The future of every team rests in their younger players.
Every great player in the league had to start someone. They were all young players once with promising futures and no one really sure of their potential greatness. There are many players on this list who are defiantly going to be dominant players in the league come the year 2022, and some who we will have to wait and see. I defiantly see the potential and star power in all these players. They all have the something in them that you can just see what they are made of. A couple of these teams were tough to choose from given the amount of young and promising talent on that team. There maybe some people on this list who you are a strong doubter in, and others who you have a ton of faith in. I am hoping that this list can provide you with plenty of players to keep your eyes on in the coming years. These players are going to be great players come 2022.
Here are the players on each team that is sure to be their team's leaders in the coming years.
32 Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley (LB)
C.J. Mosley was the 17th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
In a game on October 5, he recorded a team-high 14 tackles. So far in his career, he has a total of 342 tackles, seven sacks, six interceptions, three forced and recovered fumbles and one defensive touchdown. He is without a doubt the future of the Ravens defense. Many of the offensive that sees him line-up against him are worried he will just run them over and get to their quarterback. He is a hard hitter and a really smart player. He has improved his IQ and reads the offense very well. Just last season he got four interceptions. He has already been selected for two Pro-Bowls and made two All-Pro teams. He finished second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. In five years he will be the face of the team and the commander of the team. He will soon be what Ray Lewis was, just an impeccable leader for their defense.
31 Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross (WR)
John Ross was the 9th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Some consider him a reach but I think he is going to do wonders on this team. During his final year of college, where he really blossomed, he had 1,122 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. In the combine, he broke Chris Johnson’s 40-time by .02 seconds. He did have to have surgery to repair the torn labrum in his shoulder, but they aren’t going to rush him along too fast. But I believe that coming up behind a great receiver in A.J. Green. Behind his teaching, he is going to become an elite receiver and a regular on the All-Pro team. He is going to be a favorite target from Andy Dalton for the next few years, Ross should be considered a deep play threat on every single down because of his speed and jump out the gate. He will be their franchise cornerstone in five years.
30 Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett (DE)
Garrett was taken with the 1st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In the three years that Myles Garrett played for his college, he got 141 tackles, 47 for a loss, 31 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and one interception. He has the potential the be one of the most dominant defensive forces in the history of the NFL. He has the size and strength to just bully most of the current offensive lineman in the league. He and Jamie Collins are going to make what was a very shameful Cleveland Browns defense. And in 5 years, he will still be an unstoppable force. The Browns will have turned their fortunes around by that point and hopefully, they will at least make the playoffs, I believe they are a solid quarterback away from doing just that. Garrett will win defensive player of the year at least once in his NFL career.
29 Pittsburgh Steeler - Stephon Tuitt (DE)
Stephon Tuitt was drafted 46th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
In his three years in the League, he has totals of 80 tackles, 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and one interception. A couple of small injuries have plagued him over short tenor but I believe that he is going to be elite in the coming years. He is going to get over that hump and start to become a regular threat to be all over the opposing team’s quarterback. Being on the historic “Steel Curtain” of defense, he already has a lot expected from him. He will live up to everything that he needs to be. In five years he is going to be one of the greater defensive presence in the game. Keep your eyes on him in the next season, I am predicted a breakout year for him.
28 Houston Texans - Deshaun Watson (QB)
Deshaun Watson was selected with the 12th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
He did win a championship while he was in college. His college stats are at 10,168 yards, 90 touchdowns, and 32 interceptions. Each year in college he improved and became a very versatile quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. The Texans traded their starting quarterback just to make way for a new quarterback, and Watson fills their needs perfectly. He is able to throw the ball out of its skin and he can run the ball with the best of them. The IQ he has, size, strength, and skills will make him a throwing and running threat on every single down. We will have to wait and see if he can truly translate his game, but I have full confidence in him. Deshaun Watson will definitely be the franchise player of the future for the Texans.
