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    Which NFL Players Will Take a Step Back This Season? 1 Regression Candidate on All 32 Teams

    While each NFL team's hopes are high heading into training camp, regression is bound to happen. Which players will take a step back in 2024?

    As the start of NFL training camp quickly approaches, each team has high hopes at this point in the offseason. There is plenty to be excited about in the summer, but that excitement and those high hopes won’t last forever. Reality will set in once the regular season begins.

    Regression is to be expected, yet it’s sometimes hard to predict. Which player on each NFL team is most likely to regress in 2024? Let’s dive into the most likely candidate on each roster.

    NFL Players Most Likely To Regress This Season

    Arizona Cardinals: James Conner, RB

    It’s not often that an NFL running back has a career year at 28 years old. Yet, that’s exactly what James Conner did for the Arizona Cardinals last season.

    In 13 starts last year, Conner broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his NFL career. He also averaged a career-high 5.0 yards per carry.

    However, given the natural trajectory of running backs in the NFL, Conner’s sudden surge likely isn’t sustainable, especially since Arizona selected Trey Benson at No. 66 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Allgeier, RB

    Tyler Allgeier’s potential regression has more to do with Bijan Robinson than it does with Allgeier.

    After being a fifth-round selection in 2022, Allgeier rushed for over 1,000 yards and three rushing touchdowns as a rookie. Nevertheless, the Falcons elected to use the eighth overall pick on Robinson in the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Now Robinson is in line for a huge workload as Atlanta’s workhorse RB in 2024 and beyond, which will likely cause Allgeier to barely see the field and take a notable step back statistically.

    Baltimore Ravens: Justin Madubuike, DT

    Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike bursts onto the scene as an elite pass rusher last season. In his first three NFL seasons, Madubuike totaled just 8.5 sacks. But in 2023 — which was notably a contract year — he recorded 13. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll take a step back after earning a massive payday from the Ravens.

    Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen, QB

    There’s no denying that Josh Allen is one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. However, following the loss of his top two wide receivers in Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, it’s fair to assume that Allen will take a step back in 2024.

    Following both players’ arrivals in 2020, Allen took a massive step forward. Now it’ll be up to him to prove that he can continue playing at an elite level despite missing two of Buffalo’s top playmakers in recent years.

    Carolina Panthers: Chuba Hubbard, RB

    Chuba Hubbard enjoyed a career-best performance in 2023, but he could be in line for a step back this upcoming season. The Panthers made several changes this offseason, including making a notable addition in the backfield.

    The Panthers selected RB Jonathon Brooks at No. 46 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, making him the first running back off the board. With several believing that Brooks was indeed the top RB in this year’s draft class, Hubbard’s workload could be drastically lower with his arrival.

    Chicago Bears: DJ Moore, WR

    Chicago Bears WR DJ Moore enjoyed a career year during his debut season in the Windy City. Yet, given the arrival of both Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze, it’s fair to wonder if Moore’s stats might take a dip in 2024. Although he’s still an immensely talented wide receiver, Moore could regress on paper this upcoming season.

    Cincinnati Bengals: Daxton Hill, DB

    After barely seeing the field as a rookie, Daxton Hill earned Cincinnati’s starting safety job in 2023. But he won’t be holding onto the job for long.

    The Bengals made several additions at the position this offseason. Now, despite recording 110 total tackles last season, Hill is likely set to play a backup role in 2024.

    Cleveland Browns: David Njoku, TE

    For six seasons, it seemed like former first-rounder David Njoku was well on his way to being a bust. However, he emerged onto the scene in 2023, hauling in a career-high 81 receptions for 882 yards and six touchdowns.

    Despite Njoku’s success last season, it’s fair to wonder if it’s truly sustainable. Jerry Jeudy’s arrival could impact the number of targets that Njoku sees this season, which could cause his numbers to take a hit.

    Dallas Cowboys: DaRon Bland, CB

    Dallas Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland got off to a phenomenal start last year and looked to be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. Unfortunately, he struggled during the second half of the season, allowing over 100 receiving yards in three of Dallas’ final eight games.

    Did the NFL figure Bland out down the stretch, or will he bounce back in 2024?

    Denver Broncos: Javonte Williams, RB

    No position deals with year-to-year regression more than running back — which is why it’s such a common occurrence on this year’s list.

