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10 NFL Players That Will Take the Leap in 2023

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published June 23, 2023
7 min read

As the 2023 NFL season approaches, the betting markets are lighting up with picks on Super Bowl champions, division winners, MVP picks, and much more. See which NFL team has the best Super Bowl Odds in 2024.

While the stars will always be the stars, many seasons are defined by the players that take their game to the next level to the benefit of their careers and their team’s success.

Here, we have highlighted 10 players to keep an eye on that have real chances to ascend to the next tier and influence a variety of betting markets. Without further ado, here are the players that we have our eyes on.

NFL Players Predicitions 2023

Tremaine Edmunds - MLB, Chicago Bears

Edmunds is already regarded as one of the best linebackers in the league but was still left out of the spotlight because of the mass media attention paid to his former Buffalo teammate, Josh Allen. As the fourth-most expensive non-quarterback signing of the offseason and the new face of the Chicago Bears, however, those days are over.

The Bears gave up the most points in the league in 2022 and desperately needed a facelift on that side of the football. Edmunds pairing with T.J. Edwards in the heart of the defense suddenly gives them superstar potential that they desperately missed after trading Roquan Smith and a new captain on the field the team can rally around.

The Bears over/under is set at just 7.5 wins, and they are +172 to make the playoffs and +420 to win the division at FanDuel Sportsbook. Edmunds’ arrival in town, plus Justin Fields’ impending progression and other key offensive upgrades, gives Chi-town fans reasons to be optimistic they will hit those goals.

George Pickens - WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pickens made several highlight plays as a rookie in 2022 despite being stuck on a turgid Steelers offense that struggled mightily to put points on the board. Steelers WR’s coach Frisman Jackson said that his rookie campaign was therefore a “failure” and that he expects more. 

Despite the negative reinforcement from his coach, Pickens accounted for nearly 25% of the team’s passing offense and has athleticism and skill to grow into, should Kenny Pickett progress in what will also be his second year in the league.

Pittsburgh also signed Allen Robinson II during the offseason, which will prevent defenses from shading their protection too heavily toward the young wideout. The Steelers are still yet to finish under .500 in Mike Tomlin’s tenure as head coach but are only -150 to exceed their win total of 8.5

Trevor Lawrence - QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Lawrence turned heads at the end of last season, which felt like his rookie year because of the chaos during Urban Meyer’s reign, and cemented it with a 27-0 comeback against the Los Angeles Chargers and a narrow loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in the playoffs.

The 6-foot-6 Clemson product is considered one of the greatest modern quarterback prospects ever alongside Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. A 4,113-yard, 25-touchdown, eight-interception season is nothing to sneeze at, and he figures to only be better in the new year.

Lawrence will soon have the benefit of throwing to Calvin Ridley, who hauled in 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in his last full season. He’s +1400 to win the NFL MVP award and was playing close to that level in the back half of 2022, and will also benefit from voter fatigue hanging over the head of Patrick Mahomes.

Kyle Hamilton - S, Baltimore Ravens

Hamilton didn’t get his just due for his performances last year. The 22-year-old rookie was Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) top-graded safety ahead of players such as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tyrann Mathieu, and Jimmie Ward, and fit perfectly into a Ravens culture that prides itself on defensive prowess.

It’ll be hard for Hamilton to hit a higher level as a player—though we’re not discounting it as a possibility—but what he could do is be the leader on the league’s best defense and seriously gain notoriety in the race for Defensive Player of the Year. Baltimore gave up the second and third-fewest points and yards respectively after acquiring Roquan Smith in the middle of the season and will likely be better with a full offseason under their belt.

Hamilton is a whopping +10000 to win DPOY despite the red-hot start to his career. Even if he comes up short in the end, we expect line movement that could give bettors the chance to cash out for a profit. As far as the Ravens go, they are +240 to win the AFC North and +1000 to win the AFC.

Evan Neal - OT, New York Giants

Neal was taken seventh overall in the 2022 draft but did not quite live up to his billing. He missed time with injuries and was inconsistent when he was on the field, and the Giants, despite exceeding expectations, finished the year with the 18th-best line, per PFF.

