Every NFL Team's Secret Weapon for 2019

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2019

Every NFL Team's Secret Weapon for 2019

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    Don Wright/Associated Press

    We're finally on the doorstep of the 2019 NFL preseason, which means real, live football action is near.

    Many fans view the preseason as a chore, especially on account of the lack of playing time for star players. However, exhibition games do give fans a glimpse of some of the under-the-radar players teams are going to rely on in the coming season—veritable secret weapons, if you will.

    Last preseason, for example, the Denver Broncos gave meaningful snaps to undrafted rookie runner Phillip Lindsay, while the Pittsburgh Steelers gave former backup James Conner a chance to earn the starting job as Le'Veon Bell's replacement. Both relatively unknown players went on to make the Pro Bowl.

    Here we'll examine some of this year's biggest potential secret weapons heading into the preseason. The focus will be on players who have never been named to the Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team but could play key roles in 2019. Rookie first- and second-round picks will also be excluded, as their presence is a secret to very few.

Arizona Cardinals: TE Ricky Seals-Jones

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    When it comes to the Arizona Cardinals in 2019, all eyes are going to be on rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. For Murray to be successful, though, he's going to need help from his receiving corps. Fortunately, the Cardinals have some intriguing weapons, like Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, David Johnson, Hakeem Butler and Andy Isabella.

    Forgotten in that mix is tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, who should head into the season as the preferred starter. The Cardinals added Maxx Williams and Charles Clay in the offseason, but Seals-Jones is the player on the rise out of that trio.

    In 2018, he caught 34 passes for 343 yards and a touchdown. Only Kirk, Fitzgerald and Johnson caught more passes.

    The tight end is typically viewed as an important security option for young signal-callers, and Seals-Jones has the potential to be exactly that this season. He should be an integral, if overlooked, piece of the passing attack from day one.

Atlanta Falcons: CB Isaiah Oliver

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    The Atlanta Falcons were willing to part with starting cornerback Robert Alford this offseason, and a big reason why was the presence of second-year man Isaiah Oliver.

    A second-round pick out of Colorado, Oliver saw action in 14 games as a rookie and amassed 23 tackles, seven passes defended and an interception. Now, he'll take over for Alford as the starter opposite Desmond Trufant.

    While fans—and opposing receivers—may not know what to expect from Oliver, the Falcons do.

    "It's the length and size," head coach Dan Quinn said of the 6'0", 210-pound defensive back, per Kelsey Conway of the team's official website. "He's really patient at the line of scrimmage and he's really been putting the work in this offseason to get himself into that space to play really well."

    Oliver should emerge as a standout in Atlanta's secondary this season.

Baltimore Ravens: WR Willie Snead

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    The Baltimore Ravens are hoping to see a second-year emergence from quarterback Lamar Jackson this season. The addition of rookie first-round receiver Marquise Brown is expected to play a large role in this. However, the return of savvy veteran receiver Willie Snead shouldn't be overlooked.

    Snead may be a bit of a journeyman—he previously spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints—but he found a home in Baltimore's offense last year. He finished the season with 62 receptions, 651 yards receiving and a touchdown.

    Snead averaged a solid 10.5 yards per reception during the regular season and came up big against the Los Angeles Chargers in the playoffs, catching three passes for 50 yards. With Brown commanding the attention of opposing defenses, Snead could be even more productive in 2019.

Buffalo Bills: LB Matt Milano

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    If you're not a fan of the Buffalo Bills, you may not know of linebacker Matt Milano.

    "He's really starting to come into his own and I think really going to open up some eyes on a national scale this year," fellow linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said of Milano, per Jason Wolf of the Buffalo News.

    Milano was a force for the Bills defense before suffering a broken fibula in Week 14. In his 13 appearances, he racked up 78 tackles, seven passes defended, a sack, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions.

    Assuming Milano returns to pre-injury form by the start of the season, he has a chance to put together a Pro Bowl campaign. He isn't likely to remain a secret weapon for long.

Carolina Panthers: TE Ian Thomas

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    When Greg Olsen suffered a broken foot in Week 1 last season, Carolina Panthers fans may have believed they were in trouble at the tight end position. For a while, they were, until rookie Ian Thomas went on an impressive run over the final month of the season.

