Rams goes through a drill while running back Cam Acres during a minicamp at Cal Lutheran University in Los Angeles.

Ready for a breakout? Here are 10 NFL players poised to take a leap forward in 2022

Wednesday marked the full start of the NFL season as all 32 teams officially opened training camp, starting their preparations for the upcoming campaign.

Training camp is always a time of growth – a proving ground for young players, and an opportunity for veterans to build on an already existing foundation. Therefore, as every year, players are fighting to strengthen their position in the eyes of their coaches, as well as aiming to establish themselves fully in the league.

Last season, Justin Herbert, Deebo Samuel, Trayvon Diggs, Cordarell Patterson and Cooper Kupp were among the most notable breakout players.

Now, here’s a look at 10 players who NFL talent evaluators believe will make big moves during the 2022 season.

Record Estimates: How will each NFL team end the 2022 season?

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Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Ramso

Rams goes through a drill while running back Cam Acres during a minicamp at Cal Lutheran University in Los Angeles.

Rams goes through a drill while running back Cam Acres during a minicamp at Cal Lutheran University in Los Angeles.

People expected big things from Acres last season, but a torn Achilles tendon kept him sidelined for most of the year. Now healthy again, the third-year pro is set to play an influential role in defending Super Bowl champions, both as a ball carrier and receiver off the backfield.

Alex Highsmith, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Highsmith displayed steady growth in each of his first two seasons, and he is now ready to go a step further and establish himself as a dynamic and versatile defender. Building on last year’s 74-tack, six-beck campaign, Highsmith teamed up with TJ Watt to give the Steelers a truly impressive pass-rushing tandem.

Jevon Holland, FS, Miami Dolphins

Holland was in full fray in 2021, racking up 69 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries as Oregon’s second-round pick. Now with a season under his belt, his influence is only expected to expand.

Jerry Judy, WR, Denver Broncos

Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jude catches a catch during a minicamp at UCHealth Training Center on April 25, 2022;  Englewood, CO, USA;  Denver

Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jude catches a catch during a minicamp at UCHealth Training Center on April 25, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver

A high ankle sprain landed the talented wide receiver on the IR for six weeks and kept him from building on a promising rookie season. Now, Judy is not only healthier and wiser another year, but she also has a true star in Russell Wilson, throwing her passes after her first two NFL seasons tackle quarterback Carousel.

Odafe Oweh, OLB, Baltimore Ravens

The Penn State product turned a rookie into a solid 33-tack, five-sack campaign. He forced her three times. Having felt his way with last season, he is expected to be able to play fast and a defense desperately needs to deliver more game-changing plays.

Jaylen Phillips, OLB, Miami Dolphins

As a UCLA first-round pick out, Phillips earned All-Rookie honors for racking up 8.5 sacks for the Dolphins, using impressive length, athleticism, and a relentless motor. Entering Year 2, he aims to break the double-digit mark for the sacks while helping anchor Miami’s defense.

Devonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Reunited with his former college teammate at quarterback Jalen Harts, Smith impressed with 64 catches for 916 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. The Eagles got AJ Brown this offseason, so the Hearts now have another talented option, but this will also help take the pressure off Smith. Brown’s presence will make it difficult for Smith to zero in easily, and this could lead to more game-changing opportunities for Smith.

Patrick Sureten II, CB, Denver Broncos

No time was wasted making an impact as a rookie for the Broncos. He recorded four interceptions and one touchdown with 14 pass breakups and 58 tackles. Now, he’s approaching the game as a veteran, announcing major development hopes for himself while spending the offseason studying the game’s best wide receiver.

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tryon-Shoyinka spent much of 2021 as a rotational player on Tampa’s defense and finished the year with four sacks and 29 tackles. Now, he’s ready to differentiate himself as a full-time starter and a highly influential force in defense of Todd Bowles.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa smiles as he works out during a minicamp at the Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa smiles as he works out during a minicamp at the Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Few players enter this season under the pressure of Tagovailoa, but the former Alabama star has worked a lot in his favor. First-year head coach Mike McDaniel brings with him the Shanahan Playbook that’s proven to lighten the load on the quarterback, as well as position him for success due to his commitment to the run and passing concepts that consistently lead to key goals. We do. The acquisition of Tyrek Hill gives Miami one of the most dangerous down-field threats, and let’s not forget Jaylen Waddle, who racked up 1,015 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie and is likely to be used across the field. , similar to how McDaniel used Deebo Samuel during the 49ers’ offensive coordinator. It appears that Tagovailoa has all the support and arms in this make-or-break year.

This article was originally featured on USA Today: Tua, Devonta Smith, Cam Akers Prepare for Breakout Among NFL Players

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