Last season, the NFC West was a two-team race for the division title, with only the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers proving to be teams with playoff aspirations.
The division was initially supposed to be one of the best in the NFL, with all four teams expected to compete for playoff spots and a couple potentially being legitimate Super Bowl title contenders in the conference.
However, that didn’t turn out to be the case, with the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams failing to live up to expectations resulting in single-digit wins for both franchises.
Coming into the 2023 campaign, the NFC West could be more of the same but also could see a shift, with the Rams potentially bouncing back and the Seahawks hoping to defy the odds again under Pete Carroll.
According to PFF, there are a few players that are breakout candidates for each division in the NFC West, with Abraham Lucas, Drake Jackson, Cobie Durant, and Cameron Thomas leading the way.
Who is breaking out in the NFC West?
— PFF (@PFF) May 28, 2023
Lucas will have the task of protecting Geno Smith and helping the run game get going for the Seahawks, which could put him in position to be the breakout star above the rest mentioned by PFF.
Jackson will try to make a name for himself on a very talented defensive squad led by Nick Bosa and is coming off a season in which he recorded 3.0 sacks and an interception.
With the Rams trading star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins, Durant will be given his time to shine in Los Angeles after he had three interceptions last season.
The Cardinals will likely be the worst team in the NFC West, but that shouldn’t stop Thomas from making an impression, as he’s coming off a season with 3.0 sacks and will be looking for much more in 2023.NEXT: 2 Teams Reportedly Had 'Substantive' Trade Talks For DeAndre Hopkins