defense that ranked 29th against the pass by DVOA. Bates had an elite 23.3% ball hawk rate last season as he made plays all over the field, and he was an invaluable part of the Bengals’ run to the Super Bowl in 2021.

#74: RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

One of the most underrated running backs in the NFL, Aaron Jones had another strong season with 1,516 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns. He’s the only player since 2019 with over 4,000 rushing yards and 1,500 receiving yards, and he’s now fifth on the all-time list with a career 5.1 YPC average.

#73: WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Jaylen Waddle was a big play waiting to happen last season as he led qualified receivers with 18.1 yards per reception and 6.9 YAC per reception. He also ranked third with 2.62 yards per route run and led all receivers in DVOA. Still just 24 years old, there’s room for Waddle to build on a near 1,400-yard 2022.

#72: DL Christian Wilkins, Miami Dolphins

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Perhaps the most dominant run defender in the NFL, Christian Wilkins led all defensive tackles with a 46% run stop win rate. He led all defensive tackles with 69 tackles and 55 run stops, and the Dolphins were fourth in run defense DVOA thanks in large part to his dominant play.

#71: OT Kolton Miller, Las Vegas Raiders

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Kolton Miller had an excellent season leading an offensive line that outplayed everyone’s expectations. He was the only tackle to rank top seven in both pass block and run block win rate. At 6’9”, 328 lbs, Miller is an imposing blindside protector whose technique is incredibly well refined.

#70: S Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

The Dolphins left Jevon Holland exposed far too often last year as they ranked third in blitz rate and 17th in pressure rate. Despite those issues, Holland still has four interceptions, 17 pass defenses, and 165 tackles through two seasons. Still just 23 years old, he’s a future All Pro talent who should break out under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

#69: DL D.J. Reader, Cincinnati Bengals

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

D.J. Reader’s impact for the Bengals cannot be overstated, particularly against the run. With Reader on the field last season, Cincinnati ranked 5th in run defense EPA and 3rd in explosive run rate allowed. Without him, they ranked 26th in run defense EPA and 23rd in explosive run rate allowed.

#68: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Chicago Bears

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

The Bears traded Roquan Smith to the Ravens this past season, but they didn’t take long to replace him with another elite linebacker. Edmunds is a better fit for the Matt Eberflus defense with his elite coverage capabilities – his 88.1 PFF coverage grade was third among qualified linebackers and his six pass breakups were the second-most.

#67: CB A.J. Terrell, Atlanta Falcons

2022 Rank: 23

A.J. Terrell was nothing short of elite in 2021 as he allowed a 47.5 passer rating (2nd) and 43.9% catch rate (1st). In 2022, however, those numbers fell to a 115.8 passer rating (76th) and 57.4% catch rate (23rd). The Falcons made key additions to their defense this offseason that should help Terrell look much more like his rookie self this year.

#66: CB Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints

2022 Rank: 73

While a lacerated kidney cost him over half of the 2022 season, Marshon Lattimore still ranks fourth in the NFL with 78 pass breakups since entering the league in 2017. His ball production is among the league’s best, and he led the NFL with 18 pass breakups in 2021, his last fully healthy season.

#65: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

By all advanced metrics, Tua Tagovailoa was among the most efficient quarterbacks in the league last year. He ranked first in passer rating, first in yards per attempt, and second in both EPA/play and DVOA. Multiple concussions were the only thing holding Tua back from an MVP push last season, and Dolphins fans will hope he can stay healthy in 2023.

#64: ED Rashan Gary, Green Bay Packers

2022 Rank: 56

In 2021, Rashan Gary was among the league’s best pass rushers with 81 pressures (2nd) and 20.7% pass rush win rate (3rd). His torn ACL in Week 9 last year rendered the Packers incapable of generating a pass rush without blitzing – they went from a 22.2% blitz rate (25th) to a 32.5% blitz rate (5th).

#63: C Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: 77

Despite now being 35 years old, Jason Kelce remains one of the most impactful offensive linemen in the NFL. In 2022, he ranked third among all centers with a 75% run block win rate, and that helped the Eagles finish with the best rushing offense by EPA in the league by a significant margin.

#62: LB Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks

2022 Rank: 62

Bobby Wagner keeps trucking now at 33 years old, and he’s been a First or Second Team All Pro in nine straight seasons. He doesn’t have the same sideline-to-sideline range at this point in his career, but that didn’t stop him from finishing with 140 tackles, two interceptions, and a career-high six sacks in 2022.

