The Jets threw Wilson into the deep water in 2021 but he came close to drowning. However, Wilson isn’t lacking in confidence and believes that this will be a breakout season. It hasn’t been the preseason that he wanted because he suffered a knee injury that makes him doubtful in Week One.
Meanwhile, a salacious scandal emerged after he allegedly slept with his mother’s best friend. Gang Green hopes that these distractions won’t follow him onto the field. But now the Jets have more balance and better weapons so the hope is on the horizon (via Sportskeeda).
Paye underwent a serious learning curve in his rookie year but the best sense possible. He performed well as he learned his trade with the Colts as an edge rusher. Now the former Michigan standout is in a great position to take this experience and become a leader in his position (via Detroit Free Press).
Indianapolis used a first-round pick on the Wolverines’ athlete despite his relative rawness. But this left them with a lot to work with and he’s improving annually. Nobody is going to think of Paye immediately when they consider breakout players but he deserves a place on this list.
Lawrence arrived in the NFL as the most-hyped quarterback since Andrew Luck. However, his year didn’t go to plan because he arrived at a dysfunctional franchise with Urban Meyer as head coach. Hopefully, things will stabilize in his sophomore year under new coach Doug Pederson (via The Athletic).
Analysts projected Lawrence to become of the best players of his generation. There are a lot of expectations on his shoulders but this is a big season for him. The Jaguars are better in 2022 so it’s time for Lawrence to step and show improvements in his game. The hype train hasn’t derailed yet because there’s a long way to go.
Wilson’s inclusion on this list may seem strange because he spent a decade with the Seahawks. But this may be a breakout year for the quarterback after he joined the Broncos. He hopes to turn Denver into a contender again and potentially lead them to another Super Bowl.
Fans aren’t sure if Wilson or Pete Carroll stagnated in Seattle but they’ll find out this year. It may be slightly too early for Denver to compete but Wilson is already an MVP favorite. He never won the coveted individual award before but many analysts believe that this could be his year (via The Sportster).
Kansas City fans raved about Bolton after the linebacker’s early performances. He showed flashes of elite quality in his rookie season and now it’s time for him to reach the next level. Bolton will be playing in Pro Bowl games very soon if he continues his excellent form.
He made 112 tackles in his rookie year as he adapted to the intensity of the professional sport. Now he’s ready to produce as a sophomore and show the Chiefs that they’ve secured a gem. Bolton’s potential is very exciting and he is a good bet for a breakout season (via KSHB).
Several analysts believed that the Bears pulled off a coup when they drafted Fields in 2021. They pointed to his outstanding IQ and his phenomenal displays for Ohio State. Then he suffered nine sacks in his debut and reality hit him hard. It wasn’t an easy rookie season for Fields but the Bears didn’t help him much.
Now it’s time for Chicago and Fields to progress together. He was excellent during their preseason and fans hope that the team will offer him more protection. Fields have a ceiling that’s higher than the Burj Khalifa but there are no parachutes if he falls in the NFL (via Chicago Sun-Times).
Joe Burrow overshadowed Herbert in 2021 because of the Bengals’ unexpected run to a Super Bowl final. However, Herbert is arguably the most talented young quarterback in the NFL today. He deserved more shine but his franchise failed to make the playoffs (via L.A. Times).
The Chargers have accumulated one of the most balanced receivers and running back corps in the league. This will be to Herbert’s advantage as he looks to unlock teams throughout the season. Watching how far he can take his team in a potential breakout year will be exciting.
Many people think that Lamar Jackson underperformed in 2021 but perhaps former No. 1 receiver Marquise Brown was part of the problem. Anyway, ‘Hollywood’ is in Arizona now and Bateman is his replacement. Perhaps the new receiver will get the best out of one of the NFL’s most polarizing quarterbacks.
The 2021 first-round pick is an exciting talent and hopes to revive the Ravens’ faltering attack. They fell short of expectations over the past couple of years and require an elite wideout to make the difference. Baltimore wants to play a more dynamic offensive scheme and Bateman is a crucial asset (via The Ringer).
Many NFL fans are keeping a close eye on Lance because he will be the Niners’ starter in Week One. Kyle Shanahan’s career as a head coach may ride on his young quarterback’s performances. He chose Lance as QB1 over the more experienced but inconsistent Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lance has many doubters who downplay his abilities because he played for North Dakota State. They also think that Jimmy G. will oust the youngster by Week Five. However, Lance has a lot of talent and is in the driving seat for a breakout season. It will be fascinating to watch him even if he fails (via The Mercury News).