The biggest boom or bust players for every NFL team in 2022

Every NFL team enters 2022 with high-risk, high-reward potential players. These are the biggest boom or bust players for each of the 32 teams.

 

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The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Watt struggled in his first season with the Cardinals with only one sack in seven games. He’s been plagued by injuries since 2016, but Watt could be the top player on Arizona’s defense if he stays healthy.

 

Atlanta Falcons: Drake London, WR

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Atlanta is counting on London to deliver in his rookie season with the loss of Russell Gage and Calvin Ridley’s season-long suspension. London showed big upside at USC, but it’s a big ask in his rookie year.

 

Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR

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After trading Marquise Brown, Bateman is set to be Baltimore’s No. 1 wideout. He had a strong rookie campaign with 45 catches for 515 yards in 12 games, but the Ravens need even more in his sophomore season.

 

Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, DE

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Miller is fresh off his second Super Bowl win after getting traded to the Rams last season. He certainly has a chance for a third on the talented Bills roster, though Miller isn’t a sure thing at age 33. He missed all of 2020 due to injury and has shown inconsistent production in the last two years he’s played.

 

Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB

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McCaffrey was an All-Pro in 2019 with nearly 2,400 yards, but he’s been plagued by injuries over the last two seasons. The Panthers are still counting on McCaffrey to be the centerpiece of the offense, making new quarterback Baker Mayfield’s job easier.

 

Chicago Bears: Justin Fields, QB

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Fields struggled in his rookie season, producing a terrible 26.4 QBR in 12 games. The Bears haven’t added much in the offseason, but a new coaching staff and a year under Fields’ belt could help.

 

Cincinnati Bengals: Hayden Hurst, TE

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Cincinnati moved on from C.J. Uzomah at tight end, but Hurst has the potential to be a nice replacement. He lost snaps in Atlanta last season, though he’s proven capable as a receiver in the past, including 571 yards and six touchdowns in 2020.

 

Cleveland Browns: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR

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Cleveland added Amari Cooper and David Bell to their wide receiver room, but their highest upside wideout could be an incumbent. Peoples-Jones has shown big-play ability in his first two seasons, averaging 18.8 yards per catch, and could be ripe for a breakout campaign if he can garner more snaps.

 

Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Tolbert, WR

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With the departure of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, the Cowboys are counting on newcomers like Tolbert to step up. The rookie was highly productive at South Alabama, but the jump from the Sun Belt to the NFL is a big one.

 

Denver Broncos: Jerry Jeudy, WR

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More was expected of Jeudy when he was drafted 15th overall in 2020, and he showed some regression last season due to a foot injury. A new coaching staff and quarterback Russell Wilson could be the boost Jeudy needs to become a featured player in his third season, especially after Tim Patrick’s season-ending ACL tear.

 

Detroit Lions: Jameson Williams, WR

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Williams’ final college season ended early due to a torn ACL, but that didn’t stop the speedster from being drafted 12th overall. He has elite speed, even at the NFL level, though it remains to be seen if he will be 100 percent when he returns at some point in 2022.

 

Green Bay Packers: Christian Watson, WR

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With the losses of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packers are in search of new wideouts to step up. Watson has huge upside after shining at North Dakota State, but the second-round pick needs to make a big jump. His production could be key to Aaron Rodgers’ quest to win another MVP.

 

Houston Texans: Marlon Mack, RB

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Houston was busy adding to their running back room in the offseason. Mack is one of the only proven backs on the team, with two 1,000-yard seasons in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, he’s been injured and failed to find playing time over the last two seasons, but the Texans could find big upside if Mack regains his old form.

 

Indianapolis Colts: Parris Campbell, WR

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The Colts had high hopes for Campbell as a second-round pick in 2019, but he’s only appeared in 15 games due to injuries. Indy drafted Alec Pierce, but Campbell still has the potential to hold off the rookie as the team’s No. 2 wideout receiver.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB

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The hype for Lawrence was extraordinary after his career at Clemson, but he got a dose of reality in his rookie season with the Jags. More talent around him and the hiring of Doug Pederson put Lawrence in a better position to succeed, but he must put last year’s struggles behind him.

