NFC East youth: Which bEast team has the best under 25 talent?

Last week, my buddy Lars at Blogging the Boys put together a list of the Cowboys’ best talent under the age of 25.  I thought it might be a fun idea to compare all the NFC East teams in that regard.  So, I made lists of who I think are the top 10 players under 25 for each of the other NFC East teams.  For the Cowboys, we’ll use Lars’ list, with a small modification.  Lars did not use players that were going to turn 25 by the end of the year.  Since I didn’t feel like looking up the birthday of every player under consideration, I simply used their age as of today’s date.  Since Lars’ method eliminated some Cowboys that would have otherwise made his list, I made some small modifications, but his top 6 remain unchanged.

Your players may differ from mine. Feel free to choose from the NFC East menus here, here, here, and here, but here are the players I chose:

Rank Cowboys Eagles Giants Redskins
1 Tyron Smith LeSean McCoy Jason Pierre-Paul Robert Griffin III
2 Dez Bryant Jeremy Maclin Hakeem Nicks Ryan Kerrigan
3 DeMarco Murray Jason Kelce Linval Joseph Trent Williams
4 Morris Claiborne Nate Allen Prince Amukamara Roy Helu
5 Bruce Carter Brian Rolle David Wilson Leonard Hankerson
6 Tyrone Crawford Brandon Graham Jacquian Williams Perry Riley
7 Victor Butler Kurt Coleman Reuben Randle Jarvis Jenkins
8 Sean Lissemore Fletcher Cox Henry Hynoski Josh LeRibeus
9 Josh Brent Mychal Kendricks Marvin Austin Keenan Robinson
10 Phil Costa Vinny Curry Mark Herzlich DeJon Gomes


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  9. DocJ says:

    I would have to rate them, Eagles/Skins/Giants/Boys. Guarantee that at least 3-4 on the Giants list will be hurt this year, they always have people hurt. Nicks just broke his foot, and for a receiver that is big. He won’t be right until next offseason. Prince and Austin have not shown anything and Austin hasnt played football in 2-3 years. BUt here are my rankings:

    1.McCoy>Smith>JPP>RG3 Although in a few years RG3 will blow these guys out of the water. If McCoy played for an actual running team and not for Fat Boy Reid, I would have him as the #1 player in the division for years to come. But with Vick/Reid running the show, he is going to disappear for stretches.
    2.Kerrigan>Nicks>Maclin=Bryant Maclin is overrated. And probably has AIDS. Kerrigan is going to make a huge step this year playing opposite Orakpo and Nicks is hurt and Bryant is a knucklehead and Maclin had AIDS.
    3.Williams>Joseph>Kelce>Murray Murray had a pretty serious injury last year, Kelce is going to struggle some as teams figure him out, Joseph could be a beast this year but Wiliams is a LT and the most important position other than QB in the East. Look at who he will face this year as a LT in the NFC East. If he continues to improve like he did, doesnt get banned for a year, he will be very valuable to his team. Much more than the other 3.
    4. Helu>Allen>Prince>Claiborne Helu is the only one that has showed potential. Allen is an average safety, may not even start, Prince has yet to show anything since he was hurt and claiborne has yet to play a game. 4 straight 100 yard games running behind the worst Oline in the league looks pretty impressive. Not too mention the TD in Seattle. Can he hold up is the question. This could easily be reversed if Prince and Claiborne turn out pretty decent. But right now based off of there career, have to go Helu.
    5.Hankerson=Carter=Rolle>Wilson Wilson could be really good, but has not yet played. Hankerson will make the biggest impact this year if healthy but Carter could end up being very solid for years to come. Rolle doesnt impress me that much. Eagles LB corps sucks big time.
    6.Riley>Williams>Graham>Crawford. Riley is a solid starter and will be for years. Graham is a below average role player as is Williams and who is Crawford? Riley clearly is head and shoulders above this group, and playing alongside Fletcher will only help.
    7.Coleman>Butler>Jenkins>Randle Jenkins and Randle have yet to play, although Jenkins has some preseason work so ranking him higher and could be the best of the bunch. Coleman is a better backup but did have a few decent games and BUtler seems to be a career back up also. Jenkins and Randle could be solid starters in the future.
    8-10-Could be some good players in here, but looks mostly like special teamers and back ups. Cox may be decent, but will be a few years and Gomes could be an above average safety in the league but not this year, Robinson could be a starting caliber LB soon but has a lot to learn, same with Curry.

    Overall, I have to go with the Skins since they are going to start and live/die with the most young players. I see more starters coming out of there group than any other, with more role players coming from the other teams after the top 3-4. And if RG3 pans out, will not be even close. RG3, Kerrigan, Williams, Hankerson, Helu, Riley, Jenkins can all be above average players at important positons and will get lots of playing time. I don’t think you can say that about any other teams 1-7.

