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2008 Breakout Players: NFL

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  • 2008 Breakout Players: NFL

    Every year a player will come out of nowhere to put a huge numbers. Sometimes one is to be an expected source of big numbers and take that next step to stardom. This list contains seven players that will breakout from mediocrity or become a pro bowl caliber player.

    7. Ray Edwards, DE, Minnesota Vikings: As a former 2nd round pick with character concerns, he has yet to prove himself. I don’t know if he’s noticed that yet. He has been quoted of saying he is going to break Michael Strahan’s single season sack record. I wouldn’t go that far but don’t sleep on him. With Erasmus James gone to Washington and Kenchi Udeze fighting Leukemia, he will be the starter opposite of newly acquired Jared Allen. He’s a physical specimen at 6’5, 270 lbs. with a good pass rush set. With all of the attention being paid to Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and Allen on the line, he should be able to breakout anywhere from eight to double digit sacks.

    6. Michael Huff, FS, Oakland Raiders: Finally the Raiders have realized this guy was born to play the free safety position. He’s been playing strong safety since being drafted as the 7th overall pick in 2006 and has yet to see any success. That will all change this season as he will start at free safety. Oh, and not to mention that their secondary is sick. Pro Bowl corner DeAngelo Hall was added this season to play opposite of Nnamdi Asomugha, a shut down corner himself. On top of that, Al Davis signed Gibril Wilson from the Giants this offseason to a 6 year deal. Since the secondary is now one of the top 5 in the NFL, he will be allowed to roam the field and be the ball hawk Raiders fans have always envisioned him of being.

    5. Tamba Hali, DE, Kansas City Chiefs: For a defense that lost sack leader Jared Allen, they have a lot to look forward to in the future. You could look to their 2008 draft in which the Chiefs drafted Glenn Dorsey, Brandon Flowers, Dajuan Morgan, and Brain Johnston. You could look to stud outside linebacker Derrick Johsnon. I see Tamba Hali, the pass rushing sack artist out of Penn State, as the brightest spot in this high potential defense. He broke out in his 2007 campaign with 59 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 7.5 sacks. With Dorsey manning the middle to command double teams, he will further his progress into becoming one of the premier ends in the league.

    4. Michael Griffen, FS, Tennessee Titans: After spending a lot of time at corner early on in his rookie season, the Titans woke up and put him at free safety where he never looked back. He finished his rookie campaign with 54 total tackles, 7 pass deflections, and 3 interceptions. He is the best player in their secondary now that Adam Jones is in Dallas and will continue to prove it in 2008 but not without the help of his defensive line. Albert Haynesworth is a force in every sense of the word and is as valuable to his team as any other player in the league. Kyle Vanden Bosch will bring heat off the edge forcing rushed passes and should rack up the INT’s.

    3. Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans Saints: He has to. He has too much talent and help around him to not become a force in the NFL. Everybody quickly forgot his rookie year in which he lead all rookies in receptions and his punt return for a touchdown in the NFC Championship game against the Bears. He was very injury prone last season which lead to a very sub par sophomore campaign. That won’t continue in 2008. The Saints have arguably a top five quarterback in Drew Brees, tight end in Jeremy Shockey, and wide receiver in Marques Colston. Not to mention one of the best offensive lines in the NFL in Jammal Brown. Deuce McAllister is too injury prone to be counted on anymore leaving Bush to help bring the Saints to the promise land.

    2. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions: I had a hard time putting Calvin Johnson on this list for statistical purposes. The Lions are going to try to run the ball as much as they pass but I doubt that works. They will be playing from behind a lot and are made to pass the ball with Roy Williams, Johnson, Shaun McDonald, and Mike Furrey. Kevin Smith, who has a slender frame, had 450 carries in college last year as well and he’ll be their starter. But the main reason he’s number two on my list is because he is Calvin Johnson. He is the man that at 6’5 and 230 lbs ran a 4.35 forty. He’s the man that had 48 receptions, 756 yards, and 4 touchdowns as a rookie. He’s the same guy who had 5 catches and 102 yards against San Diego’s elite secondary in week 15. He’s the man hailed as a once in a lifetime prospect. He’s too good to not become an elite player this season and in the next 12 alike.

