On Sunday afternoon, one of the National Football League’s preseason traditions — the annual unveiling of the NFL Top 100, which is a ranking of the league’s best players as voted on by their peers — continued. Last Monday, we told you that safety Tyrann Mathieu was the first Kansas City Chiefs player to be named to the list, ranking 58th.
Three more groups of 10 players were revealed on Sunday. Two more Chiefs were among those named.
34. Chris Jones • DE • Kansas City Chiefs
It’s no coincidence Jones earns his highest Top 100 selection the season after securing a bag worthy of a franchise cornerstone. The Chiefs’ disruptive defensive tackle finished 2020 with 36 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 28 QB hits as part of a pass rush that sorely needed his tenacity. He also earned his second career Pro Bowl and All-Pro (second team) nods. Apart from that other behemoth in L.A., you’d be hard-pressed to find a more reliable interior defender than Jones.
15. Tyreek Hill • WR • Kansas City Chiefs
Hill set career-high marks in receptions (87) and receiving touchdowns (15) while gaining 1,276 yards and adding two more scores on the ground in 2020. After five playoff-rich seasons, the 27-year-old is starting to prove his consistency when it matters most. In three playoff games last year, Hill caught 21 balls for 355 yards and was a major factor in getting the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl. Regarded as the fastest player in the NFL, the 5-foot-10 ball of fire reigns as an elite downfield threat who requires the attention of more than one opposing defensive back. Hill improves seven spots in the Top 100 for his highest ranking yet.
Jones moved up a whopping 18 spots from his 2020 ranking, which sort of makes up for how poorly he was ranked a year ago — but not quite. What should be more interesting to see is how he is ranked a year from now. If defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s idea to move Jones from the inside to the outside based on opponent and game situation works as planned, Jones could become uber-disruptive in the coming season.
Meanwhile, Hill continues to shed his “gadget player” reputation among his peers. Reading NFL.com’s summary of his abilities, it’s hard to understand how he isn’t ranked among the league’s top 10 players. There’s a legitimate argument that he is the league’s top wideout — and yet, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs is ranked ahead of him at 11th — and there will likely be another wideout in the top 10.
But speaking of that top 10... two Chiefs have not yet been named to 2021’s Top 100. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but their names are spelled T-r-a-v-i-s-K-e-l-c-e and P-a-t-r-i-c-k-M-a-h-o-m-e-s.