Splash’s Top 100 (2021): Players 60-51

Splash’s Top 100 (2021): Players 60-51

by September 8, 2021 0 comments

It is time to continue identifying the 100 best players in football. This is part six of 11, with honorable mentions, Nos. 100-91Nos. 90-81Nos. 80-71, and Nos. 70-61 having been released already.

No.60: Terron Armstead, Offensive Tackle, New Orleans Saints

Perhaps the only knock against Armstead is that he is rarely healthy for a full slate of games. While he is a tremendous pass protector and elite run blocker, Armstead compromises his ranking by missing a handful of games each season. No matter how productive he can be when he plays, he has a ceiling based on his availability. Armstead is an elite left tackle, but his health leaves much to be desired. Hopefully in 2021 and beyond, Armstead will be healthy and form the best tackle duo in the NFL with him and Ryan Ramczyk.

No.59: Brandon Brooks, Interior Offensive Line, Philadelphia Eagles

Brooks is the biggest tragedy of the top 100. After two stellar seasons that earned Pro Bowl nominations in 2017 and 2018, Brooks tore his ACL in a playoff game in January 2019. After a miraculous recovery, Brooks was the best guard in football in 2019. He earned his third Pro Bowl selection and was robbed of an All-Pro nod. However, during the 2020 off-season, Brooks tore his Achilles and lost his 2020 season. As of writing, he is on the PUP list, and he will be unavailable for the first few weeks of the season. When Brooks is on the field, he is one of the top three guards in football.

No.58: Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

Allen has taken the throne from Davante Adams as the unluckiest wide receiver in the NFL. In each of the last four seasons, Allen has fallen within 10 yards of a statistical milestone. Perhaps the most infuriating of these shortcomings came in 2020. Allen just missed the 1,000-yard plateau. While some may think that a receiver who does not go for 1,000 yards in a season should not be here, Allen’s route running and consistency earn a spot despite missing the plateau. He should clear it 1,000 yards comfortably in 2021. Allen is in the second tier of receivers that occasionally flashes as top five but in general, will be stuck in just top 10 conversations.

No.57: Demario Davis, Linebacker, New Orleans Saints

Davis is aging gracefully for the Saints. He is still a tremendous coverage linebacker, and his ability in both run-stopping and as a blitzer is admirable. Davis may not play at this high of a level for the next few seasons, but as of writing, he is one of the top linebackers in the league still. He is perhaps the most well-rounded of the star linebackers, and he should be a force to be reckoned with in 2021. Well much has been made of New Orleans’s situation, players like Davis are still in New Orleans and will still be productive this season.

No.56: Fletcher Cox, Interior Defensive Line, Philadelphia Eagles

Cox is no longer what he was in 2018, but he is still an elite pass rusher. The run defense may come and go at times, but he is competent enough generally to earn the slot. He is a premier interior defense of lineman after Aaron Donald. His year-to-year consistency and game-to-game consistency is among the NFL’s elite at any position. He may not be an All-Pro anymore, but Cox is still one of the top 60 players in the NFL. He should replicate this in 2021 and potentially beyond.

No.55: Wyatt Teller, Interior Offensive Line, Cleveland Browns

Teller was one of the biggest breakout stars of 2020. He had an incredible PFF grade that often broke into the 90s. His seminal moments for his season or a pair of 96 or better grades in run blocking. Teller is not the most consistent pass protector. He is slightly above league average in pass pro. However, Teller is a devastating run blocker whose exploits may only be matched by Trent Williams. Teller needs to display his excellence for more than 12 games, but he should be a star moving forward as a key card in Cleveland‘s offensive line.

No.54: Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears

Robinson is the prototypical alpha wide receiver in the modern NFL. He has smooth route-running skills, good hands, and an intimidating physical frame. Robinson is one of the better contested-catch receivers in the NFL, and he should help out whomever the Bears throw out at quarterback in 2021. He is incredibly productive, and he can even spotlight in the slot from time to time. Robinson checks off any possible box you can throw at him, and it seems he may have been created in a lab. Robinson has never been the most productive of players, but that is due to the horrendous cast of quarterbacks he has had dating back to his days at Penn State in college.

No.53: Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback, New England Patriots

Gilmore may not be as elite as he was in 2019, but he still had a reasonable season in 2020. While his season was marred with injury, most of the tape still matches the elite version of Gilmore. While this ranking is a strong decrease from his ranking in last year‘s version, he is still one of the better corners in the NFL. He is still exceptionally physical and will shut down a multitude of receivers this upcoming season. Gilmore may not be in play for an All-Pro bid in 2021, but he should be an acceptable Pro Bowl selection.

No.52: Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

Yes, Bosa missed most of the 2020 season with a torn ACL. However, when on the field in 2019, especially in the playoffs, Bosa was an elite pass rusher. He rivaled the accomplishments of the likes of Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt. He is also a stellar run defender. Combine his run defense and pass rush, and Bosa is one of the best edge defenders in the NFL. Yes, he only has one full season under his belt, but his playoff run is the stuff of legend. Bosa has a claim to the throne of the best playoff run in the last 10 years even if the 49ers fell short in the Super Bowl.

No.51: Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons

The way Ridley moves simply does not make sense. Ridley is incredibly twitchy in his routes which enables him to be perhaps the premier route runner in the NFL. While others including Davante Adams have been running pristine routes for the better half of half a decade, Ridley broke onto the scene with an electric 2020 season. He compiled 1,374 receiving yards in 15 games, even splitting time with Julio Jones in many of his starts. Ridley is a one on one nightmare to defend. He should use his stellar route running and savvy to have one of the highest receiving yard totals in the NFL this season. Last year, he led the NFL with eight 100-yard games. He should replicate that dominance in 2021.

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I’m Ryan Potts. Some people affectionately call me Splash. I am renowned for being a misplaced Ravens, Cavs, Wings & Braves fan. Twitter: MrSplashMan19

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