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2016 Schedule
Date Opponent Time
8/11 @N.E. 6:30
8/20 @Texans 7:30
8/26 STEELERS 7:00
9/1 RAVENS 7:00
Regular Season
(All Times CDT)
Date Opponent Time
9/11 RAIDERS 12:00
9/18 @Giants 12:00
9/26 FALCONS 7:30
10/2 @Chargers 3.25
-- Bye --
10/16 PANTHERS 12:00
10/23 @Chiefs 12:00
10/30 SEAHAWKS 12:00
11/6 @49ers 3:05
11/13 BRONCOS. 12:00
11/17 @Panthers 7:25
11/27 RAMS 12:00
12/4 LIONS 12:00
12/11 @Bucs 3:25
12/18 @Cards 3:05
12/24 BUCS 12:00
1/1 @Atlanta 12:00
Post Season
(All Times CDT)
Date Opponent Time
TBA TBA TBA
Team Center
2016 Saints Draft
Rd  Pick Player/Pos.
1 (12)  Sheldon Rankins DT
2 (47)  Michael Thomas WR
2 (61)  Von Bell FS
4 (120)  David Oneyemata DT
7 (237)  Daniel Lasco RB
2016 Rookie Free Agents Signings:
Jack Allen, OL, Michigan State
Joseph Cheek, OL, Texas A&M
Ken Crawley, DB, Colorado
Jared Dangerfield, WR, WKU
Trae Elston, DB, Ole Miss
De'Vante Harris, CB, Texas A&M
Marcus Henry, C, Boise State
Sione Houma, FB, Michigan
Dillon Lee, LB, Alabama
Tommylee Lewis, WR, N. Ill.
Ryker Matthews, OT, BYU
DJ Pettway, DL, Alabama
Jeff Schoettmer, S, UNC
Dominique Tovell, LB, UL-Laf.
Landon Turner, G, UNC
John Walker, DB, Colorado
Jordan Williams, WR, Ball St.
Avery Young, OL, Auburn
Jake Lampman WR Ferris St.
Jimmy Pruitt CB San Jose St.
2015 Saints Draft
Rd  Pick Player/Pos.
1 (12)  Andrus Peat OT
1 (31)  Stephone Anthony LB
2 (12)  Hau'Oli Kikaha LB
3 (11)  Garrett Grayson QB
4 (14)  P.J. Williams CB
5 (12)  Davis Tull LB
5 (18) Tyeler Davison DT
5 (31) Damian Swann CB
7 (13) Marcus Murphy RB
2015 Rookie Free Agents Signings: DL - Tavaris Barnes, Kaleb Eulls, Ashaad Mabry, Bobby Richardson, G - Doniel Gambrell, Cyril Lemon, WR - R.J. Harris, Malcolme Kennedy, OT- Sean Hickey, LB Marcus Pierce-Brewster, Stephon Sanders, TE - Harold Spears, Jack Tabb, LB Henry Coley, OL Antonio Johnson, K Zach Hocker and WR Kyle Prater.
Mike Detillier



Order Mike's "2016" Draft Guide using Paypal:
 
Or order by phone: 985-532-6220
Check out Mike's website at MikeDetillier.com
2014 Saints Draft
Rd  Pick Player/Pos.
1 (20)  Brandin Cooks WR
2 (58)  Stan Jean-Baptiste CB
4 (126)  Kahri Fortt ILB
5 (167)  Vinnie Sunseri SS
5 (169)  Ronald Powell DE
6 (202)  Tavon Rooks OT

2014 UDFA SIGNINGS

2013 Saints Draft
Rd  Pick Player/Pos.
1 (15)  Kenny Vaccaro S
3 (75)  Terron Armstead T
3 (82)  John Jenkins DT
5 (144)  Kenny Stills WR
6 (183)  Rufus Johnson DE
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The Latest News
Will Smith's shirtless passenger becomes focus of Cardell Hayes trial Posted By: Andrus Posted On Today 08:53 PM


Full Story - NOLA.com

Cardell Hayes' lawyers sought Wednesday (Dec. 7) to shift jurors' attention away from their client's actions in his April 9 encounter with Will Smith and onto what they called the incendiary behavior of a shirtless acquaintance who spilled from the former Saints player's SUV.

