As this Memorial Day Weekend rolls on, we enjoy time with family, lots of food and looking around for interesting topics or lists about football. And, in this case, an intriguing one popped up Sunday about the “Top 25 NFL players under the age of 25.”
This list was compiled by CBSsports.com writer Sean Wagner-McGough and was set forth with some interesting criteria:
Obviously the players had to be under the age of 25, however, they could not be rookies who have yet to set foot on an NFL field.
Further, his list was based on not only career accomplishment, but his projection of what the player could still become
And then, is “positional value ranking.” In other words, how important is that player and his role to his team’s success?
And finally, Wagner admitted, right away, that once you start with the criteria trying to work down from 50 to 25, it’s very difficult.
With that in mind we at F.F.I. found it interesting that the two Jaguars made the list with linebacker Myles Jack at #25 and is expected to have a bigger role, now that Telvin Smith appears to be ready to sit out the entire season for whatever personal problems that he’s having.
It’s further not surprising that Jalen Ramsey is also on the CBSsports.com list coming in at #8. Ramsey is regarded as one of the best man-to-man cover corners in football, despite his headaches off the field.
And that’s it for state NFL players under 25.
So, if you were looking for a Buccaneer or a Dolphins on that list, they didn’t make it.
Now, it should be pointed out that both Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and star receiver Mike Evans are already 25 years old and therefore, by the criteria, not eligible for consideration. Evans, especially would be a top 10 player on any such of these lists.
One of his receiving mates that should get more consideration is outstanding Bucs tight end and former number 1 pick, O.J. Howard. Howard is about to enter his third season and has already shown himself to be a tremendous pass-catching weapon downfield at his humongous size. He has a 16.6 yards per catch average with 11 touchdowns in 24 games of two seasons cut short by injury.
As for the Dolphins, they are obviously greatly devoid of talent at most positions and trying to reload. However, if you were wondering why Pro Bowl DB Xavien Howard is not included on Wagner-McGough’s list? It’s because, he’s already also 25 years old.
Probably, the Dolphins other most logical choice would be left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who they took in the top 10 of the 2016 draft. He is coming into his own as an offensive lineman (especially with pass blocking) and probably is the best candidate under the CBSsports.com criteria
It’s not surprising the Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the list after the amazing season he had a year ago. The next two on the list or Chargers defensive end, Joey Bosa and likewise, Browns defensive end, Myles Garrett. Both of whom are more based on their projection for the future and their positional value related to other players under the criteria than what they’ve done so far.
The CBSSports.com Top 5 is rounded out by Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson and then, Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
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