By Staff Writer John Belaska
Terrance Williams had some very impressive moments during his rookie season. The Cowboys’ third round pick caught 44 passes for 736 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. He was mostly used in the slot last year, but most of his production came when he lined up on the outside of the field. He will be lining up there a lot more this season now that Miles Austin is gone. The young wide receiver is well worth drafting to your bench and could turn into something huge.
Rashad Jennings may be 29 years old but he is about to have his chance for a break-out season. Jennings was acquired by the New York Giants following a 733 yard rushing season in 2013. The Giants really like Jennings and expect him to be their workhorse back. As we all know, workhorse backs are few and far between. The only real competition for carries will be with David Wilson. However, Wilson is still recovering from neck surgery and was benched last season due to fumbling problems. Jennings has once fumbled once in his six year career. He is also the Giants’ best receiving running back.
Kenny Stills is about to start his second season with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints chose him in the fifth round of the 2013 draft because of his impressive speed. Stills was used as the Saints’ deep threat throughout the season. Now that Darren Sproles is gone, the team will have to find a new pass catching threat. This means they will have to incorporate their young wide receivers into their passing game more. This is definitely a good thing for Stills’ potential.
Ryan Tannehill looked like a superstar in 2013 when he had the proper pocket protection. Unfortunately, the Dolphins’ offensive line was so bad last season that Tannehill was constantly be pressured. In fact, he was sacked more than any quarterback in the league in 2013. The Dolphins really worked hard this offseason to acquire some top notch offensive linemen. This will allow Tannehill to have more time in the pocket and he should be able to surpass 4000 passing yards for the first time in his career.
Shane Vereen was a popular break out candidate going into last season. Unfortunately, injuries caused the New England Patriots’ running back to miss nine games. He played very well when he was in the lineup. He was used mostly in passing situations. This will not change in 2014. However, since LaGarrette Blount left the team, there will be more opportunities for Vereen to carry the football. He is the only running back that the coaching staff has full faith in. After all, he is competing with a rookie and a guy who cannot hold onto the football.
Jordan Reed was the Washington Redskins’ third round pick in the 2013 draft. He caught 45 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns during his rookie season. He was very highly targeted and should be able to haul in more passes this season. He missed eight games due to injury which is why his numbers do not look to great on paper. Best of all, Robert Griffin III is going to come into the season healthy which will allow him to make better throws. He wanted to get the ball to Reed a lot last season, but his accuracy was affected by that knee brace. The two should both perform better in 2014.
Robert Woods is going into his second year with the Buffalo Bills. The 2013 second round draft pick will have his chance to be the team’s number one wide receiver now that Stevie Johnson is in San Francisco. Quarterback E.J. Manuel will come into the season with more experience and be able to make better decisions. Woods will also be helped by the fact that the Bills traded up to draft Sammy Watkins. Since Watkins was such a highly sought after talent, defenses are definitely going to want to give him some attention. This means that even though Woods will be a number one wide receiver, defenses will not be treating him like a number on receiver.