#61: OG Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts

2022 Rank: 14

After PFF ranked him as a top four guard in 2019 and 2020, he’s been outside the top 20 in each of the last two seasons. Following a tough 2021, the Colts bet on him bouncing back with a record-setting, four-year, $80 million extension, but it didn’t happen. Nelson didn’t participate in the Pro Bowl due to an undisclosed injury, so the hope will be that his play will improve as he gets healthy.

#60: QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

2022 Rank: 30

Last season was tough for Justin Herbert from start to finish with broken ribs, a torn labrum, and injuries to his receivers hampering his production before a disappointing playoff collapse against the Jaguars. Still, his talent is undeniable – he’s the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000+ yards in each of his first three seasons. A bounceback should be in order with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

#59: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Amon-Ra St. Brown followed up a promising rookie season with a dominant sophomore campaign, finishing with 106 catches for 1,161 yards and six touchdowns. His sparkling 76.3% catch rate was second among all receivers with 100+ targets and he was ninth with 2.40 yards per route run despite having the second-lowest aDOT of just 6.7 yards.

#58: RB Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After a couple of disappointing years, Saquon Barkley ended the 2022 season with 1,650 yards from scrimmage, his best since his rookie season. Despite running behind an offensive line that ranked 24th in adjusted line yards, Barkley had a career high 36 explosive plays of 10+ yards. He finished third in Comeback Player of the Year voting.

#57: OG Chris Lindstrom, Atlanta Falcons

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Chris Lindstrom delivered a career year in a contract year, earning a Second Team All Pro nomination and a record-breaking five-year, $105 million extension within the span of two months. Lindstrom’s 95.0 PFF grade was the highest of any guard by far and his Falcons ranked fifth in adjusted line yards.

#56: OT Christian Darrisaw, Minnesota Vikings

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After missing five games as a rookie in 2021, Christian Darrisaw delivered on his first round capital in a big way in 2022. He was especially dominant in the run game, ranking sixth with an 81% run block win rate and third with a 90.6 PFF run blocking grade. The Vikings appear to have found a cornerstone left tackle in Darrisaw.

#55: OG Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns

2022 Rank: 64

With back to back First Team All Pro seasons under his belt, Joel Bitonio has staked his claim to being the best guard in the NFL. Bitonio ranked sixth among guards with a 95% pass block win rate last season and only allowed one sack all year. His run blocking is also excellent, as he ranked second among qualified guards with an 84.4 PFF grade.

#54: S Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos

2022 Rank: 37

It was a tough season for Justin Simmons in 2022, particularly as he missed five games with an injury. The high end games were still there for Simmons, and he finished with a career high six interceptions, but he also had a career-high 17.3% missed tackle rate and 82.9% catch rate allowed. An All Pro in three of the last four years, Simmons remains Denver’s steadfast defensive captain.

#53: OT Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Despite dealing with injuries throughout the season, Lane Johnson had an incredible season for the Eagles as he earned the second First Team All Pro nod of his career. Johnson didn’t allow a single sack throughout the regular season or playoffs and his 95% pass block win rate led all offensive tackles.

#52: WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Rank: 85

CeeDee Lamb has become one of the most electric route runners in the NFL, and he was tied for fifth in ESPN’s open score. He finished top ten in yards per route run and passer rating when targeted on his way to 1,359 yards and 9 touchdowns. Lamb turned 24 years old this offseason.

#51: DL Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 Rank: 35

Now 34 years old, Cameron Heyward remains one of the most dominant three-tech linemen in the league. He’s one of four defensive players to make six consecutive Pro Bowls and was top five among interior defensive linemen with 31 run stops (5th), 58 pressures (3rd), and a 15.5% pass rush win rate (4th).

#50: LB Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints

2022 Rank: 87

An absolute iron man, Demario Davis has only missed one game over his 11-year career, and he’s working on a four-year streak with either First or Second Team All Pro selections. Davis had over 100 tackles for the sixth straight season in 2022 but he made more noise as a pass rusher, coming through with a career-high 6.5 sacks.

#49: S Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans

2022 Rank: 49

Kevin Byard was a First Team All Pro safety and Pro Bowler in 2021 and while he didn’t receive either honor in 2022, it was perhaps a more impressive season given the circumstances. The Titans had the most Adjusted Games Lost on defense last year per Football Outsiders, but Byard remained elite and has yet to miss a game in his seven-year career.

