#90: Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Cleveland Browns:
Ward had a very good rookie season. Despite being heralded as a bust after being drafted at No.4 in the 2018 draft, Ward established himself as one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL, anchoring the back end of an improving Cleveland defense. Moving forward, Ward can look to climb up the list as he develops a consistent lockdown mentality which the elite cornerbacks have.
#89: Melvin Gordon, Running Back, Los Angeles Chargers:
Gordon finally solved the enigma that was the four yards per carry barrier in 2019. However, he could not repeat his 16-game performance in the season, missing four games. Gordon places on the list due to a relatively shallow depth of running back talents, but Gordon has shown he belongs. If he can replicate his 5.1 yards per carry in a full slate of 2019 games, prepare for the Chargers to cruise to the top seed in the AFC.
#88: Dee Ford, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers:
The former Chief enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2018. While he recorded his second double-digit sack season in three years, he added a ridiculous seven forced fumbles. Ford got a hefty payday from the Niners after a trade sent him out of Missouri. If Ford can have a healthy and productive 2019, the 49ers should be in play for a playoff spot. Consistency and health will be the keys for Ford in his Niners career as Ford has missed 13 games in five seasons, and he must continue his production.
#87: Duane Brown, Offensive Tackle, Seattle Seahawks:
Seattle’s stalwart left tackle earned his highest approximate value rating in his 11-year career according to Pro Football Reference in 2018. While he was not recognized for his fifth Pro Bowl, Brown served as a catalyst for the Seattle rushing attack who posted the most yards in the NFL. In addition to the effective ground game, Brown possessed innate poise in pass protection, giving Russell Wilson a split-second to conjure more magic for the Seahawks.
#86: A.J. Bouye, Cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars:
Bouye returned to the stratosphere after a stellar 2017 campaign. While he was not nearly as good as he was in 2017, Bouye was still one of the best cornerbacks in football, especially in zone coverage. Playing alongside Jalen Ramsey helps, but Bouye held his own and contributed to the Jags remaining as a very strong defensive unit. If Bouye can flashback to his Pro Bowl form, the Jaguars might return to January football.
#85: A.J. Green, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals:
After seven consecutive Pro Bowl seasons to open his career, Green finally was not invited in 2018. While Green was very good when he played, he only registered nine appearances for the Bengals. Green may slip off the list in future lists as he ages and Tyler Boyd consumes more of the volume targets, but Green, when healthy, remains an elite option at wideout.
#84: Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Baltimore Ravens:
Humphrey enjoyed a continuation of his successful rookie season in 2018. As a key cog in the NFL’s second-best scoring defense, Humphrey has solidified himself as a tremendous cornerback who still has the potential to achieve in Baltimore. With some losses across the defense, the Ravens have put more faith in the newly-minted #44 in purple and black.
#83: Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers:
Roethlisberger was ridiculous in 2018. He led the NFL in completions and yards, managing to stave off a certain Patrick Mahomes. Health issues of recent years have quieted as Roethlisberger has played in 31 of 32 games, only missing a start in 2017 due to Week 17 rest. Without Antonio Brown for the first time since 2009, Roethlisberger must keep up his stellar form to carry the Steelers back into the land of playoff football in the 2019 season.
#82: T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts:
If Hilton could play every game against the Texans, he would be the best player on the list. When he plays against the other 30 teams, Hilton is as consistent as it gets. You can nearly write 1,000 yards and five touchdowns in sharpie if you predicted his stats. Hilton possesses an otherworldly blend of route running prowess and breakaway speed, collapsing defenses with the swiftness of a Roman Legion.
#81: Kevin Byard, Safety, Tennessee Titans:
Byard jumped out as one of the best safeties in the NFL in 2017. He regressed slightly in 2018, losing out to the other absurdly good safeties who have come into the NFL in the past few seasons. Byard continued to have success as a ballhawk, hauling in four interceptions. Maintaining the backbone of one of the best defenses in the NFL, Byard has staked his claim as one of the best, and he will need to preserve his place for the Titans to remain in the playoff hunt. Also, if Marcus Mariota suffers another season-ending injury, Byard could be utilized as an emergency quarterback based on the one time he threw a 66-yard touchdown on a fake punt.