The Eagles 'Young Guns' - But Exactly How Young Are They?

Youngguns_medium

 

It's no secret that the Eagles' projected starters at the skill positions (Kevin Kolb, LeSean McCoy, Leonard Weaver, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek) are incredibly young.  In fact, here are their ages, as of May 30, 2010, to the exact day...

Player Position Birthdate Age (as of May 30, 2010)
Kevin Kolb QB 24-Aug-84 25 years, 9 months, 6 days
LeSean McCoy RB 12-Jul-88 21 years, 10 months, 18 days
Leonard Weaver FB 23-Sep-82 27 years, 8 months, 7 days
DeSean Jackson WR 1-Dec-86 23 years, 5 months, 29 days
Jeremy Maclin WR 11-May-88 22 years, 19 days
Brent Celek TE 25-Jan-85 25 years, 4 months, 5 days
Average age

24 years, 4 months, 12 days

 

In short, very young.  But how young exactly are they in comparison to the rest of the league?  After the jump, I'll beat it to death by breaking down where the Eagles rank position by position among the other NFL teams...

Disclaimer - For the following charts, I used depth charts from a few major sports websites, and cross-compared those with feedback from fans of each team regarding who they thought their starting skill position players would be for the majority of their games this year, if it wasn't obvious.  Naturally, there could be some debate on a number of them.  For example, the Seattle fans told me that LenDale White was penciled in as their starting RB, and he was released literally about an hour later that day; the Raiders fans had varying opinions on their starting WR corps, the Denver fans explained that their wide receivers would play in various game situations, but would get similar playing time, etc etc.  Anyway, I felt that I just needed to explain the methodology of how I arrived at determining the projected starters - I apologize in advance if I got any wrong.  So, without further ado...

QB's

Large_kevin_kolb_medium

Age Rank Player Team Birthdate Age (as of May 30, 2010)
1 Matthew Stafford Lions 7-Feb-88 22 years, 3 months, 23 days
2 Josh Freeman Buccaneers 13-Jan-88 22 years, 4 months, 17 days
3 Sam Bradford Rams 8-Nov-87 22 years, 6 months, 22 days
4 Mark Sanchez Jets 11-Nov-86 23 years, 6 months, 19 days
5 Chad Henne Dolphins 2-Jul-85 24 years, 10 months, 28 days
6 Matt Ryan Falcons 17-May-85 25 years, 13 days
7 Joe Flacco Ravens 16-Jan-85 25 years, 4 months, 14 days
8 Kevin Kolb Eagles 24-Aug-84 25 years, 9 months, 6 days
9 Matt Moore Panthers 9-Aug-84 25 years, 9 months, 21 days
10 Alex Smith 49ers 7-May-84 26 years, 23 days
11 Aaron Rodgers Packers 2-Dec-83 26 years, 5 months, 28 days
12 Trent Edwards Bills 30-Oct-83 26 years, 7 months
13 Vince Young Titans 18-May-83 27 years, 12 days
14 Matt Leinart Cardinals 11-May-83 27 years, 19 days
15 Jay Cutler Bears 29-Apr-83 27 years, 1 month, 1 day
16 Kyle Orton Broncos 14-Nov-82 27 years, 6 months, 16 days
17 Matt Cassel Chiefs 17-May-82 28 years, 13 days
18 Ben Roethlisberger Steelers 2-Mar-82 28 years, 2 months, 28 days
19 Jason Campbell Raiders 31-Dec-81 28 years, 4 months, 30 days
20 Philip Rivers Chargers 8-Dec-81 28 years, 5 months, 22 days
21 Matt Schaub Texans 25-Jun-81 28 years, 11 months, 5 days
22 Eli Manning Giants 3-Jan-81 29 years, 4 months, 27 days
23 Tony Romo Cowboys 21-Apr-80 30 years, 1 month, 9 days
24 Carson Palmer Bengals 27-Dec-79 30 years, 5 months, 3 days
25 Drew Brees Saints 15-Jan-79 31 years, 4 months, 15 days
26 David Garrard Jaguars 14-Feb-78 32 years, 3 months, 16 days
27 Tom Brady Patriots 3-Aug-77 32 years, 9 months, 27 days
28 Donovan McNabb Redskins 25-Nov-76 33 years, 6 months, 5 days
29 Peyton Manning Colts 24-Mar-76 34 years, 2 months, 6 days
30 Matt Hasselbeck Seahawks 25-Sep-75 34 years, 8 months, 5 days
31 Jake Delhomme Browns 10-Jan-75 35 years, 4 months, 20 days
32 Brett Favre Vikings 10-Oct-69 40 years, 7 months, 20 days