    Denver Broncos RB Javonte Williams disappointed last season, having averaged just 3.6 ypc. His struggles could be a primary reason why the team selected Audric Estimé in the fifth round of the draft. Jaleel McLaughlin also showed plenty of explosiveness last season.

    Williams could suddenly see his workload diminished in Denver’s backfield.

    Detroit Lions: David Montgomery, RB

    David Montgomery was one of last season’s biggest surprises. While many expected Jahmyr Gibbs to handle a majority of Detroit’s touches at running back, Montgomery established himself early in the regular season.

    MORE: Identifying Every NFL Team’s Best Shot at Winning an Award in 2024

    As the season progressed, Montgomery saw his workload drop a bit as Gibbs began to make the most of his opportunities. In Detroit’s final 11 games (including the postseason), Gibbs scored 16 total touchdowns. During that same span, Montgomery scored just eight.

    Green Bay Packers: AJ Dillon, RB

    Surprise! Another running back makes the list, as the Green Bay Packers revamped the backfield this offseason. Although AJ Dillon is returning, his role will certainly be diminished. Thanks to the arrival of Josh Jacobs and MarShawn Lloyd, Dillon will likely be Green Bay’s third RB on the depth chart in 2024.

    Houston Texans: Nico Collins, WR

    This might seem like a crazy pick, given the success that Nico Collins had for the Houston Texans last season. However, due to Diggs’ arrival via trade, Collins likely won’t see as many targets this time around.

    There are now plenty of mouths to feed in Houston for rising star quarterback C.J. Stroud, which means Collins’ numbers could take a dip in 2024.

    Indianapolis Colts: Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE

    Edge rusher Dayo Odeyingbo enjoyed a career year for Indianapolis in 2023. He finished the regular season with 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

    Nevertheless, the Colts used their first-round pick on Laiatu Latu, who many believe was the top edge rusher in the 2024 class. As a result, Odeyingbo’s role could decline this coming season.

    Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Engram, TE

    In his second season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, tight end Evan Engram put together the best performance of his career by hauling in 114 receptions for 963 yards and four touchdowns.

    The Jaguars have added two new notable targets for Trevor Lawrence to throw to in Brian Thomas Jr. and the aforementioned Davis, which could mean Engram won’t see an absurd number of targets in 2024.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Rashee Rice, WR

    Rashee Rice enjoyed about as good of a rookie season as a player could ever have. He emerged as one of Patrick Mahomes’ top targets en route to winning the team’s second consecutive Super Bowl.

    However, Rice followed up that performance with an offseason full of questionable decisions. Now, the Chiefs have added two new weapons in Hollywood Brown and Xavier Worthy. It’s totally fair to assume that Rice’s role and stats will take quite a hit.

    Las Vegas Raiders: Malcolm Koonce, EDGE

    Las Vegas Raiders edge rusher Malcolm Koonce burst onto the scene in 2023. In 11 starts for the Raiders, Koonce recorded eight sacks and three forced fumbles. Now he’ll head into a contract year looking to build on that performance.

    Koonce could see his role diminished, though, as former first-round pick Tyree Wilson looks to earn a bigger role in 2024 and beyond.

    Los Angeles Chargers: Khalil Mack, EDGE

    Khalil Mack turned back the clock last season. After failing to record double-digit sacks in the previous four seasons, he recorded 17 a year ago! Joey Bosa will likely start more than five games, and with the growth of Tuli Tuipulotu, Mack will likely take a step back in 2024 at 33 years old.

    Los Angeles Rams: Kyren Williams, RB

    Kyren Williams unexpectedly became a workhorse RB for the Rams last year. Many fantasy football owners enjoyed Williams’ success, but it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be able to replicate it.

    The Rams made two notable additions at running back in Blake Corum and Boston Scott, which should impact Williams’ workload next season and beyond.

    Miami Dolphins: Raheem Mostert, RB

    Prior to last season, Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert had 14 rushing touchdowns total in his NFL career. Yet, in 2023, he somehow totaled 18 rushing touchdowns for Miami while also eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time.

    Given the emergence of a hopefully healthy De’Von Achane, it’s easy to assume that Mostert will come back down to earth in 2024. Despite his epic performance last season, the sudden emergency of a 31-year-old RB likely isn’t sustainable.

    Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Hockenson, TE

    The Minnesota Vikings are seemingly embracing a rebuild following the departure of former starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. Once Cousins went down for the Vikings last season, T.J. Hockenson didn’t have a ton of success.

