Every team in the NFL has at least one young player on the roster that seems primed for a breakout season. If these players are able to meet expectations and thrive, their teams are happy and chances are, the player’s bank account will be happy too. With that said, here are the five players that seem the most likely to break out this upcoming NFL season.
It might seem peculiar to include a quarterback coming off the worst rookie season we’ve seen in years on this list, but hear me out. Sean McVay’s arrival from Washington should help the entire offense after several years of whatever mess Jeff Fisher was trying to run. Andrew Whitworth’s arrival as the team’s left tackle will help a unit that seemed overwhelmed last season, while additions to the receiving corps should give Goff better targets to throw to. Nobody is saying Goff is going to be a Pro Bowl quarterback in year two, but is an average season out of question for the former No. 1 overall pick?
If it weren’t for injuries, Ameer Abdullah may have already been a breakout player last season. Unfortunately a Lisfranc injury held him out for most of the year and pushed his breakout back a season. Finally healthy, Abdullah has the shiftiness and vision you want in a running back, and he should have plenty of room to run with defenders focusing on shutting down a potent Detroit passing attack.
With the trade of Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots this offseason, Willie Snead suddenly finds himself as the No. 2 wide receiver on one of the best aerial attacks in football. Snead has been a valuable option for quarterback Drew Brees over the last two seasons, but with a bigger role in the offense, Snead seems primed to turn his promise into big production this coming season. 1100 yards and five touchdowns certainly isn’t out of question for the 24-year-old
Finally the unquestioned starter opposite Von Miller for the Denver Broncos, Shane Ray has a golden opportunity to burst on to the scene as a pass-rushing monster. Thought to be a possible top 10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Ray slipped to the Broncos at No. 23 overall, however, Ray’s fall figures to be to the Broncos benefit this season. With great speed, power, and a developing set of pass-rushing moves, Ray could have a special season.
Like Abdullah, DeVante Parker’s health, not talent, has been the reason he has yet to have a true breakout year. That said, finally fully healthy, Parker is primed for a monster season in Miami. With another full offseason of coach Adam Gase’s system in place quarterback Ryan Tannehill should have another solid season, and with Jarvis Landry figuring to face a fair amount of defensive attention Parker should benefit by going against opposing No. 2 cornerbacks. With a breakout season, Parker could team with Landry and Kenny Stills to give Miami one of the best receiving corps in the NFL.