 

RB's

Lesean_mccoy_medium

Age Rank Player Team Birthdate Age (as of May 30, 2010)
1 Beanie Wells Cardinals 7-Aug-88 21 years, 9 months, 23 days
2 LeSean McCoy Eagles 12-Jul-88 21 years, 10 months, 18 days
3 Knowshon Moreno Broncos 16-Jul-87 22 years, 10 months, 14 days
4 Rashard Mendenhall Steelers 19-Jun-87 22 years, 11 months, 11 days
5 Felix Jones Cowboys 8-May-87 23 years, 22 days
6 Ryan Mathews Chargers 1-May-87 23 years, 29 days
7 Ray Rice Ravens 22-Jan-87 23 years, 4 months, 8 days
8 Jamaal Charles Chiefs 27-Dec-86 23 years, 5 months, 3 days
9 Kevin Smith Lions 17-Dec-86 23 years, 5 months, 13 days
10 Steve Slaton Texans 4-Jan-86 24 years, 4 months, 26 days
11 Matt Forte Bears 10-Dec-85 24 years, 5 months, 20 days
12 Justin Forsett Seahawks 14-Oct-85 24 years, 7 months, 16 days
13 Chris Johnson Titans 23-Sep-85 24 years, 8 months, 7 days
14 Shonn Greene Jets 21-Aug-85 24 years, 9 months, 9 days
15 Maurice Jones-Drew Jaguars 23-Mar-85 25 years, 2 months, 7 days
16 Adrian Peterson Vikings 21-Mar-85 25 years, 2 months, 9 days
17 Laurence Maroney Patriots 5-Feb-85 25 years, 3 months, 25 days
18 Pierre Thomas Saints 18-Dec-84 25 years, 5 months, 12 days
19 Michael Bush Raiders 16-Jun-84 25 years, 11 months, 14 days
20 Steven Jackson Rams 22-Jul-83 26 years, 10 months, 8 days
21 Frank Gore 49ers 14-May-83 27 years, 16 days
22 Joseph Addai Colts 3-May-83 27 years, 27 days
23 DeAngelo Williams Panthers 25-Apr-83 27 years, 1 month, 5 days
24 Jerome Harrison Browns 26-Feb-83 27 years, 3 months, 4 days
25 Cedric Benson Bengals 28-Dec-82 27 years, 5 months, 2 days
26 Ryan Grant Packers 9-Dec-82 27 years, 5 months, 21 days
27 Brandon Jacobs Giants 6-Jul-82 27 years, 10 months, 24 days
28 Cadillac Williams Buccaneers 21-Apr-82 28 years, 1 month, 9 days
29 Michael Turner Falcons 13-Feb-82 28 years, 3 months, 17 days
30 Clinton Portis Redskins 1-Sep-81 28 years, 8 months, 29 days
31 Fred Jackson Bills 20-Feb-81 29 years, 3 months, 10 days
32 Ricky Williams Dolphins 21-May-77 33 years, 9 days

 

