Given their status as a Super Bowl contender on an annual basis, you can expect the K.C. Chiefs to be well-represented in the annual countdown of the NFL 100—a list of the league’s top 100 players coming into a new season as voted upon by the players. As the list unfolds, the Chiefs are starting to hear their names called with the arrival of Tyrann Mathieu at No. 58 overall.
Mathieu is the first Chiefs player to make the list, although the top 40 players still have yet to be announced. That likely means that four players—Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Chris Jones, Patrick Mahomes—are still to come.
Mathieu hits the list between two pass rushers, Cameron Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jason Pierre-Paul of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NFL analyst Jelani Scott writes:
"Pop quiz: Which 2020 All-Pro safety is the only player to record at least 100 tackles and 10 picks since 2019? Yup, that’s right: none other than Mathieu himself, who tallied 62 tackles and a career-best six picks in 2020."
Last season, Mathieu was 19 slots higher last season when he was voted at No. 39 overall. It’s an interesting slip given that Mathieu had an exemplary year for the Chiefs, one that showed off his dynamism and versatility on a defense that went back to the Super Bowl. Perhaps if the Chiefs had hoisted the Lombardi once again, Mathieu would have received a nudge up the list.
Mathieu had experienced a fall from the NFL’s Top 100 list for a few seasons before he joined the Chiefs. When he was named No.39 overall after the 2019 season, it was his first appearance since 2016, back when he played for the Arizona Cardinals. Now he’s made the list two years in a row and is in a position to once again lead the Chiefs defense with several slots in primetime.
Last season, the Honey Badger had 6 interceptions to lead the Chiefs defense in 15 regular season starts.