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Super Bowl 56 – Ranking the Top 20 Talented Players

By Dan Vasta in Super Bowl
| February 7, 2022 11:31 am PDT

Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching, and the excitement has created plenty of fireworks. Neither team is a top three seed, but the star talent is available for the final game of the year.

The quarterbacks are certainly cracking the Top 20, but there are several other options that deserve some recognition. The defensive side of the ball needs some love and there are underrated role players at the line of scrimmage.

Here are your top 20 players in Super Bowl 56 between the Rams and Bengals.

Ranking Players in Super Bowl 56: 20-11

  • 20. Vonn Bell, Defensive Back, Cincinnati
  • 19. Tyler Boyd, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati
  • 18. Cam Akers, Running Back, Los Angeles (NFC)
  • 17. Leonard Floyd, Linebacker, Los Angeles (NFC)
  • 16. Andrew Whitworth, Offensive Line, Los Angeles (NFC)
  • 15. Chidobe Awuzie, Defensive Back, Cincinnati
  • 14. Logan Wilson, Linebacker, Cincinnati
  • 13. Sam Hubbard, Defensive Lineman, Cincinnati
  • 12. Odell Beckham Jr., Wide Receiver, Los Angeles (NFC)
  • 11. Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati

Tee Higgins could be a future All-Pro performer with the way he has performed in spots, but this matchup is loaded with studs. Odell is pulling off one-handed snags and is coming off his first 100-yard game since Week 6 in the 2019 season.

Having tremendous number two options at wide receiver is a bonus, but the running game is vital. Cam Akers (achilles) was expected to miss the entire season and has given them more explosiveness in the ground game.

The Bengals defense is easily the most underrated unit of the Super Bowl, and they have a bevy of playmakers that would be stars on other winning teams.

Sam Hubbard played exceptional ball at Ohio State and the hometown hero has been an impact enforcer at the line of scrimmage.

There are some defenders on the Rams that were worthy of making this list as well. Floyd was a stud coming out of Georgia and has been a capable backer with the size and speed off the edge.

While most offenses are keyed in on limiting the damage Donald and Miller inflict, the role players are the ones that can take the Rams to the promised land.

10. Joe Mixon, Running Back, Cincinnati

Joe Mixon

Many still believe Mixon fumbled the ball in overtime, but he gave himself up despite KC fans questioning.

One of the better backs in the league when healthy, Mixon is a monster when he gets a head full of steam running downhill on a defense. He has been among the top rushers in the AFC, but health has been the only thing holding him back.

Coming out of Oklahoma, the skills were off the charts. He has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and keep the chains moving.

Kansas City saw first-hand how much of a challenge it was in overtime to limit the ground game despite knowing it was coming.

9. Von Miller, Defensive Line, Los Angeles (NFC)

One of the better pass rushers we have seen in the past few decades has been Von Miller.

The freak off the edge was a terror in Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers. The experience the defense has been playing with is impressive, but this Rams team is similar to the San Francisco 49ers squad in 1994.

They went all in on a few vital players such as Deion Sanders and this team has invested plenty of draft capital and money into building a championship team.

Miller has been a pivotal part of the defensive front and the Rams have feasted during the NFC postseason.

8. Trey Hendrickson, Defensive Lineman, Cincinnati

The New Orleans Saints missed Hendrickson this past season after he was dominant alongside Cameron Jordan. It is amazing how putting pressure on the opposition often makes you an elite defense overnight seemingly.

Insert the Bengals front with Hubbard and Hendrickson. The killer Hs are ferocious, and the Bengals wouldn’t be here without them.

A constant pass rush and forcing an opposing offensive line to have as many possible extra blockers to chip or commit to protecting their quarterback often limits an offense.

The AFC North champs had the lowest odds of anybody other than the Texans to win the conference and here they are with underrated pieces such as the former Saint defensive lineman.

7. Jesse Bates, Defensive Back, Cincinnati

One of the better defensive backs in the league these days has been Bates. The secondary of Cincy has been underrated and we have seen several impact plays on both sides of the ball.

While the offense gets all the love and deservedly so, the defense is the reason why they are in the Super Bowl.

The ability to become so opportunistic has allowed them to take advantage of the mistakes that have been made in the postseason.

Look back at the first play of the AFC Divisional matchup against Tennessee. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a pick right to Bates, who covered a ton of ground in the process.

Matthew Stafford has thrown plenty of picks throughout the season and a few have been taken back for scores. Bates will be one of the top players on the gridiron in Super Bowl 56 and the Rams will have to keep their eyes out for No. 30.

6. Matthew Stafford, Quarterback, Los Angeles (NFC)

Matthew Stafford

How much can change a year has been a saying going on in sports for centuries. Stafford was winless in the postseason entering 2022 with the Rams. Now he has picked up three victories and is one away from a Super Bowl.

Losing Robert Woods earlier in the season felt like it may have been too much to overcome. Instead, Cooper Kupp and Stafford have been an unstoppable force.

