Every NFL Team's Biggest Potential Breakout Player for 2020

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2020

Every NFL Team's Biggest Potential Breakout Player for 2020

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    For fans of teams other than the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, the offseason is already here. While the long wait for meaningful football can be trying, the offseason also brings a sense of hope for the 2020 season.

    Between free agency and the draft, NFL teams have the potential to get better in a hurry. Just look at the 49ers, who went 4-12 just one year ago.

    San Francisco should also be a reminder that incoming players aren't the only ones to watch. Running back Raheem Mostert—who rushed for 772 yards in the regular season and another 220 in the NFC title game—has been with the team since 2016.

    Sometimes, a player just needs a better opportunity, a different supporting cast or a little seasoning to become a franchise's breakout star. Here, we'll examine one player from each team who could be that in 2020. While none of them may become a playoff hero like Mostert, each has the potential for a dramatic rise into the spotlight.


Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray

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    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray showed plenty of promise as a rookie in 2019. He completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 544 yards and four more scores. That's a great rookie campaign, but Murray could break out in 2020.

    For one, he will be in his second pro season and could show the sort of growth the Baltimore Ravens got from Lamar Jackson this season. Murray will also be in his second year of Kliff Kingsbury's offense and should have an expanded playbook.

    Presumably, the Cardinals will also use the offseason to improve the talent around Murray—most notably along the offensive line and in the backfield. Murray was sacked 48 times in 2019, and before Kenyan Drake was added midseason, the running game outside of Murray was underwhelming.

    With a more consistent rushing attack and better pass blocking, Murray should take a big step forward next season. As a more mature signal-caller, he could become downright dangerous.

Atlanta Falcons: OG Chris Lindstrom

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    Last April, the Atlanta Falcons used the 14th pick in the draft on former Boston College lineman Chris Lindstrom. Though he was named the starting right guard for Week 1, Lindstrom suffered a broken foot in his first game and landed on injured reserve until Week 14.

    The Falcons didn't see a lot of Lindstrom as a rookie, but what they saw was terrific. According to Pro Football Focus, Lindstrom didn't allow a sack and committed one penalty in his five starts, and the Falcons went 4-0 with Lindstrom back in the lineup to end the season.

    It's a small sample size to go on, but Lindstrom appears to have the makings of a Pro Bowl-caliber guard. Though not a rookie All-Pro like Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson, Lindstrom could have a similar impact on the interior of the Falcons offensive line—if he can remain healthy.

    Health will be the key to Lindstrom's 2020 campaign. If he's in the lineup for all 16 games, he could emerge as a run- and pass-blocking stud for Atlanta next season.

Baltimore Ravens: WR Marquise Brown

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    Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown flashed plenty as a rookie in 2019, catching 46 passes for 584 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. With legitimate game-breaking speed, he often had an impact by stretching the defense even when he wasn't catching passes.

    There are two big reasons Brown could go from promising rookie to bona fide star in 2020.

    The first is that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will have another year of NFL experience under his belt. That means another year of growth—which could yield some impressive results, based on the growth he showed between Years 1 and 2. It also means another year of building chemistry with Brown, who was Jackson's second-favorite target behind tight end Mark Andrews.

    The second reason is that Brown should be healthy in 2020. Injuries cost him two games in 2019, and he came into the season still recovering from Lisfranc surgery. Strictly from a physical standpoint, Brown may be in better shape to break out next season.

Buffalo Bills: DT Ed Oliver

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    Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver had quite the rookie season in 2019. The ninth overall pick in last year's draft started all 16 games and finished with 43 tackles, five sacks and two passes defended. These are strong numbers for an interior defensive lineman, and especially for a rookie.

    Oliver can be even more productive in his second year, with experience and growth being key factors. As an interior pass-rusher, he should benefit from what could be an improved Bills offense too.

