Big signings in free agency are often met with a sense of skepticism as they very rarely turn into the massive slam dunks they're expected to be (see: Suh, Ndamukong), but there are always a few that immediately make a significant impact. Here are four guys that we think will fall into the latter category and become stars with their new teams:
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
Miller's production took a step back last year as he accumulated just 872 yards, but it wasn't because his play took a step back - the Dolphins just stopped giving him the ball. He got less than 15 carries in 11 games last season, showing how little of a part of Miami's offense he was. That won't be the case in 2016 with the Texans, who have a much better offensive line and have shown a dedication to the running game. Miller will finally get the opportunities he deserves this year, and he'll deliver in a big way.
Bruce Irvin, LB, Oakland Raiders
Irvin has been a very good player for the Seahawks over the past four years, but he was never able to make that transition into a consistent impact player, recording just 14 combined sacks over the last three seasons. Now on the Raiders, Irvin should be able to take a giant step forward in his career. Playing opposite Khalil Mack, Irvin won't be double teamed, allowing him to blow past opposing lineman trying to defend him one-on-one. Expect him to post double-digit sacks for the first time in his career this year.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, New York Giants
Jenkins was known as gambling cornerback with the Rams, often biting on double moves and getting beat. However, those gambles do pay off occasionally as he recorded 10 interceptions during his first four years in the league - five of which he returned for a touchdown. New defensive end Olivier Vernon and the re-signing of Jason Pierre-Paul will give the Giants a pass rush that will force the opposing quarterback to get the ball out quickly, eliminating those double moves and giving Jenkins more chances to make plays on the perimeter.
Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints
Fleener developed a reputation for being soft over the middle and struggling with drops during his time with the Colts, but New Orleans' system should eliminate some of those struggles. He will be their No. 1 tight end after Benjamin Watson left in free agency, and the Saints will use him in a Jimmy Graham-type role, playing him on the outside more and using his height in the red zone. Quarterback Drew Brees loves to target big receivers, and Fleener (6'6", 251 lbs) is the biggest he has. Expect Fleener to capitalize on the many opportunities he'll get this year.Back to the NFL Newsfeed