Some breakout candidates are more obvious than others and one of the more popular candidates for a breakout year in the NFL is Baltimore Ravens second-year wide receiver Torrey Smith.
He improved steadily throughout his career at the University of Maryland, finishing with 1055 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games, leading to his getting selected in the second round by the Ravens in the 2011 Draft.
As a rookie, in 2011, Smith had 50 catches for 841 yards, not far behind veteran Anquan Boldin (57 catches for 887 yards) in Baltimore's wide receiver pecking order.
While Boldin has fashioned a successful career running underneath routes and using his strength because the 31-year-old has always lacked high-end speed, Smith provides both the size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) and speed (4.41 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) to create matchup problems down the field.
Smith's deep speed could make him a match for Joe Flacco, who is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-low 6.66 yards per pass attempt.
Smith surged into the spotlight in the third week last season, catching five passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns against St. Louis and had another monster game against Cincinnati in Week 10 (six catches, 165 yards, one touchdown) to boost his overall numbers but, after 841 yards as a rookie, it's conceivable that Smith becomes the Ravens' top receiver as soon as this season and goes over 1,000 yards, possibly increasing on last year's seven touchdowns in the process.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.