Twenty-six years and 10 months. That is the average age of all NFL players currently under contract. A whopping 82.4% of those players have yet to turn 30, and 33.6% are under the age of 25.
In this ranking, we’re going to focus on that latter group to identify the future — and, in some cases, current — faces of the league.
The NFL has become a young man’s game, so this was a very hard list to cut down, but these are the league’s 25 best players under the age of 25. Note that rookies were excluded since they have such a small sample of work in the NFL, though some of the top candidates for next year’s list are noted at the bottom.
To qualify for the list, the player must not have turned 25 before Dec 3. All stats are through Week 12 with the exception of those pertaining to the Steelers and Ravens. Asterisks (*) denote that the player has a fifth-year team option in his contract.
Turns 25: Aug. 7, 2022
Signed through: 2022*
Choosing a player to lead this list was not an easy task, since nearly every candidate still has something to prove at the NFL level. And while that is, of course, the case for Murray, the 2019 first overall pick has been an absolute game changer during his second NFL season. Arizona made the somewhat controversial decision to trade away 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen last offseason, which set the table for its selection of Murray with the first pick of the 2019 draft. Murray has proved it was the right decision, winning the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year award before making the leap to superstardom in 2020.
Murray ranks no lower than 13th in completions, passing yards and pass TDs, and also leads all quarterbacks with 650 yards and 10 scores on the ground. Murray is the top-scoring player in fantasy football, and has turned the 6-5 Cardinals into a contender (an impressive feat in a tough NFC West). The do-it-all 23-year-old is the league’s best player under age 25.