WR's

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Age Rank Player Team Birthdate Age (as of May 30, 2010)
1 Kenny Britt Titans 19-Sep-88 21 years, 8 months, 11 days
2 Percy Harvin Vikings 28-May-88 22 years, 2 days
3 Jeremy Maclin Eagles 11-May-88 22 years, 19 days
4 Hakeem Nicks Giants 14-Jan-88 22 years, 4 months, 16 days
5 Michael Crabtree 49ers 14-Sep-87 22 years, 8 months, 16 days
6 Mike Thomas Jaguars 4-Jun-87 22 years, 11 months, 26 days
7 Earl Bennett Bears 23-Mar-87 23 years, 2 months, 7 days
8 Darrius Heyward Bey Raiders 26-Feb-87 23 years, 3 months, 4 days
9 DeSean Jackson Eagles 1-Dec-86 23 years, 5 months, 29 days
10 Mohamed Massaquoi Browns 24-Nov-86 23 years, 6 months, 6 days
11 Devin Thomas Redskins 15-Nov-86 23 years, 6 months, 15 days
12 Dwayne Jarrett Panthers 11-Sep-86 23 years, 8 months, 19 days
13 Sidney Rice Vikings 1-Sep-86 23 years, 8 months, 29 days
14 Pierre Garcon Colts 8-Aug-86 23 years, 9 months, 22 days
15 Mike Wallace Steelers 1-Aug-86 23 years, 9 months, 29 days
16 Eddie Royal Broncos 21-May-86 24 years, 9 days
17 James Hardy Bills 24-Dec-85 24 years, 5 months, 6 days
18 Chaz Schilens Raiders 7-Nov-85 24 years, 6 months, 23 days
19 Calvin Johnson Lions 25-Sep-85 24 years, 8 months, 5 days
20 Davone Bess Dolphins 13-Sep-85 24 years, 8 months, 17 days
21 Josh Morgan 49ers 20-Jun-85 24 years, 11 months, 10 days
22 Steve Smith Giants 6-May-85 25 years, 24 days
23 Mike Sims-Walker Jaguars 21-Nov-84 25 years, 6 months, 9 days
24 Keenan Burton Rams 29-Oct-84 25 years, 7 months, 1 day
25 Robert Meachem Saints 28-Sep-84 25 years, 8 months, 2 days
26 Dwayne Bowe Chiefs 21-Sep-84 25 years, 8 months, 9 days
27 Miles Austin Cowboys 30-Jun-84 25 years, 11 months
28 Donnie Avery Rams 12-Jun-84 25 years, 11 months, 18 days
29 Brandon Marshall Dolphins 23-Mar-84 26 years, 2 months, 7 days
30 Santonio Holmes Jets 3-Mar-84 26 years, 2 months, 27 days
31 Greg Jennings Packers 21-Sep-83 26 years, 8 months, 9 days
32 Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 31-Aug-83 26 years, 8 months, 30 days
33 Nate Washington Titans 28-Aug-83 26 years, 9 months, 2 days
34 Steve Breaston Cardinals 20-Aug-83 26 years, 9 months, 10 days
35 Josh Cribbs Browns 9-Jun-83 26 years, 11 months, 21 days
36 Marques Colston Saints 5-Jun-83 26 years, 11 months, 25 days
37 Braylon Edwards Jets 21-Feb-83 27 years, 3 months, 9 days
38 Vincent Jackson Chargers 14-Jan-83 27 years, 4 months, 16 days
39 Devin Hester Bears 4-Nov-82 27 years, 6 months, 26 days
40 Michael Clayton Buccaneers 13-Oct-82 27 years, 7 months, 17 days
41 Michael Jenkins Falcons 18-Jun-82 27 years, 11 months, 12 days
42 Mark Bradley Buccaneers 29-Jan-82 28 years, 4 months, 1 day
43 Roy Williams Cowboys 20-Dec-81 28 years, 5 months, 10 days
44 Roddy White Falcons 2-Nov-81 28 years, 6 months, 28 days
45 Malcolm Floyd Chargers 8-Sep-81 28 years, 8 months, 22 days
46 Nate Burleson Lions 19-Aug-81 28 years, 9 months, 11 days
47 Kevin Walter Texans 4-Aug-81 28 years, 9 months, 26 days
48 Andre Johnson Texans 11-Jul-81 28 years, 10 months, 19 days
49 Wes Welker Patriots 1-May-81 29 years, 29 days
50 Lee Evans Bills 11-Mar-81 29 years, 2 months, 19 days
51 Antonio Bryant Bengals 9-Mar-81 29 years, 2 months, 29 days
52 Jabar Gaffney Broncos 1-Dec-80 29 years, 5 months, 29 days
53 Anquan Boldin Ravens 3-Oct-80 29 years, 7 months, 27 days
54 Deion Branch Seahawks 18-Jul-79 30 years, 10 months, 12 days
55 Santana Moss Redskins 1-Jun-79 30 years, 11 months, 29 days
56 Steve Smith Panthers 12-May-79 31 years, 18 days
57 Reggie Wayne Colts 17-Nov-78 31 years, 6 months, 13 days
58 Chris Chambers Chiefs 12-Aug-78 31 years, 9 months, 18 days
59 Chad Ochocinco Bengals 9-Jan-78 32 years, 4 months, 21 days
60 T.J. Houshmandzadeh Seahawks 26-Sep-77 32 years, 8 months, 4 days
61 Randy Moss Patriots 13-Feb-77 33 years, 3 months, 17 days
62 Hines Ward Steelers 8-Mar-76 34 years, 2 months, 22 days
63 Donald Driver Packers 2-Feb-75 35 years, 3 months, 28 days
64 Derrick Mason Ravens 17-Jan-74 36 years, 4 months, 13 days

