25. Juju Smith-Schuster. After a down year, it can be easy to push Juju off of this list, especially with all of the raw talents that didn’t make the cut. But, his decrease in number last year was justified due to a large number of reasons. One, Antonio Brown got the boot out of Pittsburgh and was one of the best receivers in the league. Because of his overwhelming talent, he drew the attention of double teams on a weekly basis, resulting in a wide-open Juju. It also didn’t help that his future Hall of Fame quarterback was out for the season. In 2018, he racked up 1,418 yards and 7 touchdowns. It is clear that in 2020, we will learn a lot about Juju, and where he fits in with the rest of the league.
24. Fred Warner. (23) Warner was an absolute animal in 2019, he absolutely put on a show for the ‘Niners. He finished the season with 89 tackles and helped them get to a Super Bowl. With additions like Javon Kinlaw, the Niners defense will only be more versatile. If he keeps developing who knows where he will land.
23. Jaire Alexander. (23) Alexander was just one of the phenominal defresnive acquisitions that the Packers picked up recently. He has proven to be an extremely valuable asset in the secondary. Quarterbacks have made it a habit to throw to the opposite side of the field of ALexander. Last year alone the younf phenom had 50 tackles and a two interceptions and assisted in taking his team one game short of hte Super Bowl.
22. AJ Brown. (22) Much like the Tennessee Titans team as a whole, Brown came out of nowhere in the second half of 2019 and was the most popular target for Ryan Tannehill. He ended the season with 1,051 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns. He was a lethal, explosive weapon for the Titans. His efforts combined with running back Derrick Henry led the underdog Titans all the way to the AFC Championship.
21. Alvin Kamara. (24) Kamara is a player that was far higher on this list just a year prior, and still is a serious problem in the league. He has suffered some injuries that have slowed him down, but are far from stopping him. The Saints have a powerhouse of an offense and Kamara is a big reason why. When he finds the open field he can make anyone miss, he is a great receiving back with the ultimate combination of speed and agility.
20. Kyler Murray. (22) Murray is in one word, a winner. Since high school, he has done nothing but win. The former Heisman Trophy winner is pure entertainment on a football field and his future is as bright as any quarterback in the league. After a better than average rookie season, and taking home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, Murray has some new toys to play with on offense and a new and improved offense. It will be exciting to see what he accomplishes in 2020.
19. Joey Bosa. (24) Bosa is one of two brothers that have proven to be terrors to offenses and quarterbacks in particular. The combination of athleticism and power makes Joey Bosa nearly impossible to contain. He is just one of many young defensive talents on the Chargers that should cause the rest of the league to be uneasy. He has had problems staying healthy, but if he can put a full season together he could lead the league in sacks.
18. Minkah Fitzpatrick. (23) It is not common for a player to be traded to a team and make an immediate and dramatic impact. Once Minkah was shipped to Pittsburgh he became a turnover generator. It seemed every game he was returning a pick for a touchdown or forcing a fumble. Fitzpatrick is still so young and is oozing with legendary potential. The Pittsburgh defense is loaded with young talent, and Fitzpatrick will fit in just fine. I wouldn’t want to through it near the middle of the field while Minkah is playing. He finished 2019 with 5 picks and 44 tackles.
17. Marshon Lattimore. (24) Lattimore is considered to be one of the most talented young defensive backs in the league and rightfully so. He has been one of the key players on a team that is continually a Super Bowl contender. He finished last season with 46 tackles and has earned his stripes as a player that will shut down your best receiver.
16. Nick Chubb. (24) Chubb is part of a dynasty of running backs hailing from University of Georgia. Chubb ran for just under 1,500 yards last season, and potentially could have had a lot more. He ran for about 5 yards a pop, and most would argue that he was underutilized last season. His new head coach Kevin Stefanski has a great offensive reputation, and with the improvement of the offensive line, Chubb is set up to have a career year.
15. Mark Andrews. (24) Andrews was quietly one of the best tight ends in the league just a season ago and was just one weapon of many for MVP Lamar Jackson. Every Sunday it seemed like he was pulling in another touchdown catch. In 2020, the Ravens roster added even more talent, and are looking like the best team in the league. It will be fun to see what the Ravens do offensively next season. In 15 games Andrews accumulated 10 touchdown catches.
14. Chris Godwin. (24) Godwin was a part of an electric high scoring offense in Tampa. Jameis Winston put on a show week after week but had some help from some very talented wideouts. Godwin scored 9 touchdowns and ended the year with 1,333 receiving. This next year he has been gifted the greatest quarterback to ever play in Tom Brady, the Buccs have a lot of pressure on them this season, but should put on an absolute show. Tom Brady plus the duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should be a complete aerial attack.
13. Darius Leonard. (24) Talk about complete domination by the Indy front office in the recent drafts. They have put together a potentially lethal team with a lot of young talent. One of those young studs is linebacker Darius Leonard. He all the necessary attributes to be an all-great linebacker when it’s all said and done. In 2019, he punished offenses and acquired 71 tackles and sacked the quarterback five times. The Colts should be a scary team next season led by their defensive signal-caller Darius Leonard.
