Young talent is important in the NFL, but teams also need veterans who have been able to sustain success at the highest level for multiple seasons. This week at CBSSports.com, we will be examining some of the best veteran players in the NFL by creating our All 30 and Over Offensive and Defensive Teams.
For the All 30 and Over First and Second Offensive Teams, we will take into consideration how these players have performed over the past few years and rely on Sports Reference's Approximate Value (AV) tool. You'll be surprised how many offensive stars are over 30-years-old, so let's jump in.
QB Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
The reigning NFL MVP is QB1 on our list. Rodgers, seemingly motivated by the Packers' selection of Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, completed a career-high 70.7 percent of his passes and threw a career-high 48 touchdowns as Green Bay again made it to the NFC Championship game. It's true that Tom Brady and the Buccaneers defeated Rodgers in the regular season and in the playoffs last year, but Rodgers was the best quarterback in the NFL in 2020. He also recently put the team on his back in "The Match 4," downing Brady and Phil Mickelson on the golf course.
RB Adrian Peterson (FA)
His reputation precedes him, as Peterson is fifth on the NFL's all-time rushing list, a former MVP and still owns the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game. There were several players we could have picked for this spot who are a bit younger and still on rosters, but Peterson just refuses to slow down. He's two years removed from a 1,000-yard season, and rushed for more touchdowns last year than players like David Johnson, Kareem Hunt, Ezekiel Elliott and James Conner. At 33 and 34-years-old, Peterson was the most consistent weapon on a Washington Redskins offense that was lacking, and is still someone I would sign if I was looking for a running back at this point in the offseason
WR Julio Jones (Titans)
The seven-time Pro Bowler has been one of the best receivers in the NFL over the past decade, and there's reason to be excited about his potential in 2021. While Jones is 32-years-old and played in just nine games last season, teaming up with an offense which includes Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown could be something that turns back the clock for him a bit. Even if he doesn't get back to 1,000 receiving yards with the Titans, Jones deserves a spot on this list just based off of what he has been able to accomplish over his career. He's still the NFL's leader when it comes to receiving yards per game with 95.5.
WR Adam Thielen (Vikings)
While he turns 31 in August, Thielen is still one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL. He recorded a career-high 1,373 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2018, but then missed six games due to injury the following season. Without Stefon Diggs to work off of and him turning 30, some thought Thielen could take a step backwards, but that did not happen. Thielen put up 925 yards and a whopping 14 touchdowns -- which ranked third among all receivers. His AV of 8 ranked second among all receivers considered for this list.
WR Marvin Jones (Jaguars)
Jones caught a career-high 76 passes for 978 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. While the Lions haven't been the most fun team to watch in the NFL, Jones has been a consistent playmaker when healthy. He played in all 16 games for the first time in three years last season, and showed no signs of slowing down. Jones has caught nine touchdowns in three out of the past four years and should be a trusted target of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
TE Travis Kelce (Chiefs)
Kelce is still the top tight end in the NFL -- regardless of age. Here's what I said about Kelce after ranking him the No. 1 tight end entering 2021:
"It wasn't the speedy Tyreek Hill, it was actually Kelce who has led the Kansas City Chiefs in receiving over the past two years. Blocking, catching, creating the big play, saving the broken play -- Kelce can basically do it all. A big reason he tops our list is because he just doesn't slow down. Even after four straight seasons of posting more than 1,000 yards receiving, Kelce turned in his best campaign ever in 2020. In 15 games last year, he caught 105 passes for a record-breaking 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns. All three figures set career highs. Kelce then took his game to another level in the postseason, as he caught 31 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns in three games. He set the record for most receptions in a conference championship game with 13, and passed Rob Gronkowski for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single-season in NFL history including playoffs."
LT Trent Williams (49ers)
This offseason, the 49ers made Williams the highest-paid offensive tackle in NFL history with a six-year deal worth up to $138.06 million. The star left tackle did not allow a sack in nine straight games last season, according to the 49ers' official website, and earned his eighth Pro Bowl bid. Williams was graded as Pro Football Focus' top-rated tackle among 93 qualifiers. Any NFL team would love to have Williams holding down the left side.
LG Denzelle Good (Raiders)
Good is coming off of a career year in which he filled in at left guard for the injured Richie Incognito. He recorded an AV of 8 in his second full season with the Raiders -- which ranked fourth among all guards we considered for this list. He's versatile enough to play all over the offensive front, and was rewarded with a two-year deal he signed this offseason.
C Jason Kelce (Eagles)
The brother of Travis Kelce is a Super Bowl champion, a three-time First Team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler. He's been one of the best centers in the league for years now, and while he's 33-years-old, he probably has a good year or two left in him.
RG Zack Martin (Cowboys)
The 2020 campaign was certainly a forgettable one for Martin and the Cowboys' offensive line as a whole, but he's one of the best guards in the league. Martin is a four-time First Team All-Pro and a six-time Pro Bowler. Last season was the only season in which he was not honored in some way, but expect him to bounce back in 2021.
RT Lane Johnson (Eagles)
Johnson hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2015 and is coming off of an ankle injury, but he's still one of the best right tackles in the league. This past season snapped his streak of three straight Pro Bowls, and he was also named a First Team All-Pro in 2017 when he posted an impressive AV of 15.
QB: Tom Brady (Buccaneers)
RB: Frank Gore (FA)
WR: T.Y. Hilton (Colts)
WR: Antonio Brown (Buccaneers)
WR: Cole Beasley (Bills)
TE: Rob Gronkowski (Buccaneers)
LT: Duane Brown (Seahawks
LG: Justin Pugh (Cardinals)
C: Ryan Jensen (Buccaneers)
RG: Rodger Saffold (Titans)
RT: Morgan Moses (Jets)