 

TE's

Brent-celek-a83124ea9ef98077_large_medium

 

Age Rank Player Team Birthdate Age (as of May 30, 2010)
1 Rob Gronkowski Patriots 14-May-89 21 years, 16 days
2 Jermaine Gresham Bengals 16-Jun-88 21 years, 11 months, 14 days
3 Jermichael Finley Packers 26-Mar-87 23 years, 2 months, 4 days
4 Zach Miller Raiders 11-Dec-85 24 years, 5 months, 19 days
5 Shawn Nelson Bills 5-Oct-85 24 years, 7 months, 25 days
6 Greg Olsen Bears 11-Mar-85 25 years, 2 months, 19 days
7 Brandon Pettigrew Lions 23-Feb-85 25 years, 3 months, 7 days
8 Brent Celek Eagles 25-Jan-85 25 years, 4 months, 5 days
9 Dustin Keller Jets 25-Sep-84 25 years, 8 months, 5 days
10 Ben Patrick Cardinals 23-Aug-84 25 years, 9 months, 7 days
11 Marcedes Lewis Jaguars 19-May-84 26 years, 11 days
12 John Carlson Seahawks 12-May-84 26 years, 18 days
13 Anthony Fasano Dolphins 20-Apr-84 26 years, 1 month, 10 days
14 Vernon Davis 49ers 31-Jan-84 26 years, 3 months, 30 days
15 Kevin Boss Giants 11-Jan-84 26 years, 4 months, 19 days
16 Leonard Pope Chiefs 10-Sep-83 26 years, 8 months, 20 days
17 Kellen Winslow Buccaneers 21-Jul-83 26 years, 10 months, 9 days
18 Jeff King Panthers 19-Feb-83 27 years, 3 months, 11 days
19 Owen Daniels Texans 9-Nov-82 27 years, 6 months, 21 days
20 Heath Miller Steelers 22-Oct-82 27 years, 7 months, 8 days
21 Chris Cooley Redskins 11-Jul-82 27 years, 10 months, 19 days
22 Jason Witten Cowboys 6-May-82 28 years, 24 days
23 Bo Scaife Titans 6-Jan-81 29 years, 4 months, 24 days
24 Ben Watson Browns 18-Dec-80 29 years, 5 months, 12 days
25 Jeremy Shockey Saints 18-Aug-80 29 years, 9 months, 12 days
26 Antonio Gates Chargers 18-Jun-80 29 years, 11 months, 12 days
27 Visanthe Shiancoe Vikings 18-Jun-80 29 years, 11 months, 12 days
28 Todd Heap Ravens 16-Mar-80 30 years, 2 months, 14 days
29 Randy McMichael Rams 28-Jun-79 30 years, 11 months, 2 days
30 Dallas Clark Colts 12-Jun-79 30 years, 11 months, 18 days
31 Daniel Graham Broncos 16-Nov-78 31 years, 6 months, 14 days
32 Tony Gonzalez Falcons 27-Feb-76 34 years, 3 months, 3 days

 

As the above charts show, the Eagles' starters heading into the 2010 season rank as follows...

