As we make our way to the last couple of divisions for the 2nd season of the Breakout Rookie Series, we are making our rounds this time in the AFC North and, first stop is with the Bengals. Looking at the Bengals their Breakout rookie candidate was easy. IF you spend a top 3 pick, 3rd overall, on a skill position player, they better be a breakout rookie. WR-J.Waddle has not disappointed. He is sitting close to 30 catches, almost 600 yards receiving, and 4 receiving TDs at the halfway point of the season. He came in with a STAR-DEV but, it won’t be long before he gets an opportunity to bump the DEV to SS. He is definitely the breakout rookie for the Bengals.
Breakout Rookie S2 – AFC North: Browns
Looking at the Browns, this might’ve been the toughest choice of the series for season 2. Not because they had so many to choose from, which they don’t but, because they drafted subpar and didn’t really get solid value for their picks. The one player for them that I settled on for them to be a possible breakout rookie is, SS-LB-SS: Jacoby Stevens. He was drafted as a safety then, was moved to MLB, which should’ve been an OLB, then moved back to safety. I hope that he can breakout and not let the multiple position changes not only cancel his breakout rookie potential but, stunt his development in the league all together.
After our hot start, it seems like the Jags are getting everyone’s best game and that was no different in their 24-16 win over the Broncos in week 9. For this game, the Jags definitely had to reach deep to get this win. Things are tough at the halfway point especially as the Jags are trying to incorporate a new OC. Things were astray early on in the Broncos games as a recent system update (Title/Patch), caused all of the players to forget their formation subs, and that put the team behind the 8-ball quickly to try and get players back into the right spots. Nonetheless, the Jags defense showed up again to carry the team to a Victory.
In roster moves, the Jags were able to get a trade in for the their future in the 11th hour. The trade was actually with the Broncos and for backup future STAR, fast TE-A.Okwuegbunam. He hits the team with 88 speed and 92 Accel. He looks to jump in and take over the starting spot from VET TE-G.Olsen. HC-Joe Brady was stated as saying for the immediate start for the young TE, “We have to get him into the offense immediately, to hit the ground running, both literally and figuratively…We have Greg (Olsen) there as the solid VET but, he will do better as the No.2 TE as the sped that A.O. brings to the TE spot is close to the best in the league…”
Picking things back up with the Ravens, they actually have one of the easier players that is already having a breakout rookie season, in rookie safety J.Holland. Starting out as a 73 overall and is already at an 80 overall, he has had a super season so far putting up, 13 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 4 INTs to top it all off at the halfway point of the season. Clear to say that the Ravens organizations looks to know what they are doing.
Breakout Rookie S2 – AFC North: Steelers
For the he last team in the AFC North, the Steelers, actually hit goal a couple times in the draft. This definitely made it hard to choose the breakout rookie for them. I ended up landing on 1st Round CB-S,Wade from tOSU. He just edged out speedster RB-CJ. Verdell from Oregon, as the breakout rookie for this team. Coming in at 6’1″ and having low 90’s for all speed/movement stats and to have amassed 24 tackles and 4 INTs at the halfway mark of his rookie year and, then factoring how hard the transition is from college to the pros for CBs compared to RBs, CB-S.Wade is definitely the player that is and needs to be their breakout rookie!