Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press
Winner: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (five votes)
These last couple of awards are a bit enigmatic. After all, what exactly constitutes a "breakout" season? Is it a youngster posting the first big year of his career? A veteran putting up stats that dwarf anything in his career to date? Both?
It would appear that our panelists lean toward the former, as of the eight players to receive votes in this category third-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts is the "old man" of the group.
It was another wide receiver who brought home the most votes here, a player whose physical gifts are so imposing that Thomas Johnson of The Washington Post recently asked whether he could be "the next Josh Gordon."
As in leading the league in receiving, not bong-hitting himself right out of the NFL.
That player is Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson:
Many wide receivers peak in year two. However, it would be a stretch to expect Patterson to be the second-coming of Gordon next year. Since 2000, only five receivers besides Gordon have posted 1,600 receiving yards and at least nine touchdowns in their second seasons— Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss and Rod Smith.
Yes, asking Patterson to lead the league in receiving yards in 2014 may be a bit much.
But there's no denying that Patterson is a freakish talent. If the Vikings' quarterback play improves (and after last year's dumpster fire at quarterback in the Twin Cities, how can it not?) then big things could be in store for the big receiver in 2014.
Others receiving votes: Kenny Vaccaro, SS, New Orleans Saints (three votes), Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (two votes), T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (one vote), Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets (one vote), Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs (one vote), Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (one vote), Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (one vote)