27 Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck (QB)
Andrew Luck was selected 1st overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
He has been in the league for five years and there is no reason for him to not be just as dominant and their franchise player in another five years. He has been selected to the pro-bowl three times and was the passing touchdown leader in 2014. So far in his career, he has thrown 132 touchdowns, 19,078 yards, and 68 interceptions. He has run for 1,442 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is quite the offensive talent and recently signed a six-year deal with the Colts. He has been dominant and a scary presence in the AFC since he showed up. He is a bonifide Hall-of-Famer as long as he can continue to wreck the league the way that he has.
26 Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey (CB)
Jalen Ramsey was the 5th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
After an amazing college career with the Florida State Seminoles, and winning the BCS National Championship in 2013, he had a great start to his NFL career and one of the few bright spots on the pitiful squad that is made up of the Jaguars. In his first season, he collected 65 tackles, 14 pass deflections, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one defensive touchdowns. He made the All-Rookie team in 2016. He will produce about the same in 2017, but in 2018 he is going to break out and have a tremendous season. He is going to go on to be the defensive leader for this team for many years moving forward, and a scary target for any quarterback to look at.
25 Tennessee Titan - Marcus Mariota (QB)
Marcus Mariota was drafted 2nd overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
It was a pretty hot debate between who should be selected 1st between Mariota and Winston. Each team got a very good quarterback out of it as well. In his first two seasons in the NFL, he has thrown for 45 touchdowns, 19 interceptions, and 6,244 yards. This versatile QB has also run for 601 yards and four touchdowns. After winning the Heisman trophy in 2014, he is considered to be one of the best young quarterbacks. The Titans are going to rely on him to be very aggressive and good in the coming years so that they might be able to put up some competition. Either way, in five years, he will be their franchise player.
24 Buffalo Bills – Sammy Watkins (WR)
Sammy Watkins was the 4th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
He racked up quite the college hardware with an ACC Championship, Orange Bowl Victory, and the Orange Bowl MVP. In the 3 seasons, he played he was able to have 153 receptions, 2,459 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only one fumble. He was injury riddled so far, with broken feet, ribs, and fingers. It cut his 2016 season in half. If he can overcome this, his speed and smarts can take him to being a franchise level, on the similar path of DeSean Jackson and Wes Welker. He is a great player. He just needs to stay healthy. If he can stay healthy, he will sign a big extension with the Bills and big a time threat for them.
23 Miami Dolphins – Jay Ajayi (RB)
Jay Ajayi was the 149th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Picked in the fifth ound yet he is still one of the youngest most promising players on the Dolphin’s team. His second year on the team was far better than his first. He played in six more games (starting 12 of them), he ran for 1,085 more yards (1,272 in the second year), and seven more touchdowns (eight in his second year). He has run for multiple games showing his potential to be the running back of the future for this team. That kind of coming out party can only be sustained by his ability to run it on a consistent basis. He will be able to do that on the Dolphins for a long time. He will be a dominate player come the 2022 football season.
22 New England Patriots – Jimmy Garoppolo (QB)
Jimmy Garoppolo was selected 62nd overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Jimmy G was ultimately selected to one day replace Tom “Terrific” Brady. He has had limited professional playing time but what we saw showed why the Patriots drafted him. In his college years, he has 13,156 yards, 118 touchdowns, and 51 interceptions. He had an average passer rating of 146.3 which is remarkable. In 2016 he started two games in place of a suspended Tom Brady where he threw for 502 yards, four touchdowns, and not a single interception. In those games, he had a passer rating of 123.5. He is going to replace Tom Brady in the coming years. When he does he will do what Steve Young did to Joe Montana and follow his greatness with a greatness of his own.
21 New York Jets – Leonard Williams (DE)
Leonard Williams was the 6th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
He has two great seasons. In his first season he was selected to the All-Rookie team and his sophomore season he got a nod for the Pro Bowl. In his two seasons, he has collected 131 tackles, 10 sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Jets defense has been led for a long time by Darrelle Revis on “Revis Island.” It is soon going to be taken over by a very talented defensive talent in Leonard Williams. Historically the jump between year two and three is where most defensive players make a very large jump into the next level. And while this was only his first two seasons in the league, he has shown that he has what it takes to really lead this team to greatness.