    Presumably, Buffalo will look to upgrade the weapons it has around quarterback Josh Allen. Allen will be another year experienced as well. This should allow the Bills to score more than the 19.6 points they averaged in 2019, forcing opponents to rely a bit more on the pass.

    More passing by the opposition will mean more pass-rushing opportunities for Oliver, who could make a significant jump in sack production. It wouldn't be a shock to see Oliver rack up double-digit sacks in 2020.

Carolina Panthers: EDGE Brian Burns

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    Like Oliver, Carolina Panthers edge-rusher Brian Burns had a phenomenal rookie year. The 16th pick in the 2019 draft, Burns finished his inaugural campaign with 25 tackles, 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble. These are impressive numbers for a rookie edge-rusher, especially since, like Buffalo, the Panthers weren't regularly engaged in shootouts.

    Carolina scored 21.2 points per game in 2019.

    Assuming the Panthers can improve their quarterback position—either with a Cam Newton return or by other means—Burns should be presented with more chances to rush the passer in 2020. The addition of offensive-minded head coach Matt Rhule may also help in that regard.

    Expect Burns to be even more productive as an edge-rusher next season.

    With standout linebacker Luke Kuechly entering retirement, Burns may also get the opportunity to break out as a leader of the linebacker corps. By the end of next season, he might even be the face of Carolina's defense.

Chicago Bears: WR Anthony Miller

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    Assuming the Chicago Bears are able to get improved performance out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, wide receiver Anthony Miller could be in store for a third-year jump. The former Memphis standout improved from his rookie season (656 yards versus 423 yards in 2018) despite a decline in Trubisky's efficiency.

    Trubisky's passer rating dropped from 95.4 in 2018 to 83.0 this season.

    Ideally, the hiring of Bill Lazor as offensive coordinator will help Trubisky's development and help Chicago's passing attack. Lazor has typically run offenses that utilize pass-heavy West Coast concepts. This should mean more opportunities for Miller.

    Miller could also benefit from an expanded role in Chicago's passing attack. Disappointing tight end Trey Burton and wideout Taylor Gabriel are both potential cap casualties for the Bears, who are projected to have just $20.9 million in cap space.

Cincinnati Bengals: WR Auden Tate

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    There are several reasons Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate could experience a big leap in 2020. Perhaps the most obvious is that the 2018 seventh-round pick will be entering his second season with a significant role.

    Injuries to A.J. Green and John Ross forced the Bengals to rely on Tate, who caught 40 passes for 575 yards and a touchdown in 2019.

    With the Bengals entering the second year of the Zac Taylor era, the offense as a whole may improve. If Tate maintains a starting role—Green, for example, is scheduled to become a free agent—that should result in a boost in his production.

    Lastly, Tate may benefit from an upgrade at the quarterback position. Cincinnati is widely expected to take LSU's Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in April's draft. Burrow, who passed for 5,671 yards in 2019, may add a more explosive element to Taylor's offense. This could lead to more big gains for Tate and the rest of Cincinnati's receiving corps.

Cleveland Browns: LB Mack Wilson

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    Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson had a productive rookie campaign in 2019. He started 14 games and finished with 82 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

    Mack may make a big jump in 2020 for two reasons. For one, Cleveland's next defensive coordinator—who has yet to be determined—will likely rely less on sub-packages than Steve Wilks did—Wilson and Joe Schobert were the only linebackers to play more than 22 percent of the defensive snaps in 2019, according to Football Outsiders.

    If a new scheme places more coverage and pass-rushing responsibilities on Cleveland's linebackers next season, it will theoretically result in bigger numbers for Wilson.

    Secondly, Wilson may become the leader of Cleveland's linebacker corps in 2020. Schobert is scheduled to become a free agent and said in December he hadn't heard anything from the Browns regarding a contract extension.

Dallas Cowboys: CB Jourdan Lewis

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    Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis had a good 2019 campaign, finishing with 51 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions while manning the nickelback role. Lewis, a 2017 third-round pick out of Michigan, may get an opportunity to start on the outside in 2020.