    Starting three of the final five games of the year, Thomas had 25 receptions, 246 yards and two touchdowns in that span.

    Though Olsen is returning for a 13th pro season, Thomas has established himself as the future at tight end for Carolina. He should see an increased snap count even with Olsen back, as possession receiver Devin Funchess is gone. Don't be surprised if Thomas takes over Funchess' role and becomes one of Cam Newton's top targets in 2019.

Chicago Bears: DT Eddie Goldman

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    Despite being picked in the second round of the 2015 draft, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Eddie Goldman has flown under the radar over his four seasons. Perhaps it's because of the position he plays—nose tackles who don't regularly rush the passer don't get a ton of attention—and perhaps it's because of guys like Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd around him.

    Goldman, however, is one of the most consistent and dominant defenders on the roster, and teams that forget about his ability often pay the price. Last season alone, Goldman had 40 tackles, three sacks and a safety.

    In his career, he has 124 tackles and 11.5 sacks—impressive numbers for an interior defender largely expected to eat up space.

    Goldman is the centerpiece that allows edge-rushers like Mack and Floyd to flourish—but Chicago should be content to let opponents view him as more of an afterthought.

Cincinnati Bengals: S Clayton Fejedelem

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Now that Vontaze Burfict is gone, the Cincinnati Bengals don't have many defenders whom opponents need to focus on stopping. There's Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and—perhaps soon, anyway—safety Clayton Fejedelem.

    A 2016 seventh-round draft pick out of Illinois, Fejedelem has emerged as a core special teamer and part-time defender. He's made the most of his opportunities, however, and has the potential to be more than just a part-timer.

    Over the past two seasons, Fejedelem has 92 total tackles (57 solo), an interception, a forced fumble and a defensive touchdown. That touchdown, by the way, helped Cincinnati secure a win over the Indianapolis Colts last season.

    Don't be surprised if the new Bengals regime gets Fejedelem on the field in sub-packages and three-safety sets more often in 2019.

Cleveland Browns: WR Rashard Higgins

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    Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Browns are going to have quite the loaded receiving corps in 2019. They acquired Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason and have Jarvis Landry and second-year speedster Antonio Callaway plus an emerging tight end in David Njoku.

    That leaves Rashard Higgins as a forgotten man in the passing attack, but he shouldn't be overlooked. He found tremendous chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield last season and became one of his most-trusted targets.

    Despite missing three games, Higgins hauled in 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. Though he may be relegated to a fourth-receiver role this season, it won't make Higgins any less dangerous and could actually make him more so.

Dallas Cowboys: RB Tony Pollard

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    Will Ezekiel Elliott hold out for a new contract this season? Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported the two-time rushing champion is considering doing so, which would leave the Dallas Cowboys shorthanded.

    Even if Elliott accepts his role as the bell-cow back, the Cowboys should consider spelling him to decrease his workload—Elliott has carried the ball 868 times in three seasons. This is where rookie fourth-round pick Tony Pollard comes in and why he could be valuable.

    Pollard was a big play waiting to happen for the Memphis Tigers last season, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 11.7 yards per reception. He also averaged 24.7 yards per kickoff return and scored 10 touchdowns.

    Pollard is versatile and can help the Cowboys on special teams as well. Perhaps more importantly, he can help keep Elliott fresh late in the season when Dallas hopes to make a playoff run.

Denver Broncos: TE Jeff Heuerman

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    Plenty of eyes are going to be on Denver Broncos rookie tight end Noah Fant this season. The Iowa product was one of the most dynamic pass-catchers in college last season, which is why Denver made him a first-round pick.

    With opposing defenses focused on Fant, the Broncos will have opportunities to hurt them with fellow tight end Jeff Heuerman.

    Though Heuerman has never been a premier pass-catching tight end in the league, he was a serviceable starter in 2018. He's a strong in-line blocker and an adequate receiver who had 31 receptions, 281 yards and two touchdowns.

    In two-tight end sets, Heuerman could be dangerous, especially with quarterback Joe Flacco pulling the strings. According to Graham Barfield of NFL.com, Flacco has targeted tight ends on 23 percent of his passes over the last three years—the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. This should give Heuerman plenty of opportunities, especially when foes are focusing on Fant.

