39. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Last year: 23rd)
Bern Roethlisberger is coming off arguably his best individual season as a pro. The one problem is that he and the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs. The six-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion has thrown for 56,194 passing yards, 363 touchdowns and a career completion percentsage of 64.4. Big Ben has started 214 games and has a record of 144-69-1. He also has 31 comebacks and 42 recorded game-winning drives. There was a ton of flak geared towards Big Ben following the falling out between stars Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. However, Big Ben is ready to get everything rolling, he refuses to look back on why the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs and why it’s important to keep your undivided attention on the prize.
At 37 years old, Big Ben is slowly but surely getting older but if he can throw for over 5,000 yards for the first time in his career and do it last year which was late in his career. Then, nothing will surprise me with Roethlisberger.
38. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (Last year: NR)
Christian McCaffrey is already one of the best running backs in football, but he’s also a fantastic receiving back as well. McCaffrey has scored 20 times in the last two years while compiling 3,051 career yards. McCaffrey is going to continue to build off the success he has had in the previous year and continue growing into one of the league’s most dynamic players.
37. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams (Last year: 98th)
The 24-year-old Jared Goff is one of the most scrutinized quarterbacks in the league. He’s the youngest NFC champion and he’s put up a winning record of 24-14 while throwing for 9,581 yards, 65 touchdowns, 26 interceptions, and a 62.1 completion percentage. It’s been a fun ride for Goff as he’s come back from complete rock bottom (see: 2016) and has turned himself into arguably a top ten quarterback. Goff still suffers from the fact people will not let what he did in 2016 go. He’s simply not getting off the hook.
Goff has improved his numbers in every season, and now he is going to be leading the third-year implemented Sean McVay-style offense. Phase three has commenced for the McVay offense with the Rams and Goff.
36. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Last year: 45th)
Ezekiel Elliott is one of the best running backs in football. He’s led the league in touches two of his three years, he’s led the league in rushing yards two of his three years, and he’s led the league in yards per game rushing average in every year since entering the league. Zeke has played in 40 games and has a total of 34 touchdowns. The Cowboys star running back is holding out and looking for the long-term contract. This place on the DTR 100 list is a good indication he deserves an extension.
35. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys (Last year: 85th)
D-Law was a late-bloomer for the Cowboys in the NFL. The former second-round pick out of Boise State didn’t do anything his first three years aside from an eight sack season in 2015. Lawrence, however, turned the next two years into gold and made himself into one of the most feared pass rushers in the game today.
34. Derwin James, FS, Los Angeles Chargers (Last year: NR)
The face of the Chargers seems to no longer be Philip Rivers, Joey Bosa or even Melvin Gordon. Especially, Gordon after the hold out reported. However, the first-round pick from last year’s class Derwin James has taken over as the best player on the Chargers. James has an off-the-charts football IQ, but his athleticism and overall range are what makes you excited to watch him on tape. There’s an excellent chance James could end up being the top safety in the league down the road.
33. Eddie Jackson, FS, Chicago Bears (Last year: NR)
Eddie Jackson had the opportunity of being one on this list due to his undeniable range as a center field safety. A true centerfielder that will bait and likely win anything you try on him. Jackson’s ball skills and overall coverage skills are way ahead of the league average. The former Alabama safety is 26 years of age and has taken three interceptions to the house. There aren’t many defensive backs you could employ the same way the Bears use Jackson all over the field. He’s a special player.
32. Kevin Byard, FS, Tennessee Titans (Last year: 60th)
The 25-year-old ball-hawking safety just recently became the highest-paid safety in the NFL. Kevin Byard has totaled 12 interceptions, 28 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, 228 tackles and three sacks in his young career. His other career highlight is likely going to end up working out for him. Byard was once clowned on by Deion Sanders about being a fan when Sanders had no clue who Byard was. Byard now is one of the best at his position, and he’s the highest-paid as well.
31. Jamal Adams, FS, New York Jets (Last year: NR)
The Pro Bowl culture-changing New York Jets safety has started all 32 games of his young career. Jamal Adams has only hauled in one interception but his ability as a shutdown safety that can play the run and set the tone on defense is why no one should be worried or care. Adams already has 197 tackles in his career to go with a lone one interception, 18 pass breakups, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and five and a half sacks. As the Jets continue to their build their defense they will continue to be led by this same guy.
30. Chris Harris Jr., CB, Denver Broncos (Last year: 22nd)
Chris Harris Jr. has been the most consistent cornerback of the last five years or so. Harris Jr. was picked up as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Kansas. The Jayhawk product would go onto to have a major impact for the Denver Broncos. In his decorated career, the 30-year-old cornerback has started 105 out of 123 games, hauled in 19 interceptions including four which went for touchdowns, broken up 80 passes thrown, forced five fumbles, recovered four fumbles, record four and a half sacks and amassed 471 tackles in his career. It’s been a hall of fame worthy career for Chris Harris Jr. and it’s a Hall of Fame career that he is not even close to done with yet.