Excluding rookies and those who have already made a Pro Bowl or put together anything close to what some might consider to be an "elite" season, here's a look at the four members of the Washington Redskins who could be on the verge of breaking out in a big way in 2013.
1. Offensive lineman Maurice Hurt
Experience: 2 seasons
Based on what the Redskins did offensively in 2012, it was hard to find an offensive player who hadn't already broken out. But we're going out on a limb with Hurt, who could be a dark horse for that wide-open right tackle spot.
The 2011 seventh-round pick might naturally be a guard, but Tyler Polumbus, Jeremy Trueblood and Tony Pashos aren't exactly tantalizing options at right tackle. Hurt stepped in for the 2012 season finale and put together a really solid effort, giving up no pressures while earning a positive run-block rating from Pro Football Focus (subscription required) on 54 snaps.
2. Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins
Experience: 2 seasons
With Adam Carriker coming back slowly from a quad injury, per Rich Campbell of the Washington Times, there's a good chance Jenkins will get to start from the get-go for the first time in his three-year NFL career. The 2011 second-round pick might not be a sack machine, but he's a great run defender who really seemed to find his groove as a pass-rusher late last season.
There's no reason to think he won't continue on that path in 2013, especially if he's receiving more support from a secondary that can't get any worse and a linebacking corps that will have top pass-rushing threat Brian Orakpo back.
3. Cornerback E.J. Biggers
Experience: 4 seasons
Biggers comes over from Tampa Bay, where his 6.2 PFF coverage rating was higher than any corner in the NFC East last season, including the high-priced Brandon Carr and 2011 first-round pick Prince Amukamara.
He won't have a lot of pressure in D.C. so long as Josh Wilson is covering No. 1 receivers outside and DeAngelo Hall is in the slot. Against a lot of No. 3 wideouts in a defense he's familiar with from his days playing under Raheem Morris in Tampa, look for the four-year veteran to really excel in his new home.
4. Cornerback Richard Crawford
Experience: 1 season
For Crawford, it's all about gaining an opportunity. With Wilson, Hall and Biggers ahead of him on the depth chart, it won't be easy. But the 2012 seventh-round pick is having his second consecutive impressive offseason, according to JP Finlay of CSN Washington, and a lot can change between now and September, let alone between now and December.
Eventually, if he continues to shine on the practice field, Crawford will have a chance to prove himself again on Sundays. He was pretty damn good for a seventh-round rookie last year, especially late in the season, so expect him to keep growing in 2013.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!