Multiple Chiefs named among NFL's top players 25 and under

Creed Humphrey is the obvious entry but a couple of other players were honored by league execs, too.
Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

The National Football League is in the midst of a serious international boom these days with lots of bright young stars set up to carry the mantle of leadership and popularity forward after the retirement of Tom Brady and fading of the previous era of big-name athletes. One way to identify such players can be found in the various rankings that creep up each year of the league's best players who are only 25 years old or younger.

The latest such list comes to us via The Athletic, and what makes this list of players so credible is that the entries were submitted by insiders via an anonymous process. This should equate to honest responses from those who know best (at least we hope).

For the Kansas City Chiefs, despite the fact that they are top-heavy when it comes to their talent—at least according to the NFL's Top 100 players—they also have plenty of young talent to help provide additional support to superstars of the game like quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, and defensive lineman Chris Jones.

Per The Athletic, five head coaches and seven league executives from various teams were polled about the players they admire most who met the age requirement. From there, they not only ranked the top 25 players who are 25 or under but they also formed an All-25 and under team which allowed for a few more names to surface beyond just the initial 25.

For the Chiefs, the only player who was ranked in that top 25 came in at No. 19 overall in center Creed Humphrey, perhaps the biggest snub for the Chiefs on the Top 100 list. The third-year center became an immediate anchor in the heart of the line the moment he lined up to hike his first ball to Mahomes back in 2021. Since then, he's become an All-Pro performer without any real weakness. Were it not for Jason Kelce, Humphrey would likely be known as the best center in the game even at his young age.

Beyond that, the Chiefs also landed two more players on the All 25 and under roster. Fellow offensive lineman Trey Smith, who has started every game at right guard since entering the league with Humphrey, is only 24 and was honored as one of the best young players in the league. Smith was a sixth-round pick in 2021 after being passed over multiple times for medical concerns, but he's been a mauler up front for K.C. from the jump.

On the defensive side, Nick Bolton was one of three linebackers selected in this exercise, the others being Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys and Kayvon Thibodeaux. A pure tackling machine, Bolton forms the heart of the Chiefs defense as the primary communicator and leader. He's also only 23 years old.