12. Marlon Humphrey. (23) Yet another Raven to make this list. Baltimore has an arsenal of young talent that should terrify the rest of the league. Marlon Humphrey is no exception. Last season he managed to get 53 tackles and 3 interceptions. He was a human highlight real and had one of the best seasons as a corner. Next season the Ravens defense will be explosive and certainly one of best in the NFL.
11. Myles Garrett. (24) Garrett is truly a man among boys, he is built like a truck and plays as aggressively as anyone in the NFL. In just 37 games he has managed to sack the quarterback 30.5 times and forced 6 fumbles. If he merely maintains these numbers he will go down as an all-time great. When you think of Myles Garrett, you automatically think of the incident with Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph. If he can keep a good head on his shoulders and leave it on the field he can erase that memory and lead the Browns to the playoffs in 2020.
10. Derwin James. (23) Derwin James would have thrived in the NFL if he were to have played ten years ago. James is like a predator stalking his prey and when he strikes you will be feeling it for weeks. Derwin James is still so young and is already one of the best safeties in the league. Last year he suffered some injuries that slowed him down, but after plenty of rest and recovery time, it should be exciting to see how good he is in 2020.
9. Nick Bosa. (22) For some people Joey Bosa’s little brother Nick may seem a little bit high on this list with only one year of play to draw opinions from. But, in his rookie season, Bosa was like a hot knife through butter and turned offensive linemen into turnstiles. When he wasn’t sacking the quarterback he was pressuring him, leading to mistakes. The San Francisco pass rush was a force to be reckoned with and carried their team all the way to the Super Bowl.
8. Ezekial Elliot. (24) Elliot has been one of the most consistently productive half backs in the NFL. Year after year he feasts and chips away and defenses. He runs with a power that takes the souls of the defenders. Last season, Elliot scampered for 1,357 yards and punched in 12 touchdown runs. He has been the most valuable skill position player for the Dallas Cowboys, and could break some records if he can stay healthy. Zeke is truly one of the best backs in the league.
7. Deshaun Watson. (24) Watson is capable of miracles and has drug a dull offensive roster to multiple playoff appearances. In 2019, he threw for 3,852 and 28 touchdowns, including a lackluster performance in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. This next season he will be without DeAndre Hopkins who has been one of the best receivers in the NFL for the last couple seasons. Now, he will have to depend on the talents of Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, who both have the narrative of being unreliable. We will see if he can drag yet another hopeless team to the postseason.
6. Saquon Barkley. (23) There is no question that once Barkley has a functional offensive line his ceiling is limitless. He looks like a running back made in a lab. He is the perfect example of speed and power. Some would say that the Giants reached when selecting him as the second overall pick. He has proven some doubters wrong, and when it is all said and done they will all admit to being wrong. In 2018, is rookies season, he rushed for over 1,300 yards and shocked the world. There was not a lot of improvement to his stats in 2019, in fact, his rushing yards were a couple hundred yards fewer, but this was mostly due to an incompetent offensive line. With some fresh talent on the New York roster, Barkley can thrive and show the world his potential.
5. Jamal Adams. (24) Adams is a new and exciting breed of safety that has the capacity to take over a football game. His aggressive style of play is fun to watch and a nightmare for offensive coordinators. The blitzing style of defensive back is a problem. He clearly knows how great he is and is using it to find a way out of New York. Wherever he lands he will make a monumental difference for the perspective team. In just 46 games Jamal Adams has accumulated 210 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 6 forced fumbles.
4. Lamar Jackson. (23) This is a no brainer. Some would argue that Jackson is higher up on this list because of the recent MVP season that he conjured up. Like McCaffrey, Jackson finished the season with one of the greatest offensive performances of all time by a quarterback. He broke the all-time rushing record by a quarterback and led his team to the best record in the whole league. He galloped for 1,206 yards and punched in 7 scores on the ground. He also showed out through the air as well, he led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 36 and threw for 3,127 yards. If Jackson can come up clutch in the postseason he should give Mahomes a run for his money as the best quarterback in the league.
3. Christian McCaffrey. (24) McCaffrey recently finished one of the greatest seasons at running back that the league has ever seen. Whether it was on the ground on via the air, McCaffrey was always a threat to take it the distance. After Cam Newton fell subject to yet another injury it was clear what the PAtnehrs strategy was offensively… give the ball to Christian McCaffrey. Last season he combined for 2,392 total yards and 19 total touchdowns. His extraordinary performance also earned him a spot as the highest-paid tailback in the history of the game. Safe to say McCaffrey is a top 5 player under 25, to say the least.
2. Quenton Nelson. (24) Nelson has really been the Savior of the Indianapolis franchise. Sure he has had some help, but prior to the Colts drafting him out of Notre Dame, Andrew Luck was getting pummeled on what seemed like every snap. Now, going into 2020 the Colts might have the best offensive line in the league. After Brandon Brooks of the Philadelphia Eagles has gone down with an injury yet again, there isn’t much debate that Nelson might be the best guard in the NFL.
- Patrick Mahomes. (24) I think it is clear that there will not be a lot of push back on the number player on this list. Mahomes in his first couple years has been nothing short of god-like. Besides maybe Lamar Jackson, he is the most fun player to watch on Sundays. It seems every week he is conducing miracles, and breaking records. One knock against him could be that on his side he has one of the greatest offensive minds to coach in Andy Reid, and he has an arsenal of weapons to throw to.