There is quite a lot of takes flying from a number of areas on the 2017 NFL season. One that I came across the other day that was a little different, at least to me, was the idea of a “late breakout” star.
This is a player who many have predicted to breakout over the last several years and it never happened.
John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals didn't know what was wrong with Brown last season. Instead of taking the next step to stardom, he just didn't look like the same "Smokey" who streaked through secondaries in 2015. By October, doctors determined that Brown carries a sickle-cell trait that was causing leg pain. Doctors also found a cyst in his back which may have contributed to a lack of energy. All systems are now go and his T.Y. Hilton-like skill set remains in place to soar, just a year later than everyone expected.
I’d argue that Brown has already been a breakout star, as he is only one of 17 players in NFL history drafted in round three or later to put up the numbers Brown has put up over the first three years of his career.
150 or more receptions
2200 or more yards
10 or more touchdowns
Is he a standout, wide receiver one?
No, not yet and maybe never.
However, Brown has had a breakout season in 2015, after a strong rookie season in 2014.
His off season can, without a question, be traced back to a litany of medical issues.
If those issues continue, he may never reach the level we expected as fans, but it still would make his first three years very unique in the overall schism of the NFL history.
Brown isn’t a breakout candidate, because he already has, but he is a candidate to have a rebound year.
He also is a candidate to get a nice, fat contract at the end of the 2018 season, something we have talked about before.