Nine NFL players entering the 2022 season: Devin Bush of the Steelers, Jeff Okuda of the Lions and others

With how quickly and comprehensively the NFL lists turn over each year, you feel like everyone is in a season for change or rest, right? Although in a way that might be true, some players are more under the microscope than others and for many reasons.

Let’s break them down into serious scenarios to create or break situations before their critical 2022 seasons begin.

Former top prospects are in danger of collapsing

Jeff Okuda

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Okudah’s career in the NFL so far has been a nightmarish, brutal, extremely captivating rookie season, followed by a torn Achilles at the start of the 2021 season. stuck like glue in the vast expanses of his career in Ohio.

Natural talent is sprayed on Okuda’s seams lions uniform. But the refinement of the line was not there as a rookie, nor did his mind reflect down on the pitch and find football. It’s rude, but it’s a reality – in the NFL, if you don’t produce by age 3, you’re pushing your luck with your future on your original team. Also, don’t forget that Detroit General Brad Holmes didn’t draft Okuda, and all NFL generals – with good reason – want to theirs boys more than anything else. If Okuda doesn’t present himself as a former No. 3 overall pick or, damn it, even as a top midfielder, Okuda will move to Bust Island and could be in the block next offseason.

Jalen Reagor

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Reagor already feels like a bust, right? The former TCU star will always be compared to Justin Jefferson, because he was elected just before the Minnesota superstar, and the two have had diametrically opposed careers in the NFL so far. There is a noticeable noise for eagles after off-season GM Howie Roseman got together and wondered how much Reagor would play in it. He is now behind AJ Brown and Devont Smith in the order of the receiver’s bite.

Reagor’s never had 60 yards in a single game in the NFL. It is dangerously close to a certified bust.

Veterans on their last leg

Hey Jay Green

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Green was such a consistent performer in his heyday. He was on the track in the Hall of Fame. Green low-key had 848 receiving yards in 2021 s cardinalsafter the disappointing 2020, in which he didn’t even reach 550 yards at 104 targets.

Now Arizona has made things more comfortable for Kyler Murray this offseason by exchanging for his former favorite target in Oklahoma, the Marquise Brown. And DeAndre Hopkins will return after 6 games. Green, who turns 34 in July, may finally be in the top role best suited to him so late in his career. I have to say that it is strange not to see Green as an alpha broad part of the team, but he lost a few steps. I have to wonder if 2022 will be Green’s last season.

It’s not Hightower

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Hightower deserves great respect. He entered the league in 2012 as a 6-2, 265-pound off-defender at the start of the NFL’s renaissance, when midfielders were getting smaller and faster, and many of them were really just defenders. moved to the penalty area.

Although his framework suggested that he should be terribly fit in today’s NFL, Hightower thrived as old-school crimes weren’t ready to fight every Sunday. Hightower was second-level prototype defender Bill Belichick, who opposed odds on the way to three Pro Bowl selections, an All-Pro nod for the second team in 2016 and three Super Bowl titles.

He was absent in 2020 due to COVID-19 and was not himself, since returning last season, he was often exposed in the coverage, and his ability to shine and run in defense was not as stunning as before the pandemic. Now 32, Hightower is in the twilight of his career in New England.

Players who dropped out after playing well early and are now in a year of proving

Devin Bush

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Bush is one of the most athletic defenders in football. His range in Michigan and a speed of 4.43 at 5-11 and 234 pounds led to Steelers swapped to pick him as No. 10 overall in the 2019 draft. As an energetic rookie, Bush looked like Pittsburgh’s next elite second-tier defender.

But over time, his stellar play near the scrimmage line and downhill attack was countered by poor coverage, and the broken ACL in week 6 of 2020 derailed what seemed to be a promising start to his career. career. Then in 2021, Bush was not himself. He missed more grips than ever, was hardly a force in the penalty area and coverage problems continued. The Steelers did not practice their version for the fifth year, making him an upcoming free agent after the 2022 campaign.

Darius Slayton

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Slayton was a super quick pick in the fifth round in 2019, who had a direct relationship with fellow rookie Daniel Jones, catching 48 passes for 740 yards – 15.4 yards on – with eight results in his debut season with Giants. This year he had 12 innings of 20 or more yards.

As a sophomore in the NFL, Slayton increased his receptions by two and had 11 more reception yards, but scored just three touchdowns, and last season the former Auburn player was far less productive with just 28 catches for 339 yards with two results. He became a forgotten weapon in the attack on New York. Slayton is 6-1 and has a speed of 4.39. Now on a fuller list of a better offensive line, Slayton could be in a season similar to his rookie season in 2022. Of course, much of his potential influence will depend on how well his quarterback plays. .

Fifth-year players who could sign a big overtime or play for another team next year

Tremain Edmunds

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If you ask Buffalo about how Edmunds fans feel, you’ll probably get different answers. For some, it is a problem against running and rebounding, whose status in the first round of draft is the reason he is an established starter, rather than a quality game. For others, he is a football net in the middle of Buffalo’s pass defense, a 6-4, 250-pound midfielder who has his flaws but also does so much for one of the league’s best defenses that goes unnoticed in statistics. . For me, the truth lies somewhere between these schools of thought, but its size and athleticism undoubtedly make it a unique asset for Sean McDermott and defense coordinator Leslie Fraser.

Still just 24, Edmunds enters his fifth season at Buffalo in one of the clearest seasons you’ll find in the NFL. He plays on his five-year version and accounts he will have to make a critical decision after the 2022 campaign – sign Edmunds with a monstrous extension or let him join the free agency.

And it’s simple – if Edmunds thrives in an incredibly exciting season for the Bills, he will get this shiny new contract. If he doesn’t, the bills are likely to distribute money elsewhere and look for a new middleman.

Baker Mayfield

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Mayfield’s career arc embodies how fast the NFL is evolving. After his record-breaking rookie season in 2018, Mayfield felt like the next big thing in the quarterback position. He received many years of advertising space for progressive insurance, which felt uncomfortable that he was still working in 2021, because by then he had fallen out of grace in a strange situation in Cleveland.

Mayfield’s talent with average best hands and poor improvisational skills keep him on the field. But his accuracy is exceptional and he can snatch the ball through narrow windows. In theory, if it turns out to be in a better scenario than the leading circles of Hugh Jackson and Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, Mayfield could again become the top half of the quarterback in the league, as it was recently in 2020. Is there a quality situation for Mayfield in this off-season moment?

Bradley Chub

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Chub was known to mate with Von Miller in Denver in 2018 and at the beginning of his career he looked like The Broncos‘the next great outside passer who will take on the highest responsibilities from Miller in the long run, as evidenced by his 12 dismissals as a rookie.

The former No. 5 overall has 8.5 bags since then, and injuries have severely hampered his development. He is now forcing veteran Randy Gregory to rush against him in defense, which will distract him from the game plan. But the Broncos chose ultra-productive rocher Nick Bonito in Round 2 in April to add depth to the vital position, but perhaps as a way to push Chubb back to his new form of the year. If Chubb gets a double-digit dismissal season in 2022, it will be difficult for the Broncos to let him go. If he can’t revive the magic of 2018 now in 100% health, Chub will probably be on another team next season.

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