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Tom Brady Tops NFL Network Top 100 Players of 2022 List; Aaron Donald No. 2

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 29, 2022

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

For the third time, Tom Brady was rated the NFL's premier player by a jury of his peers.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star edged out the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald to be No. 1 on NFL Network's top 100 players list.

The annual event drew to a close Sunday with the final 20 revealed.

NFL @NFL

Countdown complete! 💯<br><br>Voted on by the players, here are your top 10 players in the 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a>. <a href="https://t.co/T8qhnKbY3s">pic.twitter.com/T8qhnKbY3s</a>

NFL @NFL

No. 20-11 on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLTop100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLTop100</a>! The countdown to No. 1 continues RIGHT NOW. 👀<br><br>📺: <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/yog9Sexcjp">pic.twitter.com/yog9Sexcjp</a>

Brady enjoyed one of his most prolific seasons, leading the NFL in passing yards (5,316) and passing touchdowns (43).

That was enough to put him ahead of Donald, arguably the league's most disruptive player. Donald had 12.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in the regular season and added another 3.5 sacks during Los Angeles' championship run.

Winning a second straight MVP wasn't enough to catapult Aaron Rodgers into the top spot. The Green Bay Packers quarterback once again came in at No. 3, matching his position from a year ago.

Perhaps the biggest surprise came with Patrick Mahomes, the No. 1 player for 2021, falling to No. 8.

The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback continued to torch opposing defenses last year, throwing for 4,839 yards and 37 touchdowns. But his 13 interceptions were a career high, and Kansas City's 12-5 record was its worst mark since he became the starter in 2018.

Still, Mahomes' position on the list raised some eyebrows.

DraftKings @DraftKings

Patrick Mahomes seeing himself drop from #1 to #8 in the NFL Top 100 <a href="https://t.co/jQTk6zTlPB">pic.twitter.com/jQTk6zTlPB</a>

Sam McDowell @SamMcDowell11

"People on here actually think the top-100 means something?" I ask as I text buddies about the absurdity that 7 players, including a RB, are rated above Mahomes.

Matt Verderame @MattVerderame

Mahomes might throw for 8,000 yards this season. <br><br>I get it's for clicks, for views, all that stuff. Fine, fair enough. But this list is hilariously atrocious.<br><br>Herbert, Allen and Mahomes should file a class-action suit. <a href="https://t.co/4tvMTmepe7">https://t.co/4tvMTmepe7</a>

A similar attitude was expressed toward Josh Allen, who slipped from 10th to 13th.

The Buffalo Bills quarterback finished with 4,407 passing yards and 36 touchdowns through the air and 763 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. His playoff duel with Mahomes almost single-handedly cemented his status as an elite signal-caller.

Still, that wasn't enough to warrant a spot in the top 10 again for Allen.

Ben Volin @BenVolin

There are not 12 football players better than Josh Allen <a href="https://t.co/dgpQZv53XI">https://t.co/dgpQZv53XI</a>

Jenna Cottrell @JennaCottrell

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/billsmafia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#billsmafia</a> reacting to Josh Allen ranked 13th in NFL Top 100 <a href="https://t.co/wR815fE1Hp">pic.twitter.com/wR815fE1Hp</a>

As expected, Micah Parsons surged up the leaderboard following his monster rookie season. The Dallas Cowboys linebacker posted 84 tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles en route to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Parsons came in at No. 16.

Cooper Kupp had the biggest rise, though. The Rams wide receiver was unranked in 2021 and climbed all the way to No. 4. That will happen when you finish with a receiving triple crown, as he led the league in catches (145), yards (1,947) and touchdowns (16). Winning a Super Bowl title doesn't hurt, either.

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