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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

The 25 Best Players Under 25 in the NFL

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24. Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals (Age: 24)



The Cincinnati Bengals got a steal when they picked Geno Atkins in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft, and he rewarded them with a Pro Bowl season in 2011. Atkins started all 16 games on the interior defensive line, racking up 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a defensive touchdown, 29 tackles and 26 quarterback pressures.

Atkins finished second in combined sacks and pressures among DTs, trailing just Tommy Kelly of the Oakland Raiders and Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions.



11. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (Age: 23)


As a rookie, A.J. Green had one of the best seasons by a first-year wide receiver since Randy Moss in 1998 or Anquan Boldin in 2003. Green broke out with 65 receptions for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl in year one.

Oh, and he did all that while playing with a rookie quarterback after a shortened offseason that didn’t include OTAs or a training camp.



10. Carlos Dunlap, DE, Cincinnati Bengals (Age: 23)


It’s amazing that Carlos Dunlap has managed to stay under the radar during his two NFL seasons, because he’s been scary good. As a rookie in 2010, Dunlap picked up 9.5 sacks in a limited role for the Cincinnati Bengals. He followed that up with just five in 2011, but picked up 29 quarterback pressures and 13 quarterback hits.

Few 4-3 defensive ends in the NFL were a better blend at rushing the quarterback, stopping the run and even playing in pass coverage against screen passes than Dunlap.






I think Cincy has the most. Maybe the 9ers have 3 also.

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