Splash’s Top 100 (2020): Players 20-11

Splash's Top 100 (2020)

No. 20: Tyreek Hill, Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs:

Hill is one of 28 players to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. His last three nods have come as a wide receiver, including an All-Pro nod in 2018. Hill is one of the fastest players in the NFL, and he routinely shows off his absurd speed. In four seasons, he has 44 total touchdowns (including playoffs). He has 17 touchdowns of at least 50 yards with 12 of those coming from scrimmage. With his speed, Hill does not need to be the most refined receiver, but he has made massive strides. He is no longer “just a gadget player;” he is one of the best receivers in the sport.

No. 19: Brandon Brooks, Interior Offensive Line, Philadelphia Eagles:

Brooks tore his Achilles over the off-season, and he will likely miss the entire 2020 season. Brooks was coming off his best season with the Eagles, earning an All-Pro spot from Pro Football Focus. The three-time Pro Bowler will be sorely missed as the Eagles have been ravaged with offensive line injuries in camp. Brooks will be 32 before he plays in another game, and he might have lost his peak season.

No. 18: Tre’Davious White, Cornerback, Buffalo Bills:

White cobbled together strong 2017 and 2018 seasons, but he had a spotlight breakout in 2019. He tied for the NFL lead in interceptions, nabbing six. He went from elite in coverage (71.8 passer rating allowed) to otherworldly (45.0) in 2019. Famous for his goalie academy, White translated his goalie skills to the gridiron with 17 pass deflections. Coming into his age-25 season, White will have a decade of elite play ahead of him. If Stephon Gilmore slips slightly, White will blow by him and become the unquestioned top cornerback in the NFL. White should make his second-straight All-Pro team in 2020.

No. 17: T.J. Watt, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers:

Watt was unstoppable in 2019. He had a league-high eight forced fumbles to go along with 14.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 59 pressures. He earned his second Pro Bowl spot, and he was an All-Pro. Watt finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting, trailing the aforementioned Gilmore and Chandler Jones. Moving forward, Watt should be penciled in for 10 sacks per season for the next five years. He will be a Pro Bowl regular and could vie for All-Pros and Defensive Player of the Year awards. He may not be the best Watt brother historically, but he will be terrorizing defenses unlike few in the NFL can for the next half-decade.

No. 16: Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks:

The de facto 2019 MVP runner up was phenomenal again in 2019. Wilson topped 30 touchdowns for the third season, fueling a Seattle offense that finished top 10 in scoring and yardage. He led the NFL in fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives. His 99.4 passer rating in the fourth quarter was only bested by Matt Ryan among those with 150 attempts. The six-time Pro Bowler made his first AP All-Pro second-team in 2019, but PFF noted him as their first-teamer. The future Hall of Famer should be spectacular once again in 2020, and he could even receive an MVP vote for the first time in his career.

No. 15: Ronnie Stanley, Offensive Tackle, Baltimore Ravens:

After three years of being a solid left tackle, Stanley was special in 2019. According to PFF, he allowed zero sacks in 938 offensive snaps, posting a grade of 88.5. In pass protection, he earned a 93.3 grade, a mark that would be first even if the sample was limited to “true pass sets” as described by PFF. Stanley made his first Pro Bowl and first All-Pro team in 2019, capping off a breakout campaign for the 2016 first-rounder. Stanley should be a force at left tackle for the better part of the next decade. With Marshal Yanda retiring, Stanley will join Orlando Brown as the stars of Baltimore’s future offensive lines.

No. 14: DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals:

Hopkins has rattled off three-straight All-Pro seasons. Houston traded Hopkins to Arizona in the off-season, netting a second-round pick and David Johnson. Hopkins will surely make the trade one of the worst in NFL history as he is entering his physical prime, and he has Kyler Murray to work with. He has flirted with 1,600 receiving yards in past seasons, but he could hit that mark in a high powered Arizona offense. Arizona has many mouths to feed in the passing game, but Hopkins will likely be in line for another 150-target season, which would be his sixth in a row.

No. 13: Quenton Nelson, Interior Offensive Line, Indianapolis Colts:

Nelson is one of seven players in NFL history to make two Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams in their first two seasons. Of the other six, four are enshrined in Canton, one is Devin Hester, and one is Keith Jackson. He is the only player in the 2018 draft class to already have two Pro Bowl selections, and he has two of the five All-Pro nods earned by first-round picks. Nelson is only 24, and he could go on a legendary tear among left guards if he continues to play at a high level. Nelson will look to join Jackson, Earl Campbell, Lawrence Taylor, and Barry Sanders as the only players to start their career with three-straight All-Pro selections.

No. 12: Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons:

Jones surprisingly has not been an All-Pro since 2016, but he ranks first in receiving yards over the last three seasons. His 1,394 yards in 2019 ranked second in the NFL, the sixth-straight year he has been in the top three in receiving yards. Jones owns five of the top 100 seasons in terms of receiving yards, posting the second-most in 2015 and 13th-most in 2018. He has been maligned for his lack of touchdowns, but he has had at least six in five of the last six seasons, tied for the most such seasons with Antonio Brown and the previously mentioned Hopkins. Jones should have another massive season for the Falcons in 2020.

No. 11: Chandler Jones, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals:

A common answer to the question “who is the most underrated player in the NFL,” Jones has double-digit sacks in six of the last seven seasons. He has 96.0 career sacks, the most since 2012. He is a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. Jones’s 19.0 sacks in 2019 have only been bettered by 16 players (including J.J. Watt twice). Jones should have even more sack opportunities in 2020 as Isaiah Simmons and Jordan Hicks will take over on some of Jones’s coverage snaps. Jones became just the third player to have a pair of 4.0-sack games in a season. He is looking to have another big season as the Cardinals aim to make the playoffs.

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