One of the most important items any NFL team can possess is young talent. A franchise quarterback, star left tackle or wide receiver still on his rookie contract — that isn’t breaking the bank — but helping open up your “Super Bowl window.” Hitting on stars in the draft are how true competitors are built.
Below, we will examine our NFL Offensive All Under 25 First and Second Teams. The only rule is that these players must be under 25 years old entering the 2023 NFL season — that first full week of September. There’s plenty of stars to discuss on this list. Let’s jump in.
After a very tough rookie season in which the Jaguars went 3-14, their No. 1 overall pick rebounded under new head coach Doug Pederson. Lawrence went 9-8 as the starter this past season, and threw 25 touchdowns compared to just eight interceptions after throwing a league-leading 17 picks the year prior. Lawrence’s passer rating going from 71.9 in 2021 to 95.2 in 2022 is the largest increase in NFL history for any quarterback who threw at least 400 passes in each of his first two seasons. It’s also the largest increase in passer rating by a No. 1 pick from Year 1 to Year 2 since Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Jaguars appear to have a franchise quarterback, and the table is set for him to thrive in 2023.
Taylor is again our First Team running back, even though 2022 was his worst NFL season. The Colts star missed six contests due to ankle injuries, but still averaged 91.27 scrimmage yards per game. Taylor was the best running back in the NFL in 2021, as he led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns, and recorded 10 100-yard rushing games. With former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen now his head coach, Taylor is prepared to rebound this season.
An easy choice. Last season’s Offensive Player of the Year caught a league-leading 128 passes for a league-leading 1,809 yards and eight touchdowns, as Jefferson had the best season of any wide receiver in Vikings franchise history. Speaking of Vikings wide receivers, Jefferson also passed Randy Moss in recording the most receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history with 4,825. He is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NFL.
Chase didn’t set the NFL world on fire like he did in 2021 due to a hip injury, but he still led all Bengals wideouts in every statistical category with 87 catches for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games played. His rookie campaign was legendary, as Chase caught 81 passes for 1,455 and 13 touchdowns while averaging 18 yards per catch. Chase is third all-time in NFL history in receiving yards per game (86.2). Only Justin Jefferson and Julio Jones have more. Just 23 years old, 2023 may be a career year for Chase and Joe Burrow.
Our three First Team wide receivers from last year remain the same. Lamb set career numbers across the board in 2022 with 107 catches (T-No. 5 in the NFL) for 1,359 yards (No. 6 in the NFL) and nine touchdowns (T-No. 6 in the NFL). What’s notable is that Lamb accounted for 30 percent of the Cowboys’ receptions, which was the second-highest rate in the NFL in 2022. With this mark, Lamb became the first Cowboy to record 30 percent of Dallas’ catches in a single season since Michael Irvin in 1995.
Freiermuth is one of the more underrated tight ends in the NFL. While he caught just two touchdowns in his second NFL season, Freiermuth recorded 63 receptions for 732 yards. Both ranked No. 6 among tight ends in 2022. Of those 63 receptions, 37 resulted in a first down. That’s more than George Kittle, Dalton Schultz and David Njoku. Freiermuth should just get better and better as he continues to build chemistry with quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Thomas was the most valuable offensive tackle from this past season, per PFF WAR. Only two tackles who played at least 1,000 offensive snaps recorded PFF grades above 90: Thomas and Trent Williams. The former No. 4 overall pick started 16 games in 2022, and was acknowledged with a Second Team All-Pro bid. He’s our First Team Under 25 left tackle.
Here’s an interesting one. Dickerson stepped in as a rookie in 2021 and played both guard spots. In 2022, he moved to left guard, started in all 17 games and made the Pro Bowl. Now, while it’s true that playing alongside guys like Jordan Mailata and Jason Kelce while blocking for someone like Jalen Hurts does make life easier, Dickerson appears to be a legitimate starter on the inside. He just needs to watch the penalties, as he was flagged 14 times in 2022. That shouldn’t happen again moving forward.
Humphrey may be the best center in the game, period. He edged out Jason Kelce for the top PFF grade among centers (89.9), and had the top run-block rating at his position as well (91.0). Humphrey hasn’t missed a start in his two NFL seasons, and earned his first Second Team All-Pro selection and Pro Bowl bid this past year while the Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII.
Call it a Chiefs dynamic duo on the offensive line. It didn’t take long for the NFL world to see that sixth-round pick Trey Smith was a steal. That’s why you can’t put all your stock into medicals during the draft. Smith has started in all 33 games he has played in, and registered a 72.3 PFF grade in 2022, which ranked No. 12 among all guards. Smith isn’t just a good offensive lineman, but also Patrick Mahomes’ “enforcer,” per teammate Travis Kelce.
Sewell was a top 10 tackle last year, according to PFF (80.6), and the fourth-best run blocker among tackles (83). He was seen as a franchise left tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft, but enters 2023 as a Pro Bowl right tackle. Just 22 years old, Sewell has a long, and more than likely successful NFL career ahead of him.
QB: Justin Fields (Bears)RB: Travis Etienne (Jaguars)WR: Jaylen Waddle (Dolphins)WR: DeVonta Smith (Eagles)WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown (Lions)TE: Cole Kmet (Bears)LT: Tristan Wirfs (Buccaneers)LG: Tyler Smith (Cowboys)C: Tyler Linderbaum (Ravens)RG: Alijah Vera-Tucker (Jets)RT: Abraham Lucas (Seahawks)
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