- Kolb - 8th youngest starting QB in the NFL

- McCoy - 2nd youngest starting RB in the NFL

- Jackson - 9th youngest starting WR in the NFL

- Maclin - 3rd youngest starting WR in the NFL

- Celek - 8th youngest starting TE in the NFL

Note - Since many NFL teams either use a fullback very sporadically or don't have them on their roster at all, choosing instead to mainly utilize 2-TE or 3-WR sets, I omitted them from the following chart...

Kolb/McCoy/Jackson/Maclin/Celek in comparison to the rest of the NFL's skill position players...


Team Avg Age
1 Eagles 23 years, 8 months, 15 days
2 Lions 24 years, 10 months, 19 days
3 Raiders 25 years, 3 months, 28 days
4 49ers 25 years, 4 months, 29 days
5 Jets 25 years, 5 months, 29 days
6 Bears 25 years, 6 months, 1 day
7 Cardinals 25 years, 7 months, 15 days
8 Titans 25 years, 10 months, 26 days
9 Giants 26 years, 2 months, 18 days
10 Rams 26 years, 4 months, 14 days
11 Jaguars 26 years, 4 months, 23 days
12 Buccaneers 26 years, 7 months, 26 days
13 Bills 26 years, 9 months, 27 days
14 Dolphins 26 years, 11 months, 23 days
15 Panthers 26 years, 11 months, 23 days
16 Broncos 27 years, 1 month, 4 days
17 Cowboys 27 years, 1 month, 10 days
18 Chiefs 27 years, 1 month, 17 days
19 Steelers 27 years, 4 months, 12 days
20 Chargers 27 years, 6 months, 5 days
21 Texans 27 years, 8 months, 17 days
22 Packers 27 years, 9 months, 27 days
23 Saints 27 years, 10 months, 3 days
24 Bengals 28 years, 3 months, 12 days
25 Vikings 28 years, 3 months, 19 days
26 Patriots 28 years, 3 months, 21 days
27 Browns 28 years, 6 months, 4 days
28 Falcons 28 years, 9 months, 23 days
29 Redskins 28 years, 11 months, 4 days
30 Ravens 28 years, 11 months, 24 days
31 Colts 29 years, 6 months, 3 days
32 Seahawks 29 years, 9 months, 8 days

NFL avg 27 years, 1 month, 6 days

 

What the Eagles have here is special - As you can clearly see, the Eagles have the youngest group of skill position players in the NFL by a wide margin.  The next closest team is the Detroit Lions, who have an average age of a little more than a year and 2 months older than the Eagles.  However, youth without talent is useless, but the Eagles' skill position players have a rare combination of both. 

Jackson and Weaver both deservedly made the Pro Bowl last year, and Celek probably should have.  McCoy (945 yards from scrimmage last season) and Maclin (919 receiving yards including the playoff loss) both had good, promising rookie seasons.  Kolb became the first passer in the history of the NFL to throw for over 300 yards in his first 2 NFL starts - Game tape of every throw he made in each of those games can be seen here and here.  Add in one of the best 3rd receivers in the game (Jason Avant), a backup QB with some dynamic talents (Michael Vick), a handful of other young players (Cornelius Ingram, Clay Harbor, Charles Scott, Riley Cooper), and you're looking at one of most talented groups of skill position players in the entire league.

The 2010 season is going to be very frustrating at times - When you assemble this kind of youth, occasional dumb mistakes will be an absolutely certainty.  However, it's hard not to be incredibly enthusiastic about the long-term capabilities of this group of playmakers, who by the way... should all be playing together for at least the next 6-8 years.  The theme that seems to keep popping up in articles by the national pundits is that the Eagles are "rebuilding" their offense, which to me is utter nonsense.  I would contend that this offense (particularly at the skill positions), although inexperienced, is already "rebuilt, cocked, and loaded." 

 

Here's to a decade of high octane offense!

Cheers_medium

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