NFL Predictions, Storylines around the NFL

Second- and third-year breakout players for the 2022 NFL season – Offense edition:

We’ve talked so much about the roster building process, with a bevy of big-time trades, an interesting free agency period and maybe the deepest draft we have ever seen, thanks to the effects of the COVID-shorted 2020 college football season. Two weeks we started shifting our focus ahead to this fall, with my ranking of the teams most likely to go from worst to first inside each division, before I did a longer video on the most intriguing training camp battles, that I’ll have my eyes on. Now it’s time to analyze specific players, who I believe will reach new heights this year.

As has become an annual tradition, this list is focused on players about to enter their second or third season. They must have at least played to some degree in the NFL and not made the list last year already. Players don’t qualify for a breakout, if they’ve once reached 1000 rushing or receiving yards, were selected to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, as well as just being considered one of the best players at their respective position already.

For the purpose of this being original content, there won’t be any repeat candidates from my list last year, which included J.K. Dobbins, Irv Smith Jr. and Mekhi Becton among others, who all missed basically the entire season (Becton was the only one to at least play one game)

Somehow, I ended up with seven players on either side of the ball, which may be an odd number, but that’s what I came up with when deciding to dive deeper into the tape and statistics of these players. So here’s my list on offense:

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NFL Offseason

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.

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