    1. giantsfan says:

      Interesting you pull the LT v. DT “positional value” argument when it suits you (Williams v. Joseph) but completely ignore it when you’re considering JPP v. McCoy.

  10. Brian says:

    Might as well change the poll question from “Which NFC East team has the best “under 25″ talent” to “who is your favorite team” lol

    1. skinsaholic says:

      Hell yes, Im a huge homer.

  11. deg0ey says:

    The Eagles are the only team there who don’t have any 2012 draft picks in their top 5. I think that counts for a lot when considering the number (and quality) of young players in Philly at the moment. I voted for them for this reason.

    1. BBI says:

      Unfortunately he’s injured, but if he weren’t, I’d probably slot Jake Ballard in at #5 for the Giants and move those guys down.

      Also, if you think about it, Brian Rolle is very comparable to Jacquian Williams.
      Rolle had 54 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF
      Williams had 78 tackles, 1 sack

      Williams had 597 snaps this season, Rolle had 659 snaps. So both were partial contributors this season. So even though Rolle is one tier ahead, don’t know that you can say that because of that, the talent is greater there.

      1. deg0ey says:

        Maybe not, but they’re all pretty close and you’ve got to pick one somehow :p

  12. Troy O says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if J Will is near the top of that list come seasons end.

    Any one of these guys J Jernigan,Adrien Robinson, and Jayron Hosley over Austin Im thinking at this point .

    Not sure Jake Ballard shouldn’t have been on the list (at least according to last yrs stats)

  13. Ryan says:

    The fact that rookies who have meet played are included in the Top players list is stupid.

    1. skinsaholic says:

      Considering you have to be UNDER the age of 25 to even be on this list, it is far from stupid. And it is about talent, not stats as the headline clearly states.

      1. Ryan says:

        Considering the enormous amount of RS Soph and Juniors coming out the past couple of years, I disagree. How can someone who has NEVER played a snap be considered the top player under 25 on your NFL roster. Tell Chargers fans it’s about talent…

        1. skinsaholic says:

          You are dense dude. Which bEast team has the best under 25 talent? That is how the headline reads.

          Can you honestly tell me that RGIII is not the most talented player under the age of 25 on the redskins roster? He hasn’t played 1 down in the NFL, but he has an arm like a cannon, track speed, and a veterans head on his shoulders. He is everything you look for in a franchise player, and his ceiling is sky high.

          You are completely missing the point of the article.

        2. Who is your favorite team?

          1. Mark Sitko says:

            I think Jimmy could be the second most talented player on the Redskins if he walked on this year…

            1. horatius says:

              And you could be the dumbest guy on a team full of Albert Haynesworths and Jamarcus Russels.

  14. Mark Sitko says:

    Fascinating lists – I think it is clear by the first players on the Eagles and Giants lists that they are the only contenders…the Skins should be at least mentioned with Kerrigan and RG3, but the Cowboys under 25 team is retarded…Claiborne would have to be a top flight corner before I would even consider that list…Bryant has talent, but he is not Maclin or Nicks – Murray is not fit to carry Shady’s jock strap.

    Shady vs JPP – tough call…in a real draft I say JPP is chosen first, in a fantasy draft obviously it is Shady all day. As an Eagles fan I would always take Shady…he is the best RB we have ever had – in comparison JPP is not the best DE they have ever had…not even close to Strahan or the LT – he may not even be the best DE they have now. So Shady wins? hehe

    After that I think arguments can be made for Maclin or Nicks – Maclin is the better receiver, Nicks is a little more or a physical freak – close enough however to be a wash…They had very similar numbers in 2010 – last year Nicks had 200 more yards…of course the Giants were playing from behind and throwing the ball like lunatics in every 4th quarter, but what the hell…it clearly worked out for the might 9-7 team.

    After that the birds clearly win Kelce over Joseph, but the rest feel like grab bags on both sides. Good players throughout, but no more super talents…maybe Allen or Graham on the Eagles someday – maybe Prince or even Randle on the Giants…

    It is almost too close to call…but that should not be surprising – The Giants and the Eagles have the 2 best FOs in the NFC East, hands down. The other owners are coocoo balls…I haven’t like a Dallas or Washington draft in years…especially this year where both teams (with glaring holes) traded away picks to get that one special player they needed…I know I am in the minority on this issue now, but neither of those deals will end up being worth it_.

    In the end I go with the Eagles – assuming Graham will out perform Prince…and that JPP will be hit by a bus that Greg Williams is driving…we can all dream…


    1. BBI says:

      We have similar trains of thought, only difference is we’d pick the team we’re fans of. Not much difference in talent to have a convincing argument either way.