Richard Hernandez, who an array of witnesses said yanked off his shirt and appeared intent on fighting the much larger occupants of the Hummer H2 that crashed into Smith's vehicle that night in the Lower Garden District, was a recurring focus on the third day of Hayes' murder trial. Hayes, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and aggravated criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors Jason Napoli and Laura Rodrigue and defense attorneys John Fuller and Jay Daniels continued wrestling over who was the primary aggressor in the deadly confrontation. It will be a critical determination for the trial's sequestered jurors, who either will affirm or reject Hayes' self-defense claim in his admitted fatal shooting of the retired football star on April 9.

By Ken Daley, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Full Story - NOLA.com
Tim Hightower gained more respect for the business side of football by negotiating his own contract Posted By: Andrus Posted On Today 08:48 PM

Full Story - theadvocate.com

Tim Hightower added another skill to his repertoire this offseason.

After his longtime agent Eugene Parker died earlier this offseason, Hightower was left without an agent. Instead of scrambling to find someone new to represent him in contract negotiations, the Saints running back decided to represent himself.

It was a good learning experience.

“I don’t regret anything,” Hightower said. “It forced me to learn and have some conversations. Whether it was with (general manager) Mickey Loomis, whether it was with coach (Sean) Payton, it forced me to have some conversations that I probably wouldn’t have had before.”

Hightower managed to negotiate a one-year deal worth $840,000, which includes an $80,000 signing bonus. It’s a pretty standard deal, but he was also able to negotiate in some bonuses.

The veteran running back has already earned $150,000 by rushing for 400 yards, and can earn another $75,000 by reaching 500. He currently has 422 yards rushing and one touchdown. He’s also scored two touchdowns. If he scores three more times, he’ll another $65,000.

Hightower consulted some of his mentors who he’s built a relationship throughout the years and said the process was quick.

By Nick Underhill


Full Story - theadvocate.com

See also from the Advocate:
New Orleans Saints see playoff chances slipping away Posted By: Andrus Posted On Today 08:41 PM


Full Story - UPI.com

METAIRIE, La. -- Reeling from a flat performance in Sunday's 28-13 loss to the Detroit Lions in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Saints begin the final quarter of the season between a rock and a hard place.

After wasting a golden opportunity that could have seen them pull to within one game of the NFC South lead, thanks to the setback against the Lions, the Saints (5-7) find themselves in a dire situation going into the final four games.

The problem is three of their remaining games will be on the road, a rugged stretch that starts with Sunday's matchup with the hard-charging Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) in Raymond James Stadium.

With four wins in a row, the Bucs are suddenly tied for the NFC South lead with the Atlanta Falcons and are in control of their own destiny heading down the stretch.

By The Sports Xchange

Full Story - UPI.com
Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins already showing why he was a first-round talent Posted By: Andrus Posted On Today 08:21 PM


Full Story - NOLA.com

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins knew what would likely happen on the play.

The Detroit Lions faced second-and-13 early in the third quarter Sunday, and the Saints were sending five players to rush. Rankins was playing right defensive end, Nick Fairley was in the middle, Cameron Jordan was the left defensive end and New Orleans was overloading the left side with linebacker Craig Robertson and cornerback Sterling Moore.

Rankins, this year's first-round pick, had the assignment of containing Stafford in case the pressure made him go to the edge. Jordan forced Stafford from the center of the pocket, but he couldn't go outside because of the rush from Robertson and Moore and the success of Rankins, who had pushed left tackle Taylor Decker back with one arm.

By the end of the play, Rankins had his third sack in just five career games.

