ESPN Senior Writer Mike Sando has gathered up rankings involving several NFL talent evaluators and has included others to compile a Top 25 list for players under the age of 25. Two New Orleans Saints, Marshon Lattimore and Michael Thomas, have made the list, with an honorable mention to Alvin Kamara included.
The complete article can be found here, which requires ESPN Insider Access. Per the Thursday morning column, rankings reflect a blend of production and potential, with availability also factoring in. Sando also adds that positional value was a consideration, but not an overriding one.
Lattimore comes in at 10th, being the youngest player on the Top 25. Here’s what was said about him.
Age: 21 years, 5 months
Lattimore has quickly become an effective No. 1 corner for an improved Saints defense. The NFL's defensive rookie of the month for October has two interceptions, one forced fumble and eight passes defensed in his first eight starts. Placing Lattimore this high this quickly feels a little speculative, but there have never been serious concerns about his ability. The hamstring injuries that limited him in college were the real concern.
Also making the list was Thomas, who was the fourth-oldest on the Top 25 list.
25. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
Age: 24 years, 8 months
There was no widespread support for Thomas among the personnel evaluators consulted, but Thomas has produced well enough for the Saints to trade away Brandin Cooks. He has 151 receptions for 1,799 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first 24 games (20 starts).
"There was nothing about him that was a first-round pick because he doesn't have the physical traits -- the speed," a coach said. "But he has the mental toughness and sets a high bar for himself, and I love the guy. They found the right spot for him. He doesn't have to win the one-on-one over and over again like Amari Cooper, but the guy is money."
Alvin Kamara was just outside the Top 25 ahead of Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Jamal Adams, Yannick Ngakoue, Tre’Davious White, Jarvis Landry, Christian McCaffrey, and Hunter Henry.