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NFL free agency 2021: Ranking the top 50 free agents, best players by position

Who are the top unrestricted players in NFL free agency? 2021 brings one other robust veteran open market throughout positions.

There are a number of splashy targets at huge receiver and loads of depth for protection, particularly at edge rusher and security. Quarterbacks have one huge headliner for now and never a lot else. 

For groups trying to spend their out there cash beneath the upcoming wage cap, there are many worthy signings to improve rosters, from high-priced commodities to cut price abilities.

Here’s an general rating of the best general choices and the best by position. Check again for updates as this additionally will function a tracker when players are re-signed, get the franchise tag or land on a brand new crew:

MORE: SN’s newest mock draft | Big board of top 50 prospects

(Getty Images)

NFL free agency 2021: Ranking the top 50 players

1. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys (age: 27)

Despite the early season-ending ankle damage as a franchise-tagged QB in 2020, Prescott is a rising top-10 possibility at the recreation’s most vital position. The Cowboys ought to be locking him up with a profitable long-term deal to maintain working their dynamic, loaded passing recreation.

2. Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers (age: 24)

Godwin has become a premier slot receiver at 6-1, 209 kilos. He runs nice routes with outdoors versatility and regardless of some notable drops, he has the fingers to be dependable throughout the discipline. He is not near his prime and the Bucs ought to do every little thing they’ll to maintain him for Tom Brady.

3. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears (age: 27)

Robinson had an enormous third season with Chicago whereas in his prime as an entire goal with 102 catches for 1,250 yards and 6 TDs. He’ll be trying to depart Chicago and eventually get paired with a top QB.

4. Shaquil Barrett, EDGE, Buccaneers (age: 28)

Barrett cooled from main the league with 19.5 sacks in his first season in Tampa Bay in 2019, however his huge influence in getting after the quarterback manifested once more in the playoffs. The Bucs will do their best to maintain him to make one other run with their protection in 2021.

5. Justin Simmons, S, Broncos (age: 27)

Simmons (6-2, 202 kilos) had one other huge season making performs for Denver with 5 interceptions and 96 complete tackles. He can be an incredible cleanup man anyplace.

6. Trent Williams, OT, 49ers (age: 32)

Williams was excellent changing Joe Staley as.he stayed completely wholesome and dominated again in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. He nonetheless has just a few strong years left.

7. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers (age: 26) 

Jones had a second straight huge 12 months from scrimmage (1,459 yards, 11 TDs) and remained explosive, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The Packers will do their best to maintain him with Jamaal Williams heading to free agency with A.J. Dillon set to turn out to be the new energy complement.

8. Anthony Harris, S, Vikings (age: 29)

Harris did not have any interceptions in 2020 after posting 6 in 2019 however he was nonetheless very energetic in protection to assist a struggling general go protection and likewise racked up 104 complete tackles.

9. Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions (age: 27)

“Babytron” is an enormous, speedy field-stretcher (6-4, 215 kilos) and red-zone finisher when wholesome however he performed in solely 5 video games in 2020 after struggling a lingering hip damage. The Lions will attempt to hold him round as Jared Goff’s go-to man with Marvin Jones Jr. additionally being a free agent.

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10. Leonard Williams, DE, Giants (age: 26)

Williams, the Jets’ No. 6 general choose in 2015, had his delayed huge breakout as an inside go rusher for the different New York crew with 11.5 sacks. He continues to be constructed to wreak havoc on the center edge of a 3-4 entrance.

11. Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers (age: 26)

Henry stayed largely wholesome in 2020 which was huge for him, and caught 60 passes for 613 yards and 4 TDs in 14 video games. He was underused a bit as the Chargers unleashed an aggressive downfield passing recreation with rookie Justin Herbert. But Henry settled into to be a key goal late and can be important to new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi’s scheme if re-signed.

12. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers (age: 24)

Smith-Schuster could have labored his method out of Pittsburgh together with his TikTok ticking off Mike Tomlin, however he is a younger slot receiver with excessive manufacturing and big upside. JuJu sneakily obtained as much as 97 catches for 831 yards and 9 TDs in the Steelers’ dink and dunk passing recreation.

13. Will Fuller, WR, Texans (age: 26)

Between accidents and suspension, Fuller can not seem to keep on the discipline to provide huge time. The 6-0, 184-pounder has blinding vertical velocity as he averaged 16.6 yards per catch on his 53 catches for 879 yards and eight TDs in 11 video games with Deshaun Watson.

14. Lavonte David, LB, Buccaneers (age: 31)

David stays a strong, constant rock of a tackler and rangy playmaker even with a transition in scheme the previous two years. He can assist out a protection in some ways and likewise is a seasoned, revered chief.

