It’s time to continue identifying the NFL’s top 100 players, continuing with Nos. 70 through 61.
No. 70: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, New Orleans Saints:
Lattimore had a terrific 2017 campaign in which he was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He took a step back in 2018 but re-established himself as a premier cornerback in 2019. The former first-round pick only had one interception in 2019, but he dropped his passer rating allowed by nearly 20 points. Lattimore has the benefit of playing in a talented New Orleans defense, but he is the shining star of the secondary, and the 24-year-old should be breaking up passes for the next five years for the Saints.
No. 69: Von Miller, EDGE, Denver Broncos:
While the sack numbers were nearly cut in half from 2018, Miller still had a nice season in 2019. He had 10 tackles for loss for the fifth consecutive season and 20 quarterback hits for the seventh straight season. In terms of advanced stats, he had more hurries, quarterback knockdowns, and pressures than he did in 2018 despite playing his fewest snaps since 2015. Now 31, Miller is still one of the most productive pass rushers in the league. With an improving team around him, he may get another shot to star in the playoffs.
No. 68: Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams:
It is a travesty that Kupp did not make the Pro Bowl last season. After an ACL injury cut his 2018 season short, Kupp lit up the NFL in 2019. Only 24 other players in the decade matched his line of 94-1,161-10. All but one (2016 Jordy Nelson) were selected to the Pro Bowl. Kupp made the transition from safety blanket to elite wide receiver as he was a ball vacuum for the first half of the season. Through eight games, Kupp was on pace for 116-1,584,10, but he cooled off in the second half, even being blanked by the Steelers in Week 10.
No. 67: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Houston Texans:
Watson turned in another solid campaign, accounting for 4,000 yards of offense and 33 total touchdowns. He had a perfect passer rating game against the Falcons in Week 5, and he consistently led the Texans to wins over playoff teams. The only fault in Watson’s season was his quartet of multi-interception games. In the playoffs, Watson played reasonably well, engineering a comeback against the Bills and watching the Chiefs explain 51 reasons why Patrick Mahomes is good at football. Watson will be 25 in September, and he might have 15 years of quarterbacking left. DeAndre Hopkins may be gone, but Watson should be electric for years to come.
No. 66: Alvin Kamara, Running Back, New Orleans Saints:
The Khris Davis of football, Kamara has exactly 81 catches in three straight seasons. He is one of the best dual-threat backs in the league, averaging 800 rushing yards and nearly 700 receiving yards over three seasons in New Orleans. Kamara was hampered by injuries in 2019, but he still had 1,330 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns. He may not have the raw rushing production of other top tier running backs, but on a per-carry basis, Kamara is efficient and explosive. Kamara’s stats would benefit if he played on a worse team, but he is a key contributor to a team that is 35-10 in games he played in.
No. 65: Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers:
After injuries marred the San Diego part of his career, Allen has played all 50 games (including playoffs) since the team moved to Los Angeles. Allen has three Pro Bowl nods, 303 catches, three 1,190-yard seasons, and 18 total touchdowns. Allen has a reputation of being one of the best route runners in the NFL, and he is always open. In 2019, Allen got off to an excellent start with 400 yards in three games. While his pace slowed massively after that, he was often reliable for 50 receiving yards, an occasional touchdown, and a handful of first downs. Allen is fourth in the NFL in receiving since 2017.
No. 64: Chris Jones, Interior Defensive Line, Kansas City Chiefs:
Despite Patrick Mahomes being given a contract larger than the GDP of a few countries, Jones landed his own mega-deal this week. Few players are as disruptive as Jones has been over the last two seasons with his 24.5 sacks and 76 pressures. He did not record a sack in the Super Bowl, but he was consistently pressuring Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Chiefs likely do not win if Jones does not play 48 crucial defensive snaps. At 26, Jones has more productive seasons ahead of him in Kansas City.
No. 63: Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers:
Bosa practically walked into the NFL as an elite pass rusher. While he did have the benefit of playing alongside several great pass rushers, Bosa was very productive from Day 1. He had 9.0 sacks plus four in the playoffs. He nearly averaged three pressures per game and consistently wrecked games. If the 49ers had won the Super Bowl, he would have been a logical vote for Super Bowl MVP. Bosa is still 22, and he could have 10 years as an elite pass rusher ahead of him. There are players with higher ceilings, but Bosa should be a menace for years to come.
No. 62: Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback, Los Angeles Rams:
Ramsey had a down 2019 campaign, but he was forced to adjust to a new city, team, and scheme. He should deliver a bounce-back season in 2020. The 2017 All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler has a handful of seasons left as an elite cover corner, and he should return to that level. He may never be the best corner in the NFL again, but he should be among the top 10. The former No. 5 pick was traded for two future first-round picks and a fourth-round pick, so the expectations were through the roof for Ramsey.
No. 61: Jason Kelce, Interior Offensive Line, Philadelphia Eagles:
Kelce made his third Pro Bowl and his third straight All-Pro team in 2019. He played every snap for the third time in his career, and he has played at least 95 percent of snaps in each of the last five seasons. Kelce’s ability to pave the way for the run and protect Carson Wentz is second to only Rodney Hudson. He has a knack for helping his guards with strong interior pressure in passing situations. However, Kelce’s starkest ability is his almost innate sense to get to the linebacker level to open up gargantuan holes in the run game.