dangerous in midsummer--when legs are still fresh and dreams haven't yet been
dashed by three-game losing streaks--to predict the stars of late autumn. But
during a training-camp tour, SI unearthed these five potential breakout
Derrick Johnson, LB, Chiefs Kansas City's first pick in the 2005 draft was
expected to produce more than 6 1?2 sacks in his first 29 games, but Johnson
was slowed by a sprained ankle last year. The addition of linebackers Donnie
Edwards and Napolean Harris--plus the development of promising second-year
defensive end Tamba Hali--should help take the pressure off.
WR, Bears This third-round pick out of Fresno State has caught 79 passes in
three seasons--but could match that total this year if the addition of rookie
tight end Greg Olsen and return-man-turned-receiver Devin Hester helps him get
open. During a practice last week, the 6' 1", 185-pound Berrian twice
burned fleet corner Nathan Vasher for long receptions.
LB, Bills Slowed as a senior at Penn State by torn knee ligaments suffered in
the '06 Orange Bowl, he was downgraded to a second-round pick in April by
scouts who questioned his mobility. But coach Dick Jauron has installed
Posluszny as the Bills' starter in the middle, and the rookie is roaming like
the playmaker he was in his first three college seasons.
DE, Packers Until Aaron Kampman's breakout in '06, Green Bay's best rushing end
of the post- Reggie White era had been Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. But he surrendered
his starting spot to Jenkins last season--and it doesn't look like he'll get it
back. A versatile run stuffer, the 303-pound Jenkins has shown quickness and
some great spin moves in camp.
RB, Falcons He's not the sexy bust-out pick that Marshawn Lynch or Adrian
Peterson are, but Norwood should play a key role in coach Bobby Petrino's
multiple-option offense. With Michael Vick likely gone for the season and
Warrick Dunn coming off back surgery, the second-year back will get plenty of
carries behind Atlanta's strong run blocking line.