15. Richard Sherman, CB, 49ers (age: 32)

Sherman performed in solely 5 video games in 2020 however is coming off a powerful 2019 the place he confirmed his old-school bodily shutdown stylings and likewise had 61 tackles. He has been a welcome chief of San Francisco’s secondary and may have the identical affect on one other crew.

16. J.J. Watt, EDGE,Texans (age: 31)

Watt has slowed down a bit from his celebrity standing however nonetheless had 5 sacks and an interception to make performs for an in any other case weak Houston protection in his remaining season there. He ought to discover work as an effecitve instant influence starter in one other 3-4 scheme.

17. Marcus Williams, S, Saints (age: 24) 

Williams has been constant together with his protection assist from free security with nostril for the ball and he’s fairly strong in run help, too.

18. Brandon Scherff, G, Washington (age: 29)

Scherff retains on plugging away as considered one of the recreation’s best all-around inside blockers. He nonetheless has a number of seasons to contribute at a excessive degree.

19. Corey Davis, WR, Titans (age: 26)

Davis lastly broke out as a first-rounder together with his dimension (6-3, 209 kilos) and velocity in the Titans’ run-first offense as an incredible complementary receiver to A.J. Brown for Ryan Tannehill, catching 65 of 92 targets for 984 yards and 5 TDs whereas averaging 15.1 yards per catch.

20. Melvin Ingram, EDGE, Chargers (age: 31) 

Ingram is getting up there and his pass-rush manufacturing has gone down with some damage points. But when wholesome, he stays a well-rounded disruptor for both a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment.

(SN/Getty)

21. Corey Linsley, C, Packers (age: 29)

Aaron Rodgers’ predominant snapping man has been a venerable line chief and likewise continues to be an enormous a part of their run-blocking success.

22. Bud Dupree, EDGE, Steelers (age: 27)

Dupree is a sturdy go rusher at 6-4, 269 kilos and was having an enormous season earlier than his knee damage shortened it to 11 video games, during which he nonetheless produced 8 sacks. 

23. Taylor Moton, OT, Panthers (age: 26)

The 2017 second-rounder delivered a powerful third full season as a starter. Moton (6-5, 325 kilos) is best suited to assist one other crew as a run-blocking drive on the proper aspect. 

24. Joe Thuney, G, Patriots (age: 28)

Thuney needed to play some deal with with the Patriots’ line accidents and reshuffling in 2020 however his ordinary job is crushing it as a run blocker from left guard with good athleticism for his dimension (6-5, 308 kilos).

25. Troy Hill, CB, Rams (age: 29)

Hill (5-11, 183 kilos) got here into his personal reverse Jalen Ramsey, mixture of dynamic ballhawk and aggressive cowl man.

26. Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Lions (age: 30)

Jones used his dimension (6-2, 199 kilos) nicely as a fill-in No. 1 after Golladay went down, ending up with 76 catches for 978 yards and 9 TDs. He can be a helpful possession man and dependable crimson zone goal for this possible third crew.

27. William Jackson III, CB, Bengals (age: 28)

Jackson is one other nice-sized veteran nook (6-0, 196 kilos). His play outdoors was key for an underrated and sometimes tough Bengals go protection.

28. Matt Milano, LB, Bills (age: 26)

Milano battled damage points in 2020 however he was a playmaking drive with 3.5 sacks, an interception and 45 complete tackles in his 10 video games.

29. Matthew Judon, EDGE, Ravens (age: 28)

Judon produced 6 sacks in 14 video games, a bit dropoff from 2019, however he remained an energetic tackler. He ought to assist one other 3-4 crew as he is possible too expensive to maintain in Baltimore..

30. Desmond King II, Titans (age: 26)

The Chargers traded King, considered one of the recreation’s smoothest slot corners, to the Titans in the center of the season. He additionally can assist a crew properly in the return recreation.

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31. Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Ravens (age: 25)

The former Jaguars standout continued good manufacturing for each Minnesota and Baltimore in a cut up 2020 season however he best suits as a pure pass-rushing 4-3 finish.

32. Marcus Maye, S, Jets (age: 27)

Maye did greater than his half to step up as.an all-around playmaker with out Jamal Adams with 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 11 passes defensed and 88 complete tackles

33. Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE, Titans (age: 27)

Clowney had extra well being points enjoying solely a half-season (8 video games) and did not document a sack in his subsequent crew after the Seahawks. But he can revive his well-rounded presence again in a conventional 3-4 scheme.

