19. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings (Last year: 77th)
Many will disagree here but Adam Thielen is a top-three wide receiver. It’s not by a wide margin but Thielen’s route running, smooth hands, run after the catch and blocking are what puts him in this spot. Thielen is a former special teams ace who just gets it. He gets the way things are and so he worked as hard as he could to get to where he wanted. Sure enough, the former special teams ace would become the team’s best wide receiver and one of the best in the NFL.
The soon-to-be 29-year-old has started 42 games for the Minnesota Vikings over the last three years. In those years, Thielen has caught 273 passes for 3,616 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is one of the best in almost every area of a wide receivers game.
18. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (Last year: 29th)
Alvin Kamara was always splitting time with Mark Ingram in New Orleans but I’m here to tell you that the Saints didn’t need Ingram. All the Saints were doing was taking Kamara out of his rhythm when they took him out in favor of Ingram. Ingram was always a solid back but when you looked at Kamara coming out of Tennessee, just solid was never in Kamara’s future. Kamara is one of the top backs in the league and will thrive big time in a bell-cow role moving forward. Kamara has 3,146 total yards from scrimmage and 31 total touchdowns to his credit in over 16 starts. He has played in 31 games for the record.
17. Fletcher Cox, DT, Philadelphia Eagles (Last year: 32nd)
Fletcher Cox went from being an outstanding player to entering an elite status. The Philadelphia Eagles interior defensive lineman had a career-high 10.5 sacks this season. With 330 tackles and eight forced fumbles to his credit throughout his career, Cox has been monstrous for the Eagles defense. The soon-to-be 29-year-old is a total gamechanger, and his presence makes everyone else around him better.
When you find a player like Cox, the first order of business should be to figure your plan for making sure this guy never wears another uniform again. The Eagles made sure of the that re-upping Cox a couple of years ago.
16. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers (Last year: NR)
George Kittle was one of my all-time favorite prospects coming out of Iowa which will soon be called the TE factory. The former Hawkeye finished his rookie year with just seven starts as a fifth-round selection. In that season, Kittle came down with 43 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns. It was a solid year for the rookie that went on day three of the draft.
Kittle, however, would take his game to the next level in 2019. Kittle caught 88 passes between a wild combination of Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard, and Nick Mullens. Those 88 receptions went 1,377 receiving yards which would end up becoming a single-season tight end yards record and five touchdowns. I saw enough in the last two years with Kittle to safely call him the best tight end in the league. He’s not leaps and bounds ahead of Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz but with his blocking and his receiving Kittle is the best at his position.
15. Luke Kuechly, ILB, Carolina Panthers (Last year: 16th)
Luke Kuechly is only 28 years of age and will likely reach 1,000 career tackles. That’s a pretty crazy milestone but not a shocking one. Kuechly has flirted around with reaching the single-season 200 tackle mark. The Carolina Panthers captain is considered by many to be the best at the position. To me, it’s Kuechly and Wagner then everyone else. He’s started in 102 games and has been an All-Pro five times.
14. Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos (Last year: 9th)
Von Miller is one of the most consistently dominant pass rushers in the league today. There was a time he was the absolute best, but the now 30-year-old has established consistency over flashiness in his game. Miller has not recorded a season like his 2012 unbelievable campaign. He has, however, recorded double-digit sacks in every single season except for 2013 when he only played in nine games. The talented Broncos pass rusher has accumulated 98 sacks to this point to go with 450 tackles and 26 forced fumbles.
We will see how Von Miller’s game plays out moving forward, but right now he’s among the best pass rushers in the game, and that is not likely to change anytime soon.
13. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (Last year: 3rd)
Tom Brady is considered by many as the GOAT. He’s great and his six Super Bowl rings offer some serious bragging rights. Besides the hardware, Brady is going into his 17th season in the league and will turn 42-years-old in three days. The talented passer has dropped off a little bit to this point. However, last year was still an impressive year at 41 years of age to throw for 29 touchdowns and 4,355 passing yards. He is the engine that runs the Patriots offense and has been doing it for years. Brady has started in 267 games and has won 207 of those starts.
Age may start to take effect on Tom Brady, but one cannot discount the talented career and the overall consistency that he continues to bring to the table. The Patriots because of him and his Head coach Bill Belichick are considered a lock for the AFC Championship game every single year and have become one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. We will see how Brady fairs in year 17 and if he somehow manages to continue this pace, the question will be this. Can this man play until he’s 50?
12. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks (Last year: 13th)
Are you ever wondering why the Seattle Seahawks won’t go away? You shouldn’t be wondering about that this year, however, in the past the answer lies with Russell Wilson. Wilson has led the Seahawks to a 75-36-1 record since becoming the starting quarterback in 2012. The Seahawks are in every single game when No.3 is under center. Speaking of which, despite the injured ankle and other nicks Wilson has taken. He has never missed an NFL game. Russell Wilson has started all 112 games the Seahawks have played in since 2012.
Wilson finished last year with 35 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 3,448 yards passing and a 110.9 passer rating. Funny enough, Wilson had the least productive season of his career last year in regards to running the ball. The soon-to-be 31-year-old has evolved as a pocket passer and has shown that over the years. He just received a monster extension so that Wilson will be under center for Seattle a bit longer.
11. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (Last year: NR)
Andrew Luck missed his entire 2017 season but came back in 2019 to lead the Colts to a playoff berth and a playoff win. He finished the season with 39 touchdowns, only 15 interceptions, 4,593 passing yards and a completion percentage of 67.3. He’s set to turn 30 years old this year, and while it seems like the Colts have not had him for that long, they are determined to have him carried them towards the Super Bowl. The Colts went out and grabbed a weapon in Parris Campbell and signed free agent Devin Funchess as well. With the emergence of Marlon Mack, Luck now has an arsenal of weapons, especially when it comes to Eric Ebron, who made the DTR 100 list earlier on at the tight end position.