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Top 10 Rising Sports Stars – Football

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher

These cats can ball. Period. From Marshon Lattimore, to Kareem Hunt and Myles Garrett, keep your eyes out for these future superstars. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Rising Sports Stars – Football.

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Script written by Spencer Sher

Top 10 Rising Sports Stars – Football


These cats can ball. Period. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Rising Sports Stars – Football.

For this list, we will not be including rookies, so guys like Saquon Barkley, who’ve accrued considerable hype before having played in a single NFL game, will not be included.

#10: Marshon Lattimore


This Saints cornerback had himself one hell of a year in 2017. Despite starting the season ranked third on the depth chart, Lattimore quickly became the centerpiece of a scary good defensive unit. His 5 interceptions, 18 pass deflections and 52 combined tackles in 13 games not only earned him the respect of players and coaches from across the league but helped him walk away with a Pro Bowl appearance and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Lattimore is that rare combination of size, speed, and agility that all teams hope to find, and if he can continue to produce at an elite level there’s no telling how high he’ll climb.

#9: Kareem Hunt


Want to know how to make a good first impression in the NFL? Put up 246 total yards and 3 TD’s on Thursday Night Football in Foxborough against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Kareem Hunt exploded onto the scene last season with one of the greatest debuts in NFL history. It would have been impossible for him to keep up the pace for the rest of the year but that didn’t stop him from trying. His 1327 yards on the ground were good enough to earn him the league’s rushing title and his 11 total TD’s helped the Chiefs win their second consecutive AFC West title. Get ready for more of the same in 2018.

#8: Myles Garrett


The first overall pick from the 2017 draft had an up and down rookie season. Injuries kept him out of the lineup for five games and it certainly didn’t help that he played on a Browns team that couldn’t scrape together a single win. With that being said, things are looking up for both Garrett and his squad, with the team making improvements on both sides of the ball this offseason. He remains one of the most physically gifted edge rushers in the league and if the Browns find a way to give him more time to attack the quarterback he will be in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year by season’s end.

#7: Leonard Fournette


After a rookie season in which he rushed for 1040 yards and 9 touchdowns, Leonard Fournette is poised for an even bigger year in 2018. The LSU product made mincemeat of opposing defenses last season, using his speed, power, and vision to keep them honest. With a yards-per-carry average of just 3.9 its clear Fournette still has room for improvement and it wouldn’t hurt to see the Jaguars use him a little more in the passing game. However, as it stands he is one of the most electric running backs in the NFL and if he can stay healthy he will continue to shred opposing defenses for the foreseeable future.

#6: Jared Goff


We’ll be the first to admit that Jared Goff did not have a strong rookie season. However, in 2017 he flourished under the guidance of new head coach Sean McVay, whose offensive-first approach allowed Goff to finally find his footing. The result was a year in which the sophomore QB helped the Rams secure their first division title since 2003. His 3804 yards passing and 28 TD’s to just 7 interceptions were enough to earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl, while his 12.9 yards per pass completion was tops in the NFL. If Goff can keep it up the Rams will continue to be in the conversation when it comes to Super Bowl favorites.

#5: Jalen Ramsey


A hard knockin’, trash talkin’, ball hawkin’ beast of a cornerback, Jalen Ramsey has developed into one of the most feared defensive players in the game today. He was both a First-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in 2017 and finished the season with 4 picks and 52 tackles. Those numbers might not seem like much but that’s only because most quarterbacks are terrified of throwing in the young CB’s direction. Much like Darrelle Revis before him, Jalen Ramsey is an island when he’s on the field and any QB foolish enough to toss the ball in his direction is in for a rude awakening. We think 2018 will be his best season yet!

#4: Alvin Kamara


Alvin Kamara made a name for himself in 2017 as one of the NFL’s most dangerous running backs. He is equally adept at burning DB’s for huge chunks of yards as he is hurdling over linebackers for first downs. He redefined what it means to be a dual threat in today’s NFL, recording 728 yards on the ground and another 826 through the air to go along with 14 total touchdowns – one of which came on a 106-yard kickoff return. With a yards-per-carry average of 6.1 and receiving yards per reception average of 10.2, Kamara made a habit of torching defenses last year. Look for a strong sophomore season from this Saints running back.

#3: Joey Bosa

A third overall pick in 2016, Joey Bosa has been a force to be reckoned with ever since, posting eye-popping numbers in two straight seasons. Despite missing the first four games of the 2016 season with a hamstring injury he still managed to record 10.5 sacks and 41 tackles en route to being named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. The following season he cemented his status as one of the best pass rushers in the game, finishing with 12.5 sacks and 70 tackles and being named to his first Pro Bowl. Still just 23 years old, Joey Bosa has nowhere to go but up.

#2: Deshaun Watson


If this entry surprises you then you clearly weren’t paying attention during Deshaun Watson’s brief tenure as the Houston Texans starting QB last season. Despite only starting six games before being sidelined by injury, Watson threw for just under 1700 yards and 19 touchdowns and set or tied a slew of NFL records, including “Most passing touchdowns in a single game by a rookie quarterback” and “Longest streak of games with 3 or more passing touchdowns by a rookie in NFL history”. Impressed yet? Watson is exactly the kind of quarterback you’d want to build a franchise around and if he can stay healthy the Texans are going to be Super Bowl contenders for years to come.

#1: Todd Gurley


After a 2015 rookie season that saw him score 10 TD’s and eclipse 1000 yards rushing, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley was poised for an even better sophomore campaign. Instead, he regressed dramatically, causing many to question if he had what it took to be an elite NFL scorer. Well, in 2017, he officially put those questions to rest, racking up more than 2000 total yards and 19 TD’s and taking home the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year Award. A threat to take it to the house on nearly every play thanks to his vision and explosiveness, Gurley is far and away the hottest rising star in the game today!

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