Detroit Lions: TE Jesse James

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    The Detroit Lions may have overpaid to land tight end Jesse James in free agency—they gave him an unwarranted four-year, $22.6 million deal—but he could prove to be a sneakily effective weapon in offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's offense.

    That is largely because the Lions used the eighth overall pick on former Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson will draw plenty of defensive attention, as will wideouts Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola.

    That should leave James as an afterthought, which could make him quite dangerous. Playing alongside Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight end Vance McDonald, James managed to catch 30 passes for 423 yards and two touchdowns in 2018.

Green Bay Packers: WR Geronimo Allison

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    The Green Bay Packers have an elite quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and a premier pass-catcher in Davante Adams. What will make the passing attack special in head coach Matt LaFleur's first season, though, is the emergence of additional receiving threats.

    Geronimo Allison should be one of those, though he's easy to forget about after injuries limited him to just five games last season.

    Marquez Valdes-Scantling came on in 2018, catching 38 passes for 581 yards and two touchdowns. He'll likely be Green Bay's No. 2 wideout. With tight end Jimmy Graham also drawing defensive attention, Allison could continue to fly under the radar, and that could make him valuable.

    "Him being able to move around right now and be healthy, be himself and just play, being able to have all those things, it's going to be dangerous," Adams said, per Wes Hodkiewicz of the team's official website.

Houston Texans: RB D'Onta Foreman

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    After missing most of the 2018 season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, running back D'Onta Foreman may be a bit of a forgotten man in the Houston Texans offense. That should be just fine with the Texans, as Foreman has the potential to sneak up and surprise some opponents in 2019.

    The 236-pound Foreman is a tough, physical complement to Lamar Miller, though he does have enough wiggle to find open space. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry in 10 games in 2017 and also caught six passes for 83 yards.

    Foreman's bruising running style should make him the follow-up shot in Houston's one-two combination. Don't be surprised if he emerges as an even bigger part of the offense than he was as a rookie in 2017.

Indianapolis Colts: TE Jack Doyle

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    The new-look receiving corps for the Indianapolis Colts should have their AFC South rivals concerned. T.Y. Hilton returns as Andrew Luck's No. 1 target, as does Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron. Indianapolis also added Devin Funchess and second-round pick Parris Campbell in the offseason to help round out the group.

    Woe is the opponent who sleeps on tight end Jack Doyle, however. The Western Kentucky product missed all but six games with hip and kidney injuries last season.

    "It's exciting to know that he is making a full recovery from his hip, from his kidney and we are going to have the Jack Doyle that we had at the start last year," offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said, per George Bremer of the Herald Bulletin.

    In those six games, Doyle had 26 receptions for 245 yards and two touchdowns. In 15 games the year before, he caught 80 passes for 690 yards and four scores.

Jacksonville Jaguars: WR DJ Chark

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    The Jacksonville Jaguars have a new quarterback in Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. To fully benefit from the addition of Foles, though, Jacksonville needs to have the receiving weapons to maximize his talent.

    That is where 2018 second-round pick DJ Chark comes in. While Chark was largely forgotten last season—he had just 14 receptions for 174 yards—he has the skill set needed to help Foles flourish.

    A 6'4" speedster (4.34-second 40-yard dash), Chark has the combination of size and speed needed to push safeties down the field and to threaten one-on-one matchups near the sideline. Though not as polished as a route-runner, Chark has the potential to be a bigger and faster version of Alshon Jeffery, a wideout Foles regularly targeted while leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl title two seasons ago.

Kansas City Chiefs: WR Demarcus Robinson

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Since the NFL is unlikely to suspend wide receiver Tyreek Hill, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Kansas City Chiefs should have their top wideout from Week 1. Between Hill, Sammy Watkins, rookie second-round pick Mecole Hardman and tight end Travis Kelce, opposing defenses should have their hands full.

    What could burn opponents, though, is forgetting about fourth-year wideout Demarcus Robinson. He was rarely a first or even a second option in 2018, but he still put up respectable numbers: 22 receptions, 288 yards and four touchdowns. He could be in line for even more production this season.

    According to Nate Taylor of The Athletic, Robinson will be expected to replace the departed Chris Conley as Kansas City's No. 3 wideout. Conley caught 32 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns a year ago.

