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17520146025_d44d0cc061_bNFL season is almost upon us. Fans of the sport are already taking a look at what teams and players are dominating in practices to see who they should keep an eye out for this season. With 30 teams getting ready for kickoff, it can be hard to search through everyone. What team is going to exceed their 2016 season, and who is being slated as a breakout player? With half of the 2016 season’s 12 playoff participants not qualifying to play in 2015, turnover is to be expected for this upcoming year. We’ve selected the top teams and players to watch this year in the NFL.

Denver Broncos

After winning the Super Bowl 50, the Broncos missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The team is now looking to start another streak with their new head coach Vance Joseph and a possible switch-up in their starting quarterback. The Broncos also have a strong defense thank ranked 4th in 2016, making it a possibility they return after the one-year absence.

Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts

Donte Moncrief, wide receiver for the colts, was a popular breakout pick a year ago but was unable to met expectations due to an injury. Moncrief was still able to haul seven touchdowns in just nine games. If he is able to stay healthy, it is expected that he will bring in a lot of touchdowns in the 2017 season.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers struggled in 2016, leading the league in players out on injury. Despite this they finished ninth in the league, losing nine games by just eight points or fewer. With a new head coach coming in, better health, and some reinforcements in their defensive line, the Chargers could experience a turnaround in the new season.

DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers defense had a rough season last year, but DeForest Buckner was one of their bright spots. The defensive tackle player has the physical tools to lead the team as an interior pass rusher and the versatility to kick out to defensive end on passion downs. Racking up six sacks during his rookie season, he is expected to hit double-digits in 2017.

Carolina Panthers

After losing the Super Bowl 50, the Panthers tumbled from first to worst in 2016. While the past season was disappointing, the Panthers still have a lot of reasons to be confident about a bounce-back in 2017. Carolina still has 2015 MVP Cam Newton to lead their offense. With a tightened up defense and a more consistent running game, they should at least be a threat to their division, if not the NFC as a whole.

Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins

With Brandon Albert gone, the left tackle spot has been opened for Laremy Tunsil to take over. The 2016 first-round pick played left guard during his debut season, and performed averagely. He struggled against twists and stunts, which he will see fewer of with his new tackle spot. His natural pass-blocking ability will now be able to carry him a long way.

Lamarcus Joyner, Los Angeles Rams 

The Rams needed help in the safety position, and instead of looking at the draft they chose to look in-house. Lamarcus Joyner will be making the switch from corner to safety this season. Joyner played safety in college before moving to corner in his senior season. The 2014 second-round pick has great instincts that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is sure bring the best out of in 2017.

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

Look for the Chargers to give tight end Hunter Henry, whom the team took with a second round pick in 2016, more snaps this season. Henry was the team’s best red zone target last season and in 2017, he should be a threat all over the field. Henry will have to improve his run blocking if he wants to overtake Antonio Gates as the starting tight end, however, but fans are keeping an eye out.

The NFL is getting ready for kickoff, and these breakout stars and teams are gearing up for a great 2017 season. Keep your eyes pealed for some interesting and nail-biting games starting in the next few months.

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