      The sticking point is Jason Kelce vs Linval Joseph. Giants fans LOVE Joseph (whom we lovingly call ‘Anvil’) and he was a monster at times. I myself am not convinced that Kelce will hold up, but Eagles fans love him. I think that’s the crux of the debate here. From 4 on down, its a complete wash…lots of similar talent, lots of potential. The debate there, as you accurately point out, is Prince vs Graham. Who knows how that turns out.

      The debate at the tippy-top (JPP vs McCoy)….I don’t think we can use the “greatest RB in our team’s history vs not the best DE in their team’s history” argument because as talents, they are pretty similar. Both historically strong talents. I’m going to take JPP because I think his ceiling is a tad bit higher than Shady’s, but I can understand an argument for Shady as well.

      1. giantsfan says:

        JPP will also be around longer than Shady, just based on average shelf life at the posiiton.

        1. VR says:

          That’s true, but you also have to look at them relative to their position. McCoy is, I think without argument, one of the top 3 RB’s right now. A good case could be made for #1 right now, in that he is more versatile than most of the others in the conversation while still being extremely productive in the “pure” RB role.

          JPP, while awesome, is not (right now) the top DE in the league, and I’m not sure he’s in the top 3. I’d put Tuck and Cole above him in the Beast alone, in terms of “total package” of DE skills. (And JPP gets even more competition if you add in the pass-rushing LB’s from 3-4 defenses, but I’m not sure if that’s fair or not.)

          Now balancing against that is importance of the position. While they are close, you could make a case for DE being more important than RB. (the Giants obviously believe that’s true!)

          They’re obviously both great players, btw. I think I’d pick Shady by a nose, but I am a Philly homer.

          1. Troy O says:

            RBs are found through out the draft.(DEs not so much) RBs have not 1/2 the worth of a top DL men. (the most valuable position on the D side of the ball)
            RB is really low down the list in the O picking order.



            1. giantsfan says:

              If you were having an NFCE under 25 draft, I think you would be crazy to pick anyone but JPP #1 overall. The talent level b/w JPP and Shady may be similar, but positional value of DE is way above that of a RB so it’s tough to make any sort of argument comparing the two. Put it this way, I’d be happier picking JPP and Murray than McCoy and Brandon Graham.

              Similarly, I take issue with you casting JPP as the #3 DE in the NFC East. While I have nothing but respect for Cole and Tuck, who are both monsters in their own right, we have seen their ceilings and (imo) JPP has already surpassed both in that regard. It’s fair to say JPP needs another year performing at the level that he did to cement his position as the best DE in the NFC East, but I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that everyone expects him to take that crown next year.

              1. I think it depends on what your team already looks like. If I don’t have a QB, I’m taking RG3 #1. But otherwise, I agree… JPP is a more valuable player than Shady, and I happen to think he might be the best defensive player in the division, assuming he continues to play the way he played in 2011.

              2. skinsaholic says:

                “If you were having an NFCE under 25 draft, I think you would be crazy to pick anyone but JPP #1 overall.”

                If I was doing an under 25 NFCE draft, I would 100% take a QB (RGIII) over a DE. JPP is a monster, but having an elite QB (as giants fan’s know) is much more crucial than a pass rusher.

              3. giantsfan says:

                Yea, I wasn’t thinking about Griffin – so I’ll cede you that.

                Of course, it’s no guarantee that RGIII doesn’t come in and suck – so that’s something to think about too.

      2. Tfizzle says:

        Shady has been exceptional for two years (which is incredible, since he’s only 23 now):
        207 carries for 1,080 yards with a 5.2 average in 2010 and 273 carries for 1,309 yards and a 4.8 average in 2011. With two fumbles over that time.

        JPP, on the other hand, has one exceptional season. While I personally believe that he will continue to be excellent, McCoy has, at the very least, shown consistent excellence (especially since he’s kept a 4.8 ypc or greater each season).

        Thus, while based off of only last year it’d be tough to differentiate who was better, I have to go McCoy.

        As far as Nicks V. Maclin, it’s very close. However, Nicks does have a tiny advantage in pretty much every category, and while I’m willing to give Maclin a tad of a pass because of his weird sickness last year, I’d go with Nicks with a slight advantage.

        After that, I very much like Kelce, Rolle and Allen. All very talented starters who’ve shown they can play so far.

        Overall, I’ve got to go with Eagles just in front of the Giants, just before the Redskins (for RGIII potential), and then the boys

      3. Mark Sitko says:

        Interesting – I don’t know enough Ginats fans I guess…had never heard Joseph praised…

  15. BBI says:

    The poll says you have 41 Redskin votes and 26 Eagle votes. That was FAST.