#48: ED Haason Reddick, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After being miscast in Arizona as a defensive end and linebacker, Haason Reddick has found his home on the edge and is coming off a career year for the Eagles with 16 sacks and 26 quarterback hits. Reddick wasn’t perfect – a 36.4% missed tackle rate was by far a career high – but his pass rush productivity was undeniable.

#47: CB Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: 99

The Eagles had the NFL’s best pass defense by DVOA and EPA, and Darius Slay’s excellent season was a big reason why – he was top 15 among qualified corners in catch rate allowed (54.7%) and passer rating allowed (76.8). Slay has 133 pass breakups over the last ten years, more than any other player over that span.

#46: TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

2022 Rank: 41

Mark Andrews didn’t quite live up to his First Team All Pro season in 2021 last year, but he still had over 800 receiving yards for the third time in the last four years. Andrews isn’t as good after the catch as the two tight ends ahead of him on this list, but he makes up for it with elite route running – his open score of 86 was the best among tight ends per ESPN Analytics.

#45: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

The Raiders didn’t pick up Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year option last offseason, and he quickly made them regret that decision. He led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards on 340 carries, becoming the team’s first rushing leader since 1985. Jacobs forced 90 missed tackles, the most in the NFL, and added 400 yards through the air for good measure.

#44: LB Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 Rank: 44

Perhaps the most consistently underrated player in the NFL, Lavonte David is a future Hall of Famer who’s still at his peak. It’s inexplicable that he only has one All Pro and Pro Bowl nomination in his career. David’s 88 PFF coverage grade in 2022 was the second-highest of his career, and his leadership is invaluable for the Tampa defense.

#43: OT Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 Rank: 27

An ankle injury cost Tristan Wirfs four games last season, but he was still elite when he was on the field as his 93% pass block win rate ranked fifth among offensive tackles. He only allowed 5 pressures on 626 pass-blocking snaps. After playing exclusively right tackle through his first three seasons, he’ll be moving to the left side for Tampa Bay.

#42: ED Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers

2022 Rank: 20

Injuries have been an unfortunate part of Joey Bosa’s career as he’s only played a full slate of games twice in his seven-year career. However, he has four double-digit sack seasons on his resume and has been an elite pass rusher when he’s been on the field. In 2021, his last healthy season, Bosa ranked sixth in pass rush win rate.

#41: WR A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: 43

In his first season in Philadelphia, A.J. Brown had a career-high 88 catches for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brown is elite at the catch point – his 15 contested catches tied for 7th – and with the ball in his hands – his 565 total yards after the catch ranked second. He finished the year ranked first in ESPN Analytics’ wide receiver rankings.

#40: QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

2022 Rank: 32

Injuries have become a part of the story for Lamar Jackson as he’s missed five games in each of the past two seasons. However, he’s still a dominant runner as he had 764 yards on 6.8 YPC in 12 games last year. The hope now is that he can return to MVP-level passing productivity under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken and with key additions to the wide receiver room.

#39: DL Quinnen Williams, New York Jets

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

On the heels of a career year, Quinnen Williams agreed to a four-year, $96 million extension this summer. His 12 sacks were the second-most among all interior defensive linemen. He also finished with 52 pressures (8th) and a 13.7% pass rush win rate (7th). Williams is poised for another great year as the leader of perhaps the best defensive line in the NFL.

#38: S Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 Rank: 33

Antoine Winfield Jr. has become an incredibly versatile chess piece in the Tampa defense and he’s perhaps the most sure tackling defensive back – he had more tackles for loss (7) than missed tackles (3) last season. He’s also an excellent blitzer – he had four sacks an a league-leading 91.1 PFF pass rush grade.

#37: C Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

2022 Rank: 70

With the Chiefs facing fewer three-man fronts in 2022 following the trade of Tyreek Hill, Creed Humphrey’s job became more difficult, but he handled it quite well as he led all centers with a 98% pass block win rate. He has now allowed just one sack through two seasons and has a top five PFF run-blocking grade among all offensive linemen in each of his first two seasons.

#36: RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

2022 Rank: 41

After only playing in eight games in 2021, Derrick Henry was back to his dominant self in 2022 with 349 carries for 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has now led the league in carries in each of the last four years but hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down – his 888 rushing yards after contact last year were the second-most since ESPN began tracking the stat in 2009.

#35: CB Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers

2022 Rank: 13

Jaire Alexander missed most of the 2021 season, but he bounced back with a Second Team All Pro nomination, getting right back on track as one of the best corners in the league. Alexander allowed a 66.2 passer rating in coverage, which ranked fifth among cornerbacks with 500+ snaps last season.

