Which Pats make over-30, under-25 cut?

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
7:00
PM ET
Pat Kirwan and Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com team up for a fun piece to highlight the best NFL players under the age of 25 and the league's best players over the age of 30. Then they match them up to see which is stronger.

Kirwan puts together the over-30 squad, while Prisco is responsible for the under-25 club.

Plenty of Patriots are represented:

Over-30
QB: Tom Brady (reserve) -- "I'll go with the MVP Peyton Manning but Tom Brady is on the sideline waiting to go in," Kirwan writes.

G: Logan Mankins (starter) -- "This offensive line will have very little problem blocking the youngsters and protecting any of the quarterbacks I put on the field," Kirwan writes.

DT: Vince Wilfork (starter) -- "Good luck running the ball against Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork with 700 lbs. of beef inside," Kirwan writes.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (starter) -- " Stephen Gostkowski just turned 30 and he was five for six on 50+ attempts but I could always call up [Adam] Vinateri or any number of the kickers," Kirwan writes.

Under-25
TE: Rob Gronkowski (starter) -- "Can you believe he's only 24? He is coming off an injury-plagued season, but he is still the best all-around tight end when he's healthy," Prisco writes.

DE: Chandler Jones (reserve) -- Cameron Jordan (Saints) and Robert Quinn (Rams) get the starting spots.

OLB: Jamie Collins (reserve) -- Aldon Smith (49ers) and Lavonte David (Buccaneers) get the starting spots.

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: This exercise doesn't account for players in the 26-to-29-year-old range, eliminating the likes of 26-year-old offensive tackle Nate Solder and 26-year-old safety Devin McCourty. And as much as someone like 24-year-old Shane Vereen could be a consideration, he hasn't proved it over a full season like Prisco's other picks. The Patriots would naturally like to see 22-year-old receiver Aaron Dobson enter the discussion, especially with the Chargers' Keenan Allen in the mix, but Allen showed more in 2013. It will be interesting to compare and contrast Dobson and Allen in 2014 based on their development.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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