Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made a big announcement on his Instagram page on Monday.
Nassib publicly revealed that he is gay. He said in his Instagram message that it being Pride Month moved him to make the announcement now. He also said he received tremendous support from his family, team, coaches and NFL players.
“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest,” Nassib said.
Nassib said he is a private person but felt it was important to share the news publicly for representation.
Carl, 28, is the younger brother of former Giants defensive lineman, Ryan Nassib. Carl was a 3rd-round pick by Cleveland in 2016. He played two seasons for the Browns, two with the Bucs, and is entering his second season with the Raiders.
Nassib had 28 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 14 games last season.
Many rookies enter the NFL with unparalleled or even unfair expectations, and then fail to live up to that billing. But one season does not generally make or break a player.
New York Giants safety Landon Collins is perhaps the best recent example of this, as he struggled throughout his rookie campaign only to catch fire and set historical marks during his sophomore season, very nearly winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
So, who will be the Landon Collins of 2017? Here’s a look at 10 second-year players who are poised for a breakout 2017 season.
10. Darian Thompson, safety, New York Giants
It seems somewhat ironic that in referencing Landon Collins to open this article, we immediately pinpoint another second-year Giants safety as a potential breakout star.
A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Thompson was supposed to join a talented Giants secondary and provide a ball-hawking, center fielder alongside the bone-crunching, run-stopping Collins. Unfortunately, a foot injury limited Thompson to only two games, and the Giants were never able to see the full potential of that tandem.
But for those who cover the team on a daily basis, the talent Thompson possesses is evident. Thompson is a true coverage safety capable of shutting down tight end seam routes — one of the team’s biggest area of concerns — and he is a turnover-creating machine. Above all else, he picked up the defense rapidly and become a leader in the secondary before ever stepping foot onto the field in a meaningful game.
If Collins can continue his progression at strong safety, there’s no telling how productive Thompson can be by fitting into a role that could not be more perfectly suited for him.
9. C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks (more…)