"I just knew at some point if (Stafford) held the ball he was going to get flushed, so the whole point was just not to let him outside of me," Rankins said. "So I just came off the ball long-armed, keeping my outside arm free and making sure if he escaped that way I was able to get him. When I got to the depth of the quarterback, I knew if he got flushed he wasn't going to try to bow out and go around me, so I knew he'd step up. And when he did, I just got off the block and made the play."

By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Full Story - NOLA.com
Former Saints running back describes Smith shooting Posted By: Andrus Posted On Today 08:21 PM


Full Story - Hearld-Review.com

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas told a jury Wednesday that he thought a heated argument between retired Saints star Will Smith and an irate driver had cooled — but then he heard gunshots and turned to see his friend being gunned down.

"After the shooting stopped I stood there in shock. Telling myself that didn't happen," Thomas said, his voice shaking. "Telling myself he didn't just kill one of my friends, my former teammate."

Smith's killer was Cardell Hayes, 29, a former semi-pro football player and owner of a tow-truck business. At dispute in the second-degree murder trial is whether Hayes legitimately feared for his life when both men got out of their cars after a collision to confront each other on a street in New Orleans.

Hayes also wounded Smith's wife, Racquel, in the legs, before surrendering to police at the scene.

Thomas' testimony is the latest to bolster the prosecution's scenario of how the shooting unfolded: The Smiths were out for the evening with friends after a festival in the French Quarter. The group was traveling in three different vehicles when Smith's Mercedes SUV stopped short behind an orange Hummer.

By KEVIN McGILL Associated Press

Full Story - Hearld-Review.com
Cardell Hayes-Will Smith trial: 5 things we learned Tuesday Posted By: Andrus Posted On Today 08:21 PM


Testimony in the trial of Cardell Hayes for the fatal shooting of Will Smith began Tuesday (Dec. 6). Here are five things learned from the day:

1. Will Smith's gun wasn't out

New Orleans police homicide detective Robert Bachelder testified that Will Smith's unfired 9mm pistol was found by investigators between the driver's seat and center console of wife Racquel's silver Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle. The gun was still in its holster, Bachelder said, and investigators uncovered no evidence that any weapon other than Cardell Hayes' .45-caliber Ruger had been fired in the fatal April 9 confrontation in the Lower Garden District.

Bachelder said investigators recovered nine shell casings, all near the Smiths' vehicle. One of the ejected cartridges was found inside the vehicle, on the driver's seat under Smith's body. "It would indicate a shot fired in very close proximity," Bachelder told jurors.

By Ken Daley, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Full Story - NOLA.com


See Also from NOLA.com: Saints add offensive tackle Rob Crisp to practice squad
Witness: Will Smith was 'hostile, erratic, uncontrollable' during confrontation Posted By: Andrus Posted On Yesterday 08:09 PM


Full Story - ESPN.com

A friend of the man charged with the murder of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith told Outside the Lines that the shooting of Smith was "justified" and that there was no negligence involved with Smith's death.

Kevin O'Neal, 30, was at the scene in New Orleans on the night Smith was shot by Cardell Hayes, 29, on April 9. In his first television interview, O'Neal told Outside the Lines' Jeremy Schaap that Smith was "hostile," "erratic" and "uncontrollable" during a confrontation after the Hummer H2 driven by Hayes rear-ended Smith's Mercedes G63 SUV.

The clash after the accident resulted in Smith, 34, being shot multiple times, and his wife, Racquel, 33, being shot in her legs. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene, while his wife was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Outside the Lines reached out to 15 people who were either involved in or witnessed April's incident. O'Neal, a passenger in the Hummer and a friend of Hayes since high school, agreed to be interviewed on-camera.

