Every NFL season, there are a handful of players that rise to the top and separate themselves from their competition.
It could be rookies from the draft, free agents finding new homes that better suit them, or players who have developed into superstars over time.
Regardless, each season presents new breakout opportunities for players.
Here are 3 potential sleepers for the upcoming NFL season.
1. S Marquise Blair, Seattle Seahawks
Not too many people are familiar with the name Marquise Blair.
For those that do not know him, he is a safety on the Seattle Seahawks and will be entering his third season in 2021.
Another reason you may not know too much of him is because he suffered a season ending injury in Week 3.
In Week 3 against the New England Patriots, Blair suffered a torn ACL and was forced to miss the remainder of the season.
Blair — selected 47th overall in the 2019 draft — made quite an impression on his coach.
“On the other side of it is Marquise just breaking in for the first time and getting it rolling and really making a big splash to start the season” Coach Carroll discussed when talking about the season ending injury.
In only 2 games played last year, Blair forced one fumble and recorded 16 total tackles.
Marquise Blair Comeback SZN pic.twitter.com/QtJUwnoHOm
— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 15, 2020
Blair is expected to be ready for training camp and will look to make an impact on this Seattle defense serving as a nickel back.
He is a physical football player who has improved his coverage skills.
2. CB L’Jarius Sneed, Kansas City Chiefs
L’Jarius Sneed, a 4th round pick out of Louisiana Tech made his imprint on this Kansas City defense.
Perhaps, the greatest weakness of this dominant Kansas City team is their defenses’ inability to consistently make stops.
It was on display throughout the Super Bowl as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to move the ball at their own peril.
But, the Chiefs have found a long term piece in L’Jarius Sneed.
Chiefs 2020 rookie season review: CB L'Jarius Sneedhttps://t.co/5KZLaIaPAe
— Chiefs Wire (@TheChiefsWire) February 23, 2021
Despite early injuries and rookie mistakes, Sneed slowly but surely settled into his role in the Kansas City secondary.
His greatest facet might be his blitzing ability.
Later on in the season and throughout the playoffs, the Chiefs constantly brought pressure from the secondary, and Sneed was their go-to guy.
He finished the season ranking amongst 1st in rookies for interceptions (3).
I expect Sneed to build off of that fantastic rookie season and help contribute to this Kansas City secondary in 2021.
3. QB Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts
For the past two seasons, Carson Wentz has been under extreme scrutiny.
His leadership skills have been questioned and it appears as if his talent has been overlooked.
Carson Wentz’s leading receivers in his last two seasons in Philadelphia:
2019 = Alshon Jeffery — 490
2020 = Travis Fulgham — 539
For reference, #Colts Michael Pittman Jr. had 503 yards in 13 games last season.
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) February 25, 2021
In Indy, Wentz will have everything he can ever ask for.
A top 5 offensive line, a top 5 defense and his former coach who helped propel him to what should have been an MVP season in 2017 if it weren’t for that ACL injury.
In 2017 — through 13 games — Wentz completed 60.2% of his passes for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
With the Colts ranking near the top of spending money in free agency, Wentz can expect to have more weapons than he had in Philly over the last two seasons.
In 2021, Wentz will silence all of his critics with what I expect to be his career best season.