This past season was many things. One of those things was a breakout year for Vic Beasley, among others.
Nobody saw Beasley leading the NFL in sacks, but he was a logical candidate for a big year after a relatively quiet, injury-marred rookie season, and he certainly delivered in spades. Now that the 2017 season is looming—it’s only like seven months away, you guys!—I’m ready to consider who this upcoming season’s breakout player might be. And I have what I believe is a strong candidate.
Given that Keanu Neal and Deion Jones are already great, I’m going with soon-to-be second year linebacker De’Vondre Campbell as my choice. Campbell was legitimately excellent at times and very inconsistent at others, which is what you would expect from a player who was a fourth rounder dinged for being raw and lacking the instincts he’d need to thrive. When he did commit to a course of action in 2016, he was explosive, physical, and tough to stop, and another offseason with the team isn’t going to diminish that in the slightest.
Campbell has made noise about wanting to be considered the best linebacker in football, and while that sounds like wishful thinking at the moment, I’m not betting against his ability to become a force of nature in the NFL. Assuming good health, look for him to impress in 2017.
Give us your choice, or just agree with mine, because I like that.