AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Patrick Mahomes is the best player in football, but you probably already knew that.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was voted the No. 1 player on the NFL Network’s top 100 list on Monday, topping the likes of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller Joe Burrow.
Here’s a look at the top 10:
- Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco 49ers
- Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
- Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
- Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
- Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys
- Chris Jones, DT, Kansas City Chiefs
Here’s a closer look at some highlights from the list.
Mahomes is the undisputed No. 1 player in 2023 for a reason.
The 27-year-old is coming off arguably the best season of his career in 2022, having completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns against 12 interceptions, in addition to rushing for 358 yards and four scores.
The Chiefs finished first in the AFC West for the seventh consecutive season and captured their second Super Bowl title of the Mahomes era.
Mahomes went on to win his second MVP award, earn an All-Pro selection and finish second in Offensive Player of the Year voting.
The Texas Tech product enters the 2023 season with high expectations despite the Kansas City offense getting a shakeup this offseason.
The Chiefs lost wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, who signed with the New England Patriots, and Mecole Hardman, who signed with the New York Jets, in free agency and Mahomes has been working to establish a better rapport with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney in training camp this summer.
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Beyond the trio, the Chiefs boast some depth options in Justin Watson, Rashee Rice and Richie James, though Kelce will continue to be Mahomes’ top target.
If the Chiefs are going to repeat as Super Bowl champions, Mahomes is going to have to put together another MVP-worthy campaign to get past the likes of the Bills and Bengals in the AFC.
Jefferson continued to put up eye-popping numbers during his third season in the NFL in 2022, so it comes as no surprise that he ranks No. 2 on the top 100 list.
The Vikings wideout caught a career-high 128 passes for 1,809 yards in 17 games, in addition to eight touchdowns. He also rushed for 24 yards and one score on four carries.
Jefferson led the league in receptions and receiving yards, becoming the youngest player in NFL history to do so. He also broke four Minnesota franchise records, including topping the marks for receptions and yards in a single season previously set by Cris Carter and Randy Moss.
The 24-year-old’s outstanding season earned him the Offensive Player of the Year award, an All-Pro selection and his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod. He also finished fifth in MVP voting.
Jefferson now enters 2023 aiming to eclipse 2,000 receiving yards in a single season, though his main focus is obviously to help the Vikings win a Super Bowl.
Given the way he has performed during the early stages of his career, there’s seemingly nothing Jefferson can’t accomplish, and he should only continue to establish himself as one of the best receivers in NFL history as the seasons pass.
Burrow earns a spot in the top 10 as arguably the best passer in the NFL.
The 26-year-old enters 2023 coming off back-to-back 4,000-plus yard passing seasons after missing much of his 2020 rookie season with a torn ACL. During the 2022 campaign, he completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,475 yards and 35 touchdowns against 12 interceptions, in addition to rushing for 257 yards and five scores.
He finished fourth in MVP voting and ninth in Offensive Player of the Year voting.
Burrow led the Bengals to a first-place finish in the AFC North for the second straight season and the team reached the AFC championship, where it fell to the Chiefs by just three points.
While it was ultimately a disappointing finish to the 2022 season for Burrow and the Bengals, they are expected to be among the top title contenders again this year.
Every major piece of the Cincinnati offense is returning in 2023 alongside Burrow, including Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon.
The sky is the limit for the Bengals, though all the pieces will have to come together.