 

Kansas City Chiefs: Mecole Hardman, WR

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The Chiefs added several significant wideouts in the offseason, but Hardman is one of the few holdovers. The speedster got in a groove late last season, though he still hasn’t fulfilled his potential. Heading into his walk year, Hardman could put up big numbers if he emerges with more snaps out of the shadow of Tyreek Hill.

 

Las Vegas Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB

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Jacobs failed to reach 1,000 yards rushing for the first time last year, and he’s struggled to repeat his excellent rookie production. A new coaching staff gives Jacobs a clean slate, though that might not be a good thing heading into a walk year.

 

Los Angeles Chargers: Khalil Mack, OLB

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Mack’s streak of six consecutive Pro Bowls ended last season due in part to injury, as he played only seven games. Still, Mack hasn’t recorded double-digit sacks in the last three seasons, and the Chargers are counting on him opposite Joey Bosa.

 

Los Angeles Rams: Cam Akers, RB

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Akers made a miraculous return from a torn Achilles in the same year he injured it. Akers is expected to be the team’s lead back in 2022. He helped lead the offense during the team’s Super Bowl run, but there could be some nervousness about taking on a full workload after returning so quickly from injury.

 

Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB

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Tagovailoa has a winning record in his first two seasons as a starter for the Dolphins, though his production has hardly been exemplary. Miami added several great weapons, led by superstar wideout Tyreek Hill, but there is some fear Tagovailoa will hold the offense back. He could put the critics to bed with a big 2022 season.

 

Minnesota Vikings: Irv Smith Jr., TE

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Smith missed all of 2021 due to injury but is expected to return as Minnesota’s starting tight end. He could earn a big role in the offense after recording five touchdowns in 2020 if he’s fully healthy.

 

New England Patriots: DeVante Parker, WR

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Parker was an enigma in seven seasons with the Dolphins, and the rival Patriots were able to add him for minimal expense. Despite his past unpredictability, Parker has shown to be an elite performer in the past with a 1,200-yard season in 2019. New England could have a new No. 1 wideout if Parker is healthy.

 

New Orleans Saints: Jameis Winston, QB

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Winston seemed to put his interception issues behind him early last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. The Saints have star Michael Thomas returning, along with the additions of Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave. Winston has ample weapons to bounce back, though there is fear he will regress after Sean Payton’s departure.

 

New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB

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Jones has been a turnover machine in his first three NFL seasons, and coaching changes haven’t put him in a position to succeed. The Giants are hoping new head coach Brian Daboll can unlock Jones’ potential in what could be his final opportunity with the team.

 

New York Jets: Breece Hall, RB

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Hall was the first running back selected in the 2022 draft, and the Jets believe he can be their primary ball carrier. It’s a big ask for a team that struggled to generate any offense last season.

 

Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts, QB

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The Eagles seemingly have everything they need for a big year after the additions of A.J. Brown and several defensive performers, but quarterback remains their big question mark. Jalen Hurts has yet to convince anyone he’s an elite passer, and the team might look for their next quarterback if he doesn’t deliver this season.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers: Chase Claypool, WR

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Claypool failed to build on his impressive rookie season in 2021, and in some ways, he took a step back. With the high likelihood of a rookie quarterback starting under center, the Steelers need Claypool to mature quickly this season.

 

San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, QB

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The 49ers are set to roll with Lance after trading a king’s ransom to draft him last year. He was inconsistent when he found the field last year, and there’s no telling how he’s developed after getting a full year under him.

 

Seattle Seahawks: Rashaad Penny, RB

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The oft-injured Penny finally got it together late last season, showing elite ability with four 100-yard games and 6.3 yards per carry. Seattle drafting Kenneth Walker seemed to create some doubt, but Penny could still be the new bell cow back.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, DE

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The Bucs are asking a lot of Tryon-Shoyinka in his second season after allowing Jason Pierre-Paul to leave. Tryon-Shoyinka had four sacks in limited snaps last season, but he did show flashes on passing downs.

 

Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR

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The Titans lost A.J. Brown and Julio Jones in the offseason, leaving big shoes to fill for Burks and Robert Woods. Burks already struggled in minicamp, but he proved to be a one-man wrecking crew in college at Arkansas.

 

Washington Commanders: Chase Young, DE

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Washington lost Young to a knee injury last season, but the former Defensive Rookie of the Year struggled even when he did play with 1.5 sacks in nine games. The Commanders hope for the rookie version that they saw in 2020.



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