David Wilson – The New York Giants 1st-round pick will begin the season as Ahmad Bradshaw’s backup but should see significant playing time. Under Tom Coughlin, the Giants have consistently used a two and even three man rotation at running back, leaving plenty of carries for Wilson in the backup role.
Rueben Randle – The 2nd-round pick likely won’t see much action early due to the crowded depth chart. He’ll likely start the year as the 5th or 6th option at receiver.
Adrien Robinson – The 4th-round pick starts the year as the third tight end behind and Martellus Bennett and Bear Pascoe.
Markus Kuhn – Kuhn was one of four defensive tackles to make the 53-man roster, which means he should see a fair amount of playing time as part of their rotation. He’s a bit of a developmental prospect though, so they may pick and chose the right spots to play him.
Jayron Hosley – Hosley competed for the nickel corner job during the preseason but appears to have lost out. He’ll start the season primarily playing on special teams and could return a few punts.
Morris Claiborne – The Cowboys 1st-round pick will be the only rookie starter in Dallas. He’s missed time this offseason so his development may be slowed, but the Cowboys will rely on him and Brandon Carr to anchor the secondary.
Cole Beasley – The only rookie to crack the Cowboys 53-man roster on offense was an undrafted rookie from SMU. Beasley beat out fellow rookie 5th-round pick Danny Coale for the job. He’s one of six receivers on the active roster the Cowboys don’t have a clear-cut No. 3 and No. 4 option, so he could see some action early as they sort out their depth chart at the position.
Tyrone Crawford – Crawford will provide depth on the Cowboys defensive line, rotating in at defensive end with Kenyon Coleman and Jason Hatcher.
Other notables: linebacker Kyle Wilber, safety Matt Johnson
Le’Veon Bell – RB – Michigan State Spartans
Bell carried the Spartans to victory over Boise State and in doing so gave his draft stock a nice boost. At times Bell has looked like nothing more than a short-yardage back, but he proved he can carry the workload. He still needs to show he can remain effective over the course of the season, but he looks like a 2nd or 3rd-round pick right now. He reminds me of LeGarrette Blount or Peyton Hillis.
Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama Crimson Tide
Milliