Michael Palardy, Punter, Carolina Panthers
Tennessee football remains Punter U because of guys like Michael Palardy. He was No. 13 in the league in yards per punt last year with 46. However, with only 25 of his punts going inside the 20-yard line, he still has some work to do with hang-time and accuracy. Still, his leg is strong, and he’s likely to continue his success this year.
Justin Coleman, Defensive Back, Seattle Seahawks
Justin Coleman has been one of the great underdog stories. The former Vol worked his way onto an NFL roster and played for the New England Patriots for years. Now, he figures to be a regular contributor for the Seattle Seahawks and maybe even start at nickel. When that happens, he’ll continue to show himself to be a valuable playmaker.
Josh Malone, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Last year, Josh Malone gave just a taste of how great he can be. This year, he’s the first receiver off the bench for the Cincinnati Bengals, meaning he’s going to get a lot of balls thrown his way. When that happens, expect him to be able to make a huge impact. He proved with Tennessee football that he’s an amazing deep threat.
Cameron Sutton, Defensive Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
Like Josh Malone, Cameron Sutton could have a major surge his second year. He’s also the top player at his position off the bench, meaning he’ll see a lot of action. On top of that, the overhaul of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary will give him a great chance to make an impact. So keep an eye out for what he does.
John Kelly, Running Back, Los Angeles Rams
We’re taking a risk here. But John Kelly could be last year’s Alvin Kamara. We know about Todd Gurley’s injury history, and Kelly as a rookie could come in and exploit that. The Los Angeles Rams have the offense to allow him to explode.