NFL Top 100 Players of 2019
So usually I wait for the NFL Network to finish their countdown and then I can look at some of the comparisons, but for some reason, they won’t start releasing episodes until two-and-a-half weeks from now. Since training camps are in full swing at that point and I want to look at position battles or maybe even look forward to specific games and such as, I decided to reveal my list now already – which is where I usually do anyway.
Like I do every year, I want to clear up the criteria first. This is a list for the top players in 2019 – therefore players who will miss several games due to suspension (Patrick Peterson for example) or injury (Sheldon Rankins to a lesser degree) won’t be included and I also put together a couple of names that I am just not sure yet about what their status for the upcoming year is.
Please understand that I am looking at these players as individual talents and will not reward them fully for what they have around them in terms of teammates or coaches.
So I will put up ten names at a time and give a quick description throughout the top 100 before discussing a few names that didn't qualify due to uncertain status and give away the next 30 names of the players who didn't quite make the cut.
#1 to #10
1. Patrick Mahomes
2. Aaron Donald
3. Khalil Mack
4. Aaron Rodgers
5. Von Miller
6. Julio Jones
7. DeAndre Hopkins
8. Bobby Wagner
9. Fletcher Cox
10. Saquon Barkley
The top spot goes to the reigning MVP here. It was a really close battle between Mahomes and Aaron Donald, but I had to go with the quarterback because he did some stuff we haven’t really seen before. Mahomes’ incredible arm talent, big-play mentality and ability to improvise could make him the premiere signal-caller for the next decade.
Like I already said, it was tough to ignore the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year in this conversation for who should be number one. Donald is by far the most dominant player at his position and he is on the path to maybe become the greatest defensive tackle in NFL history. The stats are on another level, but it is the way he disrupts the game on a snap-to-snap basis.
Speaking of dominant defenders, Khalil Mack’s impact in Chicago was definitely felt, as he made the Bears the number one scoring defense and led them to their first NFL North title since 2010. Not only did Mack earn 12.5 sacks and forced six fumbles despite missing two games, but he also is an elite run defender and continuously puts offensive tackles on skates.
This is the lowest I have had Rodgers since I started putting together these lists in 2014. It definitely wasn’t his or the Packers’ year, finishing the season with the worst record since the quarterback’s first year as a starter. However, even then he was 28 touchdowns compared to only two interceptions. All the pressure was on him with a hobbled knee and I think a lot of that will be taken off by Matt LaFleur’s play-calling and the additions on defense.
You can argue about a few names of defensive players after Donald and Mack, but I went with the steady Von Miller. With the team not having made the playoffs since their Super Bowl victory, people have started forgetting about the edge rusher in Mile High – not me. Miller is still the best at bending around the corner and flattening to the QB, as he has recorded 63 combined sacks over the last five years.
Up next I went with the top two wide receivers in the league. I gave Julio the slight edge here, simply because of his of the freakish skill-set he brings to the table when you combine physicality, leaping ability, and the flat-out speed. Since 2013 he is averaging 104.6 yards per game and he quietly led the league in yards through the air once again last season.
Right behind him as the 1B we have “Nuk the Bomb”. Hopkins is pretty much equally impressive to me as Julio, but for different reasons. The numbers he has put up with the bundle of lackluster quarterbacks is mind-blowing and in his first full season with Deshaun Watson, he was second only to Julio in terms of receiving yards, despite missing weapons around him once Will Fuller went down.
At number eight we have who I think is the best stand-up linebacker in the game today. Bobby Wagner is an absolute tackling machine and he makes a bunch of impact plays in the passing game. The Seattle defense has lost so many key pieces over the years, but the constant in the middle has been Wagner and he might have had his best year yet in 2018.
Similar to Wagner, I don’t think people give Fletcher Cox the respect he deserves. A lot of that has to do with how ridiculous Aaron Donald has been for the Rams, but I don’t know how the Eagles D-tackle is not at least in the conversation for the top ten. Cox lives in offensive backfields and his numbers are starting to show what kind of monster he is.
And rounding out the top ten we have another freak of nature. I know that he is just a rookie and I would be first to tell you that you need to pump the brakes when it comes first-year players, but this guy is different. Saquon to me is already the best talent at the running back position and he is the most special guy at making something out of nothing.