Latest posts by Joe Broback (see all)
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We’ve reached the best time of the year: football season. Both college football and the NFL have begun practicing, and guys are competing for starting spots. In the NFL, rookies begin their first practices as professional athletes. There are many who will win starting jobs, and there are many more rookies that will compete to see the field. Today, we take a look at five rookies to watch (for various reasons) during the NFL preseason.
Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills
Oliver comes to Buffalo after dominating the American Athletic Conference with Houston. The Bills took him ninth overall in this year’s NFL Draft, and he’s already showing why they did that.
Videos have circulated from practices of Oliver continuing his success, but also learning at the same time. Oliver’s proving to be a good pro already, because he spends time after practice to learn from fellow lineman Kyle Williams. He’s taking the necessary steps to become a true professional, and it will pay off in the long run.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
We knew Montgomery was a tough runner, but we didn’t know what they would look like at the pro level. Until this video came out.
Montgomery’s identity in college was running hard, refusing to go down, and taking care of the football. He’s already proving he can do that in the NFL. Now, he just has to win the starting job.
The Bears already have Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis on their roster at running back, but Montgomery already appears on track to steal some touches from both. Chicago’s used multiple backs in the past, but it would be nice for them to use one for the majority of the carries. They may have their guy in their rookie, but only time will tell.
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
In case you’ve been living under a rock for a while, Metcalf took the NFL Combine by storm with his testing numbers. Not only were scouts impressed by his size, but he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash. He also put up other insane numbers in the vertical jump and the bench press. Still, many were skeptical about his ability to play in the NFL.
Seattle took a chance on him, and he’s easily the biggest receiver they have on their roster. The Seahawks have Tyler Lockett, but there aren’t many other options now that Doug Baldwin retired. Metcalf’s in prime position to win a starting spot, and he’d give his team a threat that would give opposing teams nightmares.
Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins
Haskins has arguably the most work to do of any of the highly drafted rookies. Currently, he’s listed as the third-string quarterback for the Redskins. Nothing to worry about given that training camp just started, but still something to work towards. Colt McCoy is the starter followed by Case Keenum.
Haskins is coming off of a year at Ohio State where he threw 50 touchdown passes, but was passed over by Daniel Jones in the first round. He comes to Washington with a chip on his shoulder, and we just need to see how he does in a game.
McCoy, Keenum, and Alex Smith (injured) are all veterans who know what it takes to be a starter. Haskins is the most talented of the four, but he needs to learn what it takes to be a pro first. It might take a while for him to win the starting job, but he’ll be fun to watch when he wins the job.
Greedy Williams, Cleveland Browns
Williams went from a potential Top 10 pick to a second round selection. That’s clearly fueling his game so far. Williams has matched up with the like of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, and has already impressed his coaching staff.
Cleveland’s offense is receiving attention thanks to the addition of Beckham, and the improvement of Baker Mayfield, but the defense is making noise too. Williams lines up opposite of Denzel Ward, and could give the Browns one of the best duos in the league. He benefits from facing guys like Beckham and Landry in practice, so games won’t seem too fast for him.