While players such as Rashawn Slater and Penei Sewell have tainted the perception of rookie offensive linemen, the great ones don’t always come into the league ready to star on day one. Neal, standing at 6-foot-7, 350 pounds, still has a chance to fulfill the potential he flashed.

The Giants are investing heavily in their line. Andrew Thomas is a stud, and they spent early draft picks on other areas of the line to ensure that Daniel Jones, the new franchise QB, has all of the protection that he needs. Whether or not that coalesces will be a major reason why the Giants do or don’t exceed their projected win total of 7.5.

Cameron Sutton - CB, Detroit Lions

Sutton played an increasingly important role in the Steelers’ defense during his six years in the Steel City. Now, he embarks on a new journey in the Motor City for a team filled with more optimism than it has had in well over a decade, and one that sportsbooks are looking favorably upon.

Sutton had a career-high three interceptions in 2022 and was ranked by PFF as the 28th-best corner in the league. He will have an important role in the rebuild of the Detroit defense, one that gave up the third-most passing yards per game opposite Emmanuel Moseley, who was brought over from the San Francisco 49ers.

The Lions are the favorites to win the NFC North at +145 and are even 11th in Super Bowl odds. Their projected win total of 9.5 means that they have to win double-digit games to cash the over, and a lot of that will boil down to if the defense can improve and support the high-powered offense.

Brian Burns - DE, Carolina Panthers

Burns is another player that is already a star in the league but is not yet a household name and also has more floors he’s capable of climbing. He is entering his fifth year and is coming off of a 12.5-sack season, a career-best, in what is going to be a pivotal year for the Panthers franchise.

Carolina invested the number-one pick on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and set its course for the future. Young is one of the most accomplished and highly-rated QB prospects in recent memory but has to overcome the stigma of being 5 feet 10 inches tall. 

Back to Burns: Although he was excellent, the Panthers still ranked just 17th in points allowed and need to establish themselves to overcome the inconsistencies that are to be expected from a rookie quarterback. Burns can help accomplish that by becoming a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, where he is at +2500 odds.

Connor McGovern - OG, Buffalo Bills

McGovern made noise on the Dallas Cowboys and was brought to the Bills to solidify the protection in front of Josh Allen, which has been shoddy at times. Although Allen was not sacked frequently, he often had to scramble out of the pocket, which resulted in punishment being inflicted upon him in the open field.

McGovern struggled in the run game but was the 13th-ranked pass blocker in 2022 amongst qualified guards on both sides of the center. Buffalo’s decisions to sign Damien Harris and draft Dalton Kincaid mean that they believe they need to go all-in on offense to match Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow, and McGovern is now a key part of that infrastructure.

The Bills head into the season with the third-shortest Super Bowl odds at +900. Line play is one of the most important and underrated aspects of team performance, so McGovern’s ability to shine in his new home could have massive ramifications.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - LB, Cleveland Browns

Owusu-Koramoah was drafted with high expectations from Notre Dame two years ago. He’s already carved out a starting role on the Browns defense but has not developed into the player that many believed he could be.

The athletic backer is a bit of a tweener much in the way that Isaiah Simmons is. He has tremendous speed and is physical, which allows him to be effective in crashing downhill or dropping back in coverage. 

The biggest area the third-year pro needs to improve in is consistency, because he has dominated games but did so irregularly. The Browns also need to find a spot that fits his style and size, and they better do it quickly, because they are -130 to miss the playoffs.

Sam Howell - QB, Washington Commanders

At least one young quarterback has exploded onto the scene every year bar one for the past half-decade. In 2018, it was Patrick Mahomes, in 2019, Lamar Jackson, in 2020, Josh Allen, in 2021, Joe Burrow, and in 2022, Jalen Hurts. Howell might not be as dominant as that crop, but he has a chance to follow in their footsteps and drive through the wall of expectations.

Howell’s biggest advantage is that he has tons of playmakers around him, including Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, and Brian Robinson Jr. Former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will also be dialing up the offense, which should help Howell’s development tremendously.

Howell himself might only be a little above 6 feet tall, but he’s got a big arm and is a risk-taker. The Commanders have a more-than-solid defense but have to contend with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants, and are +1000 to win the NFC East and +300 to make the postseason.

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

528 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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