Full Story - ESPN.com

See Also: Jury selection begins in trial in former Saints player killing - WDSU.com
First Look: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Posted By: Andrus Posted On Yesterday 08:02 PM


Full Story - New Orleans advocate

WHEN: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

TV: Fox

RADIO: WWL-AM, 870; WWL-FM, 105.3 in New Orleans; KMDL-FM, 97.3 in Lafayette; WDGL-FM, 98.1 in Baton Rouge; en español, WGSO-AM, 990

RECORDS: New Orleans 5-7; Tampa Bay 7-5

COACHES: Saints, Sean Payton, 10th season, 92-64; Buccaneers, Dirk Koetter, first season, 7-5

BUCCANEERS BREAKDOWN

LAST WEEK: Tampa Bay stretched its win streak to four games by coming back in the second half to beat San Diego 28-20 on the strength of Lavonte David's interception return for a touchdown and a Jameis Winston touchdown pass to Cameron Brate. With the win, the Buccaneers moved into a tie for first place in the NFC South.

OFFENSE: Everything in Tampa starts with Winston, who has taken a great step forward in his second season in the NFL. Winston has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 3,180 yards, 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and he's gotten better as the season progresses.

BY JOEL A. ERICKSON

Full Story - New Orleans advocate
Saints Coach Sean Payton reviews Lions game Posted By: Andrus Posted On Yesterday 08:00 PM


Full Story - NewOrleansSaints.com

When you looked at the film anything jump out at you that didn’t after the game?

“A few things. I think first off I thought offensively seven snaps in the first quarter. We had some early third and one opportunities. We got a fumbled shotgun snap or we don’t get the shotgun snap on the first third down situation. The next one we come up short on a running play and here we are after the first quarter with seven snaps. First half we are at 19 snaps before we get to the two minute. Our third down numbers in the first half were two of six, which wasn’t good. Defensively, there were some good things on tape. Now, the thing that was a concern was the third and long situations. They were three of six on third and 10 or more with a touchdown and a 28-yard average and that down and distance for us defensively we’ve got to improve on. I thought the special teams covered well. (Thomas) Morstead I thought up until the last punt did a good job changing field positions. There were some things that were encouraging, but mainly offensively we weren’t able to generate any type of momentum or rhythm. That was evident and when you play a game like that you look down at your call sheet and two thirds of your running game you haven’t gotten to or your play action passing game. The time of possession was tilted heavily in their favor and that really was clear when you watched the game in its entirety.”

Why did you spike the ball with two seconds left?

“I think you’re trying to score. We’re in a mindset that when that drives starts we’re going to try to score and get back an onside kick. I think that’s clearly the competitive nature of everyone on the field.”

How do you think Dannell Ellerbe has played since he’s been out there?

“I think there are some things on tape now that I think that were real encouraging. There were a handful of plays we can clean up, but I think I has (his return) definitely benefited our defense. He is back in the lineup and he runs well. He hasn’t had the snap totals the rest of these guys have had, but he has been a reason we’ve played better on that side of the ball.”

Full Story - NewOrleansSaints.com
'Yo-yo' Saints squandering playoff potential for third straight year Posted By: Andrus Posted On 12-05-2016 06:42 PM


Full Story - ESPN.com

NEW ORLEANS -- In theory, the New Orleans Saints still have a path to the playoffs. But the thought of this “yo-yo team” winning four straight games is almost inconceivable at this point.

Sure, ups and downs have become the norm for NFL teams. But the Saints (5-7) have taken it to the extreme.

They have exactly one three-game win streak the past three seasons. Over the past eight days, they went from trouncing the Los Angeles Rams 49-21 to completely flopping in a 28-13 loss to the Detroit Lions.

The fact that not even Drew Brees could put a positive spin on New Orleans’ wild inconsistency lets you know what kind of epidemic it has become.

“We don’t like having that on our résumé,” Brees said. “We don’t like the up and down. And unfortunately, that’s the way it’s been the past few years, and this year as well.

Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

Full Story - ESPN.com
Opinions differ on Saints' energy, but all agree they lacked execution Posted By: Andrus Posted On 12-05-2016 06:28 PM


Full Story - ESPN.com

METAIRIE, La. -- Delvin Breaux said he could sense a lack of energy on Sunday even before the New Orleans Saints kicked off their ugliest performance of the season -- a 28-13 home loss to the Detroit Lions.

“There was no energy, That’s something I pointed out whenever we came for warm-ups,” the Saints cornerback said. “Everything felt dead, then as the game was being played, I didn’t see the energy on the sideline, either.

“Most teams will ramp up, like ‘We gotta get to the playoffs. We have to find a way to make the playoffs.’ And to not have the energy [in Week 13], it just sucks.”

Most other players polled in the Saints’ locker room pointed more to the lack of execution leading to the flat performance.

And it’s often hard to pinpoint which is the chicken and which is the egg, since performing on the field always outweighs any amount of dancing and yelling on the sideline.

Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

Full Story - ESPN.com
Saints snap counts: Brandin Cooks eclipses 80 percent for second time in past six games Posted By: Andrus Posted On 12-05-2016 06:26 PM


Full Story - NOLA.com

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks has had his role reduced a bit this season, but he played a sizable amount of snaps one week after expressing frustration.

It would be wrong to assume Cooks' frustration led to the increased role because it was likely matchup related, which was the reason for some of his reduced snaps in other games.

Cooks was on the field for 51 of 61 snaps (84 percent) in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions, and he finished with seven catches on nine targets for 73 yards. It was just the second time in the past six games he eclipsed the 80 percent mark.

Even in some of the games with reduced snaps, Cooks managed to produced. He played a season-low 50 percent against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 because of the physicality of the cornerbacks and still had four catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.

By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Full Story - NOLA.com
Saints' roller-coaster season mercifully over after ugly loss to Lions Posted By: Andrus Posted On 12-05-2016 06:21 PM


Full Story - NOLA.com


It's over. Stick a fork in the New Orleans Saints. They are done. Toast. The fleur de lis is fini.

I know four games remain on the schedule. Technically, they remain in contention in the NFC South race. But my name's Tucker not sucker. I've seen this movie before. I know how it ends.

If we learned anything from the Saints' demoralizing 28-13 loss to Detroit on Sunday it's this: We no longer have to waste time and energy entertaining thoughts of a playoff run. The Saints aren't going anywhere this January except to their offseason homes.

For a third consecutive December, the Saints find themselves languishing in irrelevance, stuck on the treadmill of mediocrity and staring at another losing season.

By Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Full Story - NOLA.com


Cardell Hayes' trial to open today in Will Smith death Posted By: Andrus Posted On 12-05-2016 06:02 PM


Full Story - NOLA.com


The murder trial of Will Smith's accused killer Cardell Hayes is set to begin Monday morning (Dec. 5) at New Orleans' criminal courthouse, nearly eight months after their confrontation ended with Hayes fatally shooting the former Saints defensive end in the Lower Garden District.

Hayes' defense attorneys John Fuller and Jay Daniels and state prosecutors Jason Napoli and Laura Rodrigue are expected to make their way to the courtroom of Criminal District Judge Camille Buras by 9 a.m., to iron out last-minute details and begin jury selection amid what is expected to be intense attention from local and national media. Jurors will be sequestered for the duration of the trial after being selected in a voir dire process expected to take 1 to 2 days.

"All the lawyers involved have proven track records of winning and fighting zealously for their side," said New Orleans defense attorney Michael Kennedy, who is not affiliated with the case. "Given the high-profile nature of this case and the emotional reaction that the community at large has had, it's going to be as good to watch as any courtroom TV drama."

By Ken Daley, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Full Story - NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints aware of their tenuous spot in NFC South standings Posted By: Andrus Posted On 12-05-2016 05:59 PM


Full Story - NOLA.com

The New Orleans Saints need no reminder about their placement in the NFC South standings.

