There are a lot of athletes out there who don’t make it to the next level even though they have all the skills. Here’s our list of the best stars who could be the next big thing if they get the chance.
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills – Watkins entered the league as a highly touted receiver from Clemson who was considered the best receiver in his draft class. Nagging injuries and lots of turnover at the quarterback position have hampered his development and left him unable to reach his full potential.
John Brown, Arizona Cardinals – Another young receiver who has put up big numbers in some games early on in his career, Brown is primarily held back due to the ability of his teammates. Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd take a lot of Brown’s targets, as well as the stable of running backs Arizona uses. Like all deep threats, Brown is constantly within striking distance of a breakout performance.
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks – The big man from Duke had high expectations heading into his rookie season, but an ACL injury derailed those plans. Staying healthy and learning to trust his repaired knee will be big obstacles for Parker to overcome, but if he can regain his form he’ll be a breakout candidate to watch this season.
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics – The enigmatic guard from OK State has already built a reputation as a staunch defender for the Boston Celtics. Although he’s currently injured, if he can improve his offensive game and start leading a young Celtics core to the playoffs he’ll start making even casual basketball fans notice his game.
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers – Kreider started to come into his own towards the tail end of last season, providing a spark at the power forward position. If he can build on that and remain consistent throughout the season (something he hasn’t done yet) he’ll be one of the top players on a serious playoff contender in New York City.
Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks – This youngster added some firepower to the Blackhawks already loaded roster last year, as they went on to win the Stanley Cup. Veteran departures of key figures like Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp should provide Teravainen with more opportunities to prove himself and really breakout this year playing alongside Patrick Kane.
To see the rest of the list, head over to page 2.