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Breakout players in the AFC East – OFFENCE by Max Hillman

Throughout the years, we have seen many offensive players in the AFC East breakout into stardom. From the likes of Marino and Namath in the past to the more recent breakouts of players such as Rob Gronkowski, this generates heavy debate over who will be next to be plunged into life as a superstar franchise player, and in this article Max Hillman goes over the possible offensive break out players from each team in the division. Avoiding the rookies however as that will be covered in another article.

  • New England Patriots – TE Matt LaCosse

Patriot Matt LaCosse came into the league 4 years ago as a depth chart piece,  however since Gronk’s retirement after the conclusion of the 2018 season, LaCosse has been called an important part of Belichick’s future offensive plans despite veteran Ben Watson also being brought in to the roster. LaCosse was used by the Broncos in 2018 and had 24 receptions for 250 yards and a TD so it would be shocking if these numbers didn’t grow next season, especially with the way BB loves to grow and mature his players regardless of past experience. Other possible Patriot breakout players can include RB Sony Michel (who is arguably already a star) and WR Phillipp Dorsett however with the 1st round draft pick N’Keal Harry coming in, there is the possibility of limited snaps for Dorsett and other WRs in the depth chart.

  • New York Jets – QB Sam Darnold

In a fairly obvious pick, I have Darnold coming out guns blazing next season and having a breakout year. The addition of Le’Veon Bell will help Darnold to understand and read the game as well as helping him carry the load on offence, while if Chris Herndon can provide passing options and blocking similar to what he managed last year (after his recently announced suspension), Darnold and the Jets have the potential to flourish. Could this be the year someone in the AFC East finally challenges the Patriots for the title? And will it be the Jets? It will be exciting to find out in September and beyond.

  • Buffalo Bills – WR Cole Beasley

While I could’ve gone with one of a few Bills receivers to have breakout years in 2019, I decided Slot Receiver Beasley was best poised to do so. With the Cowboys last year he had a career high 65 receptions for 672 yards and 3 TDs, while sharing the field with Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. In Buffalo Beasley comes on as an experienced receiver who is likely to see a lot of snaps in the slot, with Allen coming into his own as a more accurate thrower in his sophomore season and playing behind C Mitch Morse it likely could see Beasleys numbers rise, especially as the Bills have nowhere near the amount of weapons seen in Dallas last year.

  • Miami Dolphins – OT Laremy Tunsil

Kenny Stills could’ve fit into this spot, however 2016 draftee Tunsil has been one of the only upsides to a pretty weak Dolphins O-Line, presumed by many to be the top overall pick before videos of marijuana use surfaced and he fell into a mid first round pick, he clearly has the outstanding talent. After moving around from Guard to Tackle early in his career, Tunsil has cemented himself as a Tackle, with a career best year last year putting him in a fantastic position to build on that in 2019 and help provide great protection for either Josh Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick, whomever gets the starting job in September. Meaning he is my Dolphins breakout player for the coming season.

That concludes the offensive part of the predicted breakout stars in 2019! Stay tuned for the defensive side coming soon and get in touch with me @18hillman on twitter if you have any thoughts!

(image courtesy of gamblingsites.com)

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