No.100: Vita Vea, Interior Defensive Lineman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In a broad sense, Vea is one of the most influential defensive players to his team’s success. The Buccaneers once again had one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Even though Vea did not grade out as an elite run defender, his presence kept other teams from running the football on countless occasions throughout 2021. He made his first Pro Bowl off the back of career-bests in sacks, solo tackles, and tackles for loss.
No.99: Christian Wilkins, Interior Defensive Lineman, Miami Dolphins
Wilkins had an under-the-radar breakout season for the Dolphins in 2021. He posted career-best overall, run-defense, and pass-rush grades en route to a Pro Bowl snub. Wilkins more than doubled his career sack total and tackle for loss total. He is a menace against the run, but he has enough versatility to play the pass and get an interior push. He will only continue to improve as the Dolphins inch closer to a playoff spot.
No.98: Shaq Mason, Interior Offensive Lineman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After 103 games with the New England Patriots, Mason will be reuniting with Tom Brady. Despite not making a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team in seven years, Mason has been one of the most solid guards in the league since locking in a permanent spot at right guard. In 2021, Mason allowed just 15 pressures, posting the best pass-blocking efficiency of his career. He continued to be a premier run-blocking guard as well. The Buccaneers got a steal of a late-round trade.
No.97: Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Chicago Bears
Smith made his second consecutive second-team All-Pro, and he posted another strong season as a coverage linebacker. In 2021, he did not allow a touchdown on 65 targets. It was the third season in a row that Smith allowed a passer rating below 90.0. He had some struggles as a run defender (30.0 run-defense grade), but he made up for it with his reliable tackle and good coverage profile.
No.96: Chidobe Awuzie, Cornerback, Cincinnati Bengals
Awuzie had a Year 5 breakout in his first season with the Bengals. He posted a career-best 83.3 PFF grade with an excellent 84.2 coverage grade. In 2021, he allowed the lowest passer rating of his career, permitting a completion percentage of 57. percent. He made the jump to alpha-level cornerback, and he will be integral to the Bengals repeating as AFC Champions.
No.95: CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys
A popular breakout candidate, Lamb took a jump to be one of the most productive receivers in the NFL. He hauled in 79 passes for 1,102 yards and six touchdowns. He more than tripled his forced missed tackles, and he was an effective contested-catch threat. Lamb is a special player with the ball in his hands, and he will only continue to rise in the Top 100 in the coming years.
No.94: Diontae Johnson, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
The first-time Pro Bowler, Johnson answered the final question “can he reliably catch the football?” reducing his drop rate to just 5.3%. He turned 166 targets into 107 catches, 1,161 yards, and eight touchdowns, all marking personal bests. Johnson is among the best route runners in the NFL, consistently creating separation even against top cornerbacks. He had three games with 100 yards, and he could get even better with Mitchell Trubisky under center.
No.93: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Tackle, Los Angeles Chargers
Slater was nothing short of excellent in his rookie season. He made the All-Pro second team as well as the Pro Bowl. He even finished fourth in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. Slater was one of four left tackles to have an 80.0 run-blocking grade and pass-blocking grade, joining Trent Williams, Jordan Mailata, and Tyron Smith. The Chargers hit a home run with their 2021 first-round pick.
No.92: Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Philadelphia Eagles
Johnson has been the model of tackle consistency in his nine-year career. He has seven seasons with a 70.0 or better grade in both run-blocking and pass-blocking, and he was particularly effective as a pass blocker in 2021. He allowed zero sacks and only one quarterback hit on 416 pass-blocking snaps. Johnson also scored his first NFL touchdown, a five-year reception against the New York Giants.
No.91: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, New Orleans Saints
Lattimore made his fourth Pro Bowl in five seasons, posting a career-best 19 pass deflections. He allowed a completion percentage under 60% for the time, earning the second-best coverage grade of his career. Lattimore had one of the most unique games in recent NFL history, forcing an absurd six pass breakups on nine targets against Washington. Since 1999, only two players have had more than six in a game.
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