The 25 best NFL players under the age of 25

The NFL is a league of young stars and has a bright future with the selection of great players yet to turn 25. These 25 players represent the best and brightest the NFL has to offer.


Jaire Alexander, CB, Packers

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Alexander has emerged as Green Bay’s top cornerback, if not their best defensive player, over the last three seasons. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2020 and is just entering his age 24 season.


2 of 25

Jessie Bates, S, Bengals

Jessie Bates, S, Bengals

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Despite a poor supporting cast around him, Bates has helped stabilize the Cincinnati secondary in his three NFL seasons. He has yet to make a Pro Bowl, but a trip seems inevitable with 100-plus tackles in three consecutive seasons. Bates will be 24 this season.


Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers

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Bosa was the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, recording nine sacks and 47 tackles. Unfortunately, he played only two games last season due to injury but hopes to rebound in his third year.


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A.J. Brown, WR, Titans

A.J. Brown, WR, Titans

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Brown has been spectacular in his first two NFL seasons, exceeding 1,000 yards each year. He’s been an elite deep threat, averaging 17.4 yards per catch, and could see more single coverage this year after the Titans acquired Julio Jones. Brown turns 24 at the end of June.


Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

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Burrow’s rookie season ended early due to a torn ACL, but before that time he was on a strong pace with 2,688 passing yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games. The former Heisman Trophy winner will turn 25 in December.


Devin Bush, LB, Steelers

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The Steelers lost Bush to a leg injury in his second season, which was a brutal blow after he recorded 109 tackles in his rookie year. The Michigan alum should help the Steelers defense again this year at age 23.


Jeremy Chinn, S, Panthers

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The Panthers got a steal with Chinn late in the second round last year out of Southern Illinois. His rookie season featured 117 tackles and two touchdowns.


Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers

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Claypool joined one of the best young wide receiver rooms in the NFL last year, recording 62 catches for 873 yards and 11 total touchdowns. He became a major deep threat after he got a few games under his belt.


Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Bills

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Edmunds has emerged as an elite middle linebacker in his three seasons with Buffalo, making two Pro Bowls. He has at least 115 tackles in each of his three seasons, and will only be 23 in 2021.


Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Steelers

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Fitzpatrick has already been an All-Pro at safety twice in three seasons. The former first-round pick has four career touchdowns and 11 picks as a great playmaker and will turn 25 in November.


Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers

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Herbert won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2020 with a historic season, throwing for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns. The Chargers are hopeful he can take another big step forward this year.


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Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

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It didn’t take long for Jackson to make a huge impact in the NFL, winning MVP in his second season in 2019. Playoff success has been fleeting, but Jackson has been one of the most exciting players in the NFL during his three seasons.


Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings

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Jefferson fell to the 22nd overall pick in 2020 but put together one of the best seasons ever by a rookie wideout with 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns. He was able to help Vikings fans forget about losing Stefon Diggs.


CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys

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Lamb fell in the Cowboys laps with the 17th pick in the 2020 draft and was able to match the hype with 74 catches for 935 yards and five scores. He could soon emerge as the top receiver on the Cowboys’ loaded roster.


D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks

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Metcalf dropped in the 2019 draft due to injury concerns, but he’s already become a superstar. He emerged as Seattle’s No. 1 receiver last season with 83 catches for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns, and will only turn 24 in December.


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D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers

D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers

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Moore has improved in each of his three NFL seasons and has over 1,100 yards receiving in back-to-back years. The former first-round pick is entering his age 24 season with new quarterback Sam Darnold throwing him passes.


Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals

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The first overall draft choice in 2019, Murray has matched expectations so far. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 and made his first Pro Bowl last season, proving to be an elite threat with his arm and legs.


Patrick Queen, LB, Ravens

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Needing help at inside linebacker, the Ravens found it with Queen in his rookie season. The first-round pick had 106 tackles and three sacks last year at age 21.


Roquan Smith, LB, Bears

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The speedy Smith has been one of the top inside linebackers in the NFL in his three seasons, totaling 361 tackles and 11 sacks. He could soon be the face of the Chicago defense and is just entering his age 24 season.


Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts

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Taylor had a terrific rookie season for the Colts with 1,468 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. The Wisconsin alum enters 2021 as the team’s bell-cow back at age 22.


Fred Warner, LB, 49ers

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Warner is arguably the best middle linebacker in the  NFL three years into his career. He was an All-Pro in 2020 with 125 tackles and will turn 25 in November.


Devin White, LB, Buccaneers

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White was a catalyst on Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl defense last year, with an incredible 140 tackles and nine seasons in 15 regular-season games. The former first-round pick is still just 23.


Quinnen Williams, DT, Jets

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The third overall pick in the 2019 draft, Williams had a breakout year last season with 55 tackles and seven sacks. He will have more help this year after the Jets were busy in free agency.


Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Buccaneers

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Winfield was a terrific rookie addition for the Bucs last year, finishing the regular season with 94 tackles while performing well in coverage. The former second-round pick will turn 23 in August.


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Chase Young, DE, Washington

Chase Young, DE, Washington

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The second overall draft choice in 2020, Young was just as advertised as the Defensive Rookie of the Year with 7.5 sacks and 44 tackles. He already made the Pro Bowl and is looking to great his numbers at age 22.

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