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Steven Cheah's NFL Top 100 Players in 2022: #41 - #70

Continuing my week-long series of the NFL's Top 100 Players for the upcoming season. I have vetted this complete list with a couple people inside the league with different teams whose jobs it is to evaluate players, so I think this is a pretty good water mark for how the league stacks these their Top 100. 

#11-#40 will come out tomorrow, but if you missed it, check out:

#71-#100

Note - This list is exempt of any Rookies and other Players that played zero games in 2021 due to either injury or suspensions.

70) S Antoine Winfield - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2021 Rank: NR)

Winfield was a 2nd round pick two years ago and garnered immediate attention giving Tyreek Hill the dueces in Super Bowl LV. Winfield followed that up with a Pro Bowl season in Year 2 where he made plays all over the field. Despite his lack of ideal height at 5'9", he can still climb the ladder and make plays when needed.

69) RB Alvin Kamara - New Orleans Saints (2021 Rank: 22)

This is a tough one as Kamara may be suspended for a six weeks, but the court case is still seven or so weeks from happening and the NFL hasn't levied any suspension as of yet. If the case gets delayed there is a chance he could avoid suspension, so I can't leave him off the list. On the field, Kamara is a gamebreaker. Not only is he a good runner and pass blocker, but he is a matchup nightmare as a Receiver. To the extent where he does not have any peers at the RB position. Look at how the Saints creates mismatches with him:

68) WR DK Metcalf - Seattle Seahawks (2021 Rank: 37)

Metcalf has a reputation based on his Combine of only being able to run fast in a straight line, but he's so much more than that. He's turned into a good route runner. He was much higher in last year's rankings, but he struggled with Russell Wilson missing some games this past season. Going into 2022 with Drew Lock expected to start at QB can he get back to producing at an elite level?

67) OG Wyatt Teller - Cleveland Browns (2021 Rank: 40)

If you're even tangentially aware of the NFL Film Community, you've certainly come across a Wyatt Teller pancake block when scrolling your twitter timeline. But he's so much more than that. He's an excellent pass protector too. Watch him get beat initially here and still keep his QB clean. Elite recovery.

66) CB Marshon Lattimore - New Orleans Saints (2021 Rank: NR)

Lattimore has been in the league five years and made five Pro Bowls. He continued to prove that he's sticky in coverage and not afraid to tackle as he finished 2021 with career-highs in PBUs (19) and tackles (68). 

65) S Derwin James Jr. - Los Angeles Chargers (2021 Rank: NR)

After an injury plagued 2019 and missing the entire 2020 season, James returned to Pro Bowl form in 2021 and set a career-high in tackles (118). He's the anchor of the backend of a LOADED Chargers defense in 2022 so hopefully he can stay healthy as they're primed for a huge year in the City of Stars.

64) CB Marlon Humphrey - Baltimore Ravens (2021 Rank: 36)

Humphrey is down 28 spots from last year's list after failing to finish the season with a torn pec. He saw a dip in forced fumbles, which has kind of been his calling card, falling from 8 to just 1 last season, but he's still a lights out player. Probably better than anyone in the league, he executes the 'Peanut Punch' (which he's re-named the 'Fruit Punch') to perfection. I'm expecting him to get back on track in 2022. 

63) EDGE Robert Quinn - Chicago Bears (2021 Rank: NR)

Robert Quinn has had a weird career. He's had five double-digit sack seasons but was coming off of a 2.0 sack season in 2020 in his first season with Chicago. He ratcheted that up to 18.5 in 2021 with a monster year, finishing second in the NFL in sacks. He's an incredible speed rusher and really started the jumping cross chop that Aaron Donald has since perfected. Chicago felt so good about him, they were ok dealing Khalil Mack this offseason. Can he continue to produce with all eyes on him in 2022?

