These second-year players could break out in 2017

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard isn't the only second-year player on the Giants who could take a leap forward in 2017. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After a forgettable rookie season in 2015, some wondered whether Chargers running back Melvin Gordon would evolve into the player the team hoped he would be after using a first-round pick on him. After his inaugural campaign, when he failed to score a single touchdown and finished on injured reserve, Gordon became an end zone magnet in 2016, scoring 12 times in 13 games. He broke through. He bounced back. He was awesome.

It was a reminder that often the offseason that can yield the most significant growth in a player's career in the NFL is the one between his rookie and second seasons. Using Gordon as a fitting example and thinking ahead to 2017, below is a look at several players whose fantasy outlook should be improved as they enter their second full season.

Before we dive into this list, it's important to note that the number of second-year leap candidates is -- speaking generally -- thinner than usual, relative to previous years. That isn't to say there won't be second-year players who make a major impact, but we had to dig a bit deeper to find our full list.