Youth is served
Warpath|October 2020
Youth is served
Rebuild filled with youngsters
Chris Russell

Chase Young, Ryan Anderson and Jonathan Allen

When it comes to NFL roster makeup, there’s not much difference between the youngest roster in the league and the middle of the pack.

Per Jimmy Kempski of, who has covered the Eagles and NFL for years, on the day that rosters were cut down to 53, the Jacksonville Jaguars had the youngest average age at 24.9 years. The Washington Football Team was 14th overall at 25.8 years, not even an average of one full year above Jacksonville.

Essentially age is just a number for charting purposes.

It’s good to be young. It’s good to also have experience. It’s nice to have a perfect blend. That seems to be what coach Ron Rivera’s guys have for the most part. Still, they skew younger than the last few seasons.

Make no mistake about this: Washington will only go as far as the young bucks will take them. That’s why Rivera and his front office decided to cut 35-year-old Adrian Peterson despite his ticket already punched for Pro Football Hall of Fame entry. A surprise move, the day before roster cuts were due to give him essentially his own day, Peterson caught on with Detroit.

Rookie Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Peyton Barber, and Bryce Love together are a quartet of backs that made the roster and provide hope, even though half of the group are essentially in their first NFL season.

Love missed his entire rookie season as he recovered from torn ligaments in his knee at Stanford. Love is just 23. Gibson is 22. McKissic and Barber are 27 and 26, respectively. The running back position is ideally where you want to be young. Just not too young.

On the other side of the ball, it starts with Chase Young, the No. 2 overall pick who dominated the Philadelphia Eagles in his NFL debut.

Young is 21 and barely that. He’s a freak. Can he even grow facial hair? It doesn’t really matter. If Young can stay healthy, there’s almost no way to stop him. At 6-feet-5 and 265 pounds, he should get even thicker and he already seems incredibly mature for a player and generational talent that just became legal. In his first NFL game, Young dominated a perennial Pro Bowl left tackle and someone who should be heading to Canton in several years.

Young joins a defensive line with fellow first-round picks, Montez Sweat (24), Jonathan Allen (25), Daron Payne (23), and that old guy Ryan Kerrigan (32). Matt Ioannidis (26), Tim Settle (23), and James SmithWilliams (23) also make up the rest of the defensive line.

They can come in waves with the wily vet in Kerrigan showing the young wolves how to do it.

Young talks constantly about “RK” (Kerrigan) and his influence on him. However, the Washington defense will only go as far as those young legs and physical freaks will take them.


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October 2020