5 Key NFL Players To Watch this Season

Joe Burrow, Bengals, NFL
NFL Analysis Network

The National Football League never disappoints. The 2023 season is set to one of the best yet as the Kansas City Chiefs look to defend the Super Bowl they won last season, beating Philadelphia Eagles.

There will be many teams who believe they can go all the way this season and you can check out the odds on DraftKings for where they will finish this season, which is widely regarded as the best betting app for football.

Each team will be relying on their top players to perform every week, but who are the five key players to watch this season?

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

He is the most obvious choice but when discussing the top players to watch in the NFL season, it is impossible to ignore Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback led his team to their second Super Bowl in four years last season and will be aiming to make it a third in the 2023 campaign.

Mahomes became the first player since Kurt Warner in 1999 to win the MVP award and a Super Bowl in the same season, underlining his undoubted talent. There have been a couple of changes for Mahomes to navigate at Kansas City during the close season but nothing he has not seen before in his career.

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Justin Jefferson has been progressing nicely in the NFL for Minnesota Vikings and has another major milestone to reach in 2023. If we look at the previous three seasons for the wide receiver, Jefferson has clocked up 1,400 receiving yards, 1,600 receiving yards, and 1,800 receiving yards.

The next step for Jefferson in 2023 is to reach 2,000 receiving yards and if he reaches that target, he will break the NFL regular season record currently held by Calvin Johnson. Last season, Jefferson finished fifth in MVP voting and was named Offensive Player of the Year. At the age of 24, there is more to come from Jefferson and he is one of the key players to watch this season.

Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to challenge this season and they will need a huge performance from Nick Bosa if they are to succeed.

Bosa landed the Defensive Player of the Year award last season and finished sixth in MVP voting, the highest position of the defensive players. The defensive end was top of the sack count with 18.5 to his name and was second in tackles for loss. The single season record for sacks is 22.5 and that is something Bosa can aim for in 2023. There is not much room for improvement in his game but a few minor details, such as hand placement, could make the difference.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles came close to winning the Super Bowl last season and if they are going to take that final step in 2023, Jalen Hurts will need to take his game to the next level.

The quarterback set a new franchise record of 4,461 total yards in 2022, in a campaign that could easily have landed him the MVP award if it was not for Mahomes. Hurts is one of the top rushing quarterbacks in the game and boasts multiple seasons of at least 750 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. Expect to see another tremendous campaign from Hurts, making him one of the five key players to watch this season.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

There is no doubt Joe Burrow is one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL and 2023 could be a fantastic year for him and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are up there in the early season betting as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl and the main reason for that is the presence of Burrow.

He has been struggling with a strained right calf during the preseason but reports are good regarding Burrow’s fitness ahead of the new campaign. Burrow landed fourth place in the MVP voting last season having finished second in completion percentage and ranked in the top five for most of the other key passing categories.

In his first three seasons, Burrow has 12 touchdowns of 50-plus yards, with only Fran Tarkenton and Dan Marino matching that statistic in the history of the NFL. The fact Burrow has recently signed a $275 million contract extension with Cincinnati tells you everything you need to know about his talent.

Patrick Mahomes, Justin Jefferson, Nick Bosa, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow are the five key players to watch this season. There are also several players to watch who could have a breakout season, including Jordan Addison of the Minnesota Vikings, Brian Branch of the Detroit Lions, Abraham Lucas of the Seattle Seahawks, and DJ Turner II of the Cincinnati Bengals.

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