62) OG Quenton Nelson - Indianapolis Colts (2021 Rank: 42)

My guy Q has been a mainstay in the Pro Bowl making it each of his first four years in the league. But he failed to be a 1st Team All-Pro last year for the first time. He was hampered by an ankle injury and went on IR for a stretch last year. The expectations are large with a statuesque Matt Ryan now under Center this season and a young stud in the backfield in Jonathan Taylor, but Nelson will surely answer the call. A fun wrinkle from last season was Q scoring TDs last year (although this was unfortunately reversed).

61) WR Terry McLaurin - Washington Commanders (2021 Rank: NR)

Scary Terry just got PAID with a 3-year extension worth up to $71M and he deserved it. Coming out of Ohio State, his route running or speed was never in question, but more his durability. Well he's been plenty durable in the NFL and played all 17 games in 2020. With Carson Wentz at the helm, I'm looking for McLaurin to set a career-high in both receiving yardage and touchdowns this season.

60) C Jordan Poyer - Buffalo Bills (2021 Rank: NR)

Last year I left Poyer off my Top 100 list. His wife, Rachel Bush took umbrage with that. She had her reasons, which I respect and this year, her husband left no doubt. He's clearly one of the top Safeties in the league after his 5 INT, 3.0 sack, and 8 TFL season and making 1st Team All-Pro in 2021. Poyer proved he can both knock you out and also make plays on the ball and with Hyde (#78 on the list) form the best Safety duo in the league. 

59) EDGE Trey Hendrickson - Cincinnati Bengals (2021 Rank: NR)

Hendrickson was one of the few guys the continually cap strapped Saints let walk in Free Agency last season after registering 13.5 sacks for New Orleans in 2020. When he signed a 4-year $60M deal with Cincinnati, the expectation around the league was it was an overpay. But Hendrickson proved he's the real deal with a 14.0 sack season for the AFC Champion Bengals. He's a technician off the EDGE and can beat you in a number of way.

58) CB Darius Slay Jr - Philadelphia Eagles (2021 Rank: NR)

In addition to his normal sticky coverage, he lived up to his nickname "Big Play Slay" with a career-high 3 Defensive Touchdowns in 2021. With a retooled Eagles team looking to make waves this season I'm expecting Slay to continue to play at a very high level.

57) WR CeeDee Lamb - Dallas Cowboys (2021 Rank: NR)

Lamb had a strong rookie season in 2020 with 74 catches for 935 yards and 5 TDs, but he followed that up with an even bigger sophomore season with 79 catches for 1,102 yards and 6 TDs. He's physical and a nightmare with the ball in his hands. With Dallas trading Amari Cooper to Cleveland this off-season, it's Lamb's show in Big D and I'm expecting him to deliver big. 

56) EDGE Khalil Mack - Los Angeles Chargers (2021 Rank: 11)

Mack dealt with foot injuries in 2021 which was the reason he only played 7 games. But in those 7 games, he had 6.0 sacks. Now he'll get a fresh start with the Chargers and get to play opposite Joey Bosa. All the attention on the other side could lead to a career year and I'm excited to see him bounce back in 2022.

55) OT Ryan Ramczyk - New Orleans Saints (2021 Rank: 86)

The Saints had a difficult year with injuries that led to Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian, and Ian Book all starting at QB. Ramczyk also missed seven games, but when he was on the field, had his cleanest season to date with zero penalties. With either Jameis Winston or Andy Dalton at QB, I am not worried about who is coming off the right side.

54) DT Cam Heyward - Pittsburgh Steelers (2021 Rank: 70)

Cam Heyward is 33 years old but he was a late bloomer. He didn't make a Pro Bowl in his first six years despite being a 1st Round Draft pick, but he's made five straight since then. He's coming off a 10.0 sack, 15 TFL season that also included a whopping 9 passes defensed! In what some people would deem a rebuild, I'm looking for Heyward to continue to ascend in 2022.

53) WR A.J. Brown - Philadelphia Eagles (2021 Rank: 41)

Brown was surprisingly dealt on Draft Night for 1st and 3rd Round Draft Picks and then immediately rewarded with a 4-year $100M deal. When he's on the field, he's capable of carrying an offense, but he's been nicked up in each of his first three seasons. Can he stay healthy in Philly and help Jalen Hurts get to the next level? 