    This is because starting cornerback and 2018 Pro Bowler Byron Jones is scheduled to hit the free-agent market.

    If Jones departs, Lewis could be given a shot at the starting job opposite Chidobe Awuzie. This could lead to a significant increase in playing time and breakout potential.

    According to Football Outsiders, Lewis played just over 54 percent of the defensive snaps in 2019 while appearing in all 16 games. Awuzie and Jones were on the field for 94.6 percent and 85.4 percent of the defensive snaps, respectively—and Jones did not play in the season finale.

Denver Broncos: TE Noah Fant

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    The Denver Broncos used the 20th overall pick in last year's draft on former Iowa tight end Noah Fant. The second of two Iowa tight ends off the board in Round 1—T.J. Hockenson was the other—Fant was supposed to give Denver some big-play potential from the end position.

    At times, Fant did exactly that. He finished his rookie campaign with 40 receptions for 562 yards and three touchdowns. In Week 9, he gashed the Browns for a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

    Fant's biggest issue this season was consistency. For example, in that Browns game, he had three catches for 115 yards and a score. The week prior, against the Indianapolis Colts, he caught five passes for 26 yards.

    It's fair to point out that the Broncos didn't have a lot of consistency at quarterback during the 2019 season, going from Joe Flacco to Brandon Allen to rookie Drew Lock. That likely hurt Fant's development. With Lock the presumed starter, expect Fant to develop better chemistry with his quarterback in 2020.

    "Don't like to show our hand, but I think it's unrealistic to say we're going in a different direction," team president John Elway said of Lock, via the team's official website.

    With better chemistry and another year of growth, Fant could become a star.

Detroit Lions: RB Kerryon Johnson

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    Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson has shown the potential to be a breakout player during his two pro seasons. However, injuries have prevented him from reaching that potential. Johnson's rookie campaign ended after 10 games, and he was limited to eight in 2019.

    Johnson's production over 18 games is impressive, though. He has rushed for 1,044 yards, averaged 4.5 yards per carry, has caught 42 passes and has found the end zone eight times.

    These are the sort of annual numbers the Lions should expect from Johnson if he's finally able to play a full 16-game season. In fact, Detroit could expect even more production, as Johnson has the skill set to be an every-down back.

    Presumably, Johnson will be healthy in 2020, and that alone should allow him to finally have the breakout season he has been teasing fans with to this point. Having a healthy Matthew Stafford under center and threatening the defense—which Johnson didn't have the final two weeks of 2019—will also benefit him.

Green Bay Packers: EDGE Rashan Gary

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    The Green Bay Packers used the 12th pick in April's draft on former Michigan edge-rusher Rashan Gary. However, Gary did not see a significant role as a rookie, because of the presence of pass-rushers Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith.

    According to Football Outsiders, Gary played just 23.3 percent of the defensive snaps in 2019.

    Though he will still likely be part of a rotation, Gary should see more opportunities off the edge in his second season. He could also see an expanded role, depending on whether defensive coordinator Mike Pettine (who the Packers will retain in 2020, per ESPN's Rob Demovsky) tweaks his scheme in the wake of an up-and-down 2019 campaign.

    Even if there isn't a scheme change in 2020, Gary should become a more prominent part of the defense. He may be groomed to replace Preston Smith, who can be cut after the 2020 season with just $8 million in dead money remaining on his contract.

Houston Texans: OG Max Scharping

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    Though the Houston Texans were forced to rely on a patchwork backfield comprised of Duke Johnson Jr. and Carlos Hyde, they managed to field the league's ninth-ranked rushing offense (125.6 yards per game). This was due, in large part, to a rebuilt offensive line—and specifically rookie guard Max Scharping.

    Scharping was taken with the 55th overall pick in last year's draft and quickly became an anchor on the interior. He appeared in all 16 games, starting 14, and helped the Texans march all the way to the divisional round of the playoffs.

