Two LA Chargers players under 25 are representing the team nicely.
Every year, Sean Wagner-McGough of CBS Sports compiles the best 25 players in the NFL that are under the age of 25. Of the 25 players on Wagner-McGough’s recently released list this season, two are LA Chargers.
Only five teams had multiple players make the list. The Chargers joined the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens as teams with two players on the list while the New Orleans Saints had three players making the cut.
The Colts were the only team that had two players selected in the top-10, however, the Chargers’ came really close to accomplishing the same feat.
The two LA Chargers players that made the top-25 under 25:
- Derwin James (Ranked 11th)
Derwin James is the lower of the two players that made the top-25 under 25 list and as you can see, he was one spot away from giving the Chargers the honors of having two of the 10-best players under 25 in the entire league.
If James would have been healthy last season and improved from his fantastic rookie year then he probably would have cracked the top-10. Number 10 was Minkah Fitzpatrick, who don’t get me wrong, is great, but another solid year from James would have put him in favor over Fitzpatrick, easily.
James is one of the most exciting players in all of the NFL as he has the rare skill set that allows him to practically line up anywhere on the field. He traditionally is a strong safety but he also lines up at linebacker in big nickel packages and could even play man-to-man in the slot corner if the team really needed him to.
Heck, I would not be surprised if James got a snap under center this season (please sense the sarcasm).
I will be honest, even though James is my favorite current player on the LA Chargers, I was a bit surprised to see him this high on the list. I thought his injury-shortened season would hurt his stock with other NFL writers and analysts but apparently not, which is a great thing.
- Joey Bosa (Ranked 5th)
I am going to be honest, I was shocked to see Joey Bosa so high on this list and it is not because I don’t think he is a top-five player under the age of 25 (because he is), but for some reason, I thought he was older than he actually is.
Bosa does turn 25 in July, so I guess he really shouldn’t qualify for this list as he is not going to be 25 by the time that the 2020 season starts but he is not the only player like that on this list. Dalvin Cook (24th), Alvin Kamara (18th), Ezekiel Elliott (15th) and Darius Leonard (7th) all turn 25 before the season. Several others turn 25 during the season.
Bosa often gets overlooked as one of the best pass rushers in the entire league and it should be the team’s priority to extend him after this season. Bosa has not even hit his prime yet and the numbers that he has already put up are worthy of Defensive Player of the Year discussion.
Don’t believe me? Go back and look at Bosa’s 2017 compared to Aaron Donald, who won the award. Bosa had 12.5 sacks, 70 combined tackles, 21 quarterback hits, and four forced fumbles. Donald had 11.0 sacks, 41 combined tackles, 27 quarterback hits and five forced fumbles.
If the LA Chargers can extend Bosa and eventually re-sign James then the hope is that the team can continually build a solid defense around them for years to come, making that their winning identity in 2020 as well as the future.