The NFL has some of the greatest athletes in the sports world. Yet there are a couple of young stars on the current NFL roster who haven’t yet had their time to shine.
But with the league’s popularity at an all-time high, player training regimes have become stricter than ever before — producing some of the freshest and most brilliant new talents that are all in good standing for Rookie of the Year.
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Let’s get straight to it!
Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills
Davis is renowned for his solid set of skills, slick style of gameplay, and seemingly endless stamina which easily paved his forward as a significant NFL prospect. He was later selected by the Bills in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
In addition to veteran receiver Stefon Diggs, there has always been another receiver directly ahead of Davis in terms of depth. So, as a third-year receiver, Davis has not yet had his breakout moment.
However, this season looks set to be a completely different story.
In 2021, we caught a glimpse of what he’s truly capable of during the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs. Specifically, when he dominated the field by putting up over 200 yards and knocked out four touchdowns.
As of writing, Davis has already achieved a career-high 98-yard touchdown catch this season – tieing the record for the longest touchdown reception in Bills franchise history.
We expect to see more great things from Davis.
Kwity Paye, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts took a chance on their 21st pick, defensive end Kwity Paye, in the 2021 NFL Draft. Fortunately, they haven’t yet regretted their decision!
The 2021 first-round pick had a solid rookie season thanks to his near-overpowering blend of speed and power that is often completely unblockable.
Paye’s 2022 season will be all about looking to build off of his previous success while operating under the guidance of Gus Bradley, the Colts’ new defensive coordinator. This should give him the necessary push to achieve a breakout campaign.
Second-year edge rusher Paye has all of the necessary tools to remain elite in his position: speed, balance, agility, and the ability to think quickly on his feet. And after gaining some valuable experience in his rookie year, he can now fully embody his position.
With the addition of unparalleled defenders DeForest Buckner and Yannick Ngakoue, it’s no wonder the Indianapolis Colts are considered a major contender for the playoffs!
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
Another potential 2022 NFL breakout star is year-two wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
Bateman was selected with the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Based on the stats of his 2019 season at the University of Minnesota, he could have gone much higher.
Thanks to a groin injury, his rookie season didn’t go as planned — something that was pretty symbolic of the Baltimore Ravens’ questionable 2021 campaign.
The injury required surgery and cost him weeks of playing in August and September. Though he officially played in 12 games, he didn’t log anything higher than 70% of offensive snaps until his final four games, averaging 86% in total.
Despite everything, he has since firmly established himself as the Ravens’ top receiving threat heading into the 2022 season.
Bateman suffered a foot injury in week 4 against the Bills. If he can heal and bounce back into the league, he’s still in a prime position for a breakout sophomore season!
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers
During the 2022 NFL Draft, Romeo Doubs was one of two receivers snatched up by the Green Bay Packers. Doubs was selected as the 132nd overall pick during the fourth round.
Doubs excelled in the preseason: scoring a 29-yard pass from Jordan Love and another touchdown pass the following week. This set him up nicely for what looks to be one of the most successful rookie seasons in recent years.
After catching Aaron Rodgers’ 500th career touchdown pass, Romeo Doubs has already hit headlines. He’s also the first-ever non-Davante Adams wide receiver to record a total of eight receptions in a single game for the Packers since 2018.
Not only can he remain cool under pressure and play an aggressive style of ball, but he’s also a huge vertical defense threat. As a result, the potential Rookie of the Year candidate has become a crucial and extremely consistent part of the 2022 Packers offense.
Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Running back Travis Etienne has real breakout potential.
Snapped up during the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft with the No. 25 overall pick, Etienne looked set to thrive during his rookie season. Unfortunately, he was sidelined in 2021 due to injury. Yet this may have been a true blessing in disguise.
With offensive guru Doug Pederson now running the show, the young Jaguars player will thrive from the shotgun formation.
The team has some very exciting players to build around, like Etienne and Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The two were teammates at Clemson, so they already have solid chemistry. This camaraderie could play in Etienne’s favor as he flies through his rookie season.
Etienne has quickly eased himself into the Jaguars’ impressive ascending offense. There was also a critical need for explosive plays, a role that Etienne continues to fill — something that may just push him into true breakout star territory.
Going into the rest of the 2022-23 NFL season, these are the 5 breakout stars you need to watch. As the skill of new NFL drafts continues to improve, it’s going to become increasingly more difficult to pinpoint just 5 breakout stars each season!