The NFL Network finished their list of the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2019 on Wednesday. This list is compiled of the league’s best players voted on by their peers. The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the best teams in the league in 2018, so it makes sense that they were well represented on the top 100 list.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill came in at No. 19 on the list after a season full of touchdowns. Tight end Travis Kelce was ranked No. 21. Kelce finished turned in his third straight 1,000 yards season and had his first 100+ catch season in 2018. Defensive lineman Chris Jones finished with 15.5 sacks last season and this earned him spot No. 36 on the list. Newly acquired Frank Clark came in at No. 85, and the best right tackle in the NFL, Mitchell Schwartz, finished No. 94.
The reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes was a no doubt top five player last season. He became the second player in NFL history to finish with 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. This was good enough to land him at No. 4 on the list. After a historic season that ended with the league’s MVP award, was he ranked too low?
NFL’s Top Five Players
Starting at 100, the unveiling of the list stretches out over a few weeks. On Wednesday, the final players were revealed after a long wait. Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley was ranked fifth on the list followed by Mahomes. Gurley finished with 21 total touchdowns last season, 17 rushing and four receiving.
Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack finished third. He was traded to the Bears in the offseason and immediately signed the biggest contract of any defensive player in history. Mack finished with 12.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, and interception, and a touchdown in 2018. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was second on the top 100 list. He finished with 3,994 yards, 32 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald is a complete freak of nature. He is the best player in the NFL, and that is how his peers voted. Donald finished 2018 with 20.5 sacks to lead the NFL.
Was Mahomes Properly Ranked?
At 23 years old, being ranked fourth on the top 100 list is nothing to be ashamed of. This was Mahomes’ first season as a starter, and it could not have gone any better. There are arguments to be made about Donald and Mack being ranked above Mahomes. They are all-time great defensive players. Brees being ranked second is questionable.
Brees finished with over 1,000 yards less than Mahomes. His claim to fame this season was his ability to take care of the ball and complete passes. Brees has just five picks all season and completed 74.4% of his passes. In the Saints’ offense, Brees is not throwing many passes down the field. He is completing many passes of the short variety to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Also, in today’s NFL, completion percentage is not an accurate stat to measure greatness. With the defensive rules, it is hard not to have a high completion percentage. This is not to say that it is not important, but it is not near the top of the list.
Mahomes finished with better numbers than Brees last season. Numbers aside, Mahomes wins the eye test in every way. He can use his legs to extend plays. He can throw from many different angles, sometimes even without looking. Mahomes has arguably the strongest arm in the NFL. Brees broke the all-time passing record during a Monday night game against the Washington Redskins. This might have earned him some extra points in the voting.
Heading into 2019, Mahomes is the favorite to repeat as NFL MVP. He is entering his second season as a started. It would be surprising if Mahomes is not back in the NFL’s top 10 next season, but he has a chance to land at No. 1.