Every NFL season, a young and unknown player seemingly arises from nowhere and earns notoriety around the league. While it may be a difficult thing to predict, some players who are in great situations might come onto the scene sooner than others.
Football Outsider's Rivers McCown complied his list on ESPN.com of the under-the-radar young players who could break out. Among the criteria was the player had to be under the age of 26 as of Sept. 1, drafted in the third round or later and entered the NFL between 2019 and 2021.
Bolts wide receiver Josh Palmer, the 77th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was McCown's No. 1 prospect on his list. Despite not having big numbers coming out of college, the third-round receiver showed some flashes as a rookie in limited playing time.
…By the end of the season Palmer began getting starts. He had three touchdowns in the last five weeks of Los Angeles' season as Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler missed some time. Palmer wasn't physically dominating, but he had a knack for doing work at the catch point.
The young wide out started last season not getting much action on offense, but as McCown pointed out, his workload ramped up as injuries began to occur. Palmer's best game came in Allen's absence, as he hauled in five receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown in Week 14. Although he only logged 458 offensive snaps last season, Year 2 could be a breakout year for him if he could establish himself as the next target after Allen and Mike Williams.
The extremely exciting part is that Palmer is dialed into one of the best offenses in the NFL…Palmer has also already earned his quarterback's confidence.
Early throughout training camp, Palmer has also impressed the coaching staff as he continues to improve. During the first week of training camp, Bolts Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi spoke about the wideout's growth.
"He's a guy that jumped out early to us. I think he keeps getting better and more confident," Lombardi said. "Especially your first year, as the offense gets installed, there's a volume aspect that can be overwhelming to a rookie. I think that part, he's through that hurdle, so that he can really just go out and play fast."
With more snaps and targets, Palmer could become a popular name around the NFL this season.
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