In recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in talent in the NFL. With players deciding to come out of college earlier to try their hand at the pro-level, the league has seen an influx of extremely talented players. The amount of talent concentrated in the NFL’s youngest players is staggering and has set the league up to be successful well into the future. Here are some of the best young players currently dominating the NFL.
Ezekiel Elliott (21)
This rookie took the league by storm during his inaugural season. Coming out of Ohio State, expectations were extremely high for the fourth overall pick to lead this offense behind the league’s best offensive line. He somehow managed to soar past these as he managed to lead the NFL in carries, yards per game, and total rushing yards. Not bad for kid who a year ago couldn’t even legally order a drink.
Le’Veon Bell (24)
Nobody in the NFL makes running with the football look more effortless than Le’Veon Bell. Although injuries and suspensions have had an early impact on his career, no one can deny the talent this young player possesses. He is not only a great runner, but he is possibly the best running back in the league catching the ball out of the back field. The trio of Roethlisberger, Brown, and Bell is a nightmare for any defensive coordinator and seeing what these three can do in the playoffs together is one of the most exciting storylines of this postseason.
Odell Beckham Jr (24)
Odell Beckham Jr is one of the most dynamic and polarizing players in the NFL. He is the first player to have 80 catches and 1000 yards in his first three seasons in the league and his highlight reel catches are nothing short of jaw-dropping. If he can mature mentally and focus on solely his production on the field, we may witness one of the greatest wideout careers ever.
Khalil Mack (25)
The Raiders defense has not been the focus during their fantastic 2016 season, but that hasn’t stopped Khalil Mack from asserting himself as one of the top defenders in the entire league. How good is Mack? He made the 2015 All-Pro team at two different positions. The top 5 pick out of Buffalo always seems to get better as the season goes on and ability to be both a premier run and pass defender has cemented him as a defensive force in the middle of the field.
Aaron Donald (25)
Bright spots are few and far between on the Los Angeles Rams’ roster. Aaron Donald, however, has been a force since he has entered the league. Few scouts thought he had the ability or the size to produce the way he has as an interior defensive lineman in the NFL. All he has done during the time in the NFL is become a top 100 player in the NFL, make the Pro Bowl each of his first three seasons, and earn First Team All-Pro honors.
Tyron Smith (25)
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of offensive lineman to the success of a team. Smith, however, is impossible to miss. At just age 25, he anchors the top offensive line in football and has asserted himself as the top left tackle in the NFL. All he does is frustrate defenders and make Pro Bowl teams, and with him on the left side, Dallas is set up to be successful for years to come.