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At this juncture of the offseason, every
franchise has reason to be optimistic concerning the upcoming NFL campaign.
While a case might be made for just
about any player to have a powerful showing this coming yr, the reality is that every
team can have no less than one bust amongst the noteworthy talents on their 2022
Expectations could also be high for these
players going into the season, but there’s a powerful probability they fail to fulfill
them for a wide range of reasons.
With that in mind, here’s a have a look at the
player with probably the most bust potential on each of the league’s 32 teams in addition to
some the reason why they’ll disappoint this yr.
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Rondale Moore was a well-liked sleeper
pick as a rookie with the Arizona Cardinals last yr. While he showed flashes of talent during his first season, he ultimately only had 4 games
with 50 or more receiving yards on his technique to a 54-catch, 435-yard, one-score campaign.
Even though it initially appeared there
could be more opportunity for Moore to tackle an even bigger role in 2022 following
Christian Kirk’s departure, Arizona’s decision to trade for Marquise Brown
could end in a net lack of volume for the second-year wideout.
While Moore could flash some
impressive numbers through the six games DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for, he’s
more likely to disappoint once the No. 1 receiver is back in the combo and finish his
second campaign on an underwhelming note.
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The Atlanta Falcons have found
themselves evaluating a recent starting quarterback for the
first time in 14 years.
With Matt Ryan being shipped off to
the Indianapolis Colts, the team is forging ahead with Marcus Mariota and
third-round rookie Desmond Ridder competing for the QB1 role in training camp.
Although Ridder is coming off an
impressive run at Cincinnati, Mariota reportedly
has the within track for the job based on his familiarity with head coach
Arthur Smith’s system.
While Mariota is more likely to win out in
this positional battle, the Falcons aren’t going to be very competitive while
he’s holding the job. The 28-year-old led his Tennessee Titans squads to a sub-.500
record (29-32) during his four-and-a-half seasons as a starter and has long struggled
Mariota missed time in each of his starting seasons and never threw for greater than 3,426 yards or 26 touchdowns in any campaign.
Even when Mariota can stay healthy in
2022, he’s shown time and time again to be nothing greater than a below-average QB. He is not going to be the catalyst to finish a four-year playoff
drought in Atlanta, and the team will likely find itself within the league’s basement on the conclusion of the upcoming season.
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The Baltimore Ravens made the relatively questionable
decision to not only trade away Marquise Brown through the 2022 draft, but additionally not
herald any substitute wideouts through the event.
With Brown and Sammy Watkins now gone,
Devin Duvernay is poised to step into the WR2 role across from Rashod Bateman.
While Duvernay has proven himself to
be an elite return man—evidenced by his Pro Bowl nod in 2021—he only has 53 profession
receptions for 473 yards and a pair of touchdowns since entering the league in
Duvernay believes he’s able to
holding down the important returning job while also taking up a bigger role on
offense (per BaltimoreRavens.com):
“I really like playing
returner, I really like playing receiver, I really like having the ball, so if anything, it’s
just going to drive me to proceed to be higher and higher.”
Although Duvernay is confident
he can thrive with an expanded workload, the Baltimore passing offense will likely be set back by a scarcity of battle-tested wideouts on the roster.
The Ravens are more likely to
regret not drafting a substitute for Brown and trusting Duvernay to make a
seamless transition to WR2 as they give the impression of being to return to the playoffs following a disappointing 2021 season.
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Dawson Knox joined the upper echelon
of tight ends in 2021.
After teasing his potential for 2
years, Knox finally had a breakout third season, through which he racked up 587 yards
and nine touchdowns on 49 receptions.
It stays to be seen if Knox can
reach these heights again, especially now that the Buffalo Bills can have a recent play
caller following Brian Daboll’s departure to develop into the Latest York Giants head
Ken Dorsey is taking on the job
after working because the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach last yr.
There could also be some growing pains because the team makes this transition, with rising
star QB Josh Allen potentially taking a step back and lowering the ceiling of
your entire offense.
Knox’s production could see a
noticeable dip if this offense is not finding the top zone as often.
