Patrick Mahomes Ranks No. 1 in NFL Network Top 100 Players of 2021; Tom Brady No. 7

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 28, 2021

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 29: Tom Brady (12) of the Buccaneers shakes hands with Patrick Mahomes (15) of the Chiefs after the regular season game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 29, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was announced as the No. 1-ranked player in the NFL heading into the 2021 season as voted by his fellow players.

Mahomes was joined by Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as the top three vote-getters revealed during an NFL Network special Saturday.

Here's a look at the top 10:

1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs @Chiefs

Well-deserved πŸ‘ Congrats <a href="https://twitter.com/PatrickMahomes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PatrickMahomes</a> on being voted 1️⃣ on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a>! <a href="https://t.co/wGeH5gI5ZW">pic.twitter.com/wGeH5gI5ZW</a>

2. Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL

Not one defender better than 99 🀫<a href="https://twitter.com/AaronDonald97?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AaronDonald97</a> comes in at No. 2 on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a>

3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers @packers

The MVP comes in at No. 3 on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a> list!<a href="https://twitter.com/AaronRodgers12?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AaronRodgers12</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/jBKAFHokwU">pic.twitter.com/jBKAFHokwU</a>

4. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans


πŸ‘‘πŸˆ ALL HAIL <a href="https://twitter.com/KingHenry_2?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingHenry_2</a> πŸ‘‘πŸˆ<br><br>The players voted Derrick Henry the best RB in the NFL!<br><br>πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> <a href="https://t.co/tgAKcVsVi5">pic.twitter.com/tgAKcVsVi5</a>

5. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs @Chiefs

We've got something special with <a href="https://twitter.com/tkelce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@tkelce</a> 🏹<br><br>πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> <a href="https://t.co/TlAD6OWzab">pic.twitter.com/TlAD6OWzab</a>

6. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

NFL Films @NFLFilms

Nobody does it like Davante 😀<br><br>At #6, <a href="https://twitter.com/tae15adams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tae15Adams</a> is your top wideout on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a>! <a href="https://t.co/0lg3Fzl25q">pic.twitter.com/0lg3Fzl25q</a>

7. Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @Buccaneers

.<a href="https://twitter.com/TomBrady?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TomBrady</a> comes in at 7⃣ on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a> <a href="https://t.co/ms4NZ1bHyF">pic.twitter.com/ms4NZ1bHyF</a>

8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals @AZCardinals

Best hands in the league. <a href="https://twitter.com/DeAndreHopkins?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DeAndreHopkins</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a> <a href="https://t.co/H8HJCzI660">pic.twitter.com/H8HJCzI660</a>

9. T.J. Watt, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers @steelers

#️⃣9️⃣0️⃣ is #️⃣9️⃣ on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a><br><br>πŸ“: <a href="https://t.co/aKJV6L0Gl6">https://t.co/aKJV6L0Gl6</a> <a href="https://t.co/bKTEi3wU7r">pic.twitter.com/bKTEi3wU7r</a>

10. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills


From No. 87 to No. 10 in just a year. <br><br>There's a reason <a href="https://twitter.com/JoshAllenQB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JoshAllenQB</a> made one of the biggest leaps in this year's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a>. πŸ“ˆ<br><br>πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> <a href="https://t.co/blFOJ0mmQJ">pic.twitter.com/blFOJ0mmQJ</a>

For the full rankings featuring all 100 players, visit NFL.com.

Mahomes took the top spot for the first time after another stellar season. He ranked second in passing yards (4,740) and fourth in passing touchdowns (38) and led the Chiefs to their second straight Super Bowl appearance in 2020. He was named the Super Bowl LIV MVP for leading K.C. to a victory over the San Francisco 49ers at the end of the 2019 season and was the league's MVP in 2018.

Brady checked in at No. 7 after he earned the top spot in 2011, 2017 and 2018 with the New England Patriots. Changing teams to join the Bucs didn't slow him down, as he guided Tampa Bay to its second Super Bowl title in his first year with the franchise after throwing 40 touchdown passes during the regular season.

Here's the list of players who've occupied the No. 1 spot since the rankings began in 2011, including Donald, who ranked second this year after leading the pack in 2019:

2011: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

2012: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

2013: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

2014: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

2015: J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

2016: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

2017: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

2018: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

2019: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

2020: Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

No player made a bigger jump into this year's top 10 than Josh Allen, who checked in at No. 87 last year.

The Buffalo Bills quarterback has transformed from a mistake-prone rookie in 2018 to the MVP runner-up in 2020. He accounted for 45 touchdowns (37 passing and eight rushing) during the regular season to finish second in MVP voting behind Aaron Rodgers and led the Bills to their first AFC Championship Game appearance since 1993. Buffalo rewarded him with a six-year, $258 million extension earlier this month.

Davante Adams also made a sizable jump after landing at No. 57 in 2020. He led the NFL with 18 touchdown catches last year despite missing two games with a hamstring injury.

The 2021 NFL regular season kicks off Sept. 9 when Brady and the reigning champion Bucs host the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium.