2nd Year NFL Breakout Candidates.

NFL Second-Year Breakout Players: Who’s Primed For A Year 2 Jump?

The second-year jump is a thing in the NFL. Players have had a year to get acclimatized to the pros both on and off the field, they’re more comfortable with schemes and assignments and they are often given more playing time and responsibility.

So, which players from the 2022 NFL Draft class are ready to make that Year 2 leap and go from fresh-faced rookie to bona fide star? Let’s find out:

WR Garrett Wilson (New York Jets)

Garrett Wilson racked up 1,100 yards, four touchdowns, and 83 receptions last year. He rightfully won Offensive Rookie of the Year and is an easy top-20 pick in most fantasy draft formats right now. But, I think he'll be even better in 2023.

Wilson racked up all that production with quarterbacks Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White. They had a combined completion percentage of 56.9% and through for just as many interceptions as touchdowns. Imagine what Wilson could do with some QB competence? The Aaron Rodgers -> Wilson connection already looked great in the preseason, so buckle up for a great year from the second-year Jets receiver.

WR Jahan Dotson (Washington Commanders)

Dotson quietly broke out at the end of last year, racking up 21 receptions and 344 yards in his final five games. He's set to build on that strong finish heading into 2023.

In two preseason games this year, Dotson was QB Sam Howell's favorite target. He caught seven of nine targets for 106 yards and a touchdown.

With WR1 Terry McLaurin questionable for Week 1 with a toe injury, Dotson has a chance to seize the Commander's top receiving role and run with it this season.

OLB David Ojabo (Baltimore Ravens)

This one's kind of cheating, because the Ravens knew Ojabo would miss almost all of the 2022 season when they drafted him in the second round last year. Rehabbing from an ACL injury, the Michigan product came back for the final two games of the season and picked up a tackle and a sack.

He's got some competition at pass-rusher in Baltimore this year, with Jadaveon Clowney brought in recently. But, Ojabo racked up 11 sacks and 12 tackles-for-loss in his final college season and could be one of the most explosive pass-rushers in the AFC North if he returns to form.

QB Desmond Ridder (Atlanta Falcons)

Desmond Ridder's breakout potential is almost entirely dictated by opportunity. The Falcons have given the second-year QB the keys to the offense, surrounding him with elite young weapons like WR Drake London, Rookie of the Year favorite Bijan Robinson, and TE Kyle Pitts. Ridder doesn't have to be an F1 driver to steer this offense to success, it's got plenty of potential.

I wasn't a huge Ridder fan coming out of college, but he actually looked solid last year. In four games he completed 63.5% of passes for 708 yards and two passing touchdowns. If he can be a Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill-type game manager, he'll be the perfect QB for this Falcons attack.

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