20 Denver Broncos – Shane Ray (OLB)
Shane Ray was the 23rd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
In his two years in the league, he has totaled 48 tackles and one forced fumble, a pass deflection, and a defensive touchdown. Behind the teaching of Von Miller who was the Super Bowl MVP in 2015, he will become a great player for this Broncos defense. Constantly harassing the opposing offense, and making their quarterback look over his shoulder for him all the time. He was on the team in 2015 when they won so he is already a Super Bowl champion, but he can lead this team to another championship on this squad. He has all the physical make-ups of a great defensive player. He is quick, strong, and most importantly smart. He will be a great player and their defensive leader in 2022.
19 Kansas City Chiefs - Spence Ware (RB)
Spence Ware was taken in the 6th round with the 194th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
He will be a nine-year vet in the 2022 season and has recently had a coming out party. He started every game he played in the 2016 season and ran for 921 yards and three touchdowns. He has also received 447 yards and two touchdowns. He is a great running and receiving back which seems to be the new prototypical back that you need in this league in order to succeed as a franchise. Spencer’s ability to do both at very good rate. Which makes him a dangerous dual-threat back. The Chiefs will have to start building around him if they want to have a better post-season success rate.
18 Los Angles Chargers – Joey Bosa (DE)
Joey Bosa was the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
In his first season for the Chargers, he won rookie of the year honors. He finished the year with 41 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. Those numbers are just through 12 games of play as he missed the first four with a hamstring injury. Can you imagine the type of number he is going to be able to pull with a full 16 games under his belt? He is without a doubt the best defensive player on the Chargers and will become their franchise player once they finally make it into the new stadium in Los Angeles. He will play his way into the hearts of the once loyal Raiders fans and make Los Angeles his place to dominant his home field.
17 Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper (WR)
Amari Cooper was drafted 4th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
He has made his presence known and felt across the league. He was on the Pro Bowl team both his rookie and sophomore year. In only two seasons he has had 155 receptions, 2,223 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Just really amazing numbers. He only has three fumbles in that time. He improved by 83 yards in his second year. I know that he can do everything that he needs to in order to be the best wide receiver in the game, playing up to the ability of Antonio Brown. He has the work ethic of an animal. He has all the physical attributes that he needs, and he is going to be one of the best players in 2022.
16 Arizona Cardinals – David Johnson (RB)
David Johnson was picked 86th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
So far in his short two-year career, he has 1,239 rushing yards, 1,336 receiving yards, 32 total touchdowns and nine fumbles (only four lost). Last season he finished by only being second in the league in rushing touchdowns with 16. He is already one of the best runners in the game and has only played two seasons. He is going to take this Cardinals offense to a completely different level. He is going to be the best back in the league and is pushing his way to be that already. By the year 2022, he is going to be the face of the Cardinals and take them very far into the playoffs, maybe even to the Super Bowl. He is a franchise future.
15 Los Angeles Rams – Todd Gurley (RB)
Todd Gurley was taken with the 10th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
He has already gained some hardware as he was named rookie of the year, given and All-Pro selection, and made the Pro Bowl. On his career, he has 1,991 rushing yards, 515 receiving yards, and 16 total touchdowns. While his rushing yards were about 300 yards better in his rookie year, his receiving yards were doubled in his sophomore year. He only has fumbled the ball five years in that time. These are great numbers and he is a dominant and evasive back. He is going to show the fans of LA just what to look for and what to cheer for in a running back. Todd Gurely is the present and future of the Rams.
14 San Francisco 49ers – DeForest Buckner (DT)
DeForest Buckner was drafted with the 7th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
In his first season, he amassed 73 tackles, six sacks, and one pass deflection. He also made it onto the All-Rookie team. On a two-win team, it is hard to find a high point. Buckner might be one of the highest and brightest points of this team. He is a very solid and consistent performer. He has the work ethic that very few have in this league so you know he is just going to become a much better player in the league. He is a building block for a very poor defense. He is a 6’7” 300-pound offensive nightmare. The 49ners would be wise to start placing some very solid pieces around him in order to create some sort of defensive authority by the year 2022.
