Written by Ben the Pen
by Ben the Pen
Who will be the next breakout star at wide receiver in the NFL? Who will be the next Julio Jones or Michael Thomas? I'll take a look at eight of the young wide receivers in the NFL who are set to have a breakout season.
1)Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
"Hollywood" Brown showed flashes of star potential in his first season, but foot injuries slowed him down. He was also very thin and would go down as soon as the defender grabbed him or before. He did put on some serious muscle in the offseason and should shatter his rookie season numbers of 46 catches for 584 yards (7 TDs). He and Lamar Jackson are also tight, so that doesn't hurt.
2)Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts
Campbell was a second-round pick last season from Ohio State and dealt with a calf, sports hernia, broken hand and broken foot. So some bad luck for the speedster who had 18 catches for 127 yards and four carries for 34 yards. With a more consistent quarterback in Philip River and T.Y. Hilton back in the fold, look for Campbell to have a big year.
3)Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
Hardman could be the next Tyreek Hill, but he's on the Chiefs, so he's the third receiver. Hill will miss his share of games and Hardman will only continue to get better and with Patrick Mahomes' arm, his speed and run-after-the-catch ability will make him really scary in the slot or wherever he lines up.
4)Darius Slayton, New York Giants
Slayton had a pretty good rookie season with 48 catches for 740 yards and eight scores. He developed a pretty good rapport with Daniel Jones and that's important. The former Auburn Tiger is ready to burst out with a big year and become the second receiver next to Golden Tate.
5)Jalen Hurd, San Francisco 49ers
With the foot injury to Deebo Samuel, Hurd might start the season as the top receiver on the team. Last year's third-round pick is 6-4, 227 and perfect for the 49ers' offense. But a back injury sidelined him for eight months and he wasn't able to play. So break out or just break in, Hurd is going to have an impact right away.
6)Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has to realize he has other weapons aside from Davante Adams. Valdes-Scantling had a good rookie year and then fell off last season. He's 6-4 with 4.37 speed but is still raw. There's no reason why he should be a very good number two and eventual number one receiver.
7)N'Keal Harry, New England
Harry struggled in his first season with just 12 catches, but it's too early to call him a bust. He also missed the first eight games due to injury, so it's tough to judge him. He has the physical talent to be one of the most improved receivers in the AFC.
8)Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
It's tough to judge any receivers on the Steelers, who played 15 games without Ben Roethlisberger last season. Johnson came out of nowhere as a rookie with 59 catches for 680 yards and five TDs. He has good size at 6-2, 220 and is a big target for Ben Roethlisberger.