The National Football League (NFL) has a knack for having a different player or two have a breakout season year-in and year-out. Last season we saw the emergence of Steelers wide receiver (WR) Juju Smith-Schuster as well as Packers WR Devante Adams. Both players went from sub-1,000 yard receiving seasons to 110+ reception in the matter of a year and they’re both under 30 meaning they are set to continue being at the top of their games for years to come.
So who will be this year’s breakout candidates from the NFL? Continue reading to find out.
1. Joe Mixon, RB (Cincinnati Bengals)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has steadily improved his game all-around ever since he arrived in Cincy as a rookie in 2017. His rookie campaign saw him have just under 1,000 yards from scrimmage along with four touchdowns while he split touches with fellow backs Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill. In 2018, he got more involved with the offense and ended up with 1,464 yards from scrimmage (1,168 on the ground) and nine total touchdowns on a Bengals team that finishes dead last in their division. Now with an offensive minded coach at the helm, the dynamic playmaker may be in store for a career year as he’ll undoubtedly be inserted as the full-time starter.
2. George Kittle, TE (San Francisco 49ers)
Tight end George Kittle of the 49ers is set to be the next record breaking TE following the retirement of New England Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski. Is he the best in the league right now? No, that title still goes to Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce. However, after a 1,377 yard and five touchdown season in which he played with three different quarterbacks, the third year pro is set to go off if starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo comes back fully healthy. Will he be able to duplicate his career year for years to come?
3. Kenny Golladay, WR (Detroit Lions)
The Detroit Lions have been a team in futility for as long as I can remember and a huge part of that futility is the fact that they haven’t had consistent playmakers since the departure of Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. QB Matthew Stafford might have found a new gem in Kenny Golladay last season. In his second NFL season “Babytron” amassed 1,063 yards and five touchdowns on an impressive 15.2 yards per reception. Next year the Lions will be hoping that he can steadily improve his play as the number one target and hopefully lead them back to the playoffs.