The tight end’s breakout yr was powered
by paydirt, something he struggled with prior to 2021. The 25-year-old had just
five touchdowns across 27 profession games before scoring nine times in 15 contests
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Christian McCaffrey hasn’t lived as much as his billing as one in every of the league’s most dangerous
dual-threat backs in recent times.
After downright dominating between 2018-2019—McCaffrey
racked up 2,485 yards and 22 touchdowns on 506 totes and added 1,872 receiving
yards and 10 scores on 223 receptions—the Carolina Panthers star has spent more
time on the sidelines than he has on the sphere.
McCaffrey signed a blockbuster four-year,
$64 million extension
following a sterling 2019 campaign, but ended up missing all but three games in
2020. The 26-year-old was barely healthier this past season, but still only
saw motion in seven contests while coping with nagging injuries.
The Panthers are still holding out
hope that McCaffrey can return to the game-breaking force he was just just a few
seasons ago. They opted to not trade him despite rumors
swirling earlier within the offseason and are planning to forge ahead with McCaffrey
because the starter in 2022.
The back isn’t going to take a single
snap within the preseason as a part of the team’s effort to make sure their
superstar avoids any unnecessary injury risks, but plainly McCaffrey’s
best days may very well be behind him.
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Justin Fields is coming off a
concerning rookie season, one through which he went just 2-8 as a starter while
completing a meager 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,870 yards and 7
touchdowns against 10 interceptions while taking 36 sacks.
While the Ohio State product did show
glimpses of the playmaking abilities that caused the Chicago Bears to trade up
within the 2021 draft to amass him, it was one in every of the more underwhelming first-year
QB performances in recent memory.
Fields is now heading into 2022 because the
clear-cut starter—he was behind veteran Andy Dalton in training camp last yr—and
the pressure is on to indicate improvement following that abysmal campaign.
It’s going to be difficult for Fields
to right the ship, nonetheless, especially with an offensive line that’s more likely to rate amongst
the league’s worst units.
After rating barely below average in PFF’s
end-of-season rankings (No. 22), only the Seattle Seahawks are expected
to be worse in 2022. The location noted that the Bears can have the No.
31-ranked offensive line largely due to their decision to begin a pair of
sophomore tackles coming off ugly rookie years.
Chicago parted ways with its two
highest-graded offensive lineman from last yr, letting each Jason Peters and
James Daniels—the one players to earn above a starting-caliber
70.0 rating—walk in free agency.
With such poor projected protection,
it’s hard to check a scenario through which Fields doesn’t have one other rough go
of things in 2022.
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The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t
address one in every of their biggest holes this offseason. By bringing back Eli Apple
as a projected starter on the cornerback position, Cincinnati’s secondary will remain beatable.
That much was evident during Super
Bowl LVI, when Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford worked with
wideout Cooper Kupp to use the corner with a championship on the road. According
to Next Gen
Stats, Apple gave up each of Kupp’s scores in the competition.
While the team only needed to pay $3.75
million to maintain the starter for the upcoming season, it will have been
higher served finding a more competent player to take over the CB2 position.
Apple did have some positive moments
through the 2021 season, including some strong man coverage showings, but his inconsistency
in big moments ultimately hurt the Bengals once they needed him most.
Cincinnati did draft Cam Taylor-Britt
within the second round as a possible substitute for Apple as early as this
season. While it won’t be ideal to rush the rookie Nebraska product into
motion, it might be crucial if Apple is struggling in 2022.
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The Cleveland Browns deserve praise
for making the trade that brought Amari Cooper over from the Dallas Cowboys
The Browns only had to offer up a fifth-rounder
and lose somewhat little bit of draft position within the sixth round to make the deal occur,
quite a low price to amass a four-time Pro Bowl wideout.
While Cooper immediately becomes the
best receiver on Cleveland’s roster, it’s unlikely he’ll return to his Pro Bowl
form during his third stop within the league. Cooper is coming off a comparatively
disappointing 2021 campaign through which he only caught 68 passes for 865 yards and
Cooper couldn’t take full advantage of
the only coverage he often faced because of high-end teammates like CeeDee Lamb
and Michael Gallup drawing loads of defensive attention.
