5 NFL Players Who Must Avoid Sophomore Slump In 2016

By Brad Berreman

The 2015 NFL rookie class was immediately headlined by the quarterbacks who went 1-2 in the draft, and other top picks became impact players for their teams right away. On that note, here are five players who must avoid a sophomore slump in 2016.

5 NFL Players Who Must Avoid Sophomore Slump In 2016
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5. Seattle Seahawks WR/KR Tyler Lockett

Seattle Seahawks WR/KR Tyler Lockett Credit: Getty Images
Lockett earned a Pro Bowl nod for his prowess as a kick returner, which makes it easy to overlook that he also had 51 receptions and six touchdowns as a rookie. A bigger offensive role could come this year, and Lockett needs to make the most of it.

5. Seattle Seahawks WR/KR Tyler Lockett

Lockett earned a Pro Bowl nod for his prowess as a kick returner, which makes it easy to overlook that he also had 51 receptions and six touchdowns as a rookie. A bigger offensive role could come this year, and Lockett needs to make the most of it.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston Credit: Getty Images
Winston had a solid rookie season, with over 4,000 passing yards and six rushing touchdowns. If the Buccaneers are going to contend for a playoff spot in 2016, Winston has to lead the charge on and off the field.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston

Winston had a solid rookie season, with over 4,000 passing yards and six rushing touchdowns. If the Buccaneers are going to contend for a playoff spot in 2016, Winston has to lead the charge on and off the field.

3. Kansas City Chiefs CB Marcus Peters

Kansas City Chiefs CB Marcus Peters Credit: Getty Images
The 2015 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year made a big impact right away, with a tied for league lead eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups. With Sean Smith's departure, Peters will clearly become the Chiefs' No. 1 corner and will have to step up.

3. Kansas City Chiefs CB Marcus Peters

The 2015 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year made a big impact right away, with a tied for league lead eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups. With Sean Smith's departure, Peters will clearly become the Chiefs' No. 1 corner and will have to step up.

2. Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper

Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper Credit: Getty Images
Cooper dealt with a foot injury late, but he had a very productive rookie campaign (72 receptions for 1,070 yards, six touchdowns). The Raiders are in line for a step forward this year, and Cooper needs to progress as the team's No. 1 wide receiver.

2. Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper

Cooper dealt with a foot injury late, but he had a very productive rookie campaign (72 receptions for 1,070 yards, six touchdowns). The Raiders are in line for a step forward this year, and Cooper needs to progress as the team's No. 1 wide receiver.

1. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley Credit: Getty Images
Gurley made a big impact as a rookie, rushing for 1,106 yards (third in the league) in essentially 12 games. He will again be the centerpiece of the Rams' offense, so Gurley has to have a repeat over a full 16 games in 2016.

1. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley

Gurley made a big impact as a rookie, rushing for 1,106 yards (third in the league) in essentially 12 games. He will again be the centerpiece of the Rams' offense, so Gurley has to have a repeat over a full 16 games in 2016.

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