Published: April 10, 2017 at 03:13 p.m.
Updated: April 10, 2017 at 05:21 p.m.

Josh Doctson, Braxton Miller among Year 2 breakout candidates on offense

Print

Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott were miles ahead of the pack when it came to the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation last season -- which Prescott ultimately won. Their rookie seasons were so monumental that the duo broke numerous NFL and Dallas Cowboys franchise records.

However, there were plenty of other players from the 2016 draft class who flashed promise this past fall. Looking ahead to 2017, which offensive player is poised for a breakout in Year 2?

Josh Doctson will get plenty of chances to make plays in Year 2
By losing Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency, the Washington Redskins need Josh Doctson to step up in 2017. It helps that Doctson has an established quarterback in Kirk Cousins, who has thrown for over 4,000 yards in the last two seasons. Doctson is going to get a lot of targets, giving him the opportunity to make a lot of plays.
With a stable quarterback, Braxton Miller's production should improve in Houston
I expected more out of Braxton Miller in Year 1. He totaled a measly 15 catches for 99 yards and a TD in 10 games (six starts). That's just a lackluster performance altogether from a talent like Miller. He is a player who gives an offense a lot of freedom and knowing what Bill O'Brien has done in the past with similar players -- AND when the Texans get a stable quarterback -- his numbers should increase.
RB Jalen Richard could get healthy share of carries in Oakland with Latavius Murray gone
Latavius Murray's departure from Oakland leaves over 220 backfield touches up for grabs, and Jalen Richard could be first in line to receive a healthy share of that workload. The Raiders will likely add another back in free agency or the draft to fill the goal-line, power-back void, but Richard's ability in the open field and nearly 700 total yards as a rookie are signs that he could truly dazzle us on Sundays if provided more opportunities. Here's to hoping he gets those.
Exit of other Redskins' receivers will allow Doctson to shine
I think we're going to see a lot more from Josh Doctson this season. After suffering a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in his rookie campaign, he has shown some progress this offseason in terms of his health. That paired with the team's offseason departures of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon will help Doctson get more action in the passing game.
Malcolm Mitchell will build on Super Bowl LI performance
There was so much hype over the 2016 class of wide receivers that Malcolm Mitchell was fairly overlooked -- a slow start to the season didn't change anything. But as the year progressed, so did Mitchell to the point where Tom Brady began to look his way a little more often. Mitchell's six catches for 70 yards in Super Bowl LI are a harbinger for 2017. He might not be a big target, but his ability to get open in New England's quick passing game will earn him a bigger role in one of the league's most potent attacks.
Josh Doctson has the skills and the opportunity
With top receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon departing this offseason, I'll go with Josh Doctson. Doctson looked great at TCU's pro day the other day, and I could see him stepping into that No. 1 receiver role after a lost 2016. Don't forget that over his last two seasons with the Horned Frogs, Doctson posted 25 touchdown receptions and a per-catch mark of 16.4 yards. No receiver currently on Washington's roster averaged more than 13.8 in 2016.
Print

Related Stories: