Tag Archive: julio jones

Predicting the Top 5 Offensive Breakout Players of 2012

September 7, 2012 Randy Neil

Whether you’re a casual football follower, a die-hard fan of your city’s team or a fantasy football guru who just got NFL SUNDAY TICKET from http://www.direct-ticket.net/ for non-stop Sunday NFL action, it’s always good to see new players staking their spots among the league’s best and cashing in on their years of hard work.

Here are 5 breakout players to watch for this year:

1) Eric Decker – Last year, Decker racked up more than 600 yards receiving and 8 TDs in a Tim Tebow-led offense. He looks to follow up his sophomore campaign with a much better year now that Peyton Manning is at the helm. Despite Demaryius Thomas’ coming out party in the playoffs last season, it looks like Decker will be Manning’s primary target this year – especially if the preseason is any indication. Decker received more targets, caught more passes and had more touchdowns than Thomas in the preseason. He is the go-to guy in Denver’s newly revamped offense this season.

Prediction: 100 receptions, 1250 yards, 9 TDs

2) C.J. Spiller – Chan Gailey has repeatedly said he needs to find ways to get C.J. Spiller more touches. He’s right. Spiller has been underutilized at this point in his career, even when you consider Fred Jackson’s effectiveness. Spiller is an excellent open field runner and catches the ball out of the backfield as well as anyone in the league. Fred Jackson comes into this season at 31 years old, so you have to wonder if he can carry the load for another full season. Spiller may not put up Lesean McCoy-like numbers, but expect him to have a similar impact with the Bills as Darren Sproles had with the Saints last year.

Prediction: 650 rushing yards, 5.4 yards per carry; 500 receiving yards; 11 total TDs

3) Julio Jones – You may be wondering what a guy with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and 8 TD’s as a #2 receiver last season is doing on this list. It’s pretty simple – outside of Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, Jones is simply one of the most physically intriguing WR specimens in the NFL. His big frame, physical play and blazing speed will enable him to take his place among the league’s elite this year. This is especially true when you consider that he now has chemistry with Matt Ryan and has refined his route-running ability.

Prediction: 90 receptions, 1400 yards, 12 TDs

4) Jared Cook – This guy has all the tools to explode as the league’s next premier presence at tight end. Cook can be classified as a late bloomer – he’s had 3 full years in the league and didn’t put up any significant numbers until last season. He possesses the speed to stretch defenses and has the frame necessary to come down with balls in the red zone. While the jury is still out on young starter Jake Locker, you can expect Cook to be an effective safety valve for the 2nd year QB capable of giving opposing defensive coordinators headaches.

Prediction: 65 receptions, 1100 yards, 8 TD

5) Emmanuel Sanders – This Pittsburg WR is this year’s sleeper, at least on this list. Although Pittsburgh came up short in the playoffs last season, Sanders came to play and racked up 6 catches for more than 80 yards. What’s even more impressive is that 20 of Sanders’ 28 receptions last year went for a first down. With Mike Wallace likely not in full football shape to start the season, look for Sanders to play a key role early and to earn a spot as a starter when the Steelers start the game with 3 WR. In 2012, Sanders will have a breakout year. In 2013, the speedster will supplant Mike Wallace once he’s shipped off to another franchise.

Prediction: 45 receptions, 600 yards, 4 TDs

It’s always exciting to watch the storylines unfold, and it makes for feel-good entertainment when an underdog or underachiever starts to turn heads. Who do you think will breakout this year?


Random Thoughts: Post First Round Edition

April 29, 2011 Adam Thomas

This draft seemed like it was one of the crappiest in recent memory.  Who are these guys?  They all look like they are 13 years old and none of them look particularly dominant in the high light videos that they showed.

Case in point: The ATL Falcons traded next years first and a bunch of other picks to trade up and grab Julio Jones.  After they did, the first video ESPN showed was Julio Jones dropping a ton of easy passes.  Then this morning, a Yahoo columnist declares the Falcons winners for taking him.  Wait…what?

The Falcons did a stupid thing.  Can you imagine if the Raiders made that trade?  Good God all mighty, everyone would be ripping them to shreds!  So to the Falcons, I bestow them with my dumbest move of the draft (DMOD) award.


2.) SECOND DUMBEST MOVE OF THE DRAFT: Panthers.  We’ve seen this movie before.  We know how it’s gonna end.  Did you see Cam Newton’s dad?  He looked like and spoke like a crooked Jesse Jackson. “I don’t…care if he’s…Mr. Irrelevant.  GOD IS GOOD!  GOD IS GOOD!”  What Cam’s dad was obviously trying to say was “CHA-CHING!  CHA-CHING!”  Sad day for the Panthers, they just won’t realize it until 2013.  Cam Newton acts like an entitled prick and he is gonna hold out for millions and then suck up the joint when he gets his chance to start.

3.) THIRD DUMBEST MOVE OF THE DRAFT: Broncos.  Yesterday I wrote that Von Miller was going to be the bust of the draft, so I was delighted to hear the pre-draft rumors that the Broncos were gonna draft him.  Then, when they did draft him and he started to cry, my dad looked at me and said, “He’s soft.”  So thank you, Broncos!  You made my day last year by drafting Tebow and you made it again this year by grabbing Miller!

(Note: If the Broncos trounce the Raiders on Monday Night Football with Tebow going off for 300 yds passing, 150 yads rushing and 4 tds and Miller gets 3 sacks, feel free to come on here and rip me a new one, cause really, I’m just trying to stir the pot.  That’s what all us bloggers do, ya know?)

4.) FOURTH DUMBEST MOVE OF THE DRAFT: The Bears.  So, let me get this straight, they wanted to trade with the Ravens but didn’t confirm it with the league, which made the Ravens lose their spot to the Chiefs.  Who in the world is running the Bears?  If that happened in a fantasy football draft, holy balls people would be at each others throats!  I can only imagine what was being said in the Ravens war room.  But at least they got that CB who is addicted to codein syrup.  Nothing bad has ever come from a little syzzzurp, right?


Best Moves of the draft:

1.) Lions grabbing Fairley, the DT from Auburn.  I’ve always wondered why more teams don’t just build on their strengths.  The Lions have a great DT already, why not make him even better by pairing him with the guy who was projected to go number one just a month ago?

2.) Chiefs.  Good Lord, that was a nice pick getting that WR from Pitt.  The Chiefs are winning the AFC West again next year.

3.) Saints getting Mark Ingram.  Fourth round fantasy pick anybody?

4.) Cardinals getting Patrick Peterson.  He was the best player in the draft.  Why don’t teams at number one go with the best player?  The QB thing works out once out of every 30000 picks.  It makes no sense to me.  For every Peyton Manning there are 30 JaMarcus’s.

Ah well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.  Rounds two and three are tonight.  Enjoy!