It’s hard to assume Cooper rebounding
in Cleveland with Donovan Peoples-Jones and rookie David Bell because the club’s top
pass-catchers around him.
Cooper can still be a productive asset
for the Browns, but he’ll likely fail to live as much as lofty expectations together with his
Pro Bowl days within the rear-view.
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Ezekiel Elliott isn’t any longer the
feared running back he was earlier in his profession.
After averaging over 95 yards per game
on the bottom in each of his first three seasons, Elliott has steadily declined
over the past few years. His production hit a recent low in 2021 when he averaged
just 58.9 rushing yards per contest.
Even his pass-catching abilities are
fading. Elliott averaged no less than 22 yards per game through the air in each of
his first five seasons but didn’t even reach a 17-yard per game mark this
With Tony Pollard on the come-up and poised
to see a significant
increase in touches this coming season, it’s readily apparent that Elliot is fading into the twilight of his profession
While Elliott can still be a
contributor to a winning Cowboys club, expecting him to be a top rusher putting
up 100-plus yard performances with any regularity could be silly.
Although Dallas continues to be paying
him like a superstar, Elliott will see his workload further diminished as he
settles right into a more even timeshare with Pollard this coming campaign.
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Javonte Williams is one in every of the more
hyped players entering the 2022 season following his promising rookie performance.
The Denver Broncos running back rushed 203 times for 903 yards and 4
scores while adding 316 yards and a trio of touchdowns on 43 receptions in 2021.
While Williams should remain a key cog
in Denver’s offense, it’s unlikely he’ll notably improve in any major statistical category this coming yr.
With quarterback Russell Wilson taking on the reins at center
within the Mile High, the Broncos’ passing attack should see a rise in volume.
The club hasn’t had a reliable quarterback since Peyton Manning retired six
years ago and may air it out more efficiently with the
nine-time Pro Bowler now running the show.
Denver’s decision to retain Melvin
Gordon can even eat into Williams’ workload. Gordon is gearing up for his
third season with the Broncos, having began 16 games for the organization
last yr while racking up 918 yards and eight TDs on 203 carries. He was also
a capable pass-catching back with 28 receptions for 213 yards and two scores.
Williams can have sky-high potential,
but too many aspects are working against him from becoming a dominant bell-cow running back in 2022.
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D’Andre Swift has been one of the vital
frustrating players in football since joining the Detroit Lions in 2020.
While the running back has put up
decent numbers—especially as a pass-catcher—when healthy, he has performed poorly as a rusher and has had durability issues in each of his first two seasons.
Swift racked up 617 yards and five
scores on 151 totes while posting 452 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns
on 62 catches in only 13 games last yr.
While his snap count increased to 560
in those matchups after he saw just 398 snaps in the identical variety of games last
yr, Swift still hasn’t been on the sphere as much as Detroit fans would have
Even when healthy, Swift hasn’t
contributed at a high level outside of his receiving skills. Based on Ian
Hartitz of PFF.com, the 23-year-old ranked dead-last in the positioning’s rushing
grade metric amongst the 50 backs who qualified with 100 or more carries.
Unless he shows serious improvement as
a ball carrier, Swift will remain an injury-prone, one-dimensional pass-catching
back set as much as disappoint in 2022.
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The Green Bay Packers completed
their No. 1 offseason goal by retaining Aaron Rodgers on a contract extension.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep his top receiver and were forced
to trade superstar Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders.
With Adams out of the image, Green
Bay’s receiving corps leaves much to be desired. The team has a smattering of
underwhelming veterans in Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins set to
play key roles together with rookie second-round pick Christian Watson.
Watson will likely be the X-factor on this
offense. At 6’5”, 208 kilos, the North Dakota State product has the dimensions and
athleticism to be an elite playmaker within the league.
The rookie is probably not able to tackle a big volume of labor in 12 months 1. He did
well but didn’t exactly dominate lesser competition for the run-heavy Bison, tallying up 43
receptions for 800 yards and 7 touchdowns in 12 games as a senior.
Given his unpolished route-running
tree and inconsistent catching abilities, it can take Watson a while to
adapt to the speed and physicality of the NFL.
Watson’s upside could also be undeniable, but expecting
him to have a breakout 2022 campaign is relatively unrealistic.
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The Houston Texans weren’t delay by
Derek Stingley Jr.’s health issues once they drafted him at No. 3 overall this
While Stingley does have the upside to
develop into one in every of the sport’s few true shutdown cornerbacks, it could take a while
before he’s truly healthy and reaching his potential.
Stingley notably underwent a Lisfranc
surgery last September, a procedure he was still rehabilitating from during
the pre-draft process.
The LSU product can even have to
knock some rust off after he saw motion in just 10 games for the reason that start of the
2020 campaign while battling several ailments that limited his capabilities.
Given his lack of reps and underwhelming showings over the past
couple years, it could take Stingley quite a little bit of time to get back as much as
It might end in a ho-hum rookie campaign by way of on-field
production, but a clean bill of health can have him arrange nicely to dominate
in 2023 and beyond.
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The Indianapolis Colts struggled to
get regular production from the cornerback position last yr. The team brought
in Stephon Gilmore in free agency to assist rectify that issue, however it’s not going to be easy for the aging defensive back to show this unit around himself.
Gilmore was probably the greatest defenders
within the league between 2017 and 2019 but hasn’t performed at that level over the
last two seasons.
Injuries have kept Gilmore off the sphere for 14 games in that
span while hindering his ability to be an elite cover man when on it.
The ten-year veteran only suited up for
a career-low eight games during his lone season with the Carolina Panthers in 2021 and is an actual risk to miss more time this coming season. Even when he can
stay healthy, Gilmore’s coverage skills have been noticeably fading.
On the brilliant side, the Colts won’t
ask Gilmore to play as much man as he did during his recent stops with the Latest
England Patriots and Panthers.
The scheme change could help hide among the 31-year-old’s
declining skills, but there’s a probability Gilmore’s production falls off a cliff
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Brandon Scherff has been one in every of the
higher interior linemen the NFL has to supply when healthy. Unfortunately, Scherff
has greatly struggled together with his availability for much of his profession, missing
multiple games in each of the last five seasons.
The Jacksonville Jaguars brought
Scherff in to shore up the offensive trenches with the knowledge that the 30-year-old
isn’t more likely to suit up for all 17 games. He hasn’t played a full campaign
since his sophomore yr in 2016 and missed five or more games in two of the
last three seasons.
While he still made the Pro Bowl in
five of the last six seasons and commanded nearly $50
million on a three-year deal, do not be surprised if Scherff is sidelined for a
significant stretch again in 2022.
The addition can have been well worth the
risk to a Jaguars squad eager to improve Trevor Lawrence’s protection as
the QB gears up for a critical second season, but there’s an actual risk that
Scherff goes down as one in every of the team’s biggest free-agent busts if he goes down
for long stretches with more injuries.
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It wasn’t too way back that Clyde
Edwards-Helaire was expected to take over the league as a hyped first-round rookie back
joining an electrifying Kansas City Chiefs offense.
While the Chiefs offense has remained
a high-powered unit, Edwards-Helaire hasn’t lived as much as his billing.
After a tantalizing rookie yr in
which he amassed 803 yards on 181 totes in 13 games, CEH regressed to simply 517
yards on 119 carries in 10 games this past season. His pass-catching numbers
also fell from 36 receptions for 297 yards to 19 catches for 129 yards.
It’s too early to definitively call
Edwards-Helaire a bust, however the discussion can definitely begin. Fellow 2020
draftee Jonathan Taylor—taken nine picks after the Chiefs chosen CEH at No. 32 overall—emerged
because the league’s top back while Edwards-Helaire did little greater than frustrate
fans in Kansas City during 12 months 2.
