The NY Jets were pleasantly surprised with the play of Bryce Huff in 2020. The only undrafted rookie to make the initial 53-man roster, Huff went on to play a key role as part of the team's front-seven rotation.
And heading into 2021, he could be primed for a breakout season.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report released a list of each NFL team's potential breakout player and Huff served as the Jets' representative.
Sobleski cited Huff's mild success as a rookie and the role he could have as part of Robert Saleh's defense as reasons for his possible breakout performance.
The NY Jets could see Bryce Huff break out in 2021.
Here is an excerpt from Sobleski's section about Huff.
"Bryce Huff didn't hear his name called during the 2020 draft even though his tape showed one of the most fluid and smoothest edge-rushers in the class. Huff isn't the strongest or most physical at the point of attack, but he can turn the corner against tackles. New head coach Robert Saleh relies on his defensive front to dictate terms. He needs explosive upfield disruptors to properly employ his scheme. Huff best fits the description to play opposite [Carl] Lawson."- Brent Sobleski
After shining as a high-effort, high-energy pass rusher at Memphis, the Jets gave Huff more guaranteed money than any of their other undrafted signings.
So while it's also an uphill battle for any undrafted player to make the final roster, it wasn't too surprising that the player who did it was Huff.
The 23-year-old went on to play in 14 games registering two sacks, 16 tackles, four tackles for loss, and four QB hits. Huff played roughly 26 percent of defensive snaps and was a regular in the front-seven rotation.
It was a modest season for the undrafted rookie, but it's fair to assume, if given the chance, he will produce even more in the team's new defense.
The Jets will be switching to a 4-3 defense under Saleh, a scheme that fits Huff more than the 3-4 one he played in a year ago. The only possible hold-up will be playing time.
The Jets signed former Cincinnati Bengals star Carl Lawson in free agency as well as veteran Vinny Curry. Lawson is the undisputed starter at one defensive end spot while the other side will likely feature a rotation of sorts.
Outside of Curry and Huff, 2020 holdover John Franklin-Myers could be used at the position despite playing more of an interior role last season. There are also others like Kyle Phillips, Jabari Zuniga, and Ronald Blair all competing for playing time.
It's highly likely that not all those players make the final roster. Even Huff isn't guaranteed a roster spot.
But if he continues his upward trajectory, he might not only make the 53-man roster again, but he could solidify a role in Robert Saleh's defense.