Projecting players who will break out in 2016 is an inexact science, but whether due to circumstance in replacing a productive player or experience finally yielding some game-changing results, we're going to give it a shot.
Getty ImagesLachlan Cunningham
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Elliott became the de facto starter in Dallas the moment Darren McFadden went down with an elbow injury, and given all that the rookie had on display at the college level, he's primed to put up some big numbers in Big D -- especially given that Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are both healthy and will be able to keep defenders from stacking the box.
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Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
Jones was arguably the best receiver available in free agency, so it wasn't a surprise to see the Lions snatch him up shortly after Calvin Johnson retired. Jones finished 2015 with 65 catches for 816 yards and 4 TDs with the Bengals but should be able to produce far more now that he could potentially become Matthew Stafford's No. 1 option.
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY SportsRaj Mehta
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
Plenty of people think the Raiders are ready to make a run that would see them return to the postseason for the first time since 2002, and if that happens, the play of Carr will be the main reason. He finished 2015 with 32 touchdown passes and just 13 interceptions, and if he can improve on his efficiency in 2016, the fans in Oakland may finally start to see some pretty big things.
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Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Rawls rushed for 830 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season for the Seahawks, and now that Marshawn Lynch is retired, he's expected to get a much heavier workload in 2016. The only possible hitch is he still hasn't played in a preseason game after offseason surgery to repair his broken ankle.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson put up some pretty good numbers last year and is primed to explode in his second NFL season. He may be the best receiving back in the league and averaged 12.7 yards per reception while scoring four TDs catching Carson Palmer's passes out of the backfield last season. His 4.6 yards per carry werent' too shabby, either.