There are two weeks left before the 2013 NFL draft, but there’s really not that much left to be said (or at least it feels that way at times). Free agency has died down, so it’s probably time to take an early look at a few players primed to break out in 2013.
What does a breakout year look like? Is it a statistical jump of some arbitrarily large amount or a baseline performance line that a player must hurdle over? How do you accurately judge a breakout year for offensive and defensive linemen? There’s really no good way to judge a breakout season across the board.
You may be able to use stats for some positions to judge breakout performances, but that won’t work for others.
There are a few indicators of a potential breakout year, like a change in role or situation and/or the natural, continued development at certain positions.
There’s the third-year receiver theory, which is basically a trend that pass-catchers experience a big statistical jump in the third (or more accurately the second, third or fourth) year their pro careers. For running backs a breakout year is likely just due to a good player getting more opportunities. Sometimes a player has a breakout year because his situation changed drastically. There are also players that just need to stay healthy to have their breakout year.
What players are primed for breakout years in 2013? Here’s a list to get you started. Add some of your own thoughts in the comments.