NFL: Second Year Players I’m Excited to Watch

Chris Savold

Started writing for goingfor2.com in the June of 2016. I am the editor of the Potomac Pulse, my school's online publication, and also created Savoldfantasytalk.wordpress.com. The Redskins are far and away my favorite sports team, and the NFL Draft is my favorite part of the season. Fun Fact: My favorite movies are The Fugitive, Lone Survivor, and Tommy Boy

After these players rookie seasons or lack thereof, I am extremely intrigued by their next campaigns. The majority of these athletes either missed a plethora of games due to injury or lack of PT. Now, each of them has to ability to prove themselves for the first (or second) time this year.

William Jackson, CB, Bengals 

In the 2016 NFL draft, William Jackson III was the fourth CB to be selected. The Bengals selected him with the 24th pick. Though he was slated to receive significant playing time as Cincinnati’s third corner right off the bat, he suffered a season ending pectoral injury. Though he missed the entirety of his rookie year, he is primed for an action filled season.

At this point in the offseason, Jackson III is “fully recovered and ready to compete for playing time” the AP reports.  Alongside that, due to Adam Jones’ single game suspension, the second year CB may find himself as a week one starter.

In my mind, there is no doubt he will succeed if given the opportunity. The Houston-alum possesses great size (6’1 195 lb) and uses that to be physical in press coverage. Additionally, he read QBs well in college and broke to the ball quickly, causing him to have over 21 pass breakups.

 

Su’a Cravens, FS, Redskins

Last year, though Cravens played safety at USC, Washington’s coaches forced him into a nickel LB role immediately after being drafted. At his new position, Cravens performed relatively well,  with a PFF rating of 78.2. Conversely, he struggled to stay on the field as he missed six games due to injury.

While healthy, he was extremely impactful. Cravens has great anticipation skills to jump routes and make plays in the back field which was clear during match ups with both the Giants and Bengals.

Cravens made one of the biggest plays in the Redskins’ season against the Giants on a potential go-ahead drive. After an 18 yard gain by Victor Cruz, Cravens jumped an RB Angle route and intercepted QB Eli Manning to secure the win.

This year, Cravens will make the jump to box safety, which is his perfect fit. With the second highest tackling efficiency among all rookies, Cravens should not be a liability in the run game either.

Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Hunter Henry may be this year’s biggest sleeper. Obviously, this breakout prediction makes me want to watch him closely in 2017.

Henry put up the best stats for rookie TEs in recent memory with 498 yards and 8 TDs. Though he played about 40% of offensive snaps last year, Chargers coaches have stated that he will see a significant increase in playing time in 2017.

With the increase in snap rate and the immense amount of talent the Stanford grad has, he is primed for a breakout 2017 season.

Antonio Morrison, ILB, Colts

Morrison was a highly touted NFL prospect prior to a few off the field issued which caused his stock to drop considerably. These issues caused him to fall into the end of the fourth round where the Colts selected him.

Morrison had a slow start to the season, but he saw the field much more in the last three weeks, totaling over 100 snaps. This year, he’ll be starting along side UDFA Edwin Jackson.

Though he struggled overall (PFF grade of 49.0) he flew to the ball extremely fast and was a forceful tackler all over the field. One thing that stats can not measure is his “Ultra competitive [Nature and] unmatched intensity” according to Lance Zierlan.

With major opportunities awaiting the Miami product in 2017, Morrison could make the jump to be a reliable starter.

Jaylon Smith, OLB, Cowboys

Top 5 talent drafted in the second round. Healthy for the first time. That is all.

Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins

According to multiple scouts, Josh Doctson had more upside than any other WR in the 2016 draft. I still believe that is true, and that is not just my Redskins bias saying so.

Doctson was limited to just 31 snaps in his inaugural season due to an Achilles injury which was an extreme disappointment to the Redskins. According to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, Doctson was healthy and participated in OTAs.

After the departure of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency, Doctson is due for a promotion in the depth chart.

What made the former TCU WR such a threat was his ability to track the football in the air and secure contested throws. Doctson is sure to see an uptick in virtually every statistic this season, and it is his time to prove he belongs in the NFL.

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Started writing for goingfor2.com in the June of 2016. I am the editor of the Potomac Pulse, my school's online publication, and also created Savoldfantasytalk.wordpress.com. The Redskins are far and away my favorite sports team, and the NFL Draft is my favorite part of the season. Fun Fact: My favorite movies are The Fugitive, Lone Survivor, and Tommy Boy

Chris Savold

Started writing for goingfor2.com in the June of 2016. I am the editor of the Potomac Pulse, my school's online publication, and also created Savoldfantasytalk.wordpress.com. The Redskins are far and away my favorite sports team, and the NFL Draft is my favorite part of the season. Fun Fact: My favorite movies are The Fugitive, Lone Survivor, and Tommy Boy

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz

Pin It on Pinterest