    According to Pro Football Focus, Scharping only allowed three sacks and committed six penalties all season.

    No longer a rookie, Scharping will have a chance to emerge as one of the NFL's best young guards in 2020. He'll be in the spotlight blocking for Deshaun Watson, and if the Texans can upgrade their backfield—Hyde will be a free agent in March—Scharping will become hard to ignore.

Indianapolis Colts: WR Parris Campbell

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    At Ohio State, Parris Campbell was the sort of explosive weapon that offensive-minded head coaches dream of acquiring. Talented as both a runner and a receiver, the 6'0", 205-pound Campbell flashed legitimate 4.31-speed at the scouting combine.

    Even as a gadget player and an after-the-catch guy, Campbell should have had an immediate impact for the Colts as a rookie.

    Unfortunately, the injury bug bit Campbell hard, and he only appeared in seven games with three starts. He never seemed to develop chemistry with quarterback Jacoby Brissett, which made him an afterthought in Indianapolis' run-oriented offense. Campbell finished his rookie season with 18 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown.

    There's a chance that Campbell will have to develop chemistry with a different quarterback moving forward, as the Colts are not committed to Brissett over the long term.

    "The jury is still out," general manager Chris Ballard said, per ESPN's Mike Wells.

    Regardless of who is chosen as the starter, Campbell should have a full offseason to create a rapport. With a little trust and a lot of experience gained, Campbell could become a Tyreek Hill-type game-breaker.

Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Taven Bryan

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    Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan is poised to be a breakout star because fellow defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is likely to be a cap casualty. Dareus is scheduled to make $22.5 million next season on a team option, but only $2.5 million of that is dead money. Barring another restructuring, Dareus will likely hit the open market.

    This will open the door for Bryan, who started eight of the last nine games of 2019 following Dareus' placement on injured reserve. The 2018 29th overall pick showed a lot of growth during that stretch and finished 2019 with 33 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

    As a rookie, Bryan made just one start and finished with 20 tackles and a sack.

    Bryan should be a full-time starter in 2020 and should continue to develop as a havoc-wreaking interior defender.

Kansas City Chiefs: DE Tanoh Kpassagnon

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    After being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs last offseason, edge-rusher Emmanuel Ogbah began to emerge as a force on the defensive front.

    Despite being limited to just 10 games because of a fractured foot, he managed to rack up 5.5 sacks and 32 tackles. Ogbah is set to become a free agent, though, which could open the door for fellow end Tanoh Kpassagnon on a full-time basis.

    Kpassagnon became a starter over the second half of 2019. He finished the regular season with 16 tackles and four sacks. He had two sacks during Kansas City's win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title game.

    If Kpassagnon maintains the starting job opposite Frank Clark, he could emerge as a premier defender in 2020. If the Chiefs are able to retain free-agent defensive tackle Chris Jones, it should open up even more opportunities for Kpassagnon to attack the quarterback. With Jones and Clark in the front seven, Kpassagnon will see a lot of single-man blocking.

Las Vegas Raiders: EDGE Clelin Ferrell

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    The Las Vegas Raiders used the fourth overall pick in last year's draft on former Clemson edge-rusher Clelin Ferrell. However, fourth-round selection Maxx Crosby became the team's rookie sack artist.

    Crosby finished the season with 10.0 sacks, while Ferrell chipped in 4.5.

    Ferrell could be the breakout edge-defender for the Raiders in 2020, as he should field an increased workload while Crosby draws more attention from opponents. According to Football Outsiders, Ferrell played just 61.9 percent of the snaps in 2019.

    As long as Ferrell can steal some reps away from guys like Arden Key—and Crosby doesn't experience a drop-off—he will have a good chance to reach the coveted double-digit sack mark next season.

Los Angeles Chargers: S Nasir Adderley

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    The Los Angeles Chargers scooped up former Delaware safety Nasir Adderley in the second round of last year's draft. A versatile defensive back, Adderley was supposed to partner with second-year man Derwin James to give the Chargers two young playmakers in their secondary. But a hamstring injury limited Adderley to just four games.

