After finding himself ranked 18th on the NFL Top 100 list last season, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce checks in at No. 5 ahead of the upcoming campaign.
The aforementioned list is a peer-voted inventory of the NFL's best players heading into the 2021 season. Unlike Pro Bowl voting, the players have full control over where the final rankings end up. Ahead of Kelce are Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Green Bay Packers stars Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The rise of Kelce, the Chiefs' star tight end, shows how well-respected he is by his peers. He is the only tight end to ever record five consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus receiving yards, after all. In 2020, he hauled in a career-high 105 passes for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Chiefs also had three other players land on the NFL Top 100 list. Safety Tyrann Mathieu is 58th after being 39th in 2020. Defensive lineman Chris Jones, who is transitioning to a part-time defensive end role this year, rose from No. 52 to a career-best 34th ranking. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, too, is in his highest slot thus far at 15th after being placed 22nd overall a season ago.
With an abundance of top-shelf talent, the NFL clearly holds this Chiefs roster in high regard. Kelce is a key cog in that machine and even at 31 years old, he's still going as strong as ever. He joins Mahomes in the top-10 of the NFL 100 and aims to justify that ranking in 2021. If recent history is any indication, he should be able to do so.