Ranking the NFLs second-year breakout candidates: 15 players who could turn into stars

    –Full-time analyst for Pro Football Focus
    –Contributor to ESPN Insider’s NFL coverage

There is no cookie-cutter career progression blueprint in the NFL. Acclimating to the pro game can be a vastly different process for any given player.

One thing is for certain in the data, though, and it’s that Year 2 represents the biggest year-over-year difference in performance on average across the league. It shows not only in performance but also in opportunity. Coaches are much more willing to trust a player after a full season of experience in the league, and that shows in their playing time.

The 2020 draft class played a total of 59,509 snaps last season, while the 2021 rookie class saw 8,985 fewer snaps.

Last year we highlighted top breakout candidate Joe Burrow, who went on to lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl. This year, one of the players below could push their respective franchise even further.

Here are Pro Football Focus’ 15 second-year players who have what it takes to break out in 2022. All stats are from PFF:

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