Around the NFL

Making the Leap: Players set to break through in 2016

In Around The NFL's "Making the Leap" series, we feature emerging players to keep an eye on in 2016. Whether rising from no-namer to quality starter or vaulting from standout to superstar, each of these individuals is poised to break through in the coming campaign. To view a player spotlight, click on its entry below.

NOTE: Entries will be added as they are completed in this ongoing series.

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Marshall Faulk's versatility earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame; he could burn you as a runner or receiver. Chris Wesseling sees the same kind of electric skill set in Cardinals RB David Johnson.

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You might remember Byron Jones as a combine stud -- but Kevin Patra explains why the safety is about to make his mark as the playmaking ballhawk the Dallas Cowboys desperately need.

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An injury spoiled a large chunk of DeVante Parker's rookie season, but he excelled down the stretch. In fact, Gregg Rosenthal thinks the Dolphins receiver could channel DeAndre Hopkins in Year 2.

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After four ultimately frustrating years in Miami, Lamar Miller bolted for the Houston Texans -- and Dan Hanzus explains why he expects the versatile back to become an elite ball carrier in 2016.

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As a rookie, Tyler Lockett wasted no time making his name known as an All-Pro kick returner. Kevin Patra explores why the WR will be even more dynamic for Seattle's offense in Year 2.

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In Year 1, RB Duke Johnson made his biggest impact in the Browns' passing game. Marc Sessler explains why the back could flourish on all levels in Year 2 under new head coach Hue Jackson.

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You might have forgotten about Falcons offensive lineman Jake Matthews -- but Conor Orr explains why people shouldn't sleep on a rapidly improving player in line to make a major splash in 2016.

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Think the Falcons overpaid for Mohamed Sanu? Think again. Chris Wesseling sees a versatile No. 2 receiver who can help Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the rest of Atlanta's offense soar once more.

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With the New York Jets' D-line in flux, Leonard Williams has an opportunity to step up. Dan Hanzus explains why he sees Williams becoming a Richard Seymour-type fixture for Gang Green in 2016.

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Denzel Perryman turned plenty of heads as a rookie with bone-jarring hits in run defense, but Gregg Rosenthal explains what the Chargers linebacker must do in Year 2 to reach his full potential.

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Clive Walford came to life down the stretch of his rookie season. Can the Raiders tight end follow the Rob Gronkowski/Travis Kelce career model with a monster Year 2? Marc Sessler explores.

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It was supposed to take time for Marcus Mariota to adapt to the NFL game, but the No. 2 overall pick displayed off-the-charts poise as a rookie. And Conor Orr thinks he can be a top-12 QB in Year 2.

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Donte Moncrief has yet to crack the 1,000-yard mark, and Phillip Dorsett had 18 catches as a rookie. But Chris Wesseling says the Colts WRs can play an integral role in Indy's offensive revival.

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Ronald Darby's career got off to a roaring start last season. Can he ascend to the level of another CB who famously thrived under Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan? Kevin Patra eyes a rising star.

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Former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has yet to live up to his lofty billing, but he showed plenty of promise last season. In fact, Gregg Rosenthal thinks he could emerge as a Terrell Suggs-like force.

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