The amount of young talent that is flourishing in the NFL at the moment is extremely fun to watch. Take Patrick Mahomes winning his first Super Bowl last season and taking home the MVP award the season prior, or Lamar Jackson securing an MVP himself in just his second year in the league.
Also among them is Jamal Adams, the Jets safety who is arguably the best at his position in the game.
But where does No. 33 rank among the young superstars in the league?
Pro Football Focus put together its "Top 25 under 25" list, and to their projections, Adams comes in as the fifth-best player in the NFL under that criteria. Here's the explanation:
"Adams does it all on the Jets' defense. In 2019 alone, he played 75 or more snaps at edge defender, in the box, in the slot and deep at free safety, and he did it all well. Adams has earned grades of 75.0 or higher as a run defender, tackler, pass-rusher and coverage defender in each of the past two seasons -- at times even serving as the Jets' best edge rusher. There have been trade talks and speculation surrounding Adams as he awaits a contract extension, but he deserves to get paid. You don't want to make a habit of letting multi-faceted, elite defenders like him walk."
Adams is truly the do-it-all safety that teams are searching for these days. Whether it's making a play in the backfield by stuffing the run or sacking the quarterback as well as being able to drop back in coverage and contest passes, Adams has the versatility to do whatever his defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, needs. And Williams certainly appreciates that from his defensive captain.
But as PFF pointed out, the contract extension situation with the Jets is the biggest story hovering over Adams at the moment. Adams knows how much he means to this Jets defense and wants to be paid accordingly. That payday is likely going to be the most for a safety in the NFL, and it's just a matter of if GM Joe Douglas wants to match that price tag.
Though he didn't say directly that he wants to fulfill Adams' requests, Douglas has been adamant in saying he wants him to remain a "Jet for life."
Because if not, there will be a team out there that wants Adams' talents on their defense.
The Jets picked up his fifth-year option, and they have the ability to franchise tag him twice so the control really is in their corner. However, no one wants to have tension with their star player, so Adams certainly won't allow three years to go by without seeing a long-term deal come one way or another.
But as that conversation continues, Adams is still the best player on the Jets and PFF recognizes his skill as one of the best among young players in this league.
The four players above Adams on the list are Mahomes at the top, followed by Colts G Quenton Nelson, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, and another safety in Chargers' Derwin James.