A few days ago, a study by Jimmy Kempski of Phillyvoice.com revealed that the five starters on the Green Bay Packers' offensive line ranked as the 10th-youngest starting group in the National Football League. That study was expanded out to the entire offense this week, and with that the Packers' rank in average age dropped, as they come in with the 7th-youngest starting eleven in the league.
The Packers' combined age for the starters is 284 years, or an average of just under 26 years, and ties them with the Cincinnati Bengals for the 7th spot.
It is worth noting the position breakdown that was used. The "starters" were defined as one player each at quarterback, running back, and tight end, three wide receivers, and the five offensive linemen. This eliminates any opportunity that John Kuhn would have to skew the Packers' average towards the older side.
The only position among those eleven that may be in dispute this summer is tight end, and based on the numbers specified in Kempski's analysis, veteran tight end Andrew Quarless was judged as the starter over second-year player Richard Rodgers (a position battle we addressed recently). If Rodgers had been designated as the starter, the Packers' total age would have decreased by three years and pushed them ahead of two teams and into 5th place. As you can see, an extra year or two in one place can make a big difference in these rankings.
An interesting trend to note is that Green Bay is the only team in the top 10 to feature a quarterback over 30, as Aaron Rodgers is currently 31. The next-closest team with a quarterback 30 or older is the New York Giants, who come in at 13th while featuring the 34-year-old Eli Manning.
The fact that the Packers' starters' average age is around 26 is a testament to their quick development of young players into key contributors (though Randall Cobb entering the NFL at the age of 21 didn't hurt either). Furthermore, most of the six teams younger than the Packers are NFL franchises which have struggled mightily to win games in recent years. In fact, the only playoff team in the top six is the Seattle Seahawks.
This measure is just one more data point that illustrates the Packers' strategy of developing their own draft picks rather than signing free agents to play important roles.