  16. BBI says:

    This is really tough. Lots of “projecting” being done. Lots of this will be based on how you think a player will develop. If we go based on column to column:

    1) Jason Pierre-Paul = Lesean McCoy > (slightly) Tyron Smith > RGIII (Great talent, but Giants and Eagles guys are top 5 at their position in the league. No one knows if RGIII will be that good)

    2) Hakeem Nicks > Jeremy Maclin > Dez Bryant = Ryan Kerrigan (Just based on production. Kerrigan is a great talent, but only had one year. Bryant has great talent as well, but has only good seasons to his name thus far. Maclin has had several really good seasons. Nicks has better production then all.)

    3) Demarco Murray > Linval Joseph > Trent Williams > Jason Kelce. I’m just not a huge fan of Kelce. He struggled early on in the season but got better. Joseph has shown flashes of pass rushing dominance, and took over games late in the season. Murray is a one year wonder thus far, but he had arguably a great season when he played. Williams is a great talent, but I dropped him for the dope, as well as having a rough rookie season.

    4) Morris Claiborne > Nate Allen > Prince Amukamara > Roy Helu. Claiborne tops simply because he’s projected to be a dominant corner. Allen had ups and downs, but he’s produced. Prince’s development hindered by injury, so that’s why I knocked him down. Helu talented, but small sample size.

    5) and 6) I had a tough time with this, because do I pick elite potential (Brandon Graham and David Wilson and maybe Hankerson) over solid role players (Rolle, Jacquian Williams?) What I’ll do is this:

    David Wilson > Leonard Hankerson > Brian Rolle > Bruce Carter
    Brandon Graham > Jacquian Williams > Perry Riley > Tyrone Crawford

    7) Jarvis Jenkins > Rueben Randle > Victor Butler > Kurt Coleman

    8) Fletcher Cox > Sean Lissemore > Henry Hynoski > Josh LeRibeus

    9) Mychal Kendricks > Marvin Austin > Keenan Robinson > Josh Brent

    10) Vinny Curry > Mark Herzlich (I’d probably put Jayron Hosley) > DeJon Gomes > Phil Costa

    Overall, I voted Giants barely over Philadelphia for the top spot because I think I’d take the trio of JPP, Hakeem Nicks, and Linval Joseph over Shady McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and Jason Kelce. The rest end up getting washed out, though the lower end of Philly’s lineup a tad bit better. It ends up being too close to call, and I’m a Giants fan, so there it is.

    I think the Dallas top 3 is great, comparable to both the Giants and Eagles. The bottom sort of falls out after that. They have one really high potential guy in Claiborne, but terrible “depth”. I like Crawford, he’s got potential, but he’s not ready for me yet. Could easily bust, because he’s raw, but could be great too. Skins have the “worst” top 3, I think, simply because the QB position is no guarantee….ever. Hardest to play, and while I doubt RGIII busts, the other guys he’s competing with are already bonafide studs, so I can’t in good faith put him above any of those guys. Redskins have decent talent lined up top to bottom, better “depth” than the Cowboys, but I’d have to put them 4th I think.

    1. Tracer Bullet says:

      I think the Dallas top 3 is great, comparable to both the Giants and Eagles. The bottom sort of falls out after that.

      Isn’t that the story of the Cowboys for at least a decade? Great starters, no depth.

      1. BBI says:

        haha truth

    2. jason says:

      Lol what a joke. w could all you were a giants fan from the first sentence. You didn’t need to say it. I don’t want to break down your long diatribeand I understand the giants win the superbowl but.let be honest they were a 9 and 7 team and they did not improve much this offseason. and the other MTV east teams all did. that being said the giants great young talwnt will get evaluated differently this year once they most the playoffs.

  17. Smitty2K3 says:

    Would’ve liked to have seen “25 and under.” That would’ve added Desean Jackson, Victor Cruz, and Brian Orakpo to the lists.

    But as it is, it’s really hard to pick the best group. I’d rule the Redskins out just because their bottom 6 are a bunch of unknowns; more-so than the rest. But having said that, RG3 at the top makes it hard to eliminate them.

    I’d say the top 4 of each group is pretty even. But I’d narrow it down to the Giants or Eagles because I like their bottom 6 better than the Cowboys or Redskins.

    1. slandog says:

      Maybe I’m getting into this too much here, but having RG3 is nice, but he hasn’t even played a snap yet in the NFL. He might have the highest ceiling but he may amount to nothing as well.

      At least the other teams top 5 have taken a NFL snap.

      1. Shaun says:

        exactly….RG3 may turn out to be peyton manning or he could turn out like akili smith….having him #1 on the list shows how long they havent had a competent QB….

      2. Smitty2K3 says:

        Yeah, you’re right. I agree with you. Redskins’ top 10 as they stand now is easily 4th on the list. But I like RG3 and think he’s going to be a legit franchise QB who actually could potentially be better than Vick eventually. I hope I’m wrong of course! I hope he’s the next JaMarcus Russell…

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