We’ll be breaking down the top 100 players in the NFL. The #80-71 spot is highlighted by reliable receivers and budding defensive players.
#71. Denzel Ward – Cleveland Browns
Ward made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2018 and did so again in 2021 with an impressive 99 yard interception return for a touchdown in week 9 against division rival Cincinnati. Ward stepped up to the plate in not only this game but throughout the season and has helped turn the Cleveland Browns defense around.
#72. Rashan Gary – Green Bay Packers
Over the last 3 seasons, Gary has become a leader on the Packers defense. Despite not making a Pro Bowl yet and only being in the league for 3 seasons, he’s been seen as a veteran presence on this defense. With the Packers investing heavily on defense in the draft, Gary will be the stronghold in the middle of the field.
#73. Tee Higgins – Cincinnati Bengals
With one more year of experience than Waddle, Tee Higgins edges him out solely due to experience. Higgins and Waddle both have had a good start to their careers, but both lose out to fellow Bengals teammate Jamar Chase.
#74. Jaylen Waddle – Miami Dolphins
After only one season in the league, Waddle enters this list in the 74th spot. Waddle broke the record for the most receptions by a rookie in a single season with 104. He did that while also getting over 1,000 yards with Tua Tagovailoa as his quarterback. Waddle didn’t break out until a few weeks until the season but once he did, he was the clear #1 option on the Dolphins offense and needed to be double covered in most games which speaks volumes about a rookie.
#75. Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders
Posting career high numbers in 2021, Derek Carr finished the season with the 5th most passing yards in the league after leading earlier on in the season. Carr was without Darren Waller for a portion of the season and has turned Hunter Renfrow into a viable threat. Paired up with college teammate Davante Adams, we may very well see Derek Carr rise up this list even further.
#76. Matt Judon – New England Patriots
Setting the record for Division II sacks, Judon was a stud at Grand Valley State and was selected in the 5th round of the 2016 draft by the Ravens. After becoming a staple on the defensive line and making a Pro Bowl, Judon took his talents to New England and has slowly become one of the better lineman in the league racking up sack numbers.
#77. Tyrann Mathieu – New Orleans Saints
With Marcus Williams leaving in free agency, the Saints needed secondary help and hope that the honey badger returning to his hometown will be the perfect combination. Mathieu is coming off a pro bowl season with the Chiefs and is going to bring veteran leadership to a defense in need of improvement.
#78. Marcus Williams – Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens snagged Marcus Williams as he was testing the waters in free agency. This was a great signing by the Ravens who also stole Kyle Hamiltion in the draft giving them the best secondary in the league.
#79. Brandin Cooks – Houston Texans
Arguably one of the most underrated players over the last decade, Cooks has been consistently a reliable receiver. Somehow Cooks has never made a Pro Bowl in his career which is very surprising for someone who’s put up multiple 1,000 yard campaigns even with the quarterbacks he’s dealt with.
#80. DJ Moore – Carolina Panthers
In his 4 years in the NFL, Moore has gone through multiple quarterbacks who are below average. Despite this, he’s still been able to put up 3 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons which the Panthers quickly picked up his 5th year option and then signed an extension to stay with the team for 3 more years.
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