NFL 2013: 2nd year breakout candidates

Joel Auerbach

Miami's Ryan Tannehill and New England's Chandler Jones are two players that could step into the spotlight and have breakout seasons in 2013.

With the 2013 NFL Draft on the horizon, teams will look to upgrade with the addition of fresh talent, but for many teams there is still untapped potential from their 2012 NFL Draft selections. As rookies Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson all excelled in their first seasons, so too did second-year players like J.J. Watt, Von Miller and Aldon Smith.

In the 2013 season there are many candidates that could have a breakout year, including these 10 second-year players:

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins -- A 16-game starter for the Dolphins in 2012, Tannehill showed plenty of positive and encouraging signs for Miami, but couldn't quite find the success that the other rookie quarterbacks did. He finished with 13 interceptions and 12 touchdowns, but wasn't helped much by his supporting cast. The Dolphins have already worked to rectify that by adding Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller in free agency.

Chandler Jones, DE, New England Patriots -- Although it almost seems like an annual problem for the Patriots, the team will likely look to address their defensive woes during the offseason; however, some young talent is already on the roster. Among that talent is Jones, a pass rusher who showed flashes during his rookie season and finished with six sacks. If he can grow into his talent, Jones could be a pass rushing nightmare for opposing offensive lineman.

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Cincinnati Bengals -- The third cornerback off the board in 2012, Kirkpatrick had hardly any impact at all for the Bengals due to injuries. If healthy in 2013, he could be like another rookie for the Bengals in a secondary that could feature some turnover.

Michael Brockers, DT, St. Louis Rams -- The Rams already have a talented defensive line with Chris Long and Robert Quinn so it's difficult to stand out along the interior; however, Brockers had a solid rookie campaign. In 12 starts, the 322-pound tackle finished with four sacks and could be a dominant force if he continues to improve.

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins - Behind Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas on the depth chart, Miller received just 51 carries in 2012. However, he led the team in yards per carry and showed a lot of encouraging signs. With Bush's departure for Detroit, Miller could be a featured player for the Dolphins in 2013 and be a big-time threat.

Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Baltimore Ravens -- The Ravens defense is going to look different in 2013, and that will mean plenty of opportunities for young players. Particularly, 2012 second-round pick Courtney Upshaw will likely be asked to step into the void left by Paul Kruger's departure for Cleveland. In his rookie season, Upshaw saw time as a starter in nine games but finished the year with just 1.5 sacks.

Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams -- 6'3, 220 pounds with 4.5 speed, Quick was one of the most talented prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft and was selected with the first pick of the second round. He was a raw prospect transitioning from the FCS, though, and finished the year with just 11 receptions and two touchdowns. After a year to develop, Quick could be a big-time player for the Rams in 2013.

David Wilson, RB, New York Giants -- The last pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft definitely had struggles during his rookie season, but finished the year strong with 358 yards on 43 carries with three touchdowns in the final four games of the season. With Ahmad Bradshaw's departure, Wilson is someone that could take over the starting spot for the Giants and find success in the role.

Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts -- The second of two tight ends taken by the Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft, Allen had the better year and has the size of the hybrid athletes that have had success at the position as of late. As the young offense in Indianapolis matures, Allen could be one of the biggest matchup nightmares for secondaries.

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals -- The Bengals have a huge receiving threat in A.J. Green, but haven't seen the emergence of any player in particular on the other side. Sanu played in only eight games due to injury, but the young receiver finished the year with four touchdown receptions and one touchdown pass. In 2013, he could emerge as the full-time starter opposite Green.

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