20 Under 25

Breakfast Pod: Is wide receiver becoming a strength for the Patriots?

Breakfast Pod: Is wide receiver becoming a strength for the Patriots?

With Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas and Josh Gordon all back on the field, the Patriots are suddenly well-stocked at receiver, which ones make the roster? Also, a look at our 20-under-25 list.

1:14: Tom Curran and Paul Perillo break down which Patriots wide receivers will make the 53-man roster?

4:58: Do the Celtics have the most young talent of any team in Boston? A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Felger, Tom Curran, and Danielle Trotta look at our top 20 under 25 players in Boston.

10:13: The Patriots welcomed back Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas and Josh Gordon this week, is the wide receiver position now a position of strength? DJ Bean, Tom Curran and Michael Holley break it down. 

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

20 Under 25: Jake DeBrusk hopes to salvage 2015 Draft for Bruins

20 Under 25: Jake DeBrusk hopes to salvage 2015 Draft for Bruins

Don Sweeney didn’t earn many fans when he got creative with three consecutive picks in the first round of the 2015 draft.

Jakub Zboril, the perceived safe pick, proved to be anything but. Zach Senyshyn hasn’t exactly proven those who called him a reach wrong. Meanwhile, the three players taken right after the Bruins were on the clock have become bona fide stars (Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Thomas Chabot).

At least the second of those three Bruins picks has been really good. 

Truly, Jake DeBrusk has been. For a team that’s already got its share of regular 30-goal-scorers in Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, DeBrusk is well on his way to becoming the fourth. In just his second NHL season, DeBrusk pushed for 30 by netting 27 goals in 68 games. 

While DeBrusk’s points have been consistent in each of his two years (43 as a rookie, 42 last season), he’ll have plenty of motivation to further break out as he enters the final year of his entry level contract. 

One unknown with DeBrusk: What kind of postseason player will he ultimately be? After first-round heroics as a rookie against the Maple Leafs, the left wing struggled in his second playoff run. His 11-point showing in 24 games left more to be desired. 

At 22, DeBrusk is already a solid top-sixer. If he becomes a star, it will really soften the blow of what was at the time a really rough draft night for the B’s. 

Click here to see this year's candidates for the 20 Under 25 list

Click here to vote for this year's 20 Under 25

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

20 Under 25: Will Grant Williams surpass expectations with Celtics?

20 Under 25: Will Grant Williams surpass expectations with Celtics?

All Grant Williams did in college was produce, produce... and then produce more. The 20-year-old was named SEC Player of the Year in both of his final two years at Tennessee, and was a consensus First Team All-American this past season, when he averaged 18.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.1 spg and 1.5 bpg. 

Despite his young age, many experts think he’ll be able to impact winning for the Celtics, in some way, as early as this season. A lot of that is due to his grown man strength and his thick/jacked frame.

Williams weighs in at an efficient 240 lbs — he has only 5.4% body fat — and has outlier strength. His 20 bench press reps at the NBA combine were the most in over five years. His bone-crunching screens alone should be enough to earn him minutes as a rookie.

But Williams is more than a massive meat sandwich. The kid can hoop, and he loves to win. Not only did he improve his own stats every year in college, his team’s winning percentage improved every year as well.

He’s also smart. He passed up Harvard to go to Tennessee; plus, his mom works at NASA, so don’t expect any flat-Earth nonsense from him. 

So why did he fall to the Celtics at pick No. 22 in this summer’s NBA Draft? His height probably had something to do with it, as he’s only 6’7” with shoes (ironically, he measured almost exactly the same as Draymond Green at the combine … just sayin’). He also didn’t hit threes at a high clip in college, but he’s not a coward; he’ll shoot them when open. His free throw percentage went up every year in school, so there’s a chance he hones his jumper enough to be a threat from the perimeter. I wouldn’t bet against him. 

His range of outcomes seems to be somewhere between a ‘Jared Sullinger who cares’ and an ‘in-shape Draymond Green’. His silly personality means his floor is at least Guerschon Yabusele with actual basketball talent.

Either way, there’s no reason to think Grant Williams won’t continue to produce, produce and produce some more for years to come.

Click here to see this year's candidates for the 20 Under 25 list

Click here to vote for this year's 20 Under 25

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.