Highlighting the NFL's Next Breakout Player at Every Position

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Highlighting the NFL's Next Breakout Player at Every Position
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The Texans' Whitney Mercilus should make a considerable improvement this season.

Every year, a new star is born in the NFL. Sometimes they're the most unlikely candidates; other times, that player has all the talent in the world and is just a perfect opportunity away from a breakout season. 

Throughout this slideshow, we'll highlight a potential breakout player from each position.

Forming the criteria for such a list is tricky considering there is no official definition for a "breakout player." Nor is there any perfect way to determine whether a player has already broken out. 

In this case, no player on this list has made it on any Pro Bowl or All-Pro rosters. Only one player on the list has been named Rookie of the Year, but he obviously has yet to live up to expectations and officially establish himself at his position.

Essentially, each player who made this list did so because they are expected to make a significant leap in their production and overall contribution to their team, regardless of what they did in previous years. I tried to limit it to guys who will either make a tremendous improvement or have already begun to establish themselves among the best at their position. 

So let’s get to the list. 

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