Splash’s Top 100 (2022): Players 10-1

Splash’s Top 100 (2022): Players 10-1

by September 4, 2022 0 comments

It is finally time to identify the top 10 players in the NFL. Be sure to check out the offensive honorable mentions and the defensive honorable mentions.

Previous Installments: 100-9190-8180-7170-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11

No.10: Travis Kelce, Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce had yet another strong season, making his seventh straight Pro Bowl. He had 1,100 yards for the fifth time in six seasons, and he tacked on nine touchdowns. Kelce had 100 yards in four different games including both matchups with the Los Angeles Chargers. In the playoffs, Kelce continued to be a generational talent, catching a touchdown in all three games and eclipsing 90 yards each time.

No.9: Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams

One could argue that Kupp should be even higher. His 2021 season, including the playoffs, is the best season that any receiver has ever had. Kupp totaled 2,425 yards and 22 touchdowns. He had at least five catches in every game, and his worst game of the season was a scoreless 64-yard effort. He had 19 games with at least 92 yards with a ludicrous 13 games with over 100. Kupp won the Offensive Player of the Year and the Super Bowl MVP to cap off a once-in-a-generation season.

No.8: Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings

Jefferson was one of the best receivers in the NFL as a rookie. In Year 2, Jefferson took another step and set career bests across the board. Jefferson added 20 catches, 216 yards, and seven touchdowns to finish with a 108-1,616-10 line and another second-team All-Pro nod. Jefferson had seven 100-yard games, helping the Vikings to a 5-2 record in said games. Jefferson is on track to become the best receiver in the NFL if the next player on the list shows any decline.

No.7: Davante Adams, Wide Receiver, Las Vegas Raiders

Adams made his second All-Pro team in a row with an explosive 123-1,553-11 line. He also had 90 yards in the Packers’ lone playoff game. There were two distinct halves to Adams’ season. Before he missed Week 8 and Aaron Rodgers missed Week 9, Adams was on pace for 106-1,807-7. From Week 11 to Week 17, Adams was on pace for 147-1,796-23. Adams is the best receiver in the NFL, and he will get to shine with a new quarterback in 2022.

No.6: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers

When Rodgers was in a rhythm, he unveiled one of the most magical quarterback seasons in NFL history. After Week 1, Rodgers had 37 touchdowns to just two interceptions, posting a 116.1 passer rating. Rodgers did have a midseason bout with COVID and a rough return the next week, but he closed the season with 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last seven games. Rodgers will be without Adams now, but he is playing the position at such a high level even without one of the game’s best players flanking him.

No.5: Joel Bitonio, Interior Offensive Lineman, Cleveland Browns

Bitonio had an otherworldly season at left guard for the Browns. However, the stretch that proved Bitonio’s worth was Week 15 and Week 16, two weeks that he kicked out to left tackle. After finishing week after week as the highest-graded left guard in football, Bitonio played two weeks as the highest-graded left tackle. As chaos festered around him, Bitonio played the best football of his career regardless of the position.

No.4: Cameron Heyward, Interior Defensive Lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite entering his age-32 season, Heyward continued to be a monster on the interior. He made his third All-Pro in five seasons and recorded ten sacks for the second time in his career. Heyward had his fifth consecutive season with at least 59 pressures, and he had a stellar 89.8 run-defense grade. He may get overshadowed by the top two players on the list, but Heyward is as good as it gets.

No.3: Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle, San Francisco 49ers

After 10 seasons in the NFL, Williams finally peaked. He made his first All-Pro team and tacked on his ninth Pro Bowl. While his run-blocking stole the headlines (for good reason), Williams had his best season as a pass protector, posting a career-best 98.2 pass-blocking efficiency. He trimmed some of the penalty issues that had plagued him in his last few seasons and put together an all-time season by a tackle. Williams could be on a path to Canton.

No.2: T.J. Watt, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Watt made his third straight All-Pro team, led the NFL in sacks for the second year in a row, and finally won Defensive Player of the Year. Watt lived in the offense’s backfield, racking up a tied NFL record of 22.5 sacks and a league-best 21 tackles for loss. He forced five fumbles and deflected seven passes. Watt had a historic season, and he will have a shot at the sack record if he takes advantage of the 17-game season.

No.1: Aaron Donald, Interior Defensive Lineman

When all the chips were on the table, Donald made the play to win the Super Bowl. His 109th and final pressure of the season proved to be the difference between a gut-wrenching touchdown pass and a point to Donald’s ring finger. After another elite regular season, Donald ascended to another level to post 23 pressures and 3.5 sacks in the playoffs. Then, after being shut out in Super Bowl 53, Donald posted two sacks in Super Bowl 56 and cemented his place as the NFL’s best player.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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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