They sit in third place and two games behind NFC South co-leaders.

That deficit would fall to three with three games to play if the Saints lose this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose four-game win streak has pulled them into a first-place tie with the Atlanta Falcons.

"It's not like we haven't thought of that," said Sheldon Rankins, who added that "he'd be lying" if he claimed to not pay attention to the standings.

Many Saints considered their 28-13 loss Sunday to the Detroit Lions to be a missed chance to close ground in the standings, as the Falcons also lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28, a game in which Eric Berry intercepted a two-point conversion pass for the winning score in the fourth quarter.

With three of their final four games against the two teams ahead of them in the NFC South, the Saints an ill afford another loss.

By Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Full Story - NOLA.com
Saints blame sloppy execution, more than lack of energy, for Detroit loss Posted By: Andrus Posted On 12-05-2016 05:56 PM


Full Story - New Orleans Advocate

Energy can be an elusive concept on an NFL field.

New Orleans sputtered on Sunday, falling to its worst loss of the season in a 28-13 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions, and a few Saints felt like the team was a little flat.

Cornerback Delvin Breaux chalked up the loss to a lack of energy.

"There was no energy," Breaux said. "That’s something I pointed out whenever we came out for warm-ups. It was just no energy, everything felt dead, then as the game was being played, I didn’t see the energy on the sideline, either."

But a few of Breaux's teammates felt like the Saints' inability to execute trumped any issues with energy. Quarterback Drew Brees and Sheldon Rankins both said an inability to execute was at fault for the ugly loss.

"If guys said they felt it, that's them. I didn't feel (a lack of energy)," linebacker Dannell Ellerbe said. "I felt like guys were focused. Just because guys aren't hooping and hollering doesn't mean that they're not focused and ready to play."

BY JOEL A. ERICKSON

Full Story - New Orleans Advocate
More...
Original Stories
Hope Ellerbe is Healthy -- Mike Detillier
Posted On 10-02-2016


Hope Ellerbe is Healthy

By Mike Detillier


Right now the New Orleans Saints are in desperate need of play-makers on defense. Arguably two of their best defensive players in cornerback Delvin Breaux and defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins will not be back “active” for the team until mid-season or maybe even a little after that point due to injuries.

One good player for the Saints is outside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. There is no questioning his talents, but right now the speedy outside linebacker just can’t stay healthy and he has not played a snap in the 2016 regular season.

That looks to be different today since the word is that Ellerbe looks like a “go” for the Saints and he is a difference-maker on defense.

Last season Ellerbe played in 6 games and started 4 and he was in on 39 tackles, he had 1 forced fumble and 1 pass deflection, but during training camp Ellerbe got nicked up again and he has seen no action for a defense that really needs his football field presence.

Since the start of the 2014 season Ellerbe has played in just 7 games in 35 possible games in the NFL. The Saints acquired Ellerbe and a third round pick from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for wide receiver Kenny Stills.

Saints coaches have praised the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker, but his absence due to injuries has created a huge hole at outside linebacker for the Saints.

A healthy Ellerbe will not cure all the defensive ills for the Saints, but he is a productive player, super instinctive to the football and the best cover linebacker the team has. If he does play watch what type impact Dannell Ellerbe makes for the Saints defense. Just hope and pray he can stay healthy.


Disturbing Saints stat

Last season the New Orleans Saints defense gave up a league-high 29.8 points per game. In the 3 games played in 2016 the Saints defense has given up an average of 32 points per game.

That is just not acceptable at any level of football and the Saints organization has spent a lot of money in free agency and used a number of high picks via the draft to cure this major ill, but there are still gaping holes on defense due to a lack of talent and serious injuries.

Injuries are not an excuse in the NFL. All teams have them, but that is what you do in the off-season. As an organization you try and project where a host of injuries could chip away at your football team. It’s not a question of if you will have injuries, but when you will have them.

