After the off season was disrupted by Coronavirus uncertainty, the new NFL campaign is finally within touching distance with the opening round of fixtures less than one month away. To keep the excitement building we take a look at the top five NFL players to watch in 2020.
NFL players to watch in 2020
5. Drew Brees
Anyone who follows the NFL will be familiar with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees who has been their standout player for over a decade.
You’d expect him to be a big player again the upcoming season, such is his consistency, but there remains a small question mark hanging over him with his controversial opinion on the Black Lives Matter’ movement and, in particular, his comments that players who took the knee were disrespecting the American flag. After receiving criticism from teammates, Brees offered an apology. How his team have taken things behind closed doors though remains unknown.
If Brees has disrupted squad harmony then the Saints are in big trouble because they need him at his best so, for that reason, he is one of the most intriguing NFL players to watch in 2020.
4. Tom Brady
At number four is another huge name in Tom Brady.
It’s hard to imagine him not taking to the field in his Patriots gear but here we are. Brady, who won six Super Bowls in New England, will instead be turning out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a result, he unquestionably becomes one of the five NFL players to watch in 2020.
Despite holding the all-time record for passing yards (88,797) there are still some who question his position as the G.O.A.T. For me, suggestions of Brady just being “average” and fortunate to be “part of the best team” are laughable but they are accusations he has to deal with. Now though, he has the chance to prove once and for all just how good he is. Will he do the business whilst a Buccaneer?
To make things more interesting Brees and Brady go head to head in game week one.
3. Cam Newton / Jarrett Stidham
With Brady having left the Patriots, naturally one of the most fascinating storylines this season will be how his successor gets on, with huge shoes left to fill at the Gillette Stadium.
Exactly who will get that starting spot, though, is yet to be decided. It seems likely to be former MVP Cam Newton who arrived in June. He’s got a strong NFL pedigree with an average game contribution of 277 yards over his career. However, he’s not had it easy on the injury front which could leave the door ajar for Brady’s understudy, Jarrett Stidham.
The 2019 round four draft pick has limited experience with just three NFL appearances to his name. He is highly thought of though and his numbers at Auburn were decent with 36 touchdowns in two years and a passing success of 63.6%. Brian Hoyer is also there but don’t expect him to win the battle to replace Brady.
2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
With the top end of the draft loaded with quarterback talent, the Chiefs could sit back reasonably comfortable knowing they have Pat Mahomes in their ranks. When their time came, they took running back Edwards-Helaire.
The LSU product has huge potential and it just so happens that his coach, Andy Reid, has previous with developing players in the same position. Was he always in our minds as one of the five NFL players to watch in 2020? No. The second Damien Williams decided to give the season a miss changed all that though.
Helaire will definitely get plenty of game time now and, with Mahomes lining things up, he could be a revelation.
1. Joe Burrow
Rewind 12 months and most people were expecting Tua Tagovailoa to be the big name to come out of the draft. Instead, Joe Burrow got the nod as number one pick with the Cincinnati Bengals opting for the LSU man.
Why? Well, Burrow had a moderate year in 2018 but 2019 saw him star. The Iowa born quarterback led the NCAA with 402 completed passes from 527 attempts, giving him 5,671 yards and a record breaking 60 touchdowns.
The lad is known to have his head firmly screwed on, which will help with everything that comes his way. Given the current noises coming out of Cincinnati, that could be a lot with Burrows expected to be a key figure in the Bengals offence. How will he compare to the number one picks of years gone by?
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