The NFL season is right around the corner, and here are some young guns that will make plays from day 1.
The NFL pre season is finally here, which means we’re only a few weeks away from the real season. 32 teams will yet again battle for a chance to play for the Lombardi Trophy in February. New England Patriots won it last year, and on paper, they are even better this year. That’s a scary thought.
More on that in a later post. This post will cover the rookies, the young guys bringing their talents to the NFL for the first time. The most exciting part of training camp is watching the new guys, and see how they fit in with the team that drafted them. I have high hopes for a lot of rookies, but especially these five players:
RB Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
Talk about machine. Leonard Fournette is a rare running back talent. He moves his 103 kg’s like it’s nothing. He’s so fast, so strong, so elusive. He’s probably the player I’m most excited to watch this season, and he’s also the player I believe will have most success in his rookie year. He had 6,5 yards per carry in 2016 – and he played injured.
Jaguars need a running game to become relevant, and they were fortunate that Fournette (…) fell to them in the draft. In a few years, we might talk about Fournette as one of the best players in the league.
DE Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Duh. The 1st overall pick in the draft is obviously one to watch. Is he as talented as former 1st overall pick Jadeveon Clowney? Can he save the Cleveland Browns on his own? Cleveland is myles away (…) from being a playoff contender, but maybe Myles is the answer.
They open their pre season vs New Orleans August 10th, and everybody’s eyes will be fixed on the defensive end. When a team pass on a top tier quarterback in the draft, to draft a defensive player, he needs to be special.
But, I truly believe Myles Garrett will be special, and he will make the Cleveland Browns exciting to watch for the first time in many years.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers is on a revenge mission this season, and their newly acquired running back Christian McCaffrey will be a big part of that. The thing with McCaffrey is that he is as dangerous as a receiver as he is as running back. That will make him a desired weapon for Cam Newton, who never has had a creative, speedy, pass catching, elusive back like McCaffrey.
Only two running backs has been drafted higher than Christian McCaffrey (#8) over the last 5 years: Ezekiel Elliott (#4) and Leonard Fournette (#4). Five years from now, those three will be the three best RB’s in the NFL, and I think McCaffrey will have the most receiving yards by any running back in his rookie year.
DE Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles
Look out for Derek Barnett. He had 33 sacks in college – in 39 games. That’s insane for college. He has a bend like the best pass rushers in the NFL, and could possibly give the Eagles what they have been lacking: Any pressure at all on the opponents quarterback.
The former Tennessee player has all the tools to succeed at the edge. We’ll get a small taste when the Eagles visits the Green Bay Packers August 10th.
TE OJ Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs is freguently being mentioned as the dark horse for a Super Bowl this year. That might be taking it a bit far, but recent history says that a NFC South team will come out of nowhere, and go all the way to the Super Bowl… and lose.
One of the most important pieces to do that will be their new tight end OJ Howard. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a tight end prospect like him. He’s huge, he’s fast, he can block, and he has hands. That’s all you want out of a modern tight end.
Another reason why he will dominate, is that Jameis Winston LOVES big targets. OJ Howard will be a big available target on almost every play.
RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon is a bad person, but one hell of a football player. I’m not going to talk about his off-field issues, but on the field, Mixon is something else. He’s patient, fast and has great receiving abilities. He’s a faster version of Le’Veon Bell, and that’s crazy.
He gives the Bengals a versatile option in the backfield, and should help that team get back on track again. If he can stay on the field, he will be a beast. Hopefully his issues is a thing of the past. Bengals opens vs the Bucs August 11th.
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