If you're heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times -- beware the sophomore slump. For plenty of guys, it's never as good as the first time. Whether it's because defenses have caught on, injuries become an issue or someone was just playing over his head as a rookie, it's not uncommon for guys to be just a touch off their second time through the league.
Of course, few things are as frustrating as spending an high draft pick on a rookie sensation only to have that player turn out to be a bust the following year. But since we're here to help, here's a list of five guys who might not be what they once were ... for one season, at least.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins: This one is admittedly something of a quibble. I don't think Morris is going to be bad in 2013 ... he just won't be as good as he was in 2012. The former Florida Atlantic Owl came out of nowhere to finish second in the NFL in rushing yards, behind only Adrian Peterson. Duplicating a 1,600-yard season is a lot to ask -- especially when opposing teams are going to start game-planning for you. Not to mention that if Robert Griffin III really can be ready for Week 1, it will likely put a dent into the number of touches Morris sees next season.
Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings: Your eyes do not deceive you; there is a kicker on this list. Blair Walsh had a phenomenal season, leading the league with 35 made field goals (in 38 attempts). Even more amazing was that the rookie nailed 10 of 10 from 50-plus yards. It's pretty incredible to even get 10 cracks from 50 yards or more. But to make all 10 of them? Just wow. Walsh is accurate and has a strong leg, but it'll be a shock to see that happen again in 2013.
2013 NFL Draft: Team needs
Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland Browns: Weeden wasn't particularly great in 2012, but where plenty of his rookie counterparts like RG3, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson seem likely to take another step forward in 2013, the Browns QB could be headed the other way. Start with a change in coaching staffs. Few things throw an inexperienced NFL quarterback off track like having to learn a new offensive system. On top of that, the new Browns regime has made it clear that they plan to make Trent Richardson the centerpiece of the offense. Unless Weeden finds a new level of efficiency in 2013, it will be hard for him to match even his mediocre 2012 numbers.
Bryce Brown, RB, Philadelphia Eagles:Bryce Brown was the new hotness in fantasy football -- for two weeks. Beyond that, he was either an afterthought or struggling with fumbling issues. It seems promising on the surface that Brown now gets to play in Chip Kelly's run-first offense, but there's still the issue of LeSean McCoy being the No. 1 back. What's more, DeSean Jackson has been very vocal this offseason about his perceived role in the attack. If all you remember about Brown were his performances in Weeks 11 and 12 and hoping for a glimpse of that in 2013, you could be disappointed.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton was another one of 2012's surprise rookies. He stepped up as Indy's home run hitter after the departure of Pierre Garcon, but could never sustain his consistency. Now with Darrius Heyward-Bey sporting a horseshoe on his helmet, Hilton could be forced into a slot receiver role as a No. 3 option. His production could possibly approximate what he achieved last season, but he'll be hard pressed to improve upon it.
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