Breakout Player Recap: Defensive Linemen

Compared to offensive players, it is harder to predict defensive linemen who will breakout even though it happens every season. Overall, it mainly comes down to each defensive scheme and the fact that there is an even greater chance of a player coming out of nowhere. Here are how my breakout predictions panned out this past season.

Derrick Harvey Jaguars: Harvey didn’t have the pass rushing impact many expected he would, but turned into a reliable run stopper recording 57 tackles. He only recorded two sacks over the course of the year and being a top ten pick with 5.5 career sacks in two seasons, things will have to improve before people start labeling him a “bust”.
Hit or miss: Miss

Chris Long Rams: Long only started four games in his second season but managed to record five sacks in the process. The start total is surprising under a defensive minded head coach but it is possible that he could put it together this upcoming year.
Hit or miss: Push

Cliff Avril Lions: Avril managed to play in only 11 games but was still productive for the Lions recording 5.5 sacks to go along with three forced fumbles. With the improvements that the Lions made on their defensive line this offseason, it wouldn’t be surprising if Avril managed to record double digit sacks this upcoming year.
Hit or miss: Push

Jason Jones Titans: Jones only played in seven games but proved to be a force as a pass rusher managing to record four sacks in that span. With the Titans making improvements to the line this offseason, Jones could take the next step this year.
Hit or miss: Push

Sedrick Ellis Saints: Ellis didn’t play as expected in his second year; playing in only ten games.. The Saints defense was much improved this past season but Ellis is going to have to stay healthy in order for their rush defense to really improve.
Hit or miss: Miss

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