#34: OT Andrew Thomas, New York Giants

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Andrew Thomas has ascended into one of the top left tackles in the league, and he allowed just 21 pressures and 3 sacks on 619 pass-blocking snaps last season. He also committed just two penalties all year, avoiding mistakes across the board. The former first round pick’s rough rookie season is long in the rearview mirror at this point.

#33: WR Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

2022 Rank: 26

Consistency is the name of the game for Stefon Diggs, as he’s coming off his fifth straight 1,000-yard season. Diggs played a career-high 34.1% of his snaps out of the slot last year, and it worked well as he led qualified receivers with a 124.3 passer rating when targeted. Diggs appears to be past the offseason drama and ready to dominate again this season.

#32: TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

2022 Rank: 21

George Kittle caught passes from three different quarterbacks in 2022, but he still had 11 touchdowns, tied for the third-most in the NFL. Kittle’s 133.6 passer rating when targeted was the best among qualified tight ends. He remains elite with the ball in his hands, as well, as his 7.2 YAC average leads all tight ends since 2017.

#31: CB Jalen Ramsey, Miami Dolphins

2022 Rank: 19

In perhaps the best career by a defensive back of the decade, Jalen Ramsey has racked up eight straight Pro Bowls, three First Team All Pros, and a Super Bowl. He won’t be adding any regular season accolades this year as he will miss most of the season with a knee injury. When Ramsey returns, expect his ball production to remain elite – he tied for the league lead with 20 pass breakups and four interceptions.

#30: QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

A second-round pick in 2020, Jalen Hurts has quickly emerged as one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league. He led an Eagles offense that scored 28.1 points per game (3rd) and ranked third in DVOA and EPA. Hurts finished the regular season with over 4,400 combined passing and rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns while ranking top five in passer rating and QBR.

#29: OG Joe Thuney, Kansas City Chiefs

2022 Rank: 36

Joe Thuney’s elite pass protection is crucial for the Chiefs’ offense, and he led all guards with a 99% pass block win rate last season. He only allowed 15 pressures on 675 pass-blocking snaps and was dominant in the Super Bowl, allowing just two pressures against the Eagles’ lights out pass rush.

#28: WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

2022 Rank: 18

Ja’Marr Chase’s aDOT dropped by 3.7 yards last season, and whether by design or due to his hip injuries, it hurt his efficiency – he dropped from 18 yards per reception to 12. Still, he finished with over 1,000 yards in 12 games and ranked second in ESPN’s YAC ratings. Now fully healthy, Chase should enjoy a huge third-year breakout.

#27: DL Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

The last several months have been kind to Dexter Lawrence. He was the highest graded run defender and pass rusher among interior defensive linemen per PFF, and his 63 pressures were nearly as many as he had in the previous two seasons combined. He was rewarded with a four-year, $90 million extension.

#26: WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

2022 Rank: 15

Cooper Kupp was a difficult player to rank this year. After his triple crown 2021, he was still elite last year with his 78.9% catch rate ranking second among qualified receivers. However, he only played in nine games as he suffered a high ankle sprain that needed tightrope surgery over the offseason. Kupp only has two seasons over 1,000 yards to his name, and at 30 years old, his future is a little murky as he recovers from the injury.

#25: ED T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 Rank: 6

After tying the NFL’s sack record with 22.5 in 2021, T.J. Watt only played in ten games last season and finished with just 5.5 sacks. He had been on a historic pace with 70 sacks through his first five season, but he wasn’t the same player last year as he was just 33rd among 99 qualified edge rushers in pass rush win rate. A bounce back should be in order.

#24: S Derwin James Jr., Los Angeles Chargers

2022 Rank: 43

There might not be a more versatile defender in the NFL than Derwin James – he had 150+ snaps in the box, slot, and at free safety last year. James is the Chargers’ green dot player, meaning he coordinates the defense on the field, and that leadership helped him earn a Second Team All Pro nod last season.

#23: LB Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens

2022 Rank: 58

The Ravens’ trade for Roquan Smith was absolutely transformative for their defense last season. Through the first eight weeks, Baltimore was 15th in DVOA and 28th in EPA. From Week 9 on with Smith, they were 3rd in DVOA and 5th in EPA. Smith earned a First Team All Pro nod for his efforts in a complete season with 169 tackles, 4.5 sacks, three interceptions, and 42 run stops, which tied for the most in the NFL.

