Jackson -- the 2019 NFL MVP -- earned the top spot Wednesday when the list was revealed on NFL Network.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Los Angeles Rams defender Aaron Donald, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas also landed inside the top-five.
NFL Films collected 970 ballots and interviewed 132 players to create this year's list.
"I used to always watch the top 100s on YouTube and NFL Network, not thinking I could actually be the No. 1 player," Jackson said after he earned the honor. "I'm speechless."
Jackson, 23, is the youngest player to claim the top spot. He was not on the list last year. The No. 32 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft threw a league-high 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions last season. He also ran for 1,206 yards, an NFL single-season record for a quarterback.
Some critics of the rankings made their case for Mahomes as the league's top player. Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, also ranked fourth on last year's list, but led his team to a Super Bowl title in 2019-2020.
"If not the best, he is one of the best players in the league," said Titans running back Derrick Henry, who ranked 10th.
Mahomes indicated he was going to use his lower-than-expected ranking as motivation for the future. The Chiefs quarterback posted a photo of a pencil and paper on Twitter after the reveal, a hint that he would write the slight into his memory.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Washington Football Team running back Adrian Peterson, former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton also have topped the list.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey ranked sixth in 2020 after he had a league-high 2,392 yards from scrimmage and set an NFL single-season record for receptions by a running back with 116 in 2019.
The Ravens and Saints each had seven players on the list, the most among NFL teams.