7 Breakout Stars to Watch in the Upcoming NFL Season
The 2023 NFL season is here, bringing a new crop of young talent ready to make names for themselves. Several players are poised to level up and take the league by storm with breakout campaigns.
7 Best NFL Breakout Stars to Watch this Season
Let's talk about the landscape around the NFL and discuss 7 rising stars you need to keep an eye on this year. Get ready for their stardom!
1. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Ja'Marr Chase is already a superstar in the making after a historic rookie season. The fifth overall pick in 2021 sat out college football due to COVID-19, but you wouldn't know it based on his immediately dominant performance for the Bengals. Chase shattered franchise rookie records with 81 catches, 1,455 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns.
He quickly emerged as Joe Burrow's go-to big-play receiver, averaging 18 yards per catch. With a rapport and chemistry forged between him and Burrow, Chase is set to terrorize NFL secondaries again in year two. His blend of size, speed, precise route running, and vice-grip hands makes him nearly impossible to contain. Expect Chase to solidify himself as one of the league's truly elite receivers in 2022 as the Bengals' offense continues ascending.
2. JK Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have been churning out electrifying rushers for years, and JK Dobbins appears next in line for stardom in their prolific ground attack. As a rookie in 2020, he offered a tantalizing glimpse by averaging over 6 yards per carry before a torn ACL robbed him of the 2021 season.
Now, Dobbins should regain the starting job in 2022, bringing an explosive one-cut running style and big play ability every time he touches the ball. If he stays healthy and sees 15-18 carries a game, Dobbins could be the skill position catalyst to elevate Baltimore's offense to new heights. Watch him make defenders miss and run past them with shocking speed all season long, as he is a dominant force carrying the rock.
3. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence entered the NFL saddled with franchise savior expectations as the first overall pick. Though his rookie season had bumps, his otherworldly talent remains.
With a year under his belt, improved offensive weapons, and an offensive scheme better tailored to his strengths under new coach Doug Pederson, Lawrence is poised to break out in year two.
He possesses the big arm, pinpoint accuracy, athleticism, and leadership intangibles that scream future star. Lawrence needs more seasoning and helps around him to spread his wings as a passer.
The opportunities will be there in 2022 for him to fulfill his vast potential. Expect major strides across the board in Lawrence's command of the offense, decision-making, and stats that point toward him developing into the elite franchise quarterback the Jags envisioned.
4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Rookie tight ends historically struggle, but Kyle Pitts immediately shattered that mold in Atlanta. The fourth overall pick in 2021 wasted no time establishing himself as a dominant playmaker. He put up 1,026 yards, the most ever by a rookie tight end, emerging right off the bat as Matt Ryan's go-to target.
Pitts creates headaches for defenses with his rare blend of size at 6'6", speed to burn past linebackers and safeties, huge catch radius, and wingspan close to 7 feet. He's practically impossible to contain downfield and in the red zone.
Even with a new quarterback in 2022 after Ryan's trade, Pitts should remain a focal point of the Falcons' offense, feeding off play action. Expect him to cement his status as arguably the NFL's top tight end already in just year two. He's the new prototype.
5. Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets
The Jets' backfield is crowded, but Michael Carter's big-play ability should make him the lead dog. As a rookie, Carter flashed an exciting all-around skill set despite New York's dismal offense. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry behind a porous line. Carter's contact balance, tackle-breaking, and creative open-field running, as did his solid receiving skills out of the backfield.
With the additions of guard Laken Tomlinson and rookie back Breece Hall up front and in the backfield, Carter is set up for a potential big sophomore leap if the run blocking improves. He could emerge as the Jets' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2015.
Expect him to showcase more dual-threat upside that gives New York's offense some much-needed explosiveness.
6. Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants
In an injury-riddled rookie campaign, Kadarius Toney still displayed flashes of elite open-field electricity for the Giants. Toney was a human highlight reel on the field, particularly evident in his 10-catch, 189-yard breakout game.
He's an absolute nightmare for defenders in space, providing rare YAC ability and ankle-breaking cuts. With Kenny Golladay disappointing, Toney could become Daniel Jones' undisputed top receiver target if he can stay healthy in 2022.
Their growing rapport and Toney's explosive athleticism are a perfect match. Expect many more fireworks as Toney handles a full workload and cements himself as one of the game's most exciting young playmakers.
Also, read: Best MVPs Candidate Prediction For this Season
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The 2022 NFL season will reveal football's next generation of superstars. These seven rising standouts have all the raw abilities and opportunities to take that critical next step into stardom. Prepare your popcorn and watch Ja'Marr Chase, JK Dobbins, Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Pitts, Michael Carter, and Kadarius Toney shine. Their ascent could redefine both their teams and the league. A new era of stardom awaits.