Carson Wentz takes the top spot in our 2017 look at the NFL's top 25 players under age 25. The second-year Philadelphia Eagles quarterback made the jump from 25th as a rookie to the top spot and is one of four quarterbacks on the list.
I pulled together rankings from four NFL talent evaluators and then spoke with a few others in making final tweaks. Odell Beckham Jr. and Le'Veon Bell were among the prominent players who aged out of consideration. Beckham, who turned 25 on Nov. 5, ranked first last year. He would have ranked lower this year if still eligible, a reflection of his injury status and an influx of young talent that includes promising young quarterbacks.
In addition to the four quarterbacks, there are five defensive backs, five running backs, five wide receivers, four defensive front-seven players and just two offensive linemen. A short list of 10 other players who were near-misses follows the top 25. That list includes the quarterbacks taken 1-2 in the 2015 draft. Alas, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have lost ground to the field.
The Kansas City Chiefs led the way with three players on the list. Seven teams had two players, but there was one team conspicuously absent.
"All those picks and the Browns didn't have anyone on the list, and you really could not even make a good case for anyone," the evaluator said.
Myles Garrett could become a strong candidate, but with only four games played, two of them starts, he wasn't in the running this time.
The rankings reflect a blend of production and potential, with availability also factoring. Positional value was a consideration, but not an overriding one.