Young wide receivers are set to show out. A certain running back in Buffalo could soon become an All-Pro performer. On the defensive side of the ball, a safety in the Arizona desert is showing everyone why he’s the future face of the league at that position.
It’s in this that I look at five young NFL players set to become household names during the upcoming 2020 season.
Devin Singletary, running back, Buffalo Bills
Splitting time with future Hall of Famer Frank Gore last season, Singletary showed out big time as a rookie. The third-round pick from Florida Atlantic recorded nearly 1,000 total yards at a clip of 5.4 yards per touch.
Singletary will now be tasked with being Buffalo’s three-down back behind young quarterback Josh Allen. This is no small thing given that opposing defenses have to account for Allen’s ridiculously strong arm. That will open up rushing lanes for Singletary, who could very well threaten to reach the 1,500-yard plateau as a sophomore.
Courtland Sutton, wide receiver, Denver Broncos
Already well known in Mile High City, Sutton is coming off a Pro Bowl season with the Broncos. The former second-round pick recorded 72 receptions for north of 1,100 yards as a sophomore. Once Drew Lock took over for Joe Flacco under center, he performed at a much higher clip.
Expect Sutton to take that next step in 2020 and become one of the elite receivers in the game. Lock is the unquestioned starter. Denver added a ridiculous talent in that of Jerry Jeudy in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Everything is set up for Sutton to become an All-Pro player in his third season.
Deebo Samuel, wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers
As we saw during his rookie season, Samuel is among the most-electric young players with the ball in his hands. He displayed this on more than one occasion during the 49ers’ Super Bowl run this past winter. The dude is absolutely legit.
Samuel, 24, recorded nearly 1,000 total yards as a rookie. He caught 70% of his 81 targets and added three rushing touchdowns. San Francisco is set to rely on the South Carolina product as its No. 1 receiver this season. As such, 1,200-plus yards with double-digit touchdowns is not out of the equation.
Budda Baker, safety, Arizona Cardinals
The lone defensive player in this list, Baker has now overtaken Patrick Peterson as the face of the Cardinals’ secondary. Heading into his fourth season, the Washington product has gone from being an All-Pro performer on special teams during his rookie campaign to earning Pro Bowl honors for his prowess on defense in 2019.
Baker, 24, recorded 147 tackles and six passes defended while yielding a sub 70 passer rating when targeted last season. He’s both a ball hawk in the secondary and a true in-the-box safety. That’s the best of both worlds, and it will lead to Baker being seen as elite moving forward.
Marquise Brown, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens
“Hollywood,” as he is known, had himself a tremendous rookie season catching passes from reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. The first-round pick tallied 46 receptions for almost 600 yards while burning defender after defender throughout the season.
Consistency itself is what’s needed for Brown to take that next step. While he did put up some jaw-dropping plays, the speedster had some issues with drops. If he’s able to overcome that moving forward, the sky is almost literally the limit for this dynamic pass catcher.