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With how fast and extensive NFL lists go over each year, it feels like everyone is in a make-or-break season, right? While that may be true in a way, there are some players more under the microscope than others, and for a number of reasons.

Let’s break them down into serious make-or-break scenarios by situation before the critical 2022 seasons begin.

Former top prospects in danger of busting

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Jeff Okudah

Okudah’s NFL career to date has been nightmarish, a brutal, extraordinarily overwhelming rookie season followed by a torn Achilles in the season opener in 2021. This is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound with 4. This may interest you : Netflix’s Best Movies and Shows: What’s Trending on June 21, 2022.48 speed and a 41- inch vertical that stayed as glue to wideouts during his career at Ohio State.

The natural talent cracks in the seams of Okudah’s Lions uniform. But the sophistication of the line was not there as a beginner, nor did his consciousness mirror down the field and find football. It’s tough, but it’s a reality – in the NFL, if you do not produce within 3 years, you are pushing the happiness of the future on your original team. Also keep in mind that Detroit GM Brad Holmes did not draft Okudah, and all NFL GMs – rightly – want their boys more than anything else. If Okudah does not perform as a former No. 3 overall pick, or, heck, even as an over-performing mid-rounder, Okudah will drift to Bust Island and may find himself on the trading block next offseason.

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Jalen Reagor

Reagor already feels like a bust, right? The former TCU star will always be compared to Justin Jefferson because he was picked just before the superstar widow in Minnesota, and the two have had diametrically opposed NFL careers to date. There’s a noticeable buzz about the Eagles after offseason GM Howie Roseman put together, and I wonder how much Reagor will play into that. Read also : CBS Sports lists Colts’ biggest remaining need. He is now behind A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith in the recipient’s pick order.

Reagor has never had 60 yards in a single game in the NFL. He’s dangerously close to being a certified bust.

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Veterans on their last legs

A.J. Green

Green was such a consistent athlete in his prime. He was on a Hall of Fame track. See the article : Great books to read this week. Green low-key had 848 receiving yards in 2021 with the Cardinals, after a disappointing 2020 in which he did not even reach 550 yards on 104 goals.

Now Arizona made things more comfortable for Kyler Murray this offseason by switching for his former favorite goalie in Oklahoma, Marquise Brown. And DeAndre Hopkins will be back after a six-match suspension. Green, who turns 34 in July, may finally be in the tertiary role that suits him best so late in his career. I have to say, it’s weird not to see Green as a team alpha widout, but he’s lost a few steps. I have to wonder if 2022 will be Green’s last season.

Dont’a Hightower

Hightower deserves an abundance of respect. He entered the league in 2012 as a 6-2, 265-pound off-ball linebacker at the beginning of the passing renaissance in the NFL, when linebackers became smaller and faster and many of them were really just safer who switched into the box.

Despite his frame indicating that he would fit poorly in today’s NFL, Hightower thrived as an old-fashioned thumper offense was not ready to fight every Sunday. Hightower was a second-rate prototype Bill Belichick defender who defied the odds on his way to three Pro Bowl picks, a second-team All-Pro nod in 2016 and three Super Bowl titles.

He was out in 2020 due to COVID-19 and was not himself when he returned last season, and was often revealed in the coverage, and his excellent and ongoing defensive ability was not as fantastic as it had been before the pandemic. Now 32, Hightower is at the twilight of his career in New England.

Players who dipped after playing well early and are now in a prove-it year

Devin Bush

Bush is one of the most athletically skilled linebackers in football. His range in Michigan and 4.43 speeds of 5-11 and 234 pounds led the Steelers to switch up to pick him as No. 10 overall in the 2019 draft. As an energetic rookie, Bush looked like Pittsburgh’s next elite defender at the second level.

But over time, his stellar play near the line and when he attacked downhill was counteracted by poor coverage, and a torn ACL in week 6 of 2020 derailed what largely looked like a promising start to his professional career. So in 2021, Bush was not himself. He missed more tackles than ever, was barely a force in the box and the coverage problems continued. The Steelers did not exercise their fifth-year option, making him an impending free agent after the 2022 campaign.

Darius Slayton

Slayton was a super-fast selection in the fifth round in 2019 that had an immediate connection with second rookie Daniel Jones, and caught 48 passes for 740 yards – 15.4 yards per – with eight goals in his debut season with the Giants. He had 12 receptions on 20 or more yards that year.

Like another NFL, Slayton increased receptions by two and had 11 more receiving yards, but scored just three touchdowns, and last season the former Auburn burner was far less productive with just 28 catches for 339 yards with two goals. He became a forgotten weapon in New York’s crime. Slayton is 6-1 and has a speed of 4.39. Now on a more complete list that has a better offensive line, Slayton could be in a season more similar to his rookie season in 2022. Of course, much of his potential impact will rest on how well his quarterback plays.

Fifth-year option players who could sign a huge extension or play on a different team next year

Tremaine Edmunds

If you ask around Buffalo about how fans feel about Edmunds, you’ll probably get a lot of answers. For some, he is a responsibility to the run and in coverage, whose first-round draft status is more the reason he is an established starter than quality play. For others, he is a football net in the middle of Buffalo’s passing defense, a 6-4, 250-pound rangy linebacker who has his faults, but who also does so much for one of the league’s best defenses that goes unnoticed in the statistics sheet. To me, the truth lies somewhere between these lines of thought, but his size and athletic mix undoubtedly make him a unique resource for Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

Still just 24 years old, Edmunds enters his fifth season in Buffalo in one of the most obvious make-or-break seasons you’ll find in the NFL. He is playing on his fifth year alternative, and the bills will have a critical decision to make after the 2022 campaign – sign Edmunds for a monster extension or let him enter as a free agency.

And it’s easy – if Edmunds flourishes in an incredibly hyped season for Bills, he will get the shiny new contract. If he does not, Bills will probably allocate money elsewhere and look for a new midfielder.

Baker Mayfield

Mayfield’s career is an example of 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 was given a multi-year progressive insurance commercial position that felt difficult and continued in 2021 since he had then fallen from grace in a strange situation in Cleveland.

Mayfield’s average arm talent and lack of improvisation skills keep him back on the field. But his accuracy is outstanding and he can tear the ball through narrow windows. In theory, if he was in a better scenario than Hue Jackson and Freddie Kitchen’s managed environments in Cleveland, Mayfield could once again be a top half of the league’s quarterback, as it was as late as 2020. Is a quality situation out there for Mayfield at this time of the offseason?

Bradley Chubb

Chubb was famously picked to mate with Von Miller in Denver in 2018, and early in his career looked like the Broncos’ next huge outside pass-rusher who would take on top-of-the-line responsibilities from Miller in the long run, as evidenced by his 12 sacks . as a beginner.

The former number 5 in total has 8.5 sacks since then, and injuries have severely hampered his development. Now he gets veteran Randy Gregory whizzing towards him in the defense, which will draw attention away from him. But the Broncos selected ultra-productive rusher Nik Bonitto in Round 2 in April to add depth to the vital position, but perhaps also as a way to pressure Chubb to return to his rookie year form. If Chubb kicks off a double-digit kicking season in 2022, it will be difficult for the Broncos to let him go. If he can not revive the magic of 2018 now with 100% health, Chubb will probably be on another team next season.

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