The NFL preseason is over, and the regular season is just about a week away. The long offseason full of drama, rumors, and ranked lists is finally coming to an end, and real football is about to start. As a goodbye to the offseason, ESPN ranked one final list: It’s top 100 NFL players of the 2021 season. While almost every team got at least one name on the list, two teams didn’t get a single player in the top 100, which could be a bad sign for their 2021 prospects.
The teams with the most players on ESPN’s top 100 players list
Before getting to the bad (and embarrassing) news for two NFL clubs, it’s nice to take time and celebrate the teams who added the most players to the 2021 ESPN top 100 NFL players list. As you might expect, the teams with the most players on the list are also the ones many pundits expect to vie for the Super Bowl come February 2022.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the only team with three players in the top 10. These are Chiefs’ offensive stars Patrick Mahomes (No.1), Tyreek Hill (No. 7), and Travis Kelce (No. 10). The Los Angeles Rams (Aaron Donald, No. 2 and Jalen Ramsey, No. 7) and Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers, No. 3 and Devante Adams, No. 8) are right behind with two each.
Both the Chiefs and the Packers came in near the top overall, each adding seven players to the list. However, the team with the most 2021 top 100 guys is the defending Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Quarterback Tom Brady (No. 20) is one of eight Bucs on the list that includes Mike Evans (No. 43), Shaquil Barrett (No. 44), Vita Vea (No. 66), Devin White (No. 75), Chris Godwin (No. 77), Lavonte David (No. 87), and Tristan Wirfs (No. 96).
The two teams without a single player on the list of top NFL players
On the opposite side of the spectrum from the Buccaneers, Chiefs, and Packers are the two teams without a single player on the list. These are the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Eagles experienced a massive fall from ESPN’s 2020 list, where Philly got five players in the top 100. These players were Carson Wentz, QB (No. 39), Zach Ertz, TE (No. 48), Fletcher Cox, DT (No. 49), Darius Slay, CB (No. 61), Lane Johnson, OT (No. 71).
Wentz is gone, and Ertz is likely on his way out, but none of the other players got back to their pre-2020 status after a disappointing 4-11, last place in the NFC East finish.
Jacksonville didn’t have quite the same precipitous fall, but pass-rusher Josh Allen (No. 91 in 2020) did miss this year’s edition.
Are the Eagles and Jaguars the worst teams in the NFL?
The ESPN top 100 players of 2020 list didn’t include four teams, but it wasn’t a kiss of death for the clubs that didn’t have a player make it.
The New York Jets did end up with the No. 2 overall pick, but the other teams fared better. The Cincinnati Bengals went 4-11 but did show promise with rookie QB Joe Burrow before he went out with a season-ending knee injury.
The Washington Football Team only mustered a 7-9 record but did make the playoffs by winning the putrid NFC East. The best team of the bunch was the Miami Dolphins. The team went 10-6 and narrowly missed out on a Wild Card spot by one game.
This is good news for the Eagles and Jags. The Eagles have a new head coach like the WFT did in 2020 and a mobile young QB, similar to the Dolphins. The Jags also have a new head coach and a No. 1 overall pick under center in Trevor Lawrence, much like the Bengals.
Plus, the Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Houston Texans could all be worse, despite having players on the ESPN top 100 list. Chances are, one of these teams will be picking at the head of the 2022 NFL draft, and the Eagles and Jaguars will fare at least slightly better.