Second-year breakout candidates
Zach Ertz among 10 second-year players who could make the jump
With the 2014 NFL draft in the rearview mirror, the focus now shifts to how incoming rookies can help their teams. But often we overlook player development for second-year players during this time of the year.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has long been an advocate of the idea that players have the opportunity to make significant strides between their first and second pro seasons.
"That's where a lot of players, I'd say almost all players make a big jump -- whether that is reflective in their status on the field, that's another question," he said of first-to-second year development. "But just from a development as a football player, that second year is a big year. It's a great opportunity for them to take that first-year knowledge that they don't have as a rookie and be able to apply it in their job now."
Here are 10 primed to make a leap come September:
Miami needs the athletic freak Jordan to play a larger role this season, which would be helped by moving him around the defense to tap into his movement skills. He can play in space, rush the passer off the edge and has the length to disrupt the pocket even when he doesn't get a clean rush. Jordan will benefit from a full and healthy offseason, as he was coming off of shoulder surgery when he was drafted. His hybrid skills should allow defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle to get creative with Jordan, the third pick in last year's draft who they traded up to select.
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