Splash’s Top 100 (2022): Players 70-61

NFL Top 100

It’s time to identify the top 100 players in the NFL, this time Nos. 70 through 61. Be sure to check out the offensive honorable mentions and the defensive honorable mentions.

Previous Installments: 100-9190-81, 80-71

No. 70: Jeffery Simmons, Interior Defensive Lineman, Tennessee Titans

Simmons broke out in 2021, making his first Pro Bowl. He more than doubled his career marks in sacks, tackles for loss, and pressures, earning a second-team All-Pro spot. Simmons ranked fifth among interior players with 62 pressures, and his 11 sacks were second to Aaron Donald. Simmons had some struggles as a tackler, but he has delivered on much of the hype he entered the NFL with.

No. 69: Jonathan Allen, Interior Defensive Lineman, Washington Commanders

Allen is one of the four interior players who recorded more pressures than Simmons. The former first-round pick made his first Pro Bowl in 2021, posting 9.0 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. He earned a ridiculous 90.9 pass-rush grade en route to his career-best 84.9 overall grade. Even on a talented front, Allen is the best of the bunch. Allen recorded multiple pressures in all 17 games in 2021.

No. 68: Tom Brady, Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When Brady last led the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns, Calvin Johnson was a rookie. Johnson played his entire career, waited the necessary years for Hall of Fame induction, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame just in time for Brady’s age-44 masterpiece. Brady was second in MVP voting, the seventh time he has finished inside the top seven. Despite his advanced age, Brady has shown no signs of slowing down.

No. 67: Chris Lindstrom, Interior Offensive Lineman, Atlanta Falcons

Lindstrom is a human bulldozer. After two steady seasons as a run blocker, he became one of the best in the game, posting an 87.6 run-blocking grade in 2021. The only primary guards that beat Lindstrom out were the 2021 All-Pros and Wyatt Teller (2020 All-Pro). While Lindstrom is generally regarded as a superior run blocker, he managed to go the entire 2021 season without allowing a sack. That’s 1,034 total snaps, for those keeping track.

No. 66: Justin Tucker, Kicker, Baltimore Ravens

Tucker celebrated his 10th season in the NFL by accomplishing two goals. First, he drained a record-setting 66-yard field goal in Week 3 (hence his placement). Second, he led the NFL in field goal percentage for the first time. 2021 was Tucker’s sixth season with a 90 percent conversion rate and his sixth in a row with a mark of 89.7 percent or higher. He is now a five-time All-Pro, extending the record for kickers.

No. 65: Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Minnesota Vikings

Despite missing multiple games in each season, Cook has rattled off three consecutive seasons with at least 1,100 yards. Cook is the only player in the NFL to hit this milestone in all three seasons. He has finished 10th, second, and fifth in rushing in those seasons. Cook has made three Pro Bowls in a row, and he is second in the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns since 2019.

No. 64: De’Vondre Campbell, Linebacker, Green Bay Packers

After years of serviceable play, Campbell became the best linebacker in the NFL in one of the stranger storylines of the season. He was a first-time All-Pro and captain of the Pro Bowl snubs. The 2016 Day 3 pick tied his career-highs in interceptions and sacks, but he made his money as a sensational run defender. He had a career-best 146 tackles (102 solos). Campbell missed just 2.9 percent of tackles en route to a 90.4 tackling grade, the second-best in the NFL (Jimmie Ward). He also earned an 82.0 run-defense grade and an 81.5 coverage grade.

No. 63: Budda Baker, Safety, Arizona Cardinals

Baker continues to produce. In five seasons, he has made four Pro Bowls and a pair of All-Pro teams. In 2021, he had three interceptions, seven passes defended, and a pair of sacks. He was a chess piece for the Cardinals’ defense, playing at least 250 snaps in both safety roles as well as 111 snaps in the slot. He allowed a career-best 78.6 passer rating when in coverage.

No. 62: Jason Kelce, Interior Offensive Lineman, Philadelphia Eagles

Kelce has made either the Pro Bowl or the All-Pro team in six consecutive seasons, earning both nods in 2021. 2022 might be his final season, but there has been no noticeable drop in play. Kelce has earned a 79.0 or better run-blocking grade in six straight seasons and eight of the last nine. In 2021, he allowed Jalen Hurts to be hit just once – a sack. If 2022 is his final year, expect him to go out with another epic season.

No. 61: Corey Linsley, Interior Offensive Lineman, Los Angeles Chargers

Linsley is coming off back-to-back stellar seasons. He was a first-time All-Pro in 2020, and he made his first Pro Bowl in 2021. He has allowed one sack in his last 2,100 snaps, including a perfect 2021 season. Linsley has posted 82.8 or better grades in both run-blocking and pass-blocking in each of the last two seasons. He proved 2020 was not a fluke, and he has established himself on the elite tier of centers.

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Embed from Getty Images

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