34. Carl Lawson, EDGE, Bengals (age: 26)

Lawson has some untapped pass-rushing upside after posting a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2020 and he is additionally fairly sound towards the run from 4-3 finish.

35. Leonard Floyd, EDGE, Rams (age: 28)

Floyd discovered his groove as a go rusher complementing Aaron Donald from 3-4 outdoors linebacker with a career-high 10.5 sacks, shattering his disappointment from the Bears.

36. John Johnson II, S, Rams (age: 25)

Johnson makes use of his dimension (6-0, 209 kilos) nicely and provides to the punch of this positional class. He excels at cleansing up towards the run (105 complete tackles in 2020) and likewise is strong in protection for both free or robust security.

37. Shelby Harris, DT, Broncos (age: 29)

Harris is a dependable inside rusher when wholesome (6 sacks in 11 video games in 2020) with a strong, compact body (6-2, 290 kilos) for the position.

38. Mike Hilton, CB, Steelers (age: 26)

Hilton tends to be overshadowed on this secondary due to Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden, however he had his best nickel season but with 3 interceptions, 3 sacks and 51 complete tackles.

39. Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers (age: 24)

Samuel was a extremely productive and versatile third receiver in Carolina with 77 catches, 851 yards and three TDs enjoying off Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore and likewise filling a few of the pass-catching void of Christian McCaffrey. He ought to have loads of enchantment elsewhere as a super-young playmaker.

40. Alejandro Villanueva, OT, Steelers (age: 32)

The two-time Pro Bowler is getting up there however at 6-9, 320 kilos, he can present just a few extra years of strong left deal with play.

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41. Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans (age: 25)

Smith performs larger than his dimension (6-3, 248 kilos) as a short-area receiver and blocker. He stayed wholesome for 15 video games, catching 41 passes for 448 yards and eight TDs in 2020.

42. Shaquill Griffin, CB, Seahawks (age: 25)

Griffin is one other nook with good dimension (6-0, 198 kilos) out there on the open market. In solely 12 video games, he had 3 interceptions, 12 passes defensed and 63 complete tackles in 2020.

43. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Giants (age: 26)

Tomlinson is a reasonably mighty 3-4 nostril at 6-3, 318 kilos with constant juice to get into the backfield. He posted 3.5 sacks and 49 complete tackles in every of the previous two sturdy seasons.

44. Russell Okung, OT, Panthers (age: 32)

Okung stays sturdy for his dimension (6-5, 310 kilos) when wholesome, which hasn’t been the case the previous two seasons with the Chargers and Panthers. He is a short-term left-side answer for somebody.

45. Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals (age: 27)

Drake performed 2020 beneath the transition tag however was quick of constantly being featured by Kliff Kingsbury in the Cardinals’ prolific speeding assault. He nonetheless racked up 1,092 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDs on 264 touches over 15 video games.

46. Jayon Brown, LB, Titans (age: 25)

Brown does a bit little bit of every little thing nicely inside with a baseline of prolific tackling when wholesome plus the capability to ship as a canopy man and blitzer when wanted. He’s best suited to remain in a 3-4 sharing the second-level duties.

47. Patrick Peterson, CB, Cardinals (age: 30)

Peterson has slowed down from his shutdown degree however he stays a savvy, dependable cowl man and sturdy playmaker on the outdoors. He posted 3 interceptions and 61 complete tackles in 2020.

48. Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks (age: 26)

Carson does have some sturdiness points and missed one other 4 video games in 2020, however he additionally got here via once more as an enormous again (5-11, 222 kilos) in a run-heavy assault with 178 touches for 968 scrimmage yards and 9 TDs in 12 video games 

49. Jameis Winston, QB, Saints (age: 27)

Winston, after a worthy 12 months in Sean Payton’s offense backing up Drew Brees, should not be completely ignored in free agency once more given so many groups having QB considerations and the truth he nonetheless has some huge upside with that huge arm. Should Brees retire, nonetheless, he will not be promoted over Taysom Hill, so a second shot at a beginning gig must be elsewhere.

50. Daryl Williams, OT, Bills (age: 28)

Williams returned to sturdy full-time beginning standing for Buffalo after final having that sort of position with Carolina in 2017. He was a rock together with his dimension (6-6, 330 kilos) and energy for the proper aspect.

