Every NFL team is made up of football players of many ages, from aspiring rookies to veterans in the midst of a legendary career. Each spring, the NFL draft adds over 250 hopeful players spread among 32 teams, many of which find themselves with a contract and a promising career. Of course, most rookies are youngsters. Among the NFL, who are the youngest players right now? Let’s find out.
Who is the youngest player in the NFL
First, we’ll head up to the AFC North and the Pittsburgh Steelers to find the youngest player in the league – Juju Smith-Schuster, drafted in the second round (No. 62 overall) in 2017. He’s followed by Marcus Williams, drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2017 (No. 42 overall). Smith-Schuster has seen a little more game time than Williams and is already chasing history as a millennial football superstar.
As an Indianapolis Colts cornerback, Quincy Wilson is the third youngest NFL player. He was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft (No. 46 overall). Fourth is Carolina Panthers wide receiver, Curtis Samuel who was drafted No. 40 overall in 2017. Cincinnati drafted the fifth youngest NFL player, running back Joe Mixon, 48th overall in 2017, and the Browns drafted the sixth youngest player, David Njoku, 29th overall.
The seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th youngest players came in differing rounds in the 2017 draft, but they are all relative newbies in the NFL as they work their way up the depth charts.
Young Pro Bowlers
In 2016, the youngest player on each respective conference’s Pro Bowl team was quite young indeed. For the NFC, the youngest player was insta-star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who barreled his way through opposing teams’ defensive lines all the way to the rushing title in 2016 during his phenomenal rookie year.
On the AFC side, the youngest player in the 2016 Pro Bowl was Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams. In his second season that year, Williams racked up seven sacks, 25 quarterback hits, 68 tackles, and 11 tackles for a loss. Oh, and he also earned the Jets MVP award.
Fresh-Faced Rookies, Team by Team
Let’s step back and look at the youngest players team by team.
There are a couple of rookies on this list waiting for their debut, including Patrick Mahomes II, the youngest player on the Kansas City Chiefs roster, and although he has yet to play a snap in the regular season, he was also a high draft select (No. 10 overall) and is waiting in the wings for his future to unfold.
The most electric rookie in the NFL right now isn’t on this list, but Kareem Hunt, also on the KC roster, is worth a mention. He leads the NFL in rushing yards (halfway to 1,000 in just four games) and has far outpaced any pre-draft expectations. Another rookie phenom running back worth mentioning is Leonard Fournette, who’s also getting big accolades out of Jacksonville.
Not all of the youngest players on each team are rookies, though – for example, defensive end Joey Bosa, age 22, is the youngest player on the Los Angeles Chargers roster, but he’s in his second season of blowing up blocks and collapsing the pocket. Bosa was a high draft pick in 2016 (3nd overall) and had 10 and a half sacks his debut season (he was also named Defensive Rookie of the Year).
A Promising Future
All of the NFL’s youngest players are enjoying the possibility of an amazing future. Whether they have outstanding rookie seasons or are saving their career seasons for a few years down the road, they have a lot to look forward to.
No matter which NFL team you’re rooting for (or which draft pick you’ve been following since his college playing days), you can find all the gear you need for this glorious fall season of football at Fanatics.com.
Top 10 Youngest Player in the NFL
- Juju Smith-Schuster (20) – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Marcus Williams (21) – New Orleans Saints
- Quincy Wilson (21) – Indianapolis Colts
- Curtis Samuel (21) – Carolina Panthers
- Joe Mixon (21) – Cincinnai Bengals
- David Njoku (21) – Cleveland Browns
- Marlon Humphrey (21) – Baltimore Ravens
- Derek Barnett (21) – Philadelphia Eagles
- Malik McDowell (21) – Seattle Seahawks
- D’onta Foreman (21) Houston Texans