#22: QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

2022 Rank: 12

The 2022 season had a unique tenor for the Bills, and Josh Allen’s elbow injury hampered his play somewhat. His game was very high-variance – his 44 big-time throws and 29 turnover-worthy plays both led the NFL – but he was still second in QBR and fifth in DVOA. Despite his elite play, Allen is just 4-4 in the postseason, and playoff success is the biggest separator from the top two passers on this list.

#21: OG Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Rank: 12

For the sixth straight year, Zack Martin earned a First Team All Pro nomination in 2022. The likely future Hall of Famer is coming off a down season by his standards – his 73.3 PFF grade ranked 11th at the position and was the lowest by far of his career. Still, it’s difficult to argue for anyone else as the best interior offensive lineman in the NFL at this point in time.

#20: RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

2022 Rank: 39

Nick Chubb continued a historically efficient career in 2022 as he moved to second all-time with a career 5.2 YPC average (min. 1,000 carries). Chubb led the NFL in 10+ yard carries (47) and 15+ yard carries (23) and ranked second with 83 forced missed tackles. In a tumultuous year for the passing game, Chubb’s lights out play kept the Browns’ offense afloat.

#19: ED Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders

2022 Rank: 28

While Maxx Crosby had 20 fewer pressures in 2021 – 101 to 81 – he had a career-high 12.5 sacks and 36 QB hits, which ranked second in the NFL. Crosby was also dominant against the run with a league-leading 22 tackles for loss and 69 defensive stops, which was the most from the edge in a season since 2016 per Next Gen Stats.

#18: OT Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After playing in just five games last season, Laremy Tunsil’s 91.7 PFF pass-blocking grae was the best among all tackles last year. He only allowed one sack on 676 pass-blocking snaps on his way to a huge 3-year, $75 million contract. The Texans have to feel good about having one of the league’s premier blindside protectors to help rookie C.J. Stroud.

#17: S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 Rank: 69

After a down year in 2021, Minkah Fitzpatrick earned a First Team All Pro spot for the fifth time in six seasons in 2022. He was one of just two safeties to post an 82+ PFF grade in run defense and coverage. Fitzpatrick also led the NFL with a 28.2% ball hawk rate, landing 11 pass breakups and six interceptions on 39 targets as the nearest defender.

#16: QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

2022 Rank: 68

Joe Burrow continues to be a playoff ace with a 5-2 career postseason record through just two seasons. He was PFF’s highest-graded passer for the second straight year, and he made impressive improvements on the margins, reducing his turnover-worthy play rate and pressure to sack rate. Burrow isn’t the tallest, strongest, or fastest, but a 77.1% career adjusted completion rate will take you far in the NFL.

#15: WR Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

2022 Rank: 8

After two First Team All Pro seasons in Green Bay, Davante Adams was shipped out to Las Vegas where he made it three years in a row. A 55.6% catch rate was his lowest in almost a decade, but he had a career-high 12.8 aDOT and 15.2 YPR. Adams also led the NFL in touchdown receptions for the second time in three seasons.

#14: LB Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers

2022 Rank: 25

Fred Warner is the perfect modern linebacker, capable of impacting the game in all phases. In 2022, he had a career-high 10 pass deflections, bringing him to 35 since entering the league in 2018, the most over that span. Warner was the anchor for the 49ers’ defense that ranked first in points per game (16.3).

#13: CB Patrick Surtain II, Denver Broncos

2022 Rank: 77

There isn’t a more technically sound cornerback in the NFL than Patrick Surtain II. His 14.5% ball hawk rate is modest as he doesn’t get a ton of pass breakups or interceptions, but quarterbacks know better than to throw in his direction. Surtain’s 12.5% target rate was the lowest among cornerbacks with 200+ coverage snaps last season.

#12: CB Sauce Gardner, New York Jets

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

Cornerback is an especially tough position to transition to as a rookie, and that’s especially true for G5 prospects. Sauce Gardner didn’t care. He allowed just a 45.9% catch rate and 53.9 passer rating, both the second-lowest among qualified corners. His 24.7% ball hawk rate paced the position as he tied for the league lead with 20 pass breakups. Gardner headlined a potentially franchise-altering Jets draft class.