13 Seattle Seahawks – Tyler Lockett (WR)
Tyler Lockett was taken with the 69th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
In his first two seasons, he made the Pro Bowl, two All-Pro teams, and the All-Rookie Team. He has recorded 1,261 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns. He also has recorded 134 yards rushing yards and a single rushing touchdown. He is also the return specialist for the Seahawks. He has 1,458 kick return yards and a touchdown. He also has 622 punt return yards and a single touchdown. Lockett will soon be at the top of every team’s scouting report as a huge threat. He is too much of an offensive weapon to just be ignored right now and by 2022 he will be a very scary return man for the team.
12 Dallas Cowboys - Dak Prescott (QB)
Dak Prescott was taken 135th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
This was a toss-up between Dak and Ezekiel Elliott, but I decided to go with Dak because of a few factors. I do not believe Zeke would have been nearly as dominant had it not been for the best O-Line in the league, his off-field antics are sure to get him in trouble, and Dak seems to have a higher ceiling than Zeke does. Dak has some hardware collected already. He has the AP NFL Rookie of the Year, Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl, and made the All-Rookie team. He has thrown 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He threw for 3,667 yards this season. He also ran for 282 yards and six touchdowns. He led his team to the top seed in the conference and made it all the way to the conference finals before getting knocked out. He is going to be able to continue this as we saw with his college career and improvement saw there. Dak is the Future of the Dallas Cowboys.
11 New York Giants - Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. was taken 12th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
He has been in the Pro-Bowl all three years he has been in the league and made the pro-team the last two years. He also made the rookie team and he was the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the year. Made famous for his one-handed, falling backward, while being interfered with, touchdown catch. But he has been a great receiver since joining the league. He has career totals of 4,122 yards with 35 touchdowns. He has only fumbled the ball four times in his career. He is a walking highlight reel. Anytime that OBJ is on the field the corners better watch out because he will embarrass you. In 2022, he will be making an even bigger mark in the league, making runs at some long-standing receiving records in the league.
10 Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz (QB)
Carson Wentz was taken with the 2nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
We all know he is the quarterback of the future Eagles and can hopefully take them to the heights they used to be at. He was supposed to sit and learn for the first season, but after a trade, he was named the started for the team against the Cleveland Browns. In his first season, he completed 379 passes, threw for 3,782 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He also ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He holds the record for most completed by a rookie and the Eagles record for completions and attempts. By the time he hangs up his cleats for the last time, he will undoubtedly be one of the best quarterbacks in Eagles history. He was an excellent pick in the draft and will be their franchise player in 2022.
9 Washington Redskins - Su’a Cravens (SS)
Su’a Cravens was taken 53rd overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
In his first season, he had 33 tackles, five deflections, and one interception. Not gaudy numbers, but respectable. He came in as a hybrid linebacker and safety but was ultimately named the starting safety. That was a very good choice and in a few years, he will be a threat to any quarterback who throws it his way, and runners will try to run to the opposite side of the field so they don’t get destroyed by this man. He can take this defense to another level and is ready to step in and amp it up whenever he needs too. There is not a lot of good young talent on this team, he alone can be the future franchise player for them. The Redskins team has a lot to work on, but their safety position is set for a while.
8 Atlanta Falcons - Keanu Neal (SS)
Keanu Neal was taken 17th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He was selected to the All-Rookie team. On the year he had 106 tackles, 8 deflections, and 5 forced fumbles, all that after missing the first two games of the year. He went on to lead this defense to the Super Bowl this year. He had 13 tackles in the Super Bowl and was abusing the Patriots through the first three quarters of play. Being that close to finally winning a ring in your first season is only going to make him hungry. Getting through the Cowboys again is going to be tough, but this Franchise superstar is going to help them to win a championship, mark my words. He is such a great talent and you can just see it when you watch him that he is going to be a great, great player.
