Although many former Blue Devils have seen their roles diminish in 2016, one former Duke star is still excelling as the playoffs draw closer.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins

The Redskins are still in the hunt for a wild-card playoff spot, and Crowder's breakout season is a big reason why. The second-year pro has emerged as a consistent big-play threat, posting three receptions for 102 yards and a 44-yard touchdown in a 42-24 rout of Green Bay in Week 11.

Just four days later in a high-profile Thanksgiving matchup with Dallas, Crowder was at his best again, catching eight passes on 10 targets for 88 yards in a 31-26 loss. Despite the result, Crowder had another strong game, frequently turning short and intermediate routes into chunk plays to help quarterback Kirk Cousins amass 449 yards through the air.

In Week 13, Crowder caught a touchdown for the fourth time in five games against Arizona in a 31-23 defeat, a 26-yard strike from Cousins late in the third quarter that gave the Redskins a 20-17 lead. But Washington was not able to preserve that advantage, dropping its second straight contest to fall to 6-5-1 on the season. Crowder finished with three receptions for 42 yards and the touchdown.

The Redskins bounced back Sunday with a 27-22 win against the Eagles, though Crowder had a quiet day with just two receptions for 37 yards. 

Even with only five catches in his last two games, Crowder now has 60 catches for 804 yards and seven touchdowns with three weeks left in the season, and he could reach the 1,000-yard threshold with a strong finish to the year. The former fourth-round draft pick has emerged as a consistent threat as a slot receiver and seems poised for a long NFL career if he stays on his current trajectory. 

Vincent Rey, LB, Cincinnati Bengals

Rey has seen his role diminish toward the end of the season. The veteran linebacker posted nine tackles in a 16-12 loss to Buffalo in Week 11, but has just seven total tackles and a pass deflection in the three games since then. Cincinnati is having its worst season in recent memory at 5-7-1, and it's unclear what the seventh-year linebacker's future will look like after a year filled with inconsistent play. Rey has 219 total tackles combined in his last two full seasons but has just 69 so far in 2016. 

Ross Cockrell, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have won four straight games after falling to 4-5 and now find themselves back in the playoff hunt and atop the AFC North with three games left in the season. Cockrell has been consistent during the four-game winning streak, posting 15 tackles and four pass deflections in the four contests—wins against Cleveland, Indianapolis, the New York Giants and Buffalo. If Pittsburgh stays hot, Cockrell could have a chance to play deep into the playoffs given the team's offensive firepower. 

Laken Tomlinson, LG, Detroit Lions

After falling out of the rotation in the middle of the season, Tomlinson has started to get back on the field late in the year. The guard has seen time at both right guard and left guard in the past month in some of Detroit's jumbo sets, and injuries up front could lead to an increased workload as the season winds down. 

At 9-4, the Lions are also closing in on a division title and playoff berth if they keep up their strong play, meaning Tomlinson could experience playoff football for the first time in his career. If the former first-round pick can continue working his way back into the rotation up front and put his past struggles behind him, it would go a long way toward securing a future in Detroit.