Tag Archives: Breakout Candidates

Second- and third-year NFL players ready to break out in 2021 – Defense edition:

Once again, we have reached a part of the offseason, where there’s not many transactions or otherwise important moves to analyze around the NFL. So I took the time to put on the tape of players from the 2019 and ’20 drafts and identify which of them are bound to break out this upcoming season.

To avoid subjective interpretation of which players are or are not eligible for making this list anymore, I already stated that they can’t have made a Pro Bowl / All-Pro team so far or are just generally considered one of the top players at their position already, like a Quinnen Williams or Darnell Savage for example. To go along with that, players that have reached double-digit sacks or tackles for loss, or led his team in another major category, are excluded. Oh, and the players that made my list already last year, won’t repeat doing so.

Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates like Antoine Winfield and Jeremy Chinn did not qualify, Derrick Brown may not be in position to rack up big numbers, but he was already dominant for stretches in the middle of that Panthers defense this past season and Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons was too obvious for me, since he was my number two overall prospect a year ago and should be in much better position to make plays, in a more defined role.

Just like the offensive edition, two of the first three players mentioned here were selected in the middle of the first round, but the other six names all went on day two or later.

Continue reading Second- and third-year NFL players ready to break out in 2021 – Defense edition:

Second- and third-year NFL players ready to break out in 2021 – Offense edition:

Now that we’re in this sort of dead part of the offseason, where all the main player acquisitions have been processed and all the moves have been analyzed, it was time for me to put on the tape of players from the 2019 and ’20 drafts and identify which of them are bound to break out this upcoming season.

Since that is a subjective definition, I set myself parameters of some statistical milestones and other factors that these players must not have reached yet. So you won’t find anybody who has already made a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, quarterbacks are excluded if they have already thrown for 4000 yards or 25 touchdowns in a season and for running backs and receivers, they’re not allowed to have already cracked 1000 yards rushing or receiving respectively and/or double-digit touchdowns. And if somebody is just generally considered one of the top players at their position already, I didn’t mention them either. Plus, you won’t see guys on here that already my list a year ago.

A lot of these lists primarily include first-round picks and a couple of guys that already broke out, but people didn’t really know about before last season. You won’t see any running backs or wide receivers from 2019, because those guys have either broken out already or I had them on my list last year – D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery and others. As far as last year’s rookie class goes, Joe Burrow to me has already shown the ability to be a franchise quarterback, other than Henry Ruggs III and Jalen Reagor, all the other receivers that went in the first round last year were at least flirting with the 1000-yard mark, and two of the three offensive tackles drafted in the top 20, that actually played the majority of games as rookies, have established themselves as long-term starters in my opinion (Jedrick Wills and Tristan Wirfs).

So while we start with a high draft pick from 2020, most of the guys on this list went quite a bit later.

Continue reading Second- and third-year NFL players ready to break out in 2021 – Offense edition:

Breakout candidates for 2020 – Defense edition:

I started this exercise of choosing second- and third-year players in the NFL I expect to take the next step in their development, based on being in a better situation due schematic changes, the respective team not re-signing certain veterans and allowing their young guys to play a bigger role or just my evaluation of them coming out of college.

Once again, my criteria was – they were not allowed to have a Pro Bowl so far, reached a major statistical milestone (1000 yard season, double-digit sacks, etc.) or are just looked at generally as one of the better players at their position already. I didn’t include guys that made my list already last year (Kemoko Turay, Justin Reid, etc.) or haven’t seen the field at all yet (Jonah Williams, Hakeem Butler, etc.). Across my two articles on these breakout players, you will only find one top ten pick, since I believe those are obvious choices anyway, if those guys just haven’t been healthy or whatever it may be.

In this version, we are looking at eight more defensive players ready to break out in 2020 after talking about offense last week already:

Continue reading Breakout candidates for 2020 – Defense edition:

Breakout candidates for 2020 – Offense edition:

After going through the rosters of all 32 teams and talking about their biggest remaining need, I now want to talk about some young players around the league, who I think will take the next step in their development this upcoming season. Specifically I’m looking at second- and third-year players who haven’t been a Pro Bowl selection, reached a major milestone (1000 yard season, double-digit sacks, etc.) or are just looked at generally as one of the better players at the position already. I also didn’t want to talk about guys I already had on my list last year, like Kemoko Turay for Indianapolis or Justin Reid for Houston – who I believe already is one of the best young safeties in the game – and I ended up with only one former top ten pick, since the few I considered mostly haven’t broken out because they simply haven’t been on the field enough. At the same time I made it a requirement to have played at a least a little. So that excludes guy like Bengals offensive tackle Jonah Williams and a receiver I really liked, who is now on the Cardinals named Hakeem Butler.

For this exercise I considered what my evaluation of them was coming out of college, in terms of the development they still needed to make to be effective at the next level, situations they are now, whether it’s a change of scheme on their team or veterans that were let go in order to allow them to take on a bigger role, or just how high I was on them as draft prospects. I’m going to analyze their skill-set, how they fit with their respective teams and why I believe they are bound to break out in 2020.

In this version, we are looking at eight offensive players:

Continue reading Breakout candidates for 2020 – Offense edition:

Breakout NFL players for 2019:

With most teams a little more than a week away from starting training camps, I wanted to look at the second- or third-year players, who I think will make the biggest jumps in 2019. Obviously I did not want to name Pro Bowlers or guys with All-Pro nominations and no Rookie of the Year candidates on either side of the ball. I also didn’t include players, who already recorded 1000 yards rushing or receiving, double-digit touchdowns, sacks or similar statistics. Moreover, to avoid repeating myself, you won’t find the names of any players that made my list already last year – such as Dalvin Cook, Chris Godwin and Malik Hooker – and neither did I put down anybody that I think already pretty much broke out, even if they numbers don’t quite show that – guys like Corey Davis, O.J. Howard, Carl Lawson, Jayon Brown and Jaire Alexander come to mind. My final criteria was that the players needed to have seen the field already, which ruled out guys like Derrius Guice and Isaiah Wynn, who I had rated as first-round prospects but missed their rookie years. So with the criteria set and making clear what is necessary for a player to actually break out, here is my list:

Continue reading Breakout NFL players for 2019:

Second- and third-year players ready to break out in 2018:

Now that we’ve talked about the top overall players in the NFL, I want to shift my focus more towards the young up-an-coming stars of the game. Specifically, I will look at players coming into their second and third seasons, who are not looked at like that quite yet. So you won’t see any names like Alvin Kamara or Carson Wentz. This list includes those who have already seen the field a lot, had their last year cut short by injuries or just didn’t get the opportunities to shine quite yet. But what combines them all for me – I think they could break through this upcoming season.

Continue reading Second- and third-year players ready to break out in 2018: