Top 10 Best Young NHL Players 2023 Under 25
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This is an age-based ranking of the best young players on teams' reserve lists, meaning within or outside of the NHL. This ranking is intended to show who we believe will have the best pro careers, not who we would pick in a game tomorrow. Check it out!
Top 10 Best Young NHL Players in 2023
(Ranked by KnowInsiders.com)
1. Daniel Jones
Team: New York Giants
Daniel Jones will almost certainly return to the New York Giants in 2023. He just helped the Giants end a five-year playoff drought, and the team wants to keep Jones.
According to Charlotte Carroll of The Athletic, general manager Joe Schoen stated, "Hopefully, we can get something done with his representatives."
However, Jones is an impending free agent, plays the game's most important position, and won't turn 26 until May. Given the importance of a good young quarterback in today's NFL, he has to be at the top of our list.
Jones played well in 2022 (92.5 rating), even if he hasn't done quite enough to prove he's a legitimate franchise QB.
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2. Daron Payne
Team: Washington Commanders
Position: Defensive tackle
Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders won't turn 26 until May, but he's already established himself as one of the league's most disruptive interior defenders. The Alabama product had 64 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and 25 quarterback pressures last season.
He chose the ideal time to make his first Pro Bowl appearance, and he'll command a high salary in free agency. He has an annual market value of $19.4 million.
That's a high salary, but interior defenders who can disrupt both running and passing game plans are hard to come by. The Seattle Seahawks, who finished 30th in run defense last season, could use one along their defensive line.
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3. Ja'Marr Chase
Position: Wide receiver
Chase set rookie records for single-year and single-game scoring in his first season. It earned him a spot in Super Bowl LVI and the title of NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. In addition, he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.
4. Landon Dickerson
Dickerson has emerged as an elite offensive guard for the Eagles in just two seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2022 after starting all 17 regular-season games.
5. Nasir Adderley
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
While Derwin James is the star of the Los Angeles Chargers' secondary, Nasir Adderley has emerged as a dependable player. This past season, the Delaware product appeared in 16 games with 15 starts, recording 62 tackles, a forced fumble, and two interceptions.
In coverage, Adderley allowed an OPR of only 83.6. He won't turn 26 until the end of May and is expected to have an annual market value of $8.7 million.
That's a reasonable asking price for a dependable defensive back, and nearly every team in need of secondary help should be interested. The Cincinnati Bengals should be among those who are interested.
6. Byron Murphy
Team: Minnesota Vikings
Byron Murphy of the Arizona Cardinals had a down year in 2022, which will reduce his value in free agency. The four-year veteran, who turned 25 just a month ago, missed eight games due to a back injury and was inconsistent as a starter.
Murphy permitted a coverage OPR of 103.1.
Still, young cornerbacks are valuable, and Murphy has previously demonstrated a high level of play. In 2021, he started 16 games, had four interceptions, and allowed an OPR of only 87.6. Murphy is expected to be a starter in free agency.
7. Miles Sanders
Team: Carolina Panthers
Position: Running back
If Pollard had been healthy, he could have pushed Eagles running back Miles Sanders off this list. It would be a difficult decision, but it has been rendered moot by Sanders's ability to stay healthy throughout the season and postseason.
Pro Bowl running backs don't often hit the open market—Chris Ivory was the last Pro Bowl running back to sign with a new team in the offseason after appearing in the exhibition, and that was in 2016. Sanders is a Pro Bowl running back who turns 26 in May and just played in the Super Bowl.
8. Trevon Diggs
Diggs is now known as more than just Stefon Diggs' younger brother, being named an All-Pro in 2021 and a Pro Bowler last season. The aggressive cornerback helped orchestrate a huge turnaround for the Cowboys' defense.
9. Sauce Gardner
Gardner was the fourth overall pick in 2022, and he won Defensive Rookie of the Year and was an All-Pro. He finished his rookie season with a league-best 20 passes defensed and two interceptions.
Gardner appeared in 11 games as a true freshman in 2019. He finished the season with 31 tackles and three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He also had 11 pass breakups and 11 passes defended. Gardner was the only true freshman named to the American Athletic Conference first team after the season. Gardner, a sophomore in 2020, started the season at the top of the depth chart.
10. Tee Higgins
Position: Wide receiver
Higgins was slightly overshadowed in the Bengals offense by Ja'Marr Chase, but he has still been a star in three seasons. He's gained over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons.
Higgins began his sophomore season as a starter in 2018. In the 44-16 victory over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, he had three receptions for 81 yards. He finished with 59 receptions, 936 yards receiving, and 12 touchdowns.
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