1) Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
Simply put, it's time for Beckham Jr. to stop whining and start putting up the numbers.
Truthfully, you have to wonder if the Browns even want him back. In his absence, Baker Mayfield established an excellent chemistry with his other wide receivers - Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. He also involved his tight ends and RB Kareem Hunt in the passing game.
The result was a multi-pronged attack that gave opposing teams fits as they didn't know who to cover.
If Beckham Jr. can adopt a team-first attitude, he could possibly help the offense get even better. That's a big if, because he's likely to start pouting - again - because he's not being targeted 12 times a game, which just isn't realistic.
2) Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Cleveland Browns
Turns out, the Browns have another game changer on defense. However, much like Beckham, they don't know whether Clowney will have a positive or negative effect on their defensive group.
If he brings a good attitude and stays healthy, the 6.5", 225-pound edge rusher could be a force, combining with fellow DE Myles Garrett to terrorize quarterbacks.
Again, that's a big if.
Clowney is injury prone, and thinks he's better than he is. His production has tailed off the past couple of seasons, so 2021 is a big year for him. If he crashes and burns again, he could find himself out of a job - and on his way out of the league - in short order.
3) A.J. Green, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Once a star in Cincinnati, the 6' 4", 210-pound Green has struggled over the past few seasons.
In 2018, he put up 694 yards and 6 TD's on 46 catches in nine games - decent production. However, after missing 2019 due to injury, he came back in 2020 with a poor showing : 523 yards on 47 catches, good for just 2 TD's.
Granted, he missed QB Joe Burrow after the former LSU star went down with a torn ACL. He also didn't have much help from other receivers in Cincy.
Still - although he is in a great situation in Arizona with DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk (and possibly Larry Fitzgerald, if he chooses to play) - Green is now 33 and coming off a horrible season. We will quickly find out if he has anything left in the tank.
4) Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
In 2020, Elliott's production inexplicably dipped precipitously with just 979 yards on 244 carries. The result was an average of 65.3 yards per game and just 6 TD's.
Even worse, the 6', 228-pound workhorse fumbled six times, displaying difficulty in keeping the ball secure.
Suffice it to say that QB Dak Prescott will need Elliott more than ever as he returns from a gruesome leg injury.
A strong ground game will not only keep the pass rush of opposing teams at bay, but it will also open up the passing game - and Prescott has lots of weapons there with the likes of wideouts Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup.
It's critical that Elliott returns to his 2019 form, which saw him rush for 1357 yards and 12 TD's. If he doesn't, the 'Boys offense will struggle.
5) JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
On the surface, Smith-Schuster's stat line from 2020 is respectable: 97 receptions, 831 yards and 9 TD's.
That said, he only averaged 8.6 yards per catch and dropped far too many passes. To put it bluntly, that type of production wasn't acceptable for a receiver who was expected to be QB Ben Roethlisberger's primary target.
Which is to say, the Steelers were expecting a year more like 2018, when Smith Schuster caught 111 balls for 1,427 yards and 7 TD's.
There's no question he has the talent to put up big numbers, but will the 6' 1", 215-pound former USC star find the consistency he needs to firmly establish himself as the Steelers' number one receiver? Stay tuned.