series

NBC Sports Boston's 20 Under 25: Who didn't make the cut, and why?

series

NBC Sports Boston's "20 Under 25" list for 2021 was finalized on Monday, as thousands of fans cast their votes on New England's top athletes under 25 years old.

You can find the official "20 Under 25" rankings here. You won't be surprised to see names like Jayson Tatum, Rafael Devers, and David Pastrnak atop the list, though some of the players in and out of the top 20 may come as a bit of a shock.

Others? Well, they'll simply have to step their games up if they hope to crack next year's top 20.

Let's take a look at who didn't make the cut this time around:

21 Nesmith, Aaron Celtics 72.81 33 Groome, Jay Red Sox 68.00
22 Studnicka, Jack Bruins 71.81 34 Harry, N'Keal Patriots 67.79
23 Bentley, Ja'Whaun Patriots 70.95 35 Jennings, Anfernee Patriots 67.76
24 Casas, Triston Red Sox 70.72 36 Frederic, Trent Bruins 66.04
25 Jones, DeJuan Revs 70.41 37 Waters, Tremont Celtics 65.83
26 Hernandez, Darwinzon Red Sox 69.55 38 Firmino, Nicolas Revs 65.79
27 Langford, Romeo Celtics 68.83 39 Cowart, Byron Patriots 65.74
28 Mata, Bryan Red Sox 68.72 40 Edwards, Carsen Celtics 65.19
29 Beecher, John Bruins 68.60 41 Zboril, Jakub Bruins 64.94
30 Vaakanainen, Urho Bruins 68.48 42 Stidham, Jarrett Patriots 64.39
31 Pritchard, Payton Celtics 68.45 43 Asiasi, Devin Patriots 63.78
32 Bjork, Anders Bruins 68.03 44 Keene, Dalton Patriots 63.10

The biggest fall from grace? That would be New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry, who fell from No. 7 last year all the way to No. 34 in this year's rankings.

It isn't difficult to see why. The 23-year-old hasn't yet lived up to his first-round draft selection while several receivers taken after him -- including A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf -- have already turned into stars. In 18 games so far with New England, Harry has caught only 41 passes for 382 yards and four touchdowns. Year 3 is shaping up to be a make-or-break year for the Arizona State product.

Also falling out of the top 20 are Celtics youngsters Romeo Langford (17 to 27) and Carsen Edwards (12 to 40). The two 2019 draft picks were a product of the hype machine last year but their lack of production during the season ultimately cost them in this year's "20 Under 25" rankings. If they can provide a much-needed spark for Boston's second unit this season, perhaps they'll work their way back into the top 20.

 

Then there are Celtics rookies Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard, who debut at 21st and 31st respectively. Like Langford and Edwards, they'll have a real shot at cracking next year's list if they can make some noise off the bench for the C's in 2020-21.

The biggest disappointments on the list not named Harry are the Patriots' rookie tight ends, Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene (43 and 44). Pats head coach Bill Belichick addressed the team's weakness at the TE position by selecting Asiasi and Keene in the third round of the 2020 draft, but both selections so far have been duds. Asiasi has yet to tally his first reception and Keene has just one catch for eight yards.

Better luck next year to those who were left out of this year's "20 Under 25." To check out who did make the cut, click the link below!

The Final List: "20 Under 25" Rankings