NFL Week 2: 3 Breakout Performances

Each NFL season brings new stars trying to announce themselves among the league's elite, and every week brings performances that elevate unknown quanitities to hero-status. Here are three young players who burst onto the scene in Week 2 with career-best performances.

Edge Rusher Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions

It didn't take long for this year's second-overall pick to declare himself a difference maker in the NFL. Edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson had a gigantic Week 2, notching three sacks and adding two tackles for loss in the Detroit Lions' impressive win over the Washington Commanders. Lions fans have to be thanking their lucky stars the Michigan native fell to them; the former Wolverine had been the expected top prospect all through the predraft process.

Photo Credit: © Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins 

Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle had already inspired high hopes after a promising rookie season in which he tallied 1015 yard on a rookie record 104 receptions. The former Alabama prospect established himself as a reliable underneath target in 2021, but after averaging only 7.3 yard per target, his game appeared to lack an explosive element. The Dolphins saw a completely different Waddle in Week 2 when he blew up for a career-high 171 yards on 19 targets to go along with two touchdowns. With attention being drawn away by Tyreek Hill, who leads the league in receiving through two weeks, Waddle's ascension could just be beginning.

Photo Credit: © Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Jamel Dean, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cornerback Jamel Dean had never even opened a season as a starter until 2022, and now he might be one of the league's top defensive backs. Dean notched two interceptions in the Bucs' crucial win over the New Orleans Saints despite never exceeding two interceptions across an entire season. Pro Football Focus's third-ranked cornerback has been dominant through two weeks, posting a staggering 12.9 passer rating allowed for passes in his direction, and perhaps no player deserves more credit for the Bucs' top-ranked scoring defense.