    1. Gaines Adams, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The number 4 overall pick in last year’s draft was very sub par. Until about Week 8 where he started every game and notched 38 total tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 pass deflections. Not to mention sacking Eli Manning in the playoffs. Another reason he’ll become a star this year is because of his 6’5, 260 lbs. frame and a 4.66 forty. But on top of all of that is that his style of play is tailor made for Tampa Bay’s defense. He’s an intense pass rusher and applies consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback. Tampa’s secondary is one of the best in the NFL with Ronde Barber and the emergence of Tanard Jackson. Oh, one more thing. I looked up his sacks on downs and 3.5 of them were on 3rd down which is crucial. So take a secondary that covers well and add a pass rusher who had six sacks in eight games which would be 12 sacks in 16 games and you get a perfect storm. He will make the Pro Bowl this year and be feared by all quarterbacks soon enough.

    So when you’re talking to your buddy about who will become the next Greg Jennings or Mario Williams in terms of breaking out, mention these players and you will look very smart by season’s end.

  • #2
    Very nice list.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Joey_Potter View Post
      Very nice list.
      Thank you.


      • #4
        A good list though I think both Huff and Edwards might just be made to look alot better than they are but it will be difficult to tell so no real beef there. The only one I am really unsure about is Hali. With Dorsey holding out and no Jared Allen he will be double teamed on every play I don't think he'll have such a great season. Also I still don't think Bush can be an every down back in the NFL but he can be a effective weapon.

        BTW for each of these guys what would represent a breakout season?


        • #5
          I'll go out on a limb with

          8. Matt Leinart

          I think this is the year ML finally shows the world what he is capable of. The glitz is off his USC career, time to prove you can dominate in the NFL.

          From everything I've read, it seems ML has wisened (?) up considerably, and understands what he needs to do to succeed. I think this is the year he puts all the doubts to rest, and emerges as one of the top QB's in the NFC.


          Ray Lewis has suffered enough, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue of the National Football League said in a conference call yesterday in explaining why he did not suspend the All-Pro linebacker who pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in a murder case.

          ''It's the courts who have the primary responsibility in this case,'' Tagliabue said. ''We're not a substitute for the courts.''

          ''The offense was a misdemeanor; he had no problems before that and hadn't violated league policies,'' Tagliabue said of Lewis's guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing justice in a deal with Atlanta prosecutors, who dropped murder charges against the Ravens star.

          - NYTimes, July 20, 2000


          • #6
            I Like the List but i would put Pierre Thomas on the List instead of Bush since i have a hard time believing he can be a 3 down back


            • #7
              Ray Edwards was a 4th round pick not 2nd.


              • #8
                For Bush to have a "Breakout" year I assume he would have to do better than he did in his rookie year, and I don't see that happening.


                • #9
                  No Haloti Ngata? This guy will be the best DT by the end of the year.


                  • #10
                    Not wanting to add oil to the fire but it could also be a "breakout season" for Jackson.

                    If he improves and shows he can manage a game it was a breakout season for his standards.

                    If he sucks up and Vikings draft a new QB his career is dead.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PuppyPuncher View Post
                      No Haloti Ngata? This guy will be the best DT by the end of the year.
                      I already consider him a great player.

                      And where's my man Jay Cutler on that list?


                      • #12
                        I like Jerious Norwood to have a good season. Breakout or not i think he'll improve quite alot.


                        • #13
                          6 first round draft choices on this list. Once again showing the lack of creativity from the Wonder KId.
                          2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats (38-1)

                          Congrats to Wisconsin. Even more congrats to UK haters.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DraftKidWonder View Post
                            Another reason he’ll become a star this year is because of his 6’5, 260 lbs. frame and a 4.66 forty.
                            This has to be one of the most retarded statements I've ever read. He is going to be a star because of his height, weight, and forty time. Man what a joke.
                            2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats (38-1)

                            Congrats to Wisconsin. Even more congrats to UK haters.


                            • #15
                              The past tense of lead is led... That was really annoying me so I stopped reading your article.

                              R.I.P. Sean Taylor 1983-2007
                              HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!