The Buffalo Bills currently have 31 players on their roster that are under the age of 25. While some of those players may be lost to free agency or offseason cuts, the Bills still have a talented core of young players that is primed for a bright future ahead.
Here's a look at the top five players under the age of 25:
5. John Miller (G) - age 23
Miller was recently named the NFL's most-improved second-year guard by Pro Football Focus after his solid 2016 campaign. He was much improved as both a pass and run blocker from his rookie year and was 29th among all guards in the league. Miller was drafted by the Bills in the third round of the 2015 draft from Louisville and has started 28 games with the team, including all 16 and 98 percent of the offensive snaps in 2016.
4. Ronald Darby (CB) – age 23
Despite a sophomore slump at the beginning of the 2016 campaign, Darby returned to his typical form and helped the Bills become one of the best pass defenses in the league over the final month of the season. Darby is tied for the seventh-most passes defended since he came into the league in 2015, and his 21 passes defensed in 2015 were the second-most in franchise history. He was named Pro Football Focus' Defensive Rookie of the Year for his play last season and has started 29 games since being drafted 51st overall by the Bills in 2015.
3. Preston Brown (LB) - age 24
Another Louisville product, Brown already has three years of starting experience with the Bills and continues to trend upward. He set a career-high with 139 tackles in 2016 and posted his first career sack. He has over 100 tackles in all three of his NFL seasons, and despite all the contact, has proved durable by not missing a single game due to injury in his career. In 2016 he also teamed up with Zach Brown to become the first linebacker duo in the NFL to each record over 135 tackles in the same season.
2. Shaq Lawson (DE/LB) – age 22
In his limited amounts of action in 2016, Lawson proved that he could be a force coming off the edge. While splitting time with Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander in a three-man rotation, Lawson had two sacks, a forced fumble and 13 tackles. He missed a chunk of offseason activities and the first six games of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, but Buffalo's 19th overall selection in the 2016 draft has a chance to showcase his abilities in 2017 with a full summer of preparation and a healthy start to the season.
1. Sammy Watkins (WR) – age 23
When healthy, Watkins has proven to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Buffalo's fourth overall selection in 2014 is sixth in the NFL in yards per catch since he entered the league and fourth in yards at the point of catch. He has missed 11 games over the past two seasons with various injuries, but Watkins has had a reception in the last 20 games he's played in. Watkins will look to build off of a strong finish to the 2016 season, and continue making his mark in Bills record books. He holds the franchise records for most yards and receptions in the first two years in a Bills uniform.