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NFL Player Rankings by Position 2021

Ranking the best NFL players by position 2020 - 2021 season at Quarterback, Tight End, Defensive End, Middle Linebacker, and more

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By Fan Rankings | June 12, 2022 - 10:49 PM

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Patrick Mahomes II

Team: Kansas City Chiefs
2020 Stats: 4,740 YDS, 38 TD, 6 INT, 66.3 Cmp%, 108.2 QB Rating

Mahomes will have a new sense of motivation after his Super Bowl 55 win. The Kansas City Chiefs became better with an improved line with Orlando Brown Jr. and Joe Thuney. Mahomes has had the best start to a career for a QB in NFL history and I feel that he will have the same season as 2018.

 

Runner up: Aaron Rodgers 

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks 2021 Rankings 




Running Back

Derrick Henry

Team: Tennessee Titans
2020 Stats: 378 Rush, 2027 Yds, 17 TD

The one concern I have for the Offensive Player of the Year is if the workload can catch up to him as the main weapon. Henry has carried the ball 681 times in the last two seasons. There was a sharp decline historically after a 2,000 yard season.

 

Runner up: Nick Chubb

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Running Backs 2021 Rankings 




Wide Receiver

Davante Adams

Team: Green Bay Packers
2020 Stats: 115 Rec, 1374 Yds, 18 TD

Adams is Aaron Rodgers's best weapon and one of the main reasons why the Packers are one of the main contenders to Tampa in the NFC. Adams had 115 catches for 1,374 yards and had a league-leading 18 touchdowns last season. Adams gets the #1 spot on this list because he operates without a consistent number two option in the Packer’s offense.

 

Runner up: Tyreek Hill

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Wide Receiver 2021 Rankings




Tight End

Travis Kelce

Team: Kansas City Chiefs
2020 Stats: 105 Rec, 1,416 Yds, 11 TD, 13.5 Avg

Kelce leads all tight ends in receiving yards in the past two seasons, including setting the single season record of 1,416 yards last season. Kelce's ability to run after the catch is the best from a tight end in league history. Kelce is about two elite seasons away from securing a hall of fame career once he retires.

 

Runner up: George Kittle

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Tight End 2021 Rankings




Offensive Guard

Quinton Nelson

Team(s): Indianapolis Colts

Nelson has lived up to expectations in the 2018 draft as the best player regardless of position. Nelson has been PFF's MVP at guard in each season he has been in the NFL.

 

Runner up: Zach Martin

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Offensive Guard 2021 Rankings




Center

Corey Linsley

Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Linsley got paid to protect Aaron Rodgers and now he is protecting Justin Herbert. He has graded out in the 80 percentile in each season since 2014 when he came into the NFL.

 

Runner up: Rodney Hudson

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Center 2021 Rankings




Offensive Tackle

Trent Williams

Team(s): San Francisco 49ers

After sitting out the 2019 season, Williams proved that he is still the best at his position posting a 91.8 PFF grade. What makes him the top tackle in the league is his whopping 91.8 runs blocking grade. Williams last season proved that he is a gold jacket caliber type of tackle.

 

Runner up: David Bakthiari

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Offensive Tackle 2021 Rankings



DEFENSE

Defensive End

Myles Garrett

Team: Cleveland Browns
2020 Stats: 33 Solo, 12 Sacks, 4 FF, 0 INT

Garrett has the chance to overtake Aaron Donald as the best defensive player in the NFL. Garrett will be lining up across from Jadeveon Clowney to help take the pressure off.

 

Runner up: Chandler Jones

Related Link: Top 10 Defensive End 2021 Rankings




Outside Linebacker

T.J. Watt

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 Stats: 43 Solo, 15 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT

Watt led the NFL in sacks in 2020 with 15 and was second for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, losing out to Aaron Donald. Only Donald and Chandler Jones have bested J.J. Watt's younger brother who has 47.5 sacks since 2017. Furthermore, Watt's 111 QB hits are second only to Aaron Donald. Watt has graded at a 91.3 and 91.6 respectively.

 

Runner up: Khalil Mack

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Outside Linebacker 2021 Rankings




Defensive Tackle

Aaron Donald

Team: Los Angeles Rams
2020 Stats: 27 Solo, 13.5 Sacks, 4 FF

Aaron Donald is the most dominant interior lineman that the league has seen since Reggie White. He leads the league in sacks, pressures, and pass rush wins without pressure. He can play on a four-man line, a three-man line, nose tackle it doesn't matter. Donald is on his way to being one of the best defensive players of all time regardless of position.

 

Runner up: Deforest Buckner

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackle 2021 Rankings




Middle Linebacker

Bobby Wagner

Team: Seattle Seahawks
2020 Stats: 81 Solo, 3 Sacks, 0 FF

Wagner has been the most consistent man at middle linebacker since he came into the NFL in 2012. He is great in run coverage, support, and now he has become one of the best blitzers from the MLB position. Wagner has been a key player of the Seahawks defense post-Legion of Boom era and he will be the best bet to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame out of this iconic unit.

 

Runner up: Fred Warner

Related Link: Top 10 Middle Linebacker 2021 Rankings




Cornerback

Jalen Ramsey

Team: Los Angeles Rams
2020 Stats: 1 INT, 2 YDS, 36 SOLO

Ramsey has never had a PFF coverage grade of lower than 70 in his first five seasons in the NFL. He talks a lot of trash, but he can back it up by using his size and technique to cover almost any receiver in the NFL. Ramsey is more than likely the best run defender at the position and that makes him the complete package.

 

Runner up: Jaire Alexander

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Cornerback 2021 Rankings




Free Safety

Justin Simmons

Team: Denver Broncos
2020 Stats: 5 INT, 90 YDS, 0 FF, 77 SOLO, 0 TD

Simmons is the only free safety that has a PFF grade of over 90 over the past two seasons. Over the past three seasons, Simmons has recorded at minimum 85 tackles, recorded 12 total interceptions, and broke up 28 passes. Simmons is the complete package for an NFL free safety for the 2021 season.

Runner up: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Related Links: Top 10 NFL Free Safeties 2021 Rankings




Strong Safety

Tyrann Mathieu

Team: Kansas City Chiefs
2020 Stats: 6 INT, 48 SOLO, 1 TD

Mathieu has been a difference-maker in the Kansas City Chiefs' defense because of his versatility and his ability to make the big plays in the most opportune times. He has recorded 10 interceptions and has 25 passes defended over the past two seasons.

 

Runner Up: Harrison Smith

Related Link: Top 10 NFL Strong Safeties 2021 Rankings

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