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5 Disappointing NFL Rookies Who Will Have Bounce Back Sophomore Seasons

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 30: Josh Rosen #3 of the Arizona Cardinals warms-up before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 30, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr

The first go-around isn't always a smashing success for NFL rookies. While the instant success of Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, and Derwin James, just to name a few, has led some reactionary folk to slap the dreaded bust label on underperforming rookies after just one season. Giving up on a player after one year is beyond foolish, and these five rookies look primed to bounce back and shut all the haters up.

5. Josh Jackson, CB - Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 16:  Josh Jackson #37 of the Green Bay Packers is grabbed by fans as he does  a "Lambeau Leap" after blocking a punt and scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings
at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Vikings and the Packers tied 29-29 after overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers | Jonathan Daniel

While 10 pass deflections for a rookie corner who didn't start sounds impressive, it's easy to deflect 10 passes when the quarterback is throwing at you all game. Jackson, primarily a zone coverage guy at Iowa, was forced to pay a lot of man and line up in the slot last year. If moved outside, where Mike Pettine's corners play lots of zone, expect a big season from second-year DB.

4. Taven Bryan, DT - Jaguars

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26:  Taven Bryan of Florida poses after being picked #29 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
2018 NFL Draft | Tom Pennington

Bryan, who recorded a mere 62 tackles during his entire college career, was billed as a project from Day 1. He lived up to that billing, racking up only 20 tackles and 1 sack behind Malik Jackson and Calais Campbell. With Jackson now in Philadelphia, Bryan and his explosive first step are set to show off the hidden gem he was.

3. Hayden Hurst, TE - Ravens

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 02: Hayden Hurst #81 of the Baltimore Ravens makes a reception against Jonathan Anderson #52 of the Chicago Bears in the first quarter of the Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 2, 2018 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears v Baltimore Ravens | Joe Robbins

Hurst was a bit of a confusing selection, as 25-year-old rookies with injury problems don't often become first round picks. Hurst's rough rookie season was the cause of another injury and being leaped on the depth chart by Mark Andrews. Lamar Jackson loved throwing safe routes to tight ends, so Hurst could be in for a very productive year in 2019.

2. Vita Vea, DT- Buccaneers

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26:  Vita Vea of Washington poses after being picked #12 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
2018 NFL Draft | Tom Pennington

A 346-pound space eater with surprisingly nimble footwork that the Buccaneers used the 13th overall pick on, Vea was only able to record 28 tackles and 3 sacks last season. A lot more was expected of him from a pass rushing standpoint, and he could turn the corner with Todd Bowles' 3-4 making its debut in Tampa Bay.

1. Josh Rosen, QB - Dolphins

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 09: Josh Rosen #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to throw the ball against the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals | Norm Hall

Miami didn't trade a second round pick for a guy who is going to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick for a year. Rosen struggled last year, yes. However, his woes came under the watch of a completely incompetent coaching staff and front office that saw him play under two offensive coordinators. While Brian Flores and his staff have a lot to prove, they at least look like they know what they're doing, giving Rosen a chance to make the Arizona Cardinals rue the day they traded him.