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Top 100 NFL Players of 2021: Patrick Mahomes holds on to No. 1 spot, Josh Allen rockets into top 10

Quarterbacks drive the NFL in every way imaginable. 

Now it’s more than ever. It’s why they are pushing back against their employers, with quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson all hinting that playing for another team might be a good option.

That’s because their importance and value has never been greater, especially in an era of wide-open football. 

My 2021 NFL Top 100 list is just more proof of that.

There are five quarterbacks in the top 10, with Patrick Mahomes at the top. The others are Rodgers, Tom Brady, Wilson and Josh Allen. That doesn’t even include Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, who was a top 10 player last year after earning MVP honors in 2019.

When he was seventh on my list last year, I wrote about how quickly things change in this league. He wasn’t even on the list the year before. This year, that’s Allen of the Buffalo Bills.

He was nowhere on my list last year, even though I thought he had a chance to make big strides in 2020. I just didn’t think he’d make the strides that he did. Now he’s 10th on this list.

I did have a Josh Allen on the list last year — but it was Josh Allen of the Jaguars, who didn’t come close to playing to that level in 2020 as injuries hurt his numbers. 

Buffalo’s Allen is now an MVP candidate, even if there are some out there who still wonder if he’s a one-hit wonder. They shouldn’t. He’s a star now, one of the many who make up this list. 

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In addition to the five quarterbacks in the top 10, there are nine other quarterbacks on the list. That’s a total of 14, or almost half of the starters in the league.

Quarterbacks rule the NFL, and they always have. 

Now there is no doubt about it.

Stefon Diggs 
Graphic by Mike Meredith
Christian McCaffrey
Graphic by Mike Meredith
DeAndre Hopkins
Graphic by Mike Meredith
Dak Prescott
Graphic by Mike Meredith
Shaq Barrett 
Graphic by Mike Meredith
Calvin Ridley
Graphic by Mike Meredith
Tre’Davious White 
Graphic by Mike Meredith
Saquon Barkley
Graphic by Mike Meredith
Joe Burrow
Graphic by Mike Meredith

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