After consecutive No. 4 rankings, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has reached the pinnacle of the NFL’s Top 100 list, claiming the top spot in a vote by NFL players ahead of the 2021 season.
The No. 1 ranking is another impressive honor for Mahomes, who threw for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns in 15 games for the 14-2 Chiefs in 2020. The three-time Pro Bowler led Kansas City to its fifth AFC West title in a row and pushed through an injury to lead its run to a second straight Super Bowl appearance. The 25-year-old enters his fifth NFL season as the favorite to win league MVP.
Mahomes, who holds a 38-8 regular-season record and 6-2 playoff mark, wasn't the only Chiefs player to make the NFL Top 100.
Tight end Travis Kelce moved up from No. 18 to No. 5 after setting the all-time single-season record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards last season. And in the playoffs, the three-time first-team All-Pro selection totaled 31 catches for 360 yards and three touchdowns.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill secured his highest rating yet — 15th — after being ranked No. 22 in 2020. Last season, Hill, who also was named first-team All-Pro for the third time, recorded 87 receptions for 1,276 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones climbed 18 spots to No. 34 on this year's list. The two-time Pro Bowler collected 7.5 sacks last season.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu took a 19-spot slide to No. 58 despite having one of his best seasons in 2020. He ranked third in the NFL with six interceptions and made 61 tackles, 47 of them solo.
After seeing the rankings of his teammates, Mahomes told Sports Illustrated:
"I think we've got a couple of guys on there. I still think Tyrann and Chris Jones deserve more respect than they get. I mean you literally can't block Chris, and Tyrann is such a smart, great player. It's an honor to be on that list in general, especially when it's voted on by the players. It's definitely a cool feeling, but hopefully we can keep getting those guys up as their careers go on."
Of course, the real prize for Mahomes and the Chiefs this season would be a return to the Super Bowl and a second title in three years.