Splash’s Top 100 (2022): Players 30-21

Nick Chubb, Top 100

It’s time to identify the top 100 players in the NFL, this time Nos. 30 through 21. 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

No. 30: Mark Andrews, Tight End, Baltimore Ravens

After slipping down the tight end hierarchy in 2020, Andrews bounced back with an All-World 2021 season. He led all tight ends in receptions and receiving yards and tied for the lead in touchdowns. Andrews also set a franchise record for receiving yards in a season. He was solid for the whole year, but he elevated his game during the final month. Andrews enters 2022 as the reigning All-Pro tight end, and he is the de facto top wide receiver in the Ravens’ offense.

No. 29: George Kittle, Tight End, San Francisco 49ers

Kittle continues to dominate the league in his usual two-way fashion. Kittle is among the best run blockers at the position, often acting as a sixth offensive lineman. In the receiving game, Kittle set a career-high with six touchdowns, and he had 910 yards. Kittle made his third Pro Bowl in four seasons, and he should compete for another nod in the upcoming season.

No. 28: Jonathan Taylor, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts

Taylor won the rushing triple crown with a ridiculous 332-1,811-18 line. He also had the league’s longest rush. Taylor’s 2,171 scrimmage yards and 20 total touchdowns both led the league. He made his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro team. Taylor finished second in Offensive Player of the Year voting to Cooper Kupp. Taylor was the perfect blend of efficiency (5.5 yards per carry) and volume (19.5 carries per game), elevating him to elite status.

No. 27: Derrick Henry, Running Back, Tennessee Titans

In eight games, Henry posted 937 yards on 219 carries, scoring 10 touchdowns. Henry was just the eighth back in league history to have 900 yards and 10 touchdowns through eight team games. He had three three-touchdown games during that span, too. Henry was on pace for 465 carries, 1,991 yards, and 21 touchdowns, all tallies that would have led the NFL over Taylor. He even added a passing touchdown for good measure. His efficiency took a bit of a hit, but it was still healthy.

No. 26: AJ Terrell, Cornerback, Atlanta Falcons

Terrell had a breakout season for the ages. Sadly, Pro Bowl and All-Pro voters turned their brains off, and they awarded Terrell with just a second-team nod. Terrell was second in PFF coverage grade to Jalen Ramsey and second in passer rating allowed to Rasul Douglas. Terrell allowed a ludicrous completion rate of just 43.9 percent. Only Kristian Fulton joined Terrell under 50 percent. He had three interceptions, 16 pass deflections, and a forced fumble.

No. 25: Nick Chubb, Running Back, Cleveland Browns

Chubb rattled off his third season in a row with at least 1,000 rushing yards. He continued to be the epitome of efficiency, surpassing 5.5 yards per carry for the second season in a row. Since 2019, Chubb is on a 17-game pace for 1,546 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Browns do not use him as a receiver much, but he did tack on a receiving touchdown and 174 yards. Chubb is the best running back in the NFL.

No. 24: Micah Parsons, EDGE and Linebacker, Dallas Cowboys

Parsons is an alien. In his rookie season, he posted a scarcely believable 13.0 sacks, 84 total tackles, three pass deflections, and three forced fumbles. He had such an excellent season that he could have been an All-Pro as an edge or as a linebacker. He ran away with Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he was second in Defensive Player of the Year. Parsons led all players in pass-rushing grade last season regardless of snap count or position.

No. 23: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Green Bay Packers

Gary’s sack numbers might have lagged, but he finished third in the NFL in pressures. If the All-Pro team was solely based on pressures, it would have been Gary on the first team rather than Myles Garrett or T.J. Watt. Gary had at least four pressures in 13 of 16 games played. He posted at least five pressures in 10 different games, and he maxed out with 10 pressures in Week 7. From Week 14 to Week 18, Gary had 31 pressures, good for a 17-week pace of 105.

No. 22: Chris Jones, Interior Defensive Lineman, Kansas City Chiefs

After a failed early-season experiment on the edge, Jones moved back inside and resumed his domination. Among interior players, Jones was third in pressures. However, he had a higher pressure rate than second place (Jonathan Allen) and had more batted passes than the top two combined (Allen and Aaron Donald). The Mississippi State product even missed three games, so he missed perhaps a dozen pressures. His best performance was a 10-pressure game in a shellacking of the Las Vegas Raiders.

No. 21: Joey Bosa, EDGE, Los Angeles Chargers

Bosa made his fourth Pro Bowl in six seasons, crossing the 10-sack plateau for the fourth time. He recorded 69 pressures, and he had a 90.0 pass-rush grade for the fourth time in five seasons. He was not quite the run defender he was in 2020, but he made up for it with seven forced fumbles, more than doubling his first five seasons combined. With Khalil Mack on the other side, Bosa could be even more productive in 2022.

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