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5 NFL Receivers Poised to Ignite the Field in 2023
July 28, 2023
In the realm of NFL offseason discussions, pinpointing wide receivers poised for a breakout year has become an enthralling pursuit, especially with the surge in popularity of fantasy football. While the concept of a “breakout” season may be ambiguous, the specific context surrounding each candidate holds significance. For the purpose of our exploration, however, we’ll focus on players who have yet to exceed 500 yards in any professional season but exhibit the potential to reach at least 800 yards in 2023 due to favorable circumstances. We’ll exclude rookies from this discussion as we’ll compare them against their past performance.
Among the listed receivers, none face more pressure to have a breakout season than Treylon Burks. He carries the unfair burden of being the Tennessee Titans’ choice with the draft pick acquired in the A.J. Brown trade. Furthermore, as a first-round selection, substantial expectations rest upon his shoulders. Burks now stands as the most talented wideout on the Titans’ roster. Consequently, this becomes a pivotal season for him. Hindered by injuries and Tennessee’s turbulent quarterback situation, Burks concluded his rookie year with 33 receptions for 444 yards and one touchdown. For the Titans to contend in 2023, they will rely on Burks to double his production, accompanied by an abundance of trips to the end zone. Fortunately, Burks possesses immense potential and has officially become the primary target after the team released Robert Woods this offseason. The stage is set for Burks to emerge as a force to be reckoned with.
While John Metchie III is a prime candidate, he technically doesn’t meet our criteria. Having missed the 2022 season due to a battle with leukemia, he lacks a production baseline for evaluation. Instead, we turn our attention to Nico Collins, a receiver who has consistently flirted with a breakout but hasn’t quite achieved it. As a rookie, Collins secured 33 catches for 446 yards and a lone touchdown. Last year, he made progress, recording 37 receptions for 481 yards and two touchdowns before a foot injury cut his season short in early December. However, the stage is set for Collins to seize his opportunity in 2023. The Houston Texans drafted quarterback C.J. Stroud and traded away their top wideout, Brandin Cooks, to the Dallas Cowboys. Collins is now expected to assume the coveted No. 1 role in the Houston Texans’ receiving corps. Even if Houston endures a challenging season, Collins has the potential to establish himself as Stroud’s go-to target and improve Houston’s NFL Odds.
Rondale Moore’s journey comes with a slight asterisk. Had he remained injury-free last season, Moore would have easily surpassed the 500-yard mark. However, injuries limited him to a mere 414 yards in eight games, putting his breakout year on hold. But fret not, as the possibility of Moore shining in 2023 persists, regardless of when quarterback Kyler Murray (recovering from a knee injury) returns to form. While Marquise Brown should be the Cardinals’ primary receiver, DeAndre Hopkins’ departure opens up a significant opportunity for Moore, with 96 targets ready to be snatched. Additionally, Moore is expected to score more touchdowns, as he has managed only one in each of his two seasons. Anticipate Moore’s production to skyrocket, even if the Arizona Cardinals end up with a disappointing record.Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers: Earning a Prominent Role
Romeo Doubs capitalized on a strong preseason showing to secure a steady role with the Green Bay Packers. When healthy, he participated in 62 percent of snaps, accumulating 42 catches for 425 yards and a touchdown, establishing himself as a cornerstone for the future alongside fellow rookie Christian Watson. With Green Bay transitioning from the Aaron Rodgers era to the Jordan Love era, the receiving corps is undergoing a transformation. Allen Lazard, last year’s leader in receiving yards and receptions, departed for the New York Jets, followed by Randall Cobb, who joined Rodgers with the Jets. Green Bay opted not to bring in any veteran replacements, relying on Doubs to step up in 2023. While Watson is another breakout candidate, having amassed 611 yards, second-round pick Jayden Reed may make an immediate impact. It’s evident that Green Bay will heavily depend on Doubs in the upcoming season to keep improved NFL Lines.
Tyquan Thornton showcased his potential with a two-touchdown performance in his second appearance as a rookie. Now, the challenge lies in maintaining a higher level of production. Despite logging 66 percent of snaps across 13 games, Thornton mustered a modest 22 receptions for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He had multiple catches in just five of those outings, displaying inconsistency. The hiring of Bill O’Brien rectifies the New England Patriots having no offensive coordinator, providing Thornton with a more favorable environment for the 2023 season. Although free-agent addition JuJu Smith-Schuster should lead the Patriots, it’s easy to envision Thornton surpassing DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne in target share.
Prepare for an exhilarating 2023 season as these five wide receivers surge forward, ready to leave their mark on the NFL stage.