    Hockenson eclipsed the 70-yard receiving mark just once after the veteran QB was injured while surpassing that total three times in Cousins’ eight starts. Now Hockenson will be forced to move on with Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy splitting time.

    New England Patriots: David Andrews, C

    Considering how poorly the New England Patriots played last season, it’s hard to find many regression candidates. Nevertheless, starting center David Andrews certainly appears to be on the decline, and his regression could easily continue. After allowing just five sacks from 2020-2022, Andrews allowed six last season.

    New Orleans Saints: Carl Granderson, EDGE

    New Orleans Saints EDGE Carl Granderson enjoyed the best season of his NFL career in 2023. He recorded 8.5 sacks and 78 total tackles and started all 17 games for the Saints.

    Yet, New Orleans added Chase Young in free agency, and Payton Turner should finally be healthy — leading to a potentially diminished role for Granderson in the upcoming cycle.

    New York Giants: Darius Slayton, WR

    Darius Slayton apparently wants a new contract, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen this offseason. Instead, the Giants have added several wide receivers in 2024, including first-round pick Malik Nabers.

    Although Slayton led the Giants in receiving yards last season, that’s not expected to be the case moving forward.

    New York Jets: Tyler Conklin, TE

    New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin was somehow third on the team in targets last season, trailing only Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall. However, after hauling in 61 receptions for 621 yards in 2023, Conklin will likely take a step back this upcoming season.

    Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers will likely target Wilson, Hall, and Mike Williams before even looking Conklin’s way.

    Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Sweat, EDGE

    Earlier this offseason, it appeared as though the Philadelphia Eagles were going to move on from Josh Sweat. Instead, Sweat agreed to a reworked one-year contract to remain with the Eagles for one more season.

    Despite his return, Sweat’s fit in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defensive front is questionable, and players such as Bryce Huff, Nolan Smith, and Jalyx Hunt could impact his role.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB

    Last year, Najee Harris made it a third consecutive season in which he ran for over 1,000 yards. Yet, despite his success, he could take a step back under new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in 2024.

    Although Smith had plenty of success with Derrick Henry while with the Tennessee Titans, his misuse of Robinson in Atlanta was confusing. Jaylen Warren also showed promise for the Steelers last season, and Pittsburgh added Cordarrelle Patterson in free agency, who is also familiar with Smith.

    San Francisco 49ers: Colton McKivitz, OT

    Despite his struggles last season, the San Francisco 49ers are apparently comfortable with rolling Colton McKivitz out as the team’s starting right tackle in 2024. McKivitz was clearly the weak link up front for San Francisco last season, having allowed a total of nine sacks.

    MORE: 1 Overrated Player On Every NFL Team: Who Gets Too Much Credit?

    The Niners selected versatile offensive lineman Dominick Puni in Round 3 of the 2023 draft. If McKivitz struggles to start the regular season once again, it’s fair to wonder if Puni will take over as the starting RT.

    Seattle Seahawks: Geno Smith, QB

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith enjoyed a career resurgence in 2022. Under the watch of Dave Canales and Shane Waldron, Seattle’s offense went to another level, and Smith was a driving force behind it.

    However, Smith took a step back last season following Canales’ departure. Now Waldron has also moved on, which is why 2024 will be a true test of Smith’s abilities. Will he be able to succeed without two key coaches, or were they the reason for his resurgence?

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Baker Mayfield, QB

    Similar to Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield enjoyed a resurgence under Canales’ watch. But now Canales has moved on to be head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

    Mayfield has praised his former offensive coordinator in the past, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can continue to succeed without him moving forward.

    Tennessee Titans: L’Jarius Sneed, CB

    The Titans pulled off a massive trade for shutdown cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Although he was a lockdown cornerback for the Chiefs in 2023, Sneed didn’t find the same success in previous years.

    The Titans are taking quite a gamble on Sneed, given the contract extension that they signed him to. Although he allowed just 545 receiving yards and two touchdowns a year ago, he allowed 1,736 yards and 10 scores from 2021-2022.

    Washington Commanders: Brian Robinson Jr., RB

    Brian Robinson Jr. took on a larger role in 2023, as his role in Washington’s passing game expanded. But given the arrival of Austin Ekeler in free agency, it’s safe to assume that the veteran will be the team’s primary RB on passing downs. Despite the flashes that Robinson showed last season, he will likely take a step back in 2024.

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