On Tuesday, nine NFL teams welcomed rookies to training camp, which means the action on the football field will ramp up in the coming days. In the summer heat, several players will face immense pressure to perform at a level that matches their draft status or justifies a pay raise during or after the 2023 season.

As summer offseason programs begin, we'll shine a light on eight notable players headed into a make-or-break campaign. Most of these young veterans came into the league as first-round picks, though a recent second-round pick will go into a pivotal year after he skipped mandatory minicamp for a contract-related matter.

Our list includes two players who had a strong career start with Pro Bowl rookie campaigns, but they both saw a significant drop-off in production because of injuries or underwhelming performances on the field.

As the common thread, all eight players could see a dramatic swing in their career outlook with a standout or disappointing 2023 season.


J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

J.K. Dobbins doesn't have to play up to first-round expectations, but he wants a new deal, which adds some pressure to his 2023 campaign.

Dobbins expressed frustration with his current contract situation while he sat out of mandatory minicamp practices (h/t ESPN's Jamison Hensley).

Because of a down year for the running back market, Dobbins will likely play out the final year of his rookie contract in hopes to cash in on free agency next offseason. In order to earn a significant pay raise, Dobbins must top his numbers from the 2020 and 2022 terms.

In his rookie year, Dobbins rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns and then he missed the entire 2021 campaign with a torn ACL that also slowed his start to the 2022 term.

If Dobbins goes into the 2023 campaign healthy, he can lead the Ravens in rushing. He may also see an expanded role in the passing game under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who, per to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec, wants to get the running backs involved in the passing attack.

In 23 games, Dobbins has 25 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown. With more pass-catching opportunities, he could command a decent salary bump on the open market. On the other hand, Dobbins will find it challenging to draw suitors without a well-rounded stat sheet in the upcoming term.