Edwards-Helaire is facing an uphill
battle to prove he was worthy of his lofty draft position in 2022. If he can’t improbably
improve to develop into a feature back who can stay healthy, the Chiefs will likely regret
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Chandler Jones is coming off a Pro
Bowl season with the Arizona Cardinals, a yr through which he racked up 10.5 sacks
While that double-digit sack count is
impressive at first glance, it’s price noting that just about half of that tally got here
in Week 1 when Jones brought down Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill five
times. Discounting that contest, Jones has just 6.5 sacks in 20 games for the reason that
start of the 2020 campaign.
Jones is now well on the unsuitable side of
30—he turned 32 right after the 2021 campaign ended—and joining a recent defensive
scheme for the primary time since he was traded from the Latest England Patriots to
the Cardinals in 2016.
Jones can still be a high quality edge-rusher
now that he’s with the Las Vegas Raiders, but he’s not the variety of talent
who amassed 49 sacks between 2017 and 2019. Expecting him to contribute at that
high of a level at this point in his profession is unrealistic.
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The Los Angeles Chargers have taken a serious
risk with the signing of Bryce Callahan to shore up their secondary.
The cornerback has been severely injury-prone
over the past six seasons, missing a complete of 31 games in that span. He just
wrapped up a two-season stint with the Denver Broncos having participated in
just 21 of a possible 33 contests.
Despite this, the Bolts brought within the
30-year-old to play a notable role in 2022. Even though it didn’t cost them much financially—Callahan
inked a meager one-year, $1.3 million deal—it
could hinder their secondary when he’s spending an excellent chunk of time on the IR.
While Los Angeles does have free-agent pickup
J.C. Jackson and incumbent corners Asante Samuel Jr. and Michael Davis, the
unit could quickly look thin if Callahan is sidelined.
It’s reasonable to think Callahan will contribute at a high level
when he’s on the sphere, but those moments will likely be too few for the
Chargers to feel great about this signing when looking back on it at the top of
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The Los Angeles Rams are preparing to
forge ahead without longtime left tackle Andrew Whitworth anchoring the
After protecting the blind side for
the last half-decade and capping his profession with a Super Bowl championship,
the 40-year-old opted to retire back in March. The choice has opened the door
for Joe Noteboom to take over the position on a full-time basis.
Noteboom has experience on the left
tackle spot, filling in for an injured Whitworth for nearly half of the 2020
campaign. The outcomes weren’t great, as Noteboom scored a middling 60.3
PFF grade and allowed two sacks that season.
The 27-year-old performed barely
higher during his two starts last yr, earning a 76.0
PFF grade while allowing one sack on 174 snaps.
While the Rams are clearly confident
that Noteboom can do the job—evidenced by the club giving him a three-year, $40
in free agency—it can be tough to seamlessly replace Whitworth and the 86.1
PFF grade he scored in 2021.
Expect some growing pains because the Rams make
this transition, one that might set the offense back barely and hamper the
team’s electrifying offense because it prepares to defend its Super Bowl title.
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The Miami Dolphins finally made the choice to completely commit to
Tua Tagovailoa this offseason.
After seemingly limitless trade
speculation to begin his profession, the ‘Phins opted to construct across the young signal-caller
and provided him the tools needed to achieve 2022.
With guys like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen
Waddle and Cedrick Wilson Jr. making up one in every of the league’s more impressive receiving
corps and an improved offensive line that picked up an elite left tackle in
Terron Armstead, it’s now as much as Tagovailoa to indicate he can develop into a top-tier NFL
Expectations will likely be high for the No.
5 overall pick in 2020 to evolve his game this coming season. He’s come
painfully close to creating the playoffs in each of the last two years and has
an honest 13-8 profession record as a starter, but his stat line does leave something to be
Tagovailoa has accomplished 66.2 percent
of his passes for 4,467 yards and 27 touchdowns against 15 interceptions and 40
Improving at throwing the deep
ball will likely be imperative. The 24-year-old has only connected
on 17 of his 48 passes that traveled 20-plus yards within the air, a number that
needs to enhance with Hill on the roster.