#11: WR Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

2022 Rank: 7

Tyreek Hill led the NFL with 3.20 yards per route run, and it wasn’t even close – the second-highest was Justin Jefferson at 2.62. He earned his fourth First Team All Pro nomination in his first year in Miami as he ended the year with 119 catches for 1,710 yards and seven touchdowns. Hill wants to be the league’s first ever 2,000-yard receiver this season, and that lofty feat seems possible for him.

#10: RB Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers

2022 Rank: Not Ranked

After playing in just ten total games in 2020 and 2021, Christian McCaffrey now has three seasons with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards, trailing only Marshall Faulk in NFL history. CMC’s impact was immediately felt for the Niners – they were 21st in offensive DVOA in the seven weeks before the trade and first for the remainder of the season with him on the team.

#9: DL Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs

2022 Rank: 40

Chris Jones is in rarified air after winning his second Super Bowl, and it comes on the heels of a season with 15.5 sacks, tying a career-high. Jones also led all interior defensive linemen with an 18% pass-rush win rate and 77 pressures. In the playoffs, Jones had 20 total pressures in three games, and he was especially dominant in the AFC Championship with ten pressures and two sacks to help get the Chiefs the win.

#8: DL Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

2022 Rank: 1

With nothing left to prove, rumors have swirled about Aaron Donald’s retirement, but he’s back for another season. He only played 615 snaps in 11 games last year, a career low, but he still ranked second among all interior defensive linemen with a 17.8% pass rush win rate. We’ll likely never see another 20-sack season from Donald like we did in his record-breaking 2018 campaign, but he’s still a nightmare for opposing offensive lines.

#7: WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

2022 Rank: 17

In 2022, Justin Jefferson became the youngest wide receiver to ever lead the NFL in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809). He earned the Offensive Player of the Year award and a First Team All Pro selection, as a result. There hasn’t been a non-quarterback MVP since 2006, but Jefferson finished fifth in voting last year and could become the first in nearly two decades as soon as this season.

#6: OT Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers

2022 Rank: 5

Trent Williams is the gold standard for left tackles in the NFL as he’s been PFF’s highest-graded player at the position for three straight seasons. Now working on a two-year streak as a First Team All Pro selection, Williams has allowed just two sacks over those two years combined. Only six left tackles since the 1970 merger have earned multiple First Team All Pros after age 30, and Williams will look to get a third this season.

#5: ED Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Rank: 9

There might not be a more disruptive defensive talent in the NFL than Micah Parsons as his 90 pressures last season tied for the most in the league. Parsons’ ability to consistently beat double teams allowed the Cowboys to lead the NFL in pressure rate despite blitzing at the 13th-highest rate. Still just 24 years old, Parsons already has 26.5 sacks through two seasons and could become one of the best of all time at his position.

#4: ED Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns

2022 Rank: 4

Perhaps the most impressive athlete in the NFL, Myles Garrett is a sheer terror coming off the edge. His 22.5% pass rush win rate paced qualified players at the position in 2022 and he has back to back seasons with 16 sacks. His 24 turnovers forced by pressure since 2017 lead the rest of the defensive field by five. Garrett has done much of this without a high-level running mate on the line to take pressure off.

#3: TE Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

2022 Rank: 16

Travis Kelce now has seven straight years of 1,000+ yards, the longest streak ever by a tight end, and has four First Team All Pro nods over that stretch. He’s coming off a career-high 110 catches and 12 touchdowns, while his 1,338 yards were the second-most of his career. Now with two Super Bowls to his name, Kelce might be the best to ever play his position.

#2: ED Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

2022 Rank: 10

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks and 48 quarterback hits. No other defensive player had more than 36 QB hits. Bosa also ranked second among qualified edge defenders in pass rush win rate (21%) and missed tackle rate (5.9%). Bosa played in just two games in 2020, but he has 34 sacks over the last two seasons and is just getting started at 25 years old.

#1: QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

2022 Rank: 24

Last year, it felt like there were multiple viable options for the top spot on my rankings. This year, that isn’t the case. Patrick Mahomes is unimpeachable as the best player in football. I had concerns about him losing his top wideout Tyreek Hill, and those look incredibly silly in hindsight. All Mahomes did was lead the NFL with 5,250 passing yards and 41 touchdowns and rank first in adjusted EPA/play and QBR.

Mahomes also won the second MVP trophy of his career and capped it all off with his second Super Bowl MVP in a win over the Eagles’ roster power rated much better than the Chiefs’ on the whole. Mahomes is still only 27 years old and arguably has a resume that would be Hall of Fame caliber if he retired tomorrow.

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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