CBS Sports ranks top NFL players under 25, including Micah Parsons

The youth in the NFL is really taking flight going into the 2022 season, and there are some notable Penn State players who are helping to shape the future of the league. It didn’t take long for former linebacker Micah Parsons to leave his mark, of course. The rookie for the Dallas Cowboys easily walked away with the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year award and had some even stumping for him to win the NFL’s defensive player of the year honor.

So it should come as no surprise that Parsons locked down a spot on a list of the NFL’s top players under the age of 25 in a recent list organized by CBS Sports. Parsons was the only player under 25 to make the top 25 cut for CBS Sports, but a handful of other former Nittany Lions were listed as an honorable mention or on the radar for a similar list a year from now. At the same time, a few other notable Penn State greats just aged out of the range for this list.

Here are the former Penn State players who appear in the CBS Sports list of the NFL’s top players under 25 for the 2022 season, and those who just missed the cut for one reason or another. One thing to keep in mind is CBS Sports chose not to include any rookies entering the NFL in 2022, thus eliminating players like wide receiver Jahan Dotson and safety Jaquan Brisker, for example.

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Parsons is the only former Nittany Lion to appear in the top 25 players under 25 according to CBS Sports, and he does so at only No. 16. Only four other defensive players come in ahead of him though with Nick Bosa (No. 4), Jaire Alexander (No. 9), Roquan Smith (No. 13), and Chase Young (No. 14) managing to come in ahead of the former Penn State linebacker.

We’ll see if Parsons can work his way up this list in the next year. At just 22 years of age, Parsons is the youngest defensive player in this ranking. If Parsons turns in as dominant a 2022 season as we saw in 2021, Parsons could make a big move next year.

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Former Penn State running back Miles Sanders will not make this list next year, as he is 25 years old now and about to age out of this particular exercise. Sanders is a player to keep an eye on with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022 though as the Eagles seemed to gain momentum on the ground last season mostly without Sanders.

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Like his former Penn State running mate, Saquon Barkley is about to age out of this ranking as well. Sanders is 25 years old and has battled some injuries that have helped keep him out of the top 25 according to CBS Sports. Like Sanders, the 2022 season appears to be a pretty important one for Sanders with where the New York Giants are as a franchise and with the historical trends of running backs after five years of NFL football.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are very happy with their former second-round draft pick, tight end Pat Freiermuth, and the 2022 season could see Freiermuth continue to be a reliable asset in the passing game with a brand new quarterback situation playing out. At 23, Freiermuth has time to work his way into the top 25 on this CBS Sports list.

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Penn State’s other first-round draft pick in 2021 also had a promising season for the Baltimore Ravens. Odafe Oweh continues to grow and develop at the next level and he should be a fixture on the Ravens defense for years to come. At 23 years of age, Oweh has some time to get some top 25 recognition before he ages out.

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One of Penn State’s top wide receivers of the James Franklin era continues to command respect in the NFL. But as he is now 26 years of age, Chris Godwin is officially ineligible for consideration according to CBS Sports for this exercise. Godwin is sticking with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a new contract going into 2022, although he will be coming off a torn ACL suffered late last season.

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Another former Nittany Lion now deemed too old for consideration by CBS Sports is former tight end Mike Gesicki. Like Godwin, Gesicki is 26 years old but he continues to prove himself at the NFL level with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins placed the franchise tag on Gesicki this offseason, making for an interesting year to come for the former Nittany Lion standout.

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