If Tagovailoa shows he’s nothing greater than a mean QB again this
yr, the Dolphins hold a pair of first-round picks within the 2023 draft. That
is capital they will use to amass a signal-caller who can get the job done,
whether it’s trading for one or picking a rookie handy the keys to.
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The Minnesota Vikings are intimately familiar
with what a healthy Za’Darius Smith can bring to the table after the previous
Green Bay Packers edge-rusher notched 4.5 sacks in his five appearances against
While Smith has been a force when
energetic in recent times, he only saw the sphere for a single regular season game in 2021. Despite
this, the Vikings still opted to dish out a three-year, $42 million deal
to the seven-year veteran at first of free agency.
There’s an excellent probability Smith fails to
live as much as this contract. He’ll be turning 30 years old just three days before
he faces his old team within the season-opener, and his best days may very well be within the
Smith is forced to miss time this yr, Minnesota may very well be bereft of
pass-rushing talent. The team already employs one other injury-prone edge-rusher
in Danielle Hunter—who has seen motion in only seven of a possible 33 games
over the past two seasons—and may’t afford to lose each in 2022.
Even when healthy, Smith is probably not the
player he once was.
In 2020 Smith began 16 games on the
edge for the second straight yr but didn’t make the identical type of impact
that he did the season prior. It was evident in his PFF grade, which fell to a 76.7
after he earned an incredible 90.2
during his first season with the Packers.
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The Latest England Patriots appear ready
for a changing of the guard on the linebacker position.
After deploying Dont’a Hightower in
the center of their defense for the past decade, Latest England opted to not
retain the 32-year-old in free agency. That call has opened the door for Mack
Wilson to play an even bigger role for the club in 2022.
It’s a call the Patriots could
regret, even when Hightower had clearly lost a step in recent seasons. Wilson spent
the last three years with the Cleveland Browns, failing to carve out a reliable
role after being drafted within the fifth round back in 2019.
Wilson has only secured 163 tackles,
nine pass defenses, one interception and one forced fumble during his NFL
profession. He began 14 games and played 88 percent of the defensive
snaps as a rookie but lost playing time in each of the last two years,
seeing his starts and snap count drop to a career-low six and 21 percent,
respectively, in 2021.
While Latest England is hoping he can
live as much as the potential he has so far failed to achieve, it may very well be difficult
for the Alabama product to finally put all of it together.
The Patriots’ complex
defense is notoriously difficult to choose up, and it could take the linebacker
time to make the adjustment, setting him up for a down 2022 campaign.
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After letting Terron Armstead walk in
free agency, the cash-strapped Latest Orleans Saints opted to fill their left
tackle void by drafting Trevor Penning in the primary round.
Penning is an intriguing prospect who
has boom-or-bust potential. The Northern Iowa product has an enviable mixture of
size, athleticism and strength—assets that might make him an elite tackle in
the NFL—but he’s still exceedingly raw by way of talent.
The 6’7”, 332-pound tackle has the physical
makeup and attitude of a franchise-caliber offensive lineman, however the work the
No. 19 overall pick placed on tape with the Panthers was more indicative of a
If Penning doesn’t show improvement
early on, it’s unlikely he’ll beat out James Hurst for the starting LT job.
It will be a disappointing begin to
the No. 19 overall pick’s profession, one hopefully he’ll find a way to beat
with some improvement from the bench.
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The Latest York Giants needs to be
dissatisfied with Kadarius Toney’s rookie yr. After expending the No. 20
overall pick on the Florida receiver, Toney failed to fulfill expectations despite
ample opportunity to thrive with the club.
Toney saw motion in only 10 games last
yr, catching 39 passes for 420 yards. He failed to search out the top zone even
once, a concerning stat for such a naturally talented prospect.
