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NFC East breakout guarantees in 2020

These players are going to break out this season, I guarantee it.

Washington Redskins v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Every year there is at least one player on a team that has a “breakout” season, a year in which he bursts onto the scene or provides a glimpse of the superstar he could be if things broke right.

Last year, wide receiver Terry McLaurin, Washington’s rookie third round pick, was that guy for the Football Team. For the Giants, Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence and Darius Slayton all flashed great promise, and Michael Gallup proved to be an outstanding compliment to Amari Cooper on the outside. Certainly there will be more breakout performers coming in 2020, although given the lack of OTAs and other off-season activities, it might be harder to new faces in new place (specifically rookies) to hit the ground running.

On my list of breakout players for this year, I’m eliminating players like Chase Young, the No. 2 overall pick, from consideration. Players taken that high in the draft are expected to be productive NFL players from Day 1, if not stars. So the players listed below are perhaps guys that have been on the team for a year or two or who have been injury-prone and just need to stay healthy to produce.

With that, here are some players who are guaranteed* to break out in 2020.

*This guarantee is in no way binding and should be completely ignored if said player falls on his face.

Derrius Guice - (RB) Washington Football Team

Our pals at HogsHaven recently did a poll asking readers who they felt was most likely to be a breakout performer in 2020 and running back Derrius Guice was far and away the leading vote-getter at 41%.

Guice has always been talented, the issue has been injuries. He’s played just five NFL games after missing all of his rookie season with a torn ACL and he missed all but five contests last year due to an MCL sprain. When he has been in the lineup, he’s been quite good, as evidenced by his 10-carry, 129-yard rushing performance against the Carolina Panthers last season.

If Guice can stay out of the trainer’s room this year, he could be a 1,000-yard back.

Thaddius Moss - (TE) Washington Football Team

There’s a reason the LSU star wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft, so perhaps it’s silly to have him on a list like this, and I’m certainly not saying he’s going to the Pro Bowl in 2020. But the son of Randy Moss was a productive tight end at one of the nation’s top programs and didn’t drop a single pass last year.

Second-year QB Dwayne Haskins is going to need some people he can depend on in this offense and, outside of McLaurin and potentially Guice, there’s not much there. Moss isn’t a field-stretcher like his dad, but he could be a security blanket in the middle of the field and pile up a number of catches this year for Washington.

Evan Engram - (TE) New York Giants

A lot of people are picking Kaden Smith as the breakout tight end for New York this year, but those people are sleeping on how good Evan Engram can be when he’s healthy. But that’s the key... when he’s healthy.

I know I said I wasn’t going to put any high draft picks on this list, but Engram is an exception, as he was selected all the way back in the first round of 2017. He had a solid rookie season in which he caught 64 balls for 722 yards and 6 TDs, but dealt with numerous injuries the last two seasons that forced him to miss 13 games during that stretch.

Engram has a ton of talent and can be a play-maker when he’s on the field. In the season opener against the Cowboys he hauled in 11 balls for 116 yards and a score and in Week 3 snagged 6 balls for 113 yards and a score. He’s always been regarded as one of the fastest tight ends in football, as evidenced by this long touchdown run against the Bucs last year.

This is going to be the year he joins Zach Ertz as one of the upper echelon tight ends in the division.

Oshane Ximines - (DE) New York Giants

Ximines started just two games for New York in his rookie season last year but played in all 16 as the No. 3 edge rusher on the depth chart. In 269 pass rush attempts he tallied 4.5 sacks and nine QB hits, pretty good production for the first year player. It’s still unclear if New York will have Markus Golden back in 2020, although it’s likely they will, but New York stayed out of the edge rusher market this off-season in part because they believe Ximines will turn into a starter in his second season. Here he is taking down Carson Wentz in their match-up at Lincoln Financial Field late last year.

He’s a small school player who has the ability to learn on the job and potentially see his sack total double from a year ago.

Tony Pollard - (RB) Dallas Cowboys

You may be asking yourself, how is Tony Pollard going to break out when Ezekiel Elliot consumers so many of the running back touches? Part of the reason Pollard is going to “break out” is new head coach Mike McCarthy, who likes to use his running backs out of the backfield as receivers.

Elliot is fine out of the backfield catching the ball, but his strength is toting the rock 25 times a game. Pollard is a good change-of-pace back and should be featured more in the passing game this year than he was in his rookie season last year when he caught just 15 balls for 107 yards. Never forget, Jason Garrett was a terrible head coach, gang.

Blake Jarwin - (TE) Dallas Cowboys

Yeah, you read this right. Every team in the division is going to have a breakout tight end in 2020.

With Jason Witten finally riding into the sunset, the starting job is Jarwin’s all to himself after he signed a four-year, $24.5 million deal with the team this off-season. In three seasons with Dallas, he’s only hauled in 58 balls for 672 yards but Garrett’s obsession with Witten prevented Jarwin from getting more run. His best single-game performance came in Week 17 of 2018 when he caught 7 balls for 119 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants.

Dak Prescott is going to have a field day throwing to Cooper, Gallup and Cee Dee Lamb, and with those three guys gobbling up so much attention from opposing defenses, there should plenty of room in the middle of the field when Dallas isn’t going with three wide receivers at the same time.

There you go. Six players, six guarantees. At the end of the year, make sure you bring your receipts and listen below to the latest episode of Eye On The Enemy where I discuss these breakouts in depth and outline 10 questions we need to ask as the Eagles begin training camp soon!

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