That is where the dead-money issue has hit the Saints.

The Saints were players in free agency last spring and landed linebackers Nate Stupar, Craig Robertson and James Laurinitas, along with defensive tackle Nick Fairley and tight end Coby Fleener. But with $40 million dollars worth of dead money on the books owed to players no longer on the team, the Saints could not bulk up on defensive players or along the offensive line.

There has to be some sense of accountability on the movers and shakers in the Saints organization on why after three years of trying to build a defense you are still in need of a number of quality players on defense.


Davison, best Saints pick of 2015?

The Saints are still in the building...
Read More...
The Young Standouts in the NFL -- Mike Detillier
Posted On 08-06-2016


The Young Standouts in the NFL

By Mike Detillier


Here is my look at the top 45 players in the NFL 25 years old and younger


1. Khalil Mack - Defensive End/Outside Linebacker - (Oakland Raiders)

Mack is 25 years old and one of the three most dominating defensive players in the league along with J.J. Watt and Von Miller. His next contract will be the largest ever given to a defensive player. He posted 15 quarterback sacks in 2015.

2. Luke Kuechly - Middle Linebacker - (Carolina Panthers)

Simply put, Kuechly at 25 years old is the best middle linebacker in the NFL. Terrific versus the run and a superb pass cover linebacker.

3. Odell Beckham, Jr. - Wide Receiver - (New York Giants)

New age version of what Lynn Swann (Steelers) was in the 1970’s. OBJ’s eye-hand coordination is at the top rung of the ladder. He’s just 23 years old.

4. Tyron Smith - Offensive Tackle - (Dallas Cowboys)

25 years old and Smith is the best left tackle in the NFC.

5. Aaron Donald - Defensive Tackle - (Los Angeles Rams)

Aaron is undersized, but quick and dominating. The 25-year old was in on 11 quarterback sacks and 63 tackles in 2015. Donald is the most disruptive interior player in the NFL.

6. Todd Gurley - Halfback - (Los Angeles Rams)

Gurley is on the verge of being the best halfback in the NFL. If healthy the 22-year old Gurley is a workhorse back with great power and speed.

7. Fletcher Cox - Defensive End/Tackle - (Philadelphia Eagles)

Cox is the most underrated big man athlete in the pros. The 25 year old Cox can play end, tackle or on the nose.

8. Derek Carr - Quarterback - (Oakland Raiders)

Carr is a gunslinger QB. with a strong arm, excellent leadership skills and he is an accurate passer from the pocket. Carr is 25 years old and getting better each season.

9. Zack Martin - Offensive Guard - (Dallas Cowboys)

Zack is 25 years old, but he plays old-school. Martin is the best offensive guard in the NFC.

10. DeAndre Hopkins - Wide Receiver - (Houston Texans)

He’s just 24 years old and Hopkins has already caught 239 passes for 3,533 yards and 19 touchdowns.

11. Le’Veon Bell - Halfback - (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Troubled off the field, but when tuned-up just right the 24-year old is the most complete back in the league. Bell is fast, powerful, sure-handed and has great stamina.

12. Marcus Peters - Cornerback - (Kansas City Chiefs)

Had a lot of issues with authority figures at Washington, but the 23-year old Peters is now focused and his length and drive to the ball are 1st rate.

13. Terron Armstead - Offensive Tackle - (New Orleans Saints)

Armstead is the most athletic left tackle in the business. Terron is 25 years old and he is a dominant pass blocker and crushing run blocker.

14. Tyrone Mathieu - Free Safety/Cornerback - (Arizona Cardinals)

Yes, he is undersized, but you can’t measure heart, football smarts and instincts to the ball. The 24 year old Mathieu has the best ball skills in the NFL.

15. Sheldon Richardson - Defensive Tackle - (New York Jets)

Richardson has the quickest initial step off the line as any interior player in the league. Richardson is 25 years old and had some off the field issues, but he is a dominating player in the...
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