Fox Sports recently looked at the top 25 players in the NFL at age 25 or younger and one Chicago Bears' player made the list, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who checked in at number 12.
Our sister site that covers the New York Giants, Big Blue View, took the Fox Sports idea and gave it a Giants spin by looking at their top 5 players 25 and under. They excluded the lone Giant that made the cut from their top 5, Odell Beckham Jr., and also excluded the rookie class of 2015.
I thought this was a great topic of debate for our readers, so here are my picks for the top 5 Chicago Bears that are age 25 or younger. I'll stick with one of Big Blue View's caveats and not list the most recent rookie class, because let's face it, for all the promise they have, they've yet to put on a Bears uniform.
If I were to include the rookies, I'd probably have to include Chicago's top 3 picks, because the young talent is lacking in Chicago. I will keep Jeffery on my list however, so hers's a spoiler alert, Alshon Jeffery is #1.
Here's my list.
5) Jon Bostic, ILB, Age: 24
Bostic is still recovering from his back issue that kept him out of a few games last year, but he has the kind of athleticism and aggressiveness that could find a home in Vic Fangio's 3-4 defense at ILB. There are a couple of other 25 and under players vying for reps at inside linebacker that Bostic will need to contend with. Christian Jones (24) and Shea McClellin (25), have been playing together at the Jack and the Mike this off season. Coaches have been talking up McClellin, so Bostic will need to impress the new coaching staff once he's cleared to work out.
I was actually torn between Bostic, McClellin and Jones at #5 on this list, but I figured I'd go with the guy that has the most experience playing inside linebacker. I wouldn't be surprised to see any of these three thrive in the new scheme.
4) Pat O'Donnell, P, Age: 24
Yes, a punter...
This should give you an idea on how much the Bears need some young players to step up their game in 2015. O'Donnell has the booming leg and the skills to be one of the top punters in the NFL. He may have to speed up his delivery a touch, but the experience he gained last year and a full off season as a professional will help his game immensely.
3) Ego Ferguson, DL, Age: 23
Last years 2nd round draft pick was set to see an increased role this year and that was before the Bears cut ties with DE Ray McDonald. Reports have Ferguson in great shape and at the very least, he'll push to start at of one of the DE spots. I would expect to see Fangio play him anywhere along Chicago's D-Line in 2015.
2) Kyle Fuller, CB, Age: 23
Fuller had a very good start to his rookie season, but some injuries seemed to slow his progress. The new coaching staff seem very high on his potential and he should be the Bears' #1 corner for 2015 and beyond.
He tied for the team lead in interceptions, led the team in passes defended and forced fumbles, and he was 4th in tackles. I really think Fuller is primed to make a big jump in play as a 2nd year pro.
1) Alshon Jeffery, WR, Age: 25
Jeffery turned 25 back in February and the 4 year pro is the only 25 and under player the Bears have with Pro Bowl experience. Kyle Long, who has gone to the Pro Bowl his first two seasons, was an older rookie when he was picked and he turns 27 later this year.
With Brandon Marshall gone to New York, Jeffery will have the opportunity to become the Alpha among the wide outs. He made the Pro Bowl in 2013, and his 2014 numbers weren't that far off from his breakout season. He only had 4 fewer catches, 288 fewer yards, but 3 more touchdown receptions last year. If he can shake the minor bumps and bruises that plagued him last year, he should get back to the Pro Bowl.
With an honest to goodness 'take the top of the defense' receiver in Kevin White operating for the Bears' offense, opposing defenses will have to play the Bears differently than last year.
Now it's your turn. Who are your Top 5 25 and under Chicago Bears? And remember, no rookies.....