    While a slightly bigger role might not seem significant, Robinson could regularly be the guy who torches defenses just when they think they have the Chiefs' weapons accounted for.

Los Angeles Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

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    There is no shortage of star power on the Los Angeles Chargers defense. From Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III to Casey Hayward Jr. and Derwin James, the Chargers are loaded with easily recognizable talent.

    Linebacker Jatavis Brown, however, is not one of those guys. A 2016 fifth-round pick out of Akron, Brown has been overshadowed by L.A.'s brighter stars. Opponents should overlook him at their own risk.

    Brown is a tremendous sideline-to-sideline player and an underrated presence on the second level. In 15 games last season with 10 starts, he racked up 97 tackles, five passes defended, a sack and a forced fumble. Over the past three seasons, he has 255 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Los Angeles Rams: RB Darrell Henderson

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    If all goes well, the Los Angeles Rams will be able to lean on star running back Todd Gurley II—who has been dealing with a knee issue—in 2019.

    "He's good. I think he's feeling great," head coach Sean McVay told Jimmy Kimmel (h/t Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk).

    Even if Gurley is 100 percent this season, though, rookie third-round pick Darrell Henderson could be the secret to L.A.'s offensive success.

    Henderson, who rushed for 1,909 yards for Memphis last season, is an explosive back who can spell Gurley and carry the load for sustained stretches. He'll add another home run threat to the offense and can help ensure Gurley isn't worn down over the course of the season.

    Those who followed April's draft closely may already be familiar with Henderson. For those who didn't, his potential emergence may come as a huge surprise.

Miami Dolphins: WR Jakeem Grant

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    Whether it's Josh Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Miami Dolphins are going to have a new quarterback in 2019. Of course, that won't mean a whole lot if the Dolphins cannot field a functional receiving corps.

    So who will opposing teams need to worry about on Sundays? 2015 first-round pick DeVante Parker? Former Chiefs wideout Albert Wilson? Though he has yet to earn a significant role, one guy who could regularly burn teams is fourth-year wideout Jakeem Grant.

    Grant appeared in 10 games last season, catching 21 passes and averaging a solid 12.8 yards per reception. He also averaged 16.3 yards per punt return and 29.7 yards per kick return and scored two return touchdowns.

    Whether it's on offense or special teams, Grant will make contributions. The more he does, the less he'll be a secret.

Minnesota Vikings: S Anthony Harris

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    2015 undrafted free agent Anthony Harris earned himself a starting role for nine games last season, and he didn't disappoint the Minnesota Vikings. In 15 appearances, he amassed 46 tackles, six passes defended and three interceptions. He was one of Minnesota's top pass defenders, as Pro Football Focus' Lorin Cox detailed.

    "Harris led the NFL with a passer rating allowed of just 24.0, targeted just 13 times on 340 coverage snaps," Cox wrote. "He gave up only seven catches for 52 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions and two pass breakups in 11 games."

    Harris quietly went from being an afterthought out of Virginia to a playmaker at the back end of the defense. The Vikings should hope opposing offenses try to test him early and often in 2019.

New England Patriots: RB Damien Harris

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Even though the New England Patriots have Tom Brady under center, opposing defenses have to pay attention to what's going on in the backfield. The Patriots have a tremendous mix of running backs, including James White, Rex Burkhead and 2018 first-round pick Sony Michel.

    Thanks to a workmanlike approach to the game and a sound set of football skills, however, rookie third-round pick Damien Harris might just emerge as the secret weapon of the rushing attack.

    "Disciplined and rugged with a very strong sense of who he is as a running back," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote before the draft. "He operates with a good feel for blocking schemes and finds the designed yards while adding extra with his power and some elusiveness."

    Even though he rushed for 5.8 yards per carry with nine touchdowns last season, it's going to be easy for opponents and fans to forget about Harris because of the other talent the Patriots have at the position—at least until Harris goes on a tear.

New Orleans Saints: QB Taysom Hill

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Plenty of opponents are aware of his gadget-play prowess, but New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill remains one of the league's best secret weapons. What makes Hill so dangerous is that he does many things well—and opponents never quite know what he's going to do.