While the 6’0″, 193-pound wideout did
show flashes of elite playmaking during a 10-catch, 189-yard outing against the
rival Dallas Cowboys, he was also ejected from that very same contest for throwing a
Those bouts of immaturity and nagging
injuries ultimately derailed what might have been a promising first season for the
Toney could also be one in every of the more athletic wideouts
within the league, but until he’s in a position to develop into more consistent and avoid
injuries, he’ll remain one in every of the more frustrating players on Big Blue’s
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The Latest York Jets looked as if it would have their
left tackle woes sorted after they chose Mekhi Becton early in the primary
round of the 2020 draft.
The Louisville product put together a promising
rookie campaign and seemed able to construct upon that showing in 2021.
Unfortunately, Becton went down after playing just 48 snaps last yr and was
never in a position to return to the sphere.
Latest York’s brass is reportedly frustrated
with Becton’s recovery and rehabilitation process. The 23-year-old was only
presupposed to miss as much as eight weeks after taking place in last season’s opener
with a knee injury, but he ultimately missed the following 16 contests.
If Becton has issues together with his conditioning and struggles to shake off the rust or misses a considerable amount of time again, the Jets offense will likely be limited
by way of its capabilities.
Gang Green has done a pleasant job revamping
the offensive side of the ball to finish a lengthy rebuild and emerge as a contender in
2022, but Becton may very well be the weak link that holds them back.
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Injuries have been the unlucky
story of Miles Sanders’ profession.
The Philadelphia Eagles running back has
missed nine games over the past two seasons, ailments which have held him back from becoming a bona fide superstar.
While Sanders has undeniable talent—he’s
averaged a highly-impressive 5.4 yards per carry for the reason that start of the 2020
campaign—he’s only been in a position to log a shade over 1,000 snaps while battling chronic
ankle and knee injuries
these last two years.
The Eagles are keenly aware of Sanders’ propensity to miss time. It’s a part of the rationale the team drafted Kenneth
Gainwell last yr and brought Boston Scott back on a one-year deal
It would not be a shock if Philadelphia
also got here to terms with Jordan Howard in some unspecified time in the future through the 2022 campaign as
are projecting. Howard helped fill in for Sanders last yr, racking up 406
yards on 86 carries, and will perform the same role for the club this season.
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The Pittsburgh Steelers can have more
than a quarterback conundrum on their hands this offseason.
Based on The Athletic’s Mark
Kaboly, Steelers wideout Diontae Johnson is not completely satisfied together with his current
contract and is running out of time to get one done.
Since the Steelers traditionally
haven’t paid their wideouts and don’t negotiate recent deals through the season, there
is an actual probability Johnson will likely be heading into his final season with the club.
It’s hard to fault Johnson for wanting
to get his contract ironed out before he enters unfamiliar territory with
either a veteran cast-off or rookie QB throwing him passes.
Johnson is coming off a career-best
107-reception, 1,161-receiving yard, eight-touchdown campaign. While he thrived
with Ben Roethlisberger under center, he may very well be in line for a regression with
either Mitchell Trubisky or Kenny Pickett taking on for the retired
Johnson should still be a force, but
it’s doubtful he’ll hit those self same lofty marks in 2022. That would hamper his
earning power next offseason as he looks for a recent deal.
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- AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
The San Francisco 49ers are preparing
to make a change under center this season.
After Jimmy Garoppolo led the team to
a pair of NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl trip over the past
three seasons, the team is forging ahead with Trey Lance as its recent starter.
Lance earned limited reps as a rookie,
starting two games that Garoppolo was injured for and seeing the sphere
sparingly on certain packages in just a few other contests.
He finished the yr having accomplished
57.7 percent of his passes for 603 yards and five touchdowns against two
interceptions. He also ran 38 times for 168 yards and a rating.
The North Dakota State product has
some issues to work out before he can develop into as effective of a starter as
Garoppolo has been for the club.
One is his chemistry with star tight
end George Kittle, who caught only one pass for 29 yards from Lance last yr. The
other is his ability to tackle the push. PFF gave Lance a
commendable 110.2 passer rating in clean pockets but dropped that mark to a 56.5
in pressured-pocket situations.
