The 2016 season is officially in the books with the conclusion of Super Bowl LI. My focus, and many others, is already looking forward to the 2017 season. Hey, it’s all football all the time for me. I have listed a few players who either broke out, or are on their way for this year. In no particular order:
Tyreek Hill- Not sure there was any more explosive player in the back half of 2016 than Kansas City Chief’s WR Tyreek Hill. He’s got speed, can run after the catch, and should be a big part of the Chief’s offense for 2017.
Taylor Gabriel- Like Tyreek Hill, Gabriel came on strong and was a major hit for the Falcons. I look for him to become even more a part of Atlanta’s high powered offense in 2017.
Derrick Henry- A lot depends on how Demarco Murray does next season. Henry could start stealing more carries.
Chris Hogan- The Patriots are hard to pin down. Outside of Gronk and Edelman, their game plan changes from week to week. Hogan had some big games, including the AFC Championship game in which he racked up 180 yards and 2 scores.
Dak Prescott- In his rookie year he already has put up some impressive numbers. I think the most impressive stat is only 4 interceptions to 23 passing TDs. It might be a couple more years until he breaks the 30 TD threshold, but he should be a solid QB for years to come.
Leonard Fournette- I know, he’s not even in the league yet. He’s coming, and when he gets here he should make an immediate impact. Especially if he gets to a team with a decent line and QB.
Stefon Diggs- The Vikings have pretty much declared Bridgewater out for 2017, making Sam Bradford their starter. Diggs had a decent year in yards, but only had 3 TDs. I expect that to creep into double digits as the QB-Wr chemistry builds.
Jay Ajayi- In his 2nd year as a pro, he kind of broke out a little. I think there is another level to his game in year 2 of Adam Gase’s offense.
Terelle Pryor Sr.- Pryor had a pretty nice season an is an unrestricted free agent. Which means, he can go anywhere he wants. Keep an eye on where he lands, because he could put himself in a great position.
Christian McCaffrey- I know, he’s not in the NFL yet either, but he is really fast, shifty, and depending on where he goes, could have a huge impact in 2017. I’ve seen him go all over in mock drafts, so it will be interesting to see where this dynamic player lands.