    In 2018, Hill passed for 64 yards and rushed for 196 more with two touchdowns. He also caught three passes, returned 14 kickoffs for 348 yards and returned one punt. He spent time on special teams and finished the year with six tackles.

    When Hill is on the field, the Saints' plans really are a secret. They could use Hill to run or pass on a fake punt or simply boot the ball. They could run a fake field goal or a pass play with Hill as either the thrower or the receiver. Hill's presence keeps opponents guessing.

New York Giants: S Jabrill Peppers

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    While the New York Giants were largely ridiculed for dealing both wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon to the Browns, New York did get a pair of quality players in return. It got one of the league's best guards in Kevin Zeitler and a young, hungry safety in Jabrill Peppers.

    Peppers is the player who could most surprise opponents this season. He started to come on late in 2018 and finished with 79 tackles, five passes defended, a sack and an interception. He'll be a solid addition to the secondary, but he should also help improve the return game.

    "The guy is a for-sure ball-handler," special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. "Can make all the cuts full-speed. He just brings juice."

    Peppers was a Heisman Trophy finalist at Michigan because of his versatility on defense and ability on special teams. While plenty of folks have likely forgotten about Peppers' Heisman-worthy talents, the Giants will look to unleash them on opponents early and often this season.

New York Jets: TE Chris Herndon

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    When you think of young, up-and-coming receiving tight ends, you may think of George Kittle, David Njoku and even Dallas Goedert. Those outside of the New York Jets fanbase probably aren't as quick to recognize Miami product Chris Herndon.

    Herndon, however, emerged as an important piece of the passing attack in 2018. He developed chemistry with fellow rookie Sam Darnold and finished the season with 39 receptions, 502 yards and four touchdowns.

    One could argue Herndon was better than any of the aforementioned tight ends in their rookie seasons. Only Kittle had more receiving yards (13 more), and he had two fewer touchdowns.

    If Darnold takes another positive step in Year 2, Herndon should do the same, and he could establish himself as one of the top receiving threats at the position.

Oakland Raiders: DE Arden Key

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Oakland Raiders pass-rusher Arden Key was a bit of a disappointment as a rookie in 2018. Though the LSU product appeared in 16 games, he finished with a mere 30 tackles and a single sack. The Raiders should hope AFC West rivals forget about him heading into Year 2.

    Key could be in store for a significant jump in production thanks to the arrival of rookie edge-rusher Clelin Ferrell. One of the problems for Key last season was that opposing offenses rarely had to focus on anyone else—the Raiders produced just 13 sacks.

    With Ferrell, the fourth overall pick, garnering the attention of opposing blockers, Key should see more one-on-one opportunities. That, along with a year of experience, should allow him to improve both statistically and in practice.

    Other offseason additions—like Vontaze Burfict, Lamarcus Joyner and Johnathan Abram—should help the defense improve dramatically in 2019. An improved Key could be the secret weapon that helps push it even further.

Philadelphia Eagles: LB Kamu Grugier-Hill

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    Unless you're a Philadelphia Eagles diehard, you may not be familiar with linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill. The Eagles probably wouldn't mind if he continued to fly under the radar.

    The 2016 sixth-round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois has emerged as a defensive cornerstone. He earned a starting role last season and finished with 45 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

    Grugier-Hill has a tremendous combination of size (6'2", 230 lbs), speed (4.45-second 40), physicality and instincts. A former special teams standout, Grugier-Hill is unlikely to relinquish the starter's role now that he's earned it.

Pittsburgh Steelers: WR James Washington

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't get a lot of production out of 2018 second-round pick James Washington. The Oklahoma State product caught just 16 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown. Of course, a lot couldn't have been expected, as Washington played behind Pro Bowlers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

    With Brown now in Oakland, Washington will have a chance to slide into the No. 2 receiver role. If he does, he could go from being a secret weapon to a feared one.

    "You talk about a young dude who's up and coming, it's going to be James Washington," Smith-Schuster told ESPN's Adam Schefter on The Adam Schefter Podcast. "A guy from Oklahoma State, won the Biletnikoff [Award in 2017 as the nation's outstanding college football pass-catcher], came into the Steelers his rookie year, started off slow but figured it out and got the ropes down."

