This season has been an eventful one with lots of shocks and great play. For instance the shocking play of the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles, or the fast start of the Chiefs who have now begun to cool down. The great play of late round or undrafted players. The great play of a backup quarterback and the potential playoff push of a first-year head coach. We are going to take a look at the top 10 surprise breakout players of the 2017 NFL season.
10. Joe Schobert-Cleveland Browns
So I am pretty sure not a lot of people know who this player is other than Cleveland Brown fans. Joe Schobert is a baller. A fourth-round pick in 2016, Schobert is currently the second leading tackler in the NFL. An undersized middle linebacker has been having a pro bowl season under the radar. This was a shock to me seeing anything positive come from the winless Brown who has been snakebitten for years. Schobert has 101 tackles on the season and is the only positive note for these Cleveland Browns. This isn’t a starting point but it’s something.
9. Terrell Suggs- Baltimore Ravens
Now T-sizzle out of Ball So Hard University is on this list because his level of play at his age is excellent. Currently 35 years old and leading the Ravens defense, a possible playoff berth is in the eyes of Baltimore. The Ravens defense is ranked 7th in the league and most of it is attributed to Suggs. The Ravens are possibly giving up 17 points a game mostly done by the pass rush and outstanding play of Jimmy Smith. Suggs is currently at 9.5 sacks and is on a path for a 7th double digit sack season. T-Sizzle has not slowed down at his age and he never will.
8. Jordan Howard- Chicago Bears
Going into the 2017 season there were lots of talk of a possible sophomore slump from Jordan Howard. His rookie season produced a 1,313 yard, 6 touchdown season which shocked people because nobody didn’t see it coming. This year he is on track for another 1,000-yard season. He is on the Bears who are currently struggling but they are young. Don’t be surprised if in a year or two they end up like how the Rams are successful now. A young rookie quarterback with a strong run game. All they need is a solid wide receiver because I honestly can’t name one on the team. Keep a lookout for these Chicago Bears.
7. Case Keenum- Minnesota Vikings
Case Keenum has been playing outstanding this season for the Vikings. He has been a backup quarterback for years that has finally been handed the reigns to the top spot. The Vikings are dangerous right now and could possibly go to the Super Bowl. They are my pick to represent the NFC this year. Keenum has paired with arguably the best young wide receiver duo in the league. One game that sticks out to me was Thanksgiving Day against the Lions. He completed 70 percent of his passes for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. Paired with a strong defense the Vikings are dangerous this year.
6. Todd Gurley- Los Angeles Rams
After his rookie season, Todd Gurley was seen as the next premier back in the NFL. He followed that rookie season with a disappointing sophomore slump. It was discouraging to see this from him but this season he is turning it all around. He is currently third in the league in rushing yards and is a vital part as to the Rams success this season. I must admit I didn’t think he would bounce back like this. I thought he was a one-hit wonder. Excuse my ignorance. But I am happy to see what Sean McVay doing so well in his first season. Gurley will get another 1000 yard season under his belt and hopefully lead the Rams to a productive post season.
5. Kareem Hunt- Kansas City Chiefs
This rookie running back has been playing great football this season. His debut against the Patriots amassed 248 total yards and 3 touchdowns. He is currently second in the NFL in rushing yards and has a 3 game streak of 100+ yard games. The Chiefs started off 5-0 but have since gone 1-5 in the last 6 games. They are still 1st in the AFC West and still have a playoff spot. Hunt hasn’t done much these last few games but I am looking forward seeing how he can get back on track with his 100-yard games and be more of a dominant threat for the Chiefs.
4. Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye- Jacksonville Jaguars
Jalen Ramsey has been a lockdown corner this season. The Jaguars have been this good this year. The tandem of Bouye and Ramsey have led the Jaguars to their defense being number 1 in the league. The Jaguars are currently in the 5th seed of the playoffs. Stellar and consistent play from both Bouye and Ramsey. Bouye coming from the Texans is 3rd in the league in interceptions. These two have played phenomenally and looking to the future the Jaguars can be taken seriously now.
3. Jared Goff- Los Angeles Rams
Goff has been a possible MVP this season. He has led the Rams to an 8-3 record this season after a sorry 4-12 record. Coming off the tenure of Hall of Fame head coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams seem to have found a gem in Sean McVay and this offense seems to have struck gold. Currently ranked 3rd best in the NFL, Goff has grown into the leader that this franchise needs. He is completing 61.8 percent of his passes and only thrown 5 interceptions. It is great to see him turn this team around after what the Rams put out last season. Let’s see what they do in the playoffs.
2. Adam Thielen- Minnesota Vikings
Wow! This dude Adam Thielen is a baller. I respect the hell out of this guy for what he has done. Thielen attended Division II school Minnesota State University where in 2011 was Minnesota State Offensive Player of the Year, 2011 a second-team All-NSIC and 2012 first team All-NSIC. He was not invited to the Combine but attended the regional combine and super regional combine. Later, Adam earned his spot through a tryout for the Vikings. He would work his way up from practice squad member to special teams player to be the 3rd leading receiver in the NFL. He has an outstanding 70 receptions, 1,005 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Thielen is like 7/11 because he is always open. He is a vital reason for the Vikings success this season.
1. Carson Wentz- Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz is arguably the frontrunner for the 2017 season. He has been spectacular to watch. As a fellow FCS athlete, I am highly rooting for Wentz. That is coming from a Redskins fan. He is the leader and face of the franchise. The Eagles have the best record in the NFL with a 10-1 record. The Eagles have been unstoppable. With 28 touchdowns with 5 interceptions, Wentz is this year’s MVP and possible Super Bowl champion. The Eagles are playing well as a TEAM. The offense has been playing well as the defense is ranked 6th in the league in total defense. All eyes are on the Eagles as they have a test against the 7-4 Seattle Seahawks. We’ll see what they are made of after this game and see if Wentz is the real deal.