The folks at NFL Network revealed their annual rankings of the top 100 players in the league this week and – unsurprisingly – the reigning Super Bowl Champions were well-represented.
Kansas City landed six players in this year’s “NFL Top 100,” which are voted on by current players from around the league. The Chiefs’ six representatives were tied for the second-most of any team and made it four times in the last five years that Kansas City featured six or more players in the annual rankings.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes earned Kansas City’s highest ranking, slotting in at No. 4 overall behind Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson, Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson and Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Many of the experts believed Mahomes should have been even higher considering the unprecedented run he’s amassed to begin his career, but based on Mahomes’ tweet following the reveal, this is only motivation to achieve further heights.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) July 30, 2020
Tight end Travis Kelce is the next-highest member of the Chiefs on the list at No. 18. Kelce – who became the first tight end in NFL history to tally four-consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 – led all tight ends in catches (97) and receiving yards (1,229) last season while playing a critical role in Kansas City’s march to a title.
Another offensive playmaker checked in on the rankings just a few spots later, too, as wide receiver Tyreek Hill landed at No. 22. Hill is widely considered the most explosive player in the NFL and has the numbers to back it up, as his 21 touchdowns of at least 40 yards are the most in the NFL since 2016 by a whopping 11 scores. Hill also has the most multi-touchdown receiving games (7) of any player in the league since 2017 and still managed to haul in seven scoring grabs in 2019 despite missing four games of action.
The heart and soul of the Chiefs’ defense, safety Tyrann Mathieu, also appeared in the upper half of the rankings at No. 39. Mathieu did a little bit of everything for Kansas City’s defense in 2019, and as the regular season hit the homestretch, there was simply nobody better at his position. In fact, from Week 10 through the Super Bowl, Mathieu was the only safety in the NFL to record at least three interceptions and three pass-breakups without allowing a touchdown in coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. Additionally, he yielded the fewest yards-per-catch of any safety with 20+ targets in the league during that stretch.
Sticking on that side of the ball, defensive tackle Chris Jones cracked the list at No. 52. Jones – who signed a contract extension with Kansas City earlier this month – has tallied the fifth-most quarterback hits (49) and sixth-most sacks (24.5) since the beginning of the 2018 campaign while establishing himself as one of the most productive and versatile pass-rushers in all of football.
Another pass-rusher then rounded out the Chiefs’ representatives as defensive end Frank Clark appeared at No. 95. Like Mathieu, Clark dominated when things mattered most in 2019 with 12 sacks, 14 tackles-for-loss and 18 quarterback hits from Week 7 through the Super Bowl. His five sacks in the postseason alone were the most by a single player during a playoff run since Denver Broncos’ linebacker Von Miller in 2015.
All six players played an invaluable role in the Chiefs’ first championship in a half-century, and better yet, each of them is primed for another strong season as Kansas City aims to defend its title.