Sometimes, it takes a couple of years for NFL players to reach their full potential.
While basketball teams show patience with their young prospects, NFL players get thrust into the fire to either emerge as stars or burn up in the process. While some players enter the NFL as born stars, like Nick Bosa and Josh Jacobs, others only show hints of stardom before breaking through in their third or fourth seasons.
The 2018 NFL Draft produced plenty of prospects who possess elite talents that haven’t fulfilled their potential, especially on offense. For one reason or another, these players couldn’t put together dominant seasons during their first two years in the league. However, that could all change in 2020 when these young men enter a critical stage of their development.
The third season often defines a player’s true potential. Some players, like Derrick Henry, emerge as stars or plug-and-play starters. Others, like Artie Burns, flame out and find themselves fighting for roster spots moving forward. The following six players should fall into the first category and prove themselves as worthy starters this season.
6. Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins
Drafted with the 59th overall pick in 2018, Derrius Guice is only five regular season games into his career. The LSU product tore his ACL during the 2018 preseason and landed on injured reserve (IR) before his rookie season even began. Last year, Guice missed time with a torn meniscus, and subsequent injuries forced him onto IR again.
However, Guice did appear in five games last season. He saw action in Week 1 before suffering an injury that kept him out until Week 11. Guice’s final action in 2019 came in Week 14. Between Weeks 11 and 14, Guice generated 227 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns while averaging 7.09 yards per carry.
Guice showed how special he is during his time with the LSU Tigers. In 2018, I thought he, Saquon Barkley, and Nick Chubb were the three best players in the draft. Guice is that kind of player. Hopefully, he follows the Dalvin Cook trail and stays healthy during his third season.