    "It wasn't the rookie year I was expecting. I was hoping to make a big impact," Adderley said, per Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register.

    If healthy, Adderley should have the opportunity to claim the starting job from Rayshawn Jenkins, who will be a free agent after the 2020 season. In the meantime, Adderley's versatility and ball skills should earn him opportunities in sub-packages and at cornerback.

    With opposing quarterbacks looking to avoid players such as James and Casey Hayward Jr., Adderley's ball skills could lead to breakout production in next season.

Los Angeles Rams: LB Samson Ebukam

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    Samson Ebukam has flashed as a linebacker and a pass-rusher for the Los Angeles Rams over the past three seasons. He had his best campaign yet in 2019, finishing with 48 tackles, 4.5 sacks and four passes defended.

    Entering a contract year, Ebukam will have a chance to be one of L.A.'s most important defenders. The reason? The Rams could be on the verge of losing key defenders in linebacker Cory Littleton, defensive tackle Michael Brockers and edge-rusher Dante Fowler Jr.

    Those three players are set to become free agents. Armed with just a projected $23.7 million in cap space, the Rams have little hope of retaining all of them.

    The 6'3", 245-pound Ebukam will take over one of the vacated roles, most likely as a dedicated edge-rusher or an off-ball linebacker. That will put him in prime position for a breakout season just before his own foray into free agency.

Miami Dolphins: Mike Gesicki

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    Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki had a strong sophomore season in 2019, catching 51 passes for 570 yards and five touchdowns. If he continues to grow heading into Year 3, Gesicki could emerge as one of the league's elite pass-catching tight ends by the end of the season.

    That is because the Dolphins should be more talented on the offensive side of the ball next season. Armed with three first-round picks and a projected $94.3 million in cap space, Miami should be able to improve its offensive line and skill positions considerably.

    That means that even if journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick remains the starting quarterback, Miami should have better pass protection, a more threatening rushing attack and more receiving weapons for opposing defenses o consider. And that means less defensive attention on Gesicki, who was the team's No. 2 target after DeVante Parker in 2019.

    Another year of NFL exposure will help, and if the Dolphins do upgrade at quarterback, Gesicki's production could skyrocket.

Minnesota Vikings: CB Mike Hughes

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    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes, a first-round draft pick in 2018, has seen limited opportunities during his two pro seasons. That is because of injuries—a torn ACL limited him to six games as a rookie—and because players like Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes were ahead of him on the depth chart.

    Hughes has made a mere five starts since being drafted.

    However, he is likely going to take on more defensive responsibility next season. For one, he should be healthy enough to handle a significant role. Secondly, the Vikings are set to lose Waynes and cornerback Mackensie Alexander in free agency.

    With standout safety Anthony Harris also slated for free agency, Hughes will likely take over the starting role opposite Rhodes. That will give him his first opportunity to be a full-time starter—along with plenty of breakout potential.

New England Patriots: WR N'Keal Harry

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    Whether or not the New England Patriots have Tom Brady back under center in 2020, they're going to need a breakout campaign from second-year wideout N'Keal Harry. Brady may have lost a step, but a lack of explosive receiving targets is what hurt the New England offense this season.

    Harry, who racked up 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns during his final year at Arizona State, can be the No. 1 receiver New England has been missing. An ankle injury limited him to seven games as a rookie, but with healthy and after a full year in the Patriots system, Harry should be able to break out in his second season.

    Harry could also benefit from an expanded role in the offense, as pass-catchers Phillip Dorsett II and Ben Watson are set to become free agents—with Watson likely reentering retirement.

    With Julian Edelman recovering from shoulder surgery, Harry is likely to enter 2020 as the top receiver on the outside opposite Mohamed Sanu Sr. Expect him to break out and show why the Patriots believed he was worth a first-round selection.

