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NFL New York Jets

New York Jets’ 5 Biggest Breakout Candidates of 2014

The New York Jets' 5 Biggest Breakout Candidates of 2014

Jets celebration
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Many people tabbed the New York Jets to finish last in their division and in the NFL.
The Jets were the stories of the year in the league in 2013. It is hard enough to play with an overrated quarterback, but it’s even harder to win with a rookie long-term project QB. Somehow the Jets managed an 8-8 record. This season there are five players who will need to have breakout seasons for the Jets to take the next step.

5. Kyle Wilson

Kyle Wilson charge
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

5. Kyle Wilson

Kyle Wilson charge
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The improvements on the defensive side will make the secondary have an easier time seeing success against potent offenses. The Jets are an elite run stopping team, and because of that they will force many teams to become one-dimensional. Wilson has had time to develop under Rex Ryan, and this should be his year to shine.

4. Michael Vick

Michael Vick throw
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

4. Michael Vick

Michael Vick throw
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Signing the electric quarterback will mean instant results for this team. At this point in his career, Vick is better than Geno Smith. During his time in Philadelphia, Vick proved his arm can be as lethal as his legs. Vick’s biggest area of concern is his ability to stay on the field. He has not been able to remain consistently healthy, but if he does in 2014, the Jets will reap huge benefits.

3. Dee Milliner

Dee Milliner defense
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

3. Dee Milliner

Dee Milliner defense
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Most of the 2013 season Milliner was sitting on the bench. He vastly underperformed his first-round billing and was not a suitable replacement for Darrelle Revis despite notching three picks. As the rest of the defense gets better around him, Milliner should see his responsibilities decrease and he should be able to do the things he does well. I believe he can be a good corner in the league -- how good will be determined by him.

2. Sheldon Richardson

Sheldon Richardson penalty
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

2. Sheldon Richardson

Sheldon Richardson penalty
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The defensive line is not one of the Jets' areas of concern. Richardson is a dominant run stopper and has the potential to become one of the best D-linemen in the NFL. His first breakout year was his initial one in the league, but he can perform on a much higher level as a more seasoned veteran.

1. Bilal Powell

Bilal Powell run
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

1. Bilal Powell

Bilal Powell run
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

His breakout season depends on him winning the running back competition. Although the Jets haven’t brought in someone for depth, the NFL Draft is right around the corner. Powell is a good north-south runner with fluidity. He should see an increase from his 697 rushing yards last season with the Jets' improved aerial attack this year.