Six Breakout Players for 2009

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Six Breakout Players for 2009
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

1. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB - Cardinals.

Second year sensation, aka DRC, has great size for a CB at 6'2" and pairs that with sub 4.4 speed.

He was brought along gradually by the coaching staff last season, receiving his first starts about midway through the year, but by year's end there was no denying his incredible athleticism.

His Week 14 INT vs the Rams insured the Cards' victory to capture the NFC West crown, and his INTs in the Cards' first two playoff victories also proved pivotal.

The most valuable gift DRC possesses is the rare ability to get beat and still make the other team pay on the same play, his ball hawking skills and make up speed are off the charts.

Barring injury, he is a lock for the Pro Bowl.

2. Kellen Winslow/Derrick Ward, TE/RB - Buccaneers.

The two big signings in Tampa Bay's offseason, both of these players have chartable recent success, but new situations bring new opportunities for both.

Both of them instantly become the team's most attractive weapons at their respective positions.

Winslow becomes the team's best receiver threat, period, and Ward is simply more athletic with a more polished game than Earnest Graham.

I expect these two to finish 1 and 2 in the team lead for TDs.

3. Chris Henry, WR - Bengals.

I just wrote about him in my last post, but I couldn't leave him out.

Anyone with his level of talent (They don't call him Baby Randy Moss for nothing), with a top notch QB that is coming back completely healthy, is someone to watch.

The key will be if he can manage to produce one complete season.

4. Kerry Rhodes, S - Jets.

Rhodes is a gifted athlete with great size, at 6'3" and 220 lbs, and fills every conceivable stat column.

While he has been a huge force for the Jets for 4 seasons, what makes this year so intriguing is having the opportunity to play under defensive mastermind and new Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

We have seen how superior talent shined under his tutelage in Baltimore, so I am excited to see what new wrinkles he employs for Rhodes.

5. Kyle Orton, QB - Broncos.

Orton is typically characterised as a fine game manager, but little else. I think there is more untapped potential inside.

I like that he has already been named the starting QB in Denver, proving new coach Josh McDaniels likes what he sees.

The receiving corps in Denver is the most talent Orton has ever had to throw to, and he will have a gifted rookie RB in Knowshon Moreno to power the running game for balance.

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