52) S Justin Simmons - Denver Broncos (2021 Rank: 64)

Simmons didn't make the Pro Bowl this year but he is without question one of the top Safeties in the game. His instincts and range are outstanding and he continually makes big plays. I'm excited to see him continue to shine in the rough and tumble AFC West.

51) EDGE Cam Jordan - New Orleans Saints (2021 Rank: 97)

I had Cam Jordan #97 on my list last year, but at age 32, he had 5.0 sacks more than the season before finishing 2021 with 12.5. He's very stout against the run and his hand usage is top notch. He is somehow getting better with age.

50) OT Jordan Mailata - Philadelphia Eagles (2021 Rank: NR)

When selecting nominees for my Block of the Year award, I pick four run plays and four pass plays. Mailata set the record for most nominations with three of the eight total nominees. He just splatters dude…regularly. And he got rewarded for it. The former 7th rounder selection got a 4-year $64M extension this offseason.

49) S Minkah Fitzpatrick - Pittsburgh Steelers (2021 Rank: 45)

I have Fitzpatrick ranked as my top Safety. He does it all. He has outstanding instincts, range, and on-ball production. He's also not afraid to stick his nose in a gap and hit you as he finished 2021 with a career-high 124 tackles. 

48) CB A.J. Terrell - Atlanta Falcons (2021 Rank: NR)

A.J. Terrell is LIGHTS OUT. He didn't make a Pro Bowl in his second season, but he has outstanding awareness and athleticism. He's a terrific player who is very much on the rise and is already one of the elite players at his position.

47) OT Tyron Smith - Dallas Cowboys (2021 Rank: NR)

After only playing two games in 2020, Tyron Smith was back in double digits with 11 in 2021. He did also return to the Pro Bowl and was in Pro Bowl form immediately as this opening game of the 2021 season on Thursday Night in Tampa he made a statement he had not lost anything. Can he hasn't played a full season in six years, but when he's available, he's flawless.

46) OG Joel Bitonio - Cleveland Browns (2021 Rank: 76)

On the opposite side of the spectrum as Tyron Smith, Bitonio hasn't missed a game in five seasons. He is the outstanding Left Guard for the Browns who is regularly blowing holes open for Nick Chubb. Due to injuries he shuffled around the line but showed off his versatility.

45) DT DeForest Buckner - Indianapolis Colts (2021 Rank: 27)

Buckner has not disappointed since coming over from San Francisco via trade. In 2021 he had 7.0 sacks and 10 TFLs and brings a nastiness to the Colts front that they'd been missing prior to his arrival.

44) RB Nick Chubb - Cleveland Browns (2021 Rank: 50)

Chubb has had at least 996 rushing yards and 8 TDs in each of his first four years in the league. With the Browns two headed rushing attack with Chubb and Hunt, they are truly dangerous on the ground. 

43) CB Denzel Ward - Cleveland Browns (2021 Rank: 90)

The run on Browns continues with the $100 million dollar man in Denzel Ward. Ward finished 2021 with 3 INTs 10 PBUs and this touchdown. He rewarded for his outstanding play with his 2nd Pro Bowl and a new 5-year $100.5M deal. He is only 25 years old but he's already an elite player at his position.

42) OT Lane Johnson - Philadelphia Eagles (2021 Rank: NR)

The original Block of the Year award winner, Lane Johnson continues to be a freakshow and mainstay on the right side of the Eagles Offensive Line. He is actually of the rare actually ripped Offensive Tackles.

And his strength and athleticism takes center stage as he's agile in pass pro and can move people in the run game.

He also scored his first touchdown this past season with a 5-yard catch.

41) WR Mike Evans - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2021 Rank: 46)

Mike Evans is 6'5" and played last year at 226 lbs. He is a guy that based on that size and strength, cannot really be jammed.

He's really on the same page with Tom Brady. If he's ever singled up without Safety help, the ball is likely going to #13.

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