    While Washington may not make Steelers fans forget about Brown, he, Smith-Schuster and rookie third-rounder Diontae Johnson have the potential to give Pittsburgh one of the best receiving corps in the league.

San Francisco 49ers: WR Richie James

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    Daniel Gluskoter/Associated Press

    The San Francisco 49ers receiving corps looks much more threatening than it did this time last year. George Kittle is a Pro Bowl tight end, and Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis are back from last year. The 49ers also added Jordan Matthews, second-round pick Deebo Samuel and third-round pick Jalen Hurd in the offseason.

    Let's not forget about second-year wideout Richie James, though. While he'll likely remain a depth receiver with upside—he caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown as a rookie—his value lies in his ability to flip field position.

    James was a dangerous returner on both punts and kickoffs. He averaged 6.3 yards per punt return and 25.2 yards per kickoff return and took one kick 97 yards to the house.

    With kickoff rules making touchbacks nearly automatic, return specialists aren't quite as valued as they were in the heyday of Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs. James, however, is a weapon who can have the 49ers on the scoreboard as quickly as you can get to the refrigerator for your next drink.

Seattle Seahawks: S Tedric Thompson

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    If you ask a few casual football fans who the Seattle Seahawks' best safety is, you may get someone who still points to six-time Pro Bowler Earl Thomas III. Of course, Thomas is in Baltimore, and his replacement, Tedric Thompson, remains a bit of a secret outside of Seattle.

    Expect this to change fairly quickly, so long as Thompson remains healthy. He took over for Thomas last year after Thomas broke his leg in Week 4, and he put together a tremendous campaign. In 14 appearances with 10 starts, Thompson racked up 57 tackles, three passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble.

    Thompson gives Seattle a dangerous playmaking presence at the back end of the defense. He's also likely to give fits to quarterbacks who think they can test the middle of the secondary now that Thomas is gone.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Breshad Perriman

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    You'll be forgiven if you were unaware that wideout Breshad Perriman was even on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster. He only joined the team after the Browns acquired Odell Beckham Jr. and allowed Perriman out of a one-year deal.

    A draft bust for Baltimore, Perriman had a resurgence with Cleveland last season. Though he only caught 16 passes, he posted 21.3 yards per reception—a testament to his elite speed.

    It's that speed that makes Perriman a secret weapon for the Buccaneers and quarterback Jameis Winston. With DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia, opposing teams may not be as quick to defend the deep ball. Perriman, however, can stretch the field with the best of them and should take over Jackson's role as the go-route gasher.

Tennessee Titans: TE Jonnu Smith

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    The Tennessee Titans took steps to revamp their receiving corps this offseason, signing wideout Adam Humphries and drafting former Mississippi receiver A.J. Brown in Round 2. Also, star tight end Delanie Walker, who suffered a broken ankle in 2018, should return.

    At some point, the Titans will also get back tight end Jonnu Smith, whose second season was cut short by an MCL injury. Smith is still recovering but has his sights set on a breakout campaign.

    "The mindset that I've got is just about getting better," he said, per Jim Wyatt of the team's official website. "So that's the approach I am going into Year 3 with—I want to carry some of the good things from Year 2 as well as the bad things so I can correct them and just perfect my craft."

    Smith will be overshadowed by Tennessee's additions and Walker's return. He could be a valuable weapon once he is back to 100 percent, however. In 2018, Smith averaged 12.9 yards per reception, second behind only Corey Davis among regular offensive personnel. Three of his 20 receptions also went for touchdowns.

Washington Redskins: RB Derrius Guice

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    In 2018, the Washington Redskins used a second-round draft pick on former LSU running back Derrius Guice. He suffered a torn ACL during the preseason and quickly became an afterthought as veteran Adrian Peterson returned to glory.

    Peterson finished 2018 with 1,042 yards and earned a two-year contract.

    Guice, who rushed for 1,251 yards in 2017, should be back to claim a significant role in the running back rotation. While there was a report that he suffered a hamstring injury, the LSU product has insisted he's progressing well.

    "I don't listen to the noise. I know what's going on with me," he said on Twitter (h/t Ethan Cadeaux of NBC Sports Washington).

    While much of the football world will be focused on first-round pick and quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Guice may be the one to lead an offensive resurgence in 2019.


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