NFL players Unlikely to Live Up to the Hype in 2022
8 NFL Players Who Will Struggle to Perform this Season
Every NFL team has high hopes during the offseason. Every team feels better after the draft, free agency, and trades. Some fresh players are anticipated to shine during the offseason. However, as we've seen throughout the past, expectations can be a burden. Here are some NFL players who are unlikely to live up to the hype in 2022.
Eight NFL players with high 2022 expectations include Wan'dale Robinson, Kenny Pickett, David Njoku, Marquise Brown, Trylon Burks, Chase Edmonds, Tyreek Hill, and Travon Walker. We'll discuss injuries, age, supporting cast, and contract/draft status individually to clarify why these NFL Players are unlikely to live up to the hype in 2022.
1. Wan'Dale Robinson
Evan Neal and Kayvon Thibodeaux could help the Giants early on. Neal should start right away against Andrew Thomas. Thibodeaux is a traits-based pick who may not be consistent early but is skilled enough to be a rotational pass-rusher.
Wan'Dale Robinson, a second-round pick, may need a few years in the NFL before becoming a prominent name on the team. New York took the Kentucky product 43rd overall, and the small (5'8", 178 pound) receiver might become a slot mainstay. Robinson has competition from Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney.
The Giants ranked 31st in yards and scoring last season in the NFL. Brian Daboll's hiring should boost the offense, but not immediately. Daboll led a powerful Buffalo Bills offense last season, but that squad had Josh Allen. Prior to running the Bills offense, Daboll's NFL offenses have been poor. This certainly doesn't help Wan'dale Robinson's chances of living up to his 2022 hype.
2. Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is Ben Roethlisberger's long-term heir. The Steelers drafted the Pittsburgh quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft.
Pickett won't start as a rookie quarterback, unlike other first-round picks. Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky are on Pittsburgh's roster. Rudolph has started ten games in three seasons, while Trubisky is 29-21 in the NFL.
The Steelers are constantly in the playoff hunt. So they'll start at their best quarterback - not Pickett, barring a significant surprise. The rookie quarterback is currently irrelevant. The Steelers' Noah Strackbein speculated that Pickett and Oladokun learned the offense before being paired with bigger players in drills.
"It's weird that their first-round pick is throwing to the fourth-stringer while Rudolph and Trubisky practice with the ones."
Pittsburgh seems satisfied with Pickett's development off the bench. This would be very suitable considering how unlikely the rookie shot-caller is to live up to the hype in the 2022 NFL season as a starter.
3. David Njoku
Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku earned himself a $54.8 million, four-year agreement. Njoku is the NFL's fifth-highest-paid tight end.
Njoku's stats aren't impressive. In 2018, he had 639 yards and four touchdowns. That's the only time he's ever topped 500 yards and tied his season touchdown record.
The Browns like Njoku's potential. Coach Kevin Stefanski sounds hopeful for the tight end's future.
"David, the player, will continue to evolve."
Njoku has become a top-tier tight end, but he isn't expected to shine this NFL season. After Austin Hooper's departure, Njoku will compete with Harrison Bryant for targets in a run-heavy system featuring Nick Chubb in the backfield.
4. Marquise Brown
The Arizona Cardinals traded the 23rd draft selection for wide receiver Marquise Brown and a third-round pick on draft night. The Cardinals' 100th pick helped balance this trade. Arizona gave up a lot for the receiver with one 1,000-yard season and two years left on his contract, including the fifth-year option.
Brown must contribute immediately to Arizona's offense for the move to pay off. Brown hasn't proved he's a top target. In 2021, he had 1,008 receiving yards but a quarterback rating of 87.9. Brown's connection with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray should boost his value. Arizona overpaid for a fast complement to Murray instead of a new top target.
At least for now, Murray will have a new top wideout. DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended by the NFL for six games for using PEDs. Last year's No. 2 receiver, Christian Kirk, signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Jaguars. Given the escalating cost of receivers in the NFL, the Cardinals may have to pay Brown, who is only seven months younger than Kirk. Brown will have a hard time living up to the price in 2022 with a first-round pick.
5. Treylon Burks
The Titans also traded wide receivers on draft night. They drafted A.J. Brown 18th overall. Tennessee picked Treylon Burks from Arkansas. The Titans dodged a huge extension as Brown secured a four-year, $100 million deal from the Eagles. The Titans secured themselves a 6'2", 225-pound rookie perimeter target in Burks.
Burks may not replace Brown immediately. The 22-year-old has physical tools, but he's not finished. Nate Tice of Bleacher Report's scouting department said he needs to improve on key details to be an every-down contributor in the NFL. Burks' lack of polish and top-end speed (4.55-second 40-yard sprints) could lead to inconsistent rookie performances. His load of potential is likely to only materialize after a couple of years in the NFL. A.J. Brown was a 1,000-yard rookie and Pro Bowler by year-2. Burke's progress will be slower. So fans should be patient and curb the hype of the young prospect.
6. Chase Edmonds
The Miami Dolphins had a bad rushing offense last season. It ranked 30th in yards per attempt. Mike McDaniel's hiring could help the Dolphins improve, though.
Chase Edmonds, a former Cardinals running back, joined Miami in free agency. His contract has the second-highest annual value and second-most guaranteed money in the NFL. Kyler Murray praised his former teammate on Twitter.
"Miami got a dawg."
However, anyone expecting Edmonds to be a Dolphins workhorse will be disappointed. Edmonds averaged between 4.7 ypc and 7.2 ypc in Arizona over four NFL seasons. He split time with David Johnson, Kenyan Drake, and James Conner, and he'll do likewise in Miami. The Dolphins have Sony Michael, Myles Gaskin, and Raheem Mostert. Mostert played for McDaniel in San Francisco and Michael just won the Super Bowl with the Rams. Edmonds' workload will be reduced. The 26-year-old won't become a real-world or fantasy sensation overnight.
Miami's offseason acquisition wasn't just Chase Edmonds. Tyreek Hill was acquired in a blockbuster trade from the Chiefs. The six-time Pro Bowler cost Miami 2022 first-, second-, fourth-, and sixth-round choices.
7. Tyreek Hill
Miami gave Hill a four-year, $120 million contract. Hill is the league's highest-paid receiver. He won't be the Dolphins' most prolific receiver though. Hill did well in KC. Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and a good supporting cast helped him win. He'll have a terrific cast of characters and a creative play-caller in Miami, but McDaniel is a rookie head coach who's still busy building an offense. Additionally, Tagovailoa is no Mahomes.
Tagovailoa has a winning record as a starter but struggles to pass. Last season, he averaged 6.8 yards per attempt, ranking 25th among qualifying NFL starters. With Tagovailoa at quarterback, Hill won't be as productive downfield.
Dolphins supporters shouldn't lose hope though. Hill's after-catch skills will enhance Miami's offense. Hill, who averaged 11.2 yards per catch last season, doesn't necessarily need deep passes to contribute to an offense.
8. Travon Walker
Few NFL draft picks generate as much buzz as a No. 1 overall pick. The top overall picks are expected to be stars from day one, regardless of position. Unfortunately, Travon Walker won't give Jaguars fans this. Walker recorded a 4.51-second 40-yard sprint at 6'5" and 272 pounds, but he failed in college. As a pass-rusher, he's unpolished and will require time to grow. His inexperience as a first-overall choice is unprecedented.
First-overall picks don't have to be experienced; they're usually so dominant in college that they'll start immediately. Walker doesn't match this profile though.