Welcome back to my third year of doing NFL breakout players predictions. I just wanted to go back through the criteria for selection so we can all be on the same page, even though I know half of y’all won’t read it.

Cameron Fleming Youth Jersey To even be considered a guy has to be at least two years removed from playing in college. I won’t pick a rookie before he has played a snap in the NFL, and even if a guy had a strong rookie season that usually just isn’t enough to go on unless he played so well that he already broke out as a rookie.

Justin Blackmon Youth Jersey We all know guys who start slow then come on strong around their third season, and we also know a lot of cats who balled out as a rookie and then fell off. Predicting how a guy will play is hard enough as it is, but I want it to at least be an informed prediction if possible and that usually takes time and (hopefully) game film.

The NFL tweaked its rules for practice squad eligibility this year. In 2014, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a rule that expanded the practice squad roster limits from eight to 10 players. The rule expired prior to the 2016 league year, but it has been renewed. In addition, last year teams could have two of the 10 practice squad spots filled by players who had two or more years of experience on an NFL roster. This year, that number has been increased to four players.

While many players who spent the preseason with NFL teams are being cut today, the hope remains that they may get signed by another team off of waivers. If players clear waivers, the next best thing is the practice squad, which allows them to continue to develop as players and keep their NFL hopes alive.

It’s still a long shot for these players to carve out successful NFL careers, but landing on a practice squad gives them a shot. Several players have graduated from practice squads to active rosters and made an impact for their teams, including Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola and Steelers linebacker James Harrison.