Pete Prisco with CBSSports.com offers a compelling list of potential break-out players for the upcoming season, highlighting mostly second-year players with some third-year guys sprinkled in between. One of those players includes Bengals offensive guard Kevin Zeitler.
He started as a rookie and showed some impressive skills. He probably needs to get a little bigger, which will come as he matures. But he is a feisty battler inside.
Zeitler, obtained with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, finished the season ranked No. 12 among all NFL guards, and seventh among those that played right guard according to Pro Football Focus.
Jason La Canfora, also with CBSSports.com, suggests that tight end Jermaine Gresham is poised for a breakout year. Jason Garrison offered a top-five list of recent draft picks that could have a breakout season, from cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, wide receiver Marvin Jones, tight end Orson Charles to defensive tackles Devon Still and Brandon Thompson.
Another player with "breakout" written all-over is wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who during a small three-game stretch, previewed needed dominance in the red-zone by scoring four touchdowns and helping the Bengals dominate wins against the Raiders, Chiefs and Giants by averaging 31 points on offense. After Sanu's season-ending injury, the Bengals scored more than 23 points only once during the final five games, including Cincinnati's 13-point performance during the Wild Card round against Houston.
In fact, if we were making a list of breakout players, Sanu might be the safest bet.