NFL Players to Watch This Season

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The NFL is going through an identity crisis with longtime veterans retiring en mass, which leaves a void in depth charts that young players are eager to fill. These are the running back, wide receiver, and defensive player who will have a breakout season.

Paul Perkins is the second year running back for the New York Giants. In his rookie season, he split time with Rashad Jennings, who the team released at the end of the season. In 2016, Perkins had 112 rushing attempts for 456 rushing yards and 15 receptions for 162 yards. He did not record a touchdown. Perkins will take over as the starting back and they didn’t sign another back, so it appears that he will take the full workload. I expect him to rush for 1,500 yards, 300 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.

Kirk Cousins Contract

The Washington Redskins have caused quite the conundrum for their offense. They haven’t signed Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal despite being one of the top young quarterbacks in the league. The team also let DeSean Jackson, and Pierre Garcon walk in free agency after the duo combined for 135 receptions, 2,046 yards, and 7 touchdowns. The team brought in Terrelle Pryor to pick up some of the slack, but it will be second-year receiver Josh Doctson who is expected to be the team’s breakout star. Doctson was the team’s 2016 first round draft pick, but he only played two games in his rookie season before being placed on season-ending injured reserve. Doctson was a standout receiver at TCU racking up 1,326 yards and 14 touchdowns off only 78 receptions. I predict he will have 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns this season.

Robert Nkemdiche is expected to fill Calais Campbell’s role as a feared pass rusher for the Arizona Cardinals. Nkemdiche missed several games due to a sprained ankle early last season, but he will come back healthy and dominate opposing offensive lines. The Ole Miss product was selected in the first round of last year’s draft, and it’s time he showed his worth. I expect Robert Nkemdiche to have 55 tackles and 7 sacks.

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