If Lance can’t improve in these areas in
2022, it can be difficult for him to achieve his potential and emerge because the elite
starter the Niners were hoping for once they traded as much as draft him No. 3
overall last yr.
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- Tim Warner/Getty Images
For the last five games of the 2021
campaign, the Seattle Seahawks finally saw the version of Rashaad Penny they
had been hoping for.
After drafting the running back within the
first round in 2018, Penny had spent an inordinate period of time sidelined
with injuries. After it initially appeared like his 2021 campaign could be
one other lost one, Penny got here on with a vengeance starting in Week 12.
During the last third of the campaign,
no other back within the NFL was more productive. Penny ran 102 times for a
league-best 706 yards and 6 touchdowns in that span, with 12 of those carries going
for 15 or more yards.
The performance earned Penny a one-year
price $5.75 million from the Seahawks, who had previously declined to choose up
his fifth-year option.
While Penny looked like one in every of the highest
backs in football during that six-game stretch to shut 2021, he now must prove
he can stay healthy and perform at that level for a full season.
Given he’s missed 20 games within the last
two seasons alone, it’s hard to trust the 26-year-old’s durability.
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- AP Photo/Chris O’Meara
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rewarded
Leonard Fournette’s contributions over the past two years with a three-year,
$21 million deal this offseason.
The team could already be regretting
that call after the running back appeared
to have gained over 30 kilos from his listed playing weight during his
appearance at mandatory minicamp.
Fournette emerged as Tampa’s go-to
back in 2021, racking up 812 yards and eight touchdowns on 180 carries. He also
evolved as a pass-catcher, securing 69 receptions for 454 yards and a pair of
If he’s truly out of practice by the
start of the season, the 27-year-old could see his playing time quickly drop.
Rookie Rachaad White and third-year
back Ke’Shawn Vaughn are each key candidates to soak some snaps in 2022
no matter Fournette’s conditioning.
White was already one in every of the more
intriguing additions within the 2022 draft. The Arizona State product is an elite
receiver who was set to challenge for a serious role as a third-down back early
in his profession.
While Fournette will almost definitely still
work because the early down and short yardage back this yr, don’t be surprised
when White takes over in passing situations.
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- AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
Taylor Lewan established himself as one
of the league’s top left tackles through the first half-decade of his profession.
Since then, the large 6’7”, 309-pound offensive lineman has had problems staying
healthy and seen a drop in production.
After starting all but two games
between 2015 and 2018—and making the Pro Bowl on three occasions—Lewan has
since missed 1 / 4 of the 2019 campaign, was sidelined for 11 games in 2020
and couldn’t suit up for 4 games last yr.
The 31-year-old should be a
starting-caliber talent, but he’s not the dominant offensive line anchor for
the Tennessee Titans he once was.
While Lewan’s advancing age has
brought a maturity that has smoothed out some parts of his game—he’s only been
whistled for 4 penalties over his last 19 games, a large drop from the seven or
more he was flagged for every season between 2015 and 2019—it’s also diminishing
his protection skills.
Those aren’t more likely to return as Lewan
gears up for his ninth NFL season, one which may very well be his worst yet even when he
can stay healthy.
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- AP Photo/Julio Cortez
Curtis Samuel has the talent to develop into
one in every of the NFL’s most uniquely dangerous weapons.
Unfortunately, that upside hasn’t come
near being realized due to maddening inconsistency and injuries pockmarking
the receiver’s first five years within the league.
Samuel appeared to be finally putting it
all together during his last two years with the Carolina Panthers. He only
missed one game during that stretch and caught 131 passes for 1,478 yards and
nine touchdowns while adding one other 330 yards and three scores on 60 carries.
That production and upside earned the
25-year-old a three-year, $34.5 million deal
from the Washington Commanders in free agency, a signing the team would quickly
regret. Samuel only saw motion in a single game last yr, catching a mere six
passes for 27 yards and rushing 4 times for 11 yards.
There continues to be a probability that Samuel
emerges as a legit contributor for Washington, however the presence of rookie Jahan
Dotson will cut into the veteran’s potential volume even when he can stay