The youngest players in NFL history

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

August 11th, 2021

Football is seen as a grown man’s game, and for good reason. However, a number of high impact players have stepped into the league as very young rookies and made immediate waves.

Join us now as we look at the five youngest players to ever suit up for National Football League teams.

5. Juju Smith-Schuster

Age during first game: 20
Position: Wide receiver
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Years active: 2017-present

One of the better wide receivers in the league is also one of the youngest. Smith-Schuster was drafted in the second round in 2017, and he set the league on fire with a 1,426-yard campaign in 2018. He caught a career-best nine touchdowns during the 2020 campaign, and he’ll suit up for Pittsburgh again in 2021 after signing a one-year, $8 million deal during the offseason.

4. Elmer Angsman

Age during first game: 20
Position: Running back
Team: Chicago Cardinals
Years active: 1946-1952

Angsman graduated from Notre Dame and spent seven seasons in the NFL. He proved to be a useful back, averaging 4.3 yards per carry over the course of his career while scoring 32 touchdowns (27 rushing, five receiving). After he retired, Angsman became a well-known color commentator for both ABC and NBC.

3. Tremaine Edmunds

Age during first game: 20
Position: Linebacker
Teams: Buffalo Bills
Years active: 2018-present

A product of Virginia Tech, Edmunds was the 16th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft and has emerged as a vital part of Buffalo’s defense over the past three seasons. He’s made a pair of Pro Bowls, and he’s also the youngest player in NFL history to record an interception in a regular-season game.

2. Danielle Hunter

Age during first game: 20
Position: Defensive end
Team: Minnesota Vikings
Years active: 2015-present

Hunter could be classified as a veteran, but he’s yet to celebrate his 27th birthday. He can also be classified as one of the better pass-rushers in the NFL, as he recorded 14.5 sacks in both 2018 and 2019. He missed 2020 due to a neck injury and recovery from surgery, but he should still have plenty of gas left in the tank given his relatively young age.

1. Amobi Okoye

Age during first game: 19
Position: Defensive tackle
Teams: Houston Texans, Chicago Bears
Years active: 2007-2012

Okoye is a fascinating case. He went to college as a 16-year-old, graduated from Louisville in three years, and suited up for the Texans as a teenage defensive lineman. Okoye was a four-year starter for Houston before finishing his career as a two-year reserve for the Bears in the early-2010’s.