The two are always on the same page and move the chains in their sleep. Where would the franchise be at the moment without these two?

The arm strength is still among the tops in the league, and we could see some fireworks with Joe Burrow on the other sideline.

The ability to get rid of the ball with ease under pressure has been impressive, but the Rams are so reliant on their signal-caller.

The talent level is something the Rams have been lacking since Kurt Warner left and they are on the verge of winning their first Super Bowl since 1999 thanks to Stafford.

5. Jalen Ramsey, Defensive Back, Los Angeles (NFC)

The former Seminole was the first starter since Deion Sanders and has lived up to the hype since arriving in the NFL. His short stay with Jacksonville was successful, but Los Angeles has seen him shutdown some of the top wideouts in the league.

The secondary has had some injuries and struggles, but Ramsey has been active all year. We know about the defensive front they have with a few stout defenders, but defensive back play is pivotal in the postseason.

The 49ers failed to pick up enough chunk plays to grab the victory and the stifling ability by Ramsey made its mark in the NFC title.

Look for some shadowing with Ja’Marr Chase and potential matchups with Tee Higgins. Both wideouts have the speed and size to burn most corners, but this will be a fun matchup and battle that could dictate Super Bowl 56.

4. Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati

Ja’Marr Chase

The top rookie in the NFL on the offensive side of the ball has Chase by a country mile. There have been so many impressive stars over the years, but the Bengal number one target has been absurd.

Cincinnati had low expectations entering the postseason, but they have found a way to reach the Super Bowl. Chase crushed it in Baton Rouge with LSU and the same is occurring with Burrow and the Bengals.

The ability to expose dozens of top defensive backs in the NFL has given many fans around the nation plenty of excitement and entertainment. The catch and run ability are video game-like and there is no stopping this connection.

Ramsey and Chase could be a matchup that stays strong until Canton potentially, but this is a player that has passed the eye test with flying colors after one season of ball.

Playing alongside Higgins has helped, but their offense is great when there is balance. Mixon and Burrow can both move the chains with their legs, but Chase can do it all.

Despite some drops in the summer, he has done everything Justin Jefferson did as a rookie with the Minnesota Vikings. Chase has carried this offense on certain weeks, and he will need to show out against the Rams stingy defense. 

3. Joe Burrow, Quarterback, Cincinnati

What a comeback season for the record books with the Bengal signal-caller. Joe Burrow has been able to thrive with the hand-cannon that most youngsters lack in the NFL.

Only the elite can lead their franchise to the promised land when nobody sees it coming. Burrow has had one of the more impressive postseasons despite the production perhaps not ranking among the best.

The way he was able to extend plays against the pressure the Chief defense brought was ridiculous. They had him dead to rights a handful of times that would have drastically changed the second half.

The underrated athleticism he has shown off since his days at LSU has flown under the radar.

Chris Jones had him down for the count and seemingly could have knocked him on his back but whiffed several times when it mattered most.

2. Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles (NFC)

Cooper Kupp

Being a cheat code doesn’t happen often in the NFL, but Kupp and Stafford have been automatic.

The wideout has been continuing with his record-setting season and has often saved his best performances for the biggest of games.

Often in the slot, the NFL has taken notice that single coverage is not the way to go in defending Kupp. He is never doubled up enough and has exposed most opposing defensive backs that partake in defending the All-Pro receiver.

Going from Jared Goff to Stafford has been an upgrade that most passing targets don’t witness in their careers. The difference between the good and great ones are their ability on third downs and in the red zone.

Look for the Ram signal-caller to rely heavily on Kupp against the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. We saw how vital he was against the 49ers and the game plan should be similar.

1. Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Los Angeles (NFC)

There isn’t a bigger albatross in the league to defend. Offensive coordinators stay up late at night trying to defend this mammoth tackle that can do it all in the trenches.

The war daddy is one of the top players in the league, but he is unblockable. He has a case for being one of the select few to be considered the top defensive tackle to ever play.

The speed and size and the ability to line up anywhere on the field is unmatched. Every lineman needs to be at their very best or they could get embarrassed. Tampa Bay was exposed in the trenches and Tom Brady ended up on his back quite a bit.

Donald is the top player in this Super Bowl and could be a dark horse to win the Super Bowl MVP. We don’t see many defenders grab the award.

Only nine defenders have won the award, but Donald is looking to join Von Miller as the tenth. There is plenty of talent he possesses in the trenches and the Rams will need one more dominant performance to secure victory. 

Betting on Super Bowl 56 in 2022

There you have it, our top 20 players to watch in Super Bowl LVI between the Bengals and Rams.

The football season is almost over so now is the time to get the value you are searching for. Be sure to check out our Super Bowl betting guide for all your gambling needs.

For those that enjoy placing wagers on prop bets, check out the craziest Super Bowl 56 prop bets worth targeting. Before making your final picks on the big game, check be sure to view our Super Bowl 56 betting lines below.

Super Bowl 56 Betting Lines - Odds Breakdown for Rams vs. Bengals

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