5 NFL players who will become sophomore sensations

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Johnathan Abram, Las Vegas Raiders
Johnathan Abram, Las Vegas Raiders. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

There will be no sophomore slump for these second-year pros. Here are five players who will be sensational during their second season in the NFL in 2020.

With the 2020 NFL Draft still fresh in our minds, it kind of feels like we forget about the 2019 NFL Draft class before it. While that particular draft class is still young, it’ll be a critical year for many players, especially those selected in the first round. If a guy makes that proverbial leap in year two, he might be on the pathway to success in the NFL. If not, well, he might be on his way out of it.

Last year saw four rookies earn Pro Bowl nods. Defensive ends Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers and Josh Allen of the Jacksonville Jaguars made it in as top-10 picks. Second-round pick Mecole Hardman of the Kansas City Chiefs and undrafted free agent Deonte Harris of the New Orleans Saints were recognized for their special teams efforts.

Surely, there will be more players from this draft class who will end up being Pro Bowl-caliber. Sometimes, all it takes is for the game to slow down. Other times, a guy may need a coaching regime change to get the most out of his talent. And for some, they just need a clean bill of health. While they don’t have to make it to the Pro Bowl, they need to be good for their team to be good.

Here are five second-year pros who could become sensational sophomores in the 2020 season.

Las Vegas Raiders. Johnathan Abram. 5. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 28. S

If any player taken in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft would like a re-do, it would have to be Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram. The former Mississippi State Bulldogs standout was one of three first-round selections by the Silver and Black. While many of Abram’s draft classmates had great rookie years, he had to watch nearly all of it from the sidelines.

The former No. 27 overall pick suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 vs. the Denver Broncos. He tore his rotator cuff and his labrum before being placed on injured reserve. The Raiders had high expectations for Abram coming out of Mississippi State, as he was a First-Team All-SEC performer as a senior and a Third-Team All-American playing for Joe Moorhead in Starkville.

Abram is a very instinctual player and one who knows how to make an impact when he’s on the field. He contributed right away as a freshman during his one year at the University of Georgia. The native Mississippian initially went the junior college route before sticking at Mississippi State first under Dan Mullen and then under Moorhead.

Seemingly, every pick the Raiders made in 2019 hit. It’s a testament to the great knowledge base general manager Mike Mayock made in his first year running the Silver and Black’s war room. Should Abram stay healthy, he and draft classmate Trayvon Mullen can be cornerstones of this new Raiders’ defensive backfield that just added another big piece in Ohio State’s Damon Arnette.