- Neil Hornsby, NFL
Even though there are five games left in the 2012 NFL regular season, many teams are as good as eliminated -- and although they'd deny it, many of them are already looking ahead to next year.
Scanning the NFL landscape, who are the players based on what we've seen so far worth keeping an eye on for next year? Which players will get more snaps before the end of the year to prove themselves?
Here are a few players at Pro Football Focus that have graded out well in 2012 and we think could improve dramatically in 2013:
After Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, trying to figure out who the Giants see as their third receiver this year isn't hard. While they prefer Domenik Hixon (who has played well this year), his contract is up after 2012 and we know how pragmatic the Giants front office can be regarding personnel decisions. So when you're a rookie second-rounder who makes the most of his opportunities (as Randle did again on Sunday night) it's a decent bet you'll get more shots. Randle's 1.98 yards per route run (YpRR) is an excellent return and with only one dropped pass, he probably isn't in Tom Coughlin's doghouse yet.
1dMarc Stein and Ramona Shelburne