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2021 NFL free brokers: Tracking top players by position

Quarterbacks

  1. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
  2. Jameis Winston, Saints
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins
  4. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
  5. Andy Dalton, Cowboys
  6. Cam Newton, Patriots
  7. Tyrod Taylor, Chargers
  8. Jacoby Brissett, Colts

Running backs

  1. Aaron Jones, Packers
  2. Kenyan Drake, Cardinals
  3. Chris Carson, Seahawks
  4. Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers
  5. Phillip Lindsay, Broncos
  6. James Conner, Steelers
  7. Mike Davis, Panthers
  8. James White, Patriots
  9. Le’Veon Bell, Chiefs
  10. Todd Gurley, Falcons
  11. Tevin Coleman, 49ers

Wide receivers

  1. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
  2. Allen Robinson, Bears
  3. Kenny Golladay, Lions
  4. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers
  5. Will Fuller, Texans
  6. Corey Davis, Titans
  7. Marvin Jones Jr., Lions
  8. Curtis Samuel, Panthers
  9. Nelson Agholor, Raiders
  10. Antonio Brown, Buccaneers
  11. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
  12. A.J. Green, Bengals
  13. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs
  14. Keelan Cole, Jaguars
  15. Danny Amendola, Titans
  16. Breshad Perriman, Jets
  17. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

Tight ends

  1. Hunter Henry, Chargers
  2. Jonnu Smith, Titans
  3. Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers
  4. Gerald Everett, Rams
  5. Jared Cook, Saints

Offensive tackles

  1. Trent Williams, 49ers
  2. Taylor Moton, Panthers
  3. Alejandro Villanueva, Steelers
  4. Russell Okung, Panthers
  5. Daryl Williams, Bills
  6. Cameron Fleming, Giants
  7. Kelvin Beachum, Cardinals
  8. Matt Feiler, Steelers

Guards

  1. Brandon Scherff, Washington
  2. Joe Thuney, Patriots
  3. Lane Taylor, Packers

Centers

  1. Corey Linsley, Packers
  2. David Andrews, Patriots
  3. Austin Reiter, Chiefs
  4. Alex Mack, Falcons

Defensive tackles

  1. Leonard Williams, Giants
  2. Shelby Harris, Broncos
  3. Dalvin Tomlinson, Giants
  4. Sheldon Rankins, Saints
  5. Ndamukong Suh, Buccaneers
  6. Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys

Edge rushers 

  1. Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers
  2. J.J. Watt, Texans
  3. Melvin Ingram, Chargers
  4. Bud Dupree, Steelers
  5. Matthew Judon, Ravens
  6. Yannick Ngakuoe, Ravens
  7. Jadeveon Clowney, Titans
  8. Carl Lawson, Bengals
  9. Leonard Floyd, Rams
  10. Trey Hendrickson, Saints
  11. Haason Reddick, Cardinals
  12. Justin Houston, Colts
  13. Aldon Smith, Cowboys
  14. Romeo Okwara, Lions
  15. Takk McKinley, Falcons

Linebackers

  1. Lavonte David, Buccaneers
  2. Matt Milano, Bills
  3. Jayon Brown, Titans
  4. Denzel Perryman, Chargers
  5. Okay.J. Wright, Seahawks

Cornerbacks

  1. Richard Sherman, 49ers
  2. Troy Hill, Rams
  3. William Jackson III, Bengals
  4. Desmond King II, Titans
  5. Mike Hilton, Steelers
  6. Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
  7. Shaquill Griffin, Seahawks
  8. Quinton Dunbar, Seahawks
  9. Xavier Rhodes, Colts
  10. Ronald Darby, Washington
  11. Jason Verrett, 49ers
  12. Mackensie Alexander, Bengals
  13. Brian Poole, Jets
  14. Chidobe Awuzie, Cowboys
  15. Nickell Robey-Coleman, Eagles
  16. Breshaud Breeland, Chiefs
  17. Cameron Sutton, Steelers
  18. Okay’Waun Williams, 49ers
  19. Gareon Conley, Texans

Safeties

  1. Justin Simmons, Broncos
  2. Anthony Harris, Vikings
  3. Marcus Williams, Saints
  4. Marcus Maye, Jets
  5. John Johnson III, Rams
  6. Malik Hooker, Colts
  7. Keanu Neal, Falcons
  8. Jaquiski Tartt, 49ers
  9. Xavier Woods, Cowboys

Kickers

  1. Younghoe Koo, Falcons
  2. Zane Gonzalez, Cardinals
  3. Cairo Santos, Bears
  4. Ryan Succop, Buccaneers
  5. Matt Prater, Lions
  6. Dustin Hopkins, Washington
  7. Stephen Gostkowski, Titans
  8. Cody Parkey, Browns
  9. Randy Bullock, Bengals
  10. Nick Folk, Patriots

Punters

  1. Kevin Huber, Bengals
  2. Pat O’Donnell, Bears
  3. Jordan Berry, Steelers
  4. Andy Lee, Cardinals
  5. Matt Haack, Dolphins

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