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DeVante Parker among young pass catchers poised to break out

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With the 2017 NFL season on the horizon, a number of talented guys are still playing under rookie contracts. Now is the time to make some future loot! With that in mind, NFL Network analysts Ike Taylor, Willie McGinest, LaDainian Tomlinson, David Carr and Nate Burleson scoured the positions they respectively manned during their playing days (CB, LB, RB, QB and WR) to identify youngsters poised for a breakout campaign.

Today's list: Nate Burleson's young pass catchers to watch in 2017.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

2017 projection: 900 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

We've all been waiting for this guy to show up, and this is the year. He's a speedster who can help an up-and-down Ryan Tannehill stretch the field. It's hard to break out without other weapons on the field -- but Adam Gase's offense isn't short of those. Having Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and running back Jay Ajayi will help open up the field for Parker tremendously. Even though I have Parker sitting under the 1,000-yard mark, he's going to gain the respect of defenses and make some splash plays in 2017.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston Texans

2017 projection: 800 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Fiedorowicz was one of the favorite targets of any quarterback who put on a Texans uniform last year. It'll be the same tune this season, with Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson battling for the starting QB job. Quarterbacks often lean on tight ends when trying to find a rhythm, and we saw the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Fiedorowicz become somewhat of a safety valve for Brock Osweiler and Co. a year ago. The Texans' fourth-year TE is once again going to be a consistent part of this offense. And with a deep receiving corps that will be game-planned around, opposing defenses could look past this dual-threat tight end, allowing him to produce.

Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

2017 projection: 1,000 receiving yards and five touchdowns OR 800 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Heading into 2016, who would've guessed that Tyrell Williams would notch 1,000 receiving yards? Not me, especially with pass catchers like Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry on the Chargers' roster. But with Allen going down early, Williams took advantage of the opportunity and put himself in good company with some of the best wideouts in the league numbers-wise. Whenever a receiver cracks 1,000 yards, he's destined to put up another one sooner rather than later. Heading into this season, some would say there aren't enough balls to go around in this offense, but Philip Rivers had a lot of faith in Williams last year. That's going to continue to show, and I suspect the former undrafted receiver will pick up right where he left off and truly establish himself as a consistent threat on the outside.

Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks

2017 projection: 800 yards and eight touchdowns.

Richardson wowed us all with this one-handed snag in Seattle's wild-card bout with Detroit. When Tyler Lockett went down in Week 16, Richardson stepped up big time. After compiling just 288 receiving yards during the regular season, he added 131 more in two postseason contests. With Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Lockett back in the mix, Richardson is going to reap the benefits when he's out on the field, because defenses will game plan for the two or three receivers ahead of him. Not to mention, Russell Wilson is one of the best at creating something out of nothing. This offense is about to improve immensely from a year ago.

Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2017 projection: 800 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

OK, I'm cheating here a bit, as Brate isn't on his rookie contract. But the 26-year-old has yet to really cash in, playing this season on a one-year, $690,000 deal. And I believe this is the year he earns a healthy raise.

You're seeing a pattern by now. Other Bucs skill players will attract attention -- see: stud Mike Evans and newcomer DeSean Jackson -- allowing Brate to have his way with opposing defenses. And I haven't even mentioned rookie O.J. Howard, who'll jump on the scene and demand respect right out of the gate. How can't Brate enjoy success with all of this talent around him? I anticipate Brate making a bigger name for himself, even in an offense that boasts high-profile players like Jameis Winston, Evans and Jackson.

Follow Nate Burleson on Twitter @Nate13Burleson.

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