New Orleans Saints: EDGE Marcus Davenport

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    Former Texas-San Antonio pass-rusher Marcus Davenport was supposed to be a difference-maker for the New Orleans Saints. He's shown promise in stretches—as a rotational player in Year 1 and a starter in Year 2—but Davenport hasn't quite become the star the Saints expected to get when they traded additional first- and fifth-round picks to move up 13 spots for him.

    Injuries limited Davenport to 13 games in 2019, and he has 10.5 sacks through two seasons.

    Improved health would allow Davenport to break out in 2020. Another year of experience will also help. Davenport came into the NFL as a raw prospect with an unpolished set of pass-rushing moves.

    "We've seen all of those things improve as the season has progressed," The Athletic's Deuce Windham wrote in early December.

    Expect Davenport to be a fully matured pass-rusher in 2020, making life miserable on opposing passers, much like teammate Cameron Jordan.

New York Giants: QB Daniel Jones

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    While New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones may not experience the sort of second-year leap Lamar Jackson did in 2019, he is poised to take a big step forward.

    Jones showed some promise as a rookie, flashing plenty of arm talent and athleticism. However, he also struggled with pocket awareness and ball security. He coughed up the ball 18 times in 13 games, losing 11 of those fumbles.

    Another offseason should help Jones shake some of his bad habits, and the hiring of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett could benefit him as well. While Garrett took plenty of criticism for his handling of the Cowboys offense in recent years, he also helped develop both Tony Romo and Dak Prescott into high-level NFL starters.

    Jones should gain from having a healthy Saquon Barkley in the backfield, something he lacked for much of 2019. Barkley missed three games because of injury and was held under 50 rushing yards an additional three times. If he's 100 percent in 2020, that should make Jones better.

New York Jets: QB Sam Darnold

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    While New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold hasn't been a bust, he has only shown glimpses of brilliance. Injuries have limited him during his first two seasons, but poor decision-making has also been an issue. Darnold has turned the ball over 33 times in 26 games—and it could have been worse. The Jets recovered an additional 11 Darnold fumbles.

    Another year of growth, and another year in Adam Gase's offense, should help Darnold mature as a signal-caller. Ideally, Jets general manager Joe Douglas will put some better weapons around him as well. Jamison Crowder was the only Jets player to top 800 receiving yards in 2019.

    Darnold has all the physical tools to be a star. With a better supporting cast and feel for the game, he could be the breakout quarterback of 2020.

Philadelphia Eagles: WR Greg Ward

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    When the Philadelphia Eagles needed help in their wide receiver corps down the stretch, Greg Ward delivered. The 2017 undrafted free agent recorded his first NFL catch in Week 12 and finished the regular season with 28 receptions for 254 yards and a touchdown.

    Ward is under contract for 2020, so he'll have a great chance of breaking out as one of Carson Wentz's favorite targets.

    If you prorate Ward's final six games over a full campaign, he'd have a 75-catch, 677-yard, three-touchdown season. However, Ward's numbers could be much better than that.

    As he continues to gain Wentz's trust, he'll likely become one of the quarterback's go-to options on the outside. With Nelson Agholor set to hit the free-agent market, Ward could be Philadelphia's No. 2 wideout across from Alshon Jeffery.

Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Diontae Johnson

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    One could argue that Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Diontae Johnson already broke out during his rookie campaign. He had 59 catches for 680 yards and five touchdowns—remarkable considering he played most of the season with Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph under center.

    However, Johnson could be a borderline elite wideout next season with veteran starter Ben Roethlisberger expected to return.

    "I am working hard and am more determined than ever to come back stronger and better than ever next year," Roethlisberger tweeted Dec. 25.

    Roethlisberger possesses a combination of arm strength, touch and accuracy that Hodges and Rudolph can only dream about at this point in their careers. That alone should make a downfield weapon such as Johnson dangerous. Additionally, Roethlisberger's return should allow JuJu Smith-Schuster to get back to high-end form, which would give Johnson a lot of one-on-one coverage looks on game days.

San Francisco 49ers: WR Deebo Samuel

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    Rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel emerged as one of the San Francisco 49ers' biggest offensive weapons over the second half of the season and in the playoffs. The former South Carolina star, drafted 36th overall, appears to have the makings of a future No. 1 receiver.

    Samuel finished the regular season with 57 catches for 802 yards and three touchdowns.

    In 2020, Samuel should have the opportunity to be San Francisco's No. 1 target—both because he has earned it and because Emmanuel Sanders is set to become a free agent.

    Sanders quickly became arguably Jimmy Garoppolo's second-favorite target—after tight end George Kittle—after he was acquired via trade Oct. 22. He had 36 receptions, 502 yards and three touchdowns in just 10 games. If Sanders leaves, Samuel should be Garoppolo's go-to man on the perimeter.

Seattle Seahawks: TE Will Dissly

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    The Seattle Seahawks have a couple of tight ends who could be breakout players in 2020. Jacob Hollister, who emerged late in 2019, is one of them. However, he only got an opportunity to start because second-year man Will Dissly was placed on injured reserve after only six games.

    Injuries have caused Dissly to miss 22 games over his first two seasons. He tore his patella tendon in 2018 and his Achilles this season.

    However, Dissly's production has been tremendous. In 10 games, he has caught 31 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns. That would put him on pace for a 50-catch, 669-yard, 10-touchdown season.

    If Dissly can stay healthy for 16 games in 2020, he should approach or even exceed those numbers as one of Russell Wilson's go-to targets.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Ronald Jones II

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    "Progress" was the key word for Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II in 2019. He was a bust as a rookie in 2018, finishing with just 44 rushing yards, 33 receiving yards and a touchdown on 30 touches. However, he seemed to adjust to the speed and nuances of the pro game this season.

    Jones finished the with 724 rushing yards, 309 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 203 touches.

    Next season, Jones could be an even more prolific back. He'll be in Bruce Arians' offense for the second consecutive year and may even have a shot at being an every-down back—fellow runner Peyton Barber played this season on a one-year deal.

    Jones should be a more confident and decisive ball-carrier in 2020, which could allow him to improve regardless of any roster changes around him.

Tennessee Titans: DT Jeffery Simmons

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    The Tennessee Titans decided to take a chance on former Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons with the 19th pick in last year's draft despite the fact he suffered a torn ACL while preparing for the scouting combine.

    There was a chance Simmons wouldn't see the field as a rookie. He did, though, and proved to be a remarkable addition. In nine games, he produced 32 tackles, two sacks and one pass defended.

    While Simmons and the rest of the defense will have to work past the retirement of defensive coordinator Dean Pees, Simmons could be in store for a breakout campaign.

    For one, he should be much closer to his pre-injury form than he was. Secondly, he'll have a full offseason with the Titans. Though Simmons made an impact as a rookie, he was largely learning on the fly. He should be better prepared, and potentially more dangerous, next season.

Washington Redskins: RB Derrius Guice

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    Like many of the players on this list, Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice will have an opportunity to break out if he can stay healthy. A 2018 second-round pick out of LSU, Guice was supposed to be Washington's workhorse running back. However, injuries robbed him of his rookie season and 11 more games in 2019.

    What Guice has flashed when healthy has been impressive, though. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry, 11.3 yards per reception and had a long run of 60 yards. Guice has the potential to be an every-down back for new head coach Ron Rivera.

    Guice's breakout chances will increase if Washington decides to move on from Adrian Peterson, who has a club option for 2020. Still, health will be the biggest factor. If Guice can stay on the field, he could have the sort of third-season breakout that Vikings runner Dalvin Cook experienced in 2019.

    Cook appeared in 15 games during his first two years before exploding with 1,654 rushing and receiving yards in 14 games this season.


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