Tom Brady is the NFL's GOAT. That's universally accepted. But where does the legendary quarterback rank among the best players in the game today?
Brady was a distant (by his standards) No. 14 on the 2020 version of the annual NFL Top 100 list, which highlights the league's top players as chosen by their peers. After a disappointing 2019 campaign with the New England Patriots, the 43-year-old was still getting his bearings on an unproven Tampa Bay Buccaneers team at this time last year.
All Brady did was lead that unproven Bucs team to a Super Bowl title last season. And as you might expect, TB12 is back in the top 10, checking in at No. 7 on the 2021 NFL Top 100 list.
Who's ahead of the reigning Super Bowl MVP? Here's a look at the full Top 10:
|1.||Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs|
|2.||Aaron Donald, DE, Rams|
|3.||Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers|
|4.||Derrick Henry, RB, Titans|
|5.||Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs|
|6.||Davante Adams, WR, Packers|
|7.||Tom Brady, QB, Bucs|
|8.||DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals|
|9.||T.J. Watt, LB, Steelers|
|10.||Josh Allen, QB, Bills|
Players are asked to rank their peers based on their performance in the most recent season, which explains why Brady is behind reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. While Brady tossed 40 touchdown passes (tied for second in the NFL) and threw for 4,633 yards (third in the NFL), he also threw 12 interceptions and endured some growing pains in the Tampa Bay offense early in the season.
Patriots fans probably would have liked to see Brady ahead of New England nemesis Travis Kelce, but this seems like a fair assessment of the seven-time Super Bowl champion, who's behind two elite QBs and the top players at four other positions.
The No. 7 ranking also brought Brady's average place in the NFL Top 100 (which began in 2011) to 3.9, well ahead of any other player.
As for Brady's former team? Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was ninth on the 2020 list but fell to No. 47 in the 2021 rankings, joining teammate J.C. Jackson at No. 49.