7 Carolina Panthers - James Bradberry (CB)
James Bradberry was taken with the 62nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Bradbury was taken in to replace the great performer in Josh Norman. He filled in quite nicely. Considering He played in three fewer games than Norman but got about the same amount of numbers. Bradbury was able to get 59 tackles and two interceptions. He finished the season as the top-graded rookie cornerback and is primed to continue this domination into the next few seasons with the Panthers. Everybody questioned the decisions by the Panthers to cut Norman, but if they had their eyes on Bradberry. the whole time then it makes perfect sense what they did. He is something that the team should build around. He and Luke will look to be a great defensive presence for years to come. By 2022, he will be ranked as one of the top corners in the league.
6 New Orleans Saint - Michael Thomas (WR)
Michael Thomas was selected 47th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He had a great rookie season. Named to the All-Rookie team. He played in 15 games, starting 12 of them this season. He finished with 1,137 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He did fumble the ball twice in his rookie year. however, two times is nothing if you have over 1,000 receiving yards. He was one of Drew Bree’s favorite targets in the 2016 season, and with Brandon Cooks gone, he is sure to become an even bigger threat in the 2017 season. Before you know it he will be one of the most dominant receivers in the game. Standing at 6’3” he would be a very good slot receiver and the offense will be highly reliant on him.
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston (QB)
Jameis Winston was the 1st draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
This Heisman winner came into the league and immediately made his presence known. He was a Pro-Bowl and All-Rookie Team selection in 2015. He was also made the rookie of the year. On his career, his has thrown for 8,132 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 33 interceptions. He is also a very mobile quarterback as he ran for 378 yards and seven touchdowns. He has fumbled the ball 16 times. But he has been a great leader of this team. He has shown them what it will take in order to become a great franchise. He has left his childish antics in his college days and is definitely gone to new levels and will make a great team franchise quarterback for this team.
4 Chicago Bears – Jordan Howard (RB)
Jordan Howard was taken 150th in the 2016 NFL Draft.
In his first season, he was selected to the Pro Bowl and made the All-Rookie Team. He also ran for 1,313 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 298 receiving yards and one touchdown. This dual-threat back from the University of Indiana is the key to a successful future for the Chicago Bears. He can run out of the backfield like one of the best to ever do it and can catch it like one of the best receivers. By 2022 he will be one of the best ones to have ever done it. He had multiple games where he ran for more than 100 yards and in the future, he will have multiple games where he runs for more than 200 yards.
3 Detroit Lions - Zach Zenner (RB)
Zach Zenner was an undrafted prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft.
While his numbers and draft stock are nothing to be marveled at, he still should be considered one of the best up and comers. In games where he was given an attempt to run the ball 10 or more times, he ran for at least 50 yards. In his last two games of the 2016 season, he ran for 136 yards combined. I know that there might be some better younger talent on the team right now, but I am telling you that Zenner is the player to watch for the 2022 season. He is going to make his mark in the League and be a huge threat from the backfield. There are not too many high points for the Lions, but Zenner could be their biggest prospect.
2 Green Bay Packers - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (FS)
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was selected 21st overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
This three-year player already has a Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection. He was also named to the All-Rookie team. He was a two-time BCS National Champion and a SEC champion. Without a doubt, this safety had the tools coached to him from Nick Sabian to be a great player in the NFL as many Alabama Alumni are. In his two seasons in the league, he has totaled 284 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 19 pass deflections, and eight interceptions. He has also played in seven postseason games going 4-3 in them. He has played in every game since joining the team and has started every game in the last two years. He is a young player on a great team and should take this defense deep in the playoffs, and by 2022, they should have at least one Super Bowl.
1 Minnesota Vikings – Danielle Hunter (DE)
Danielle Hunter was selected 88th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
He was selected to the 2015 All-Rookie Team. This 22-year-old has played in 30 games over the last two years but started in only one of them. He has collected 57 tackles and 18.5 sacks. Doubling his sacks from his rookie year to his sophomore year. He also has two forced fumbles and one defensive touchdown because of one of those forced fumbles. He also has recorded a single safety against Cam Newton, one of the hardest quarterbacks to tackling in the game. He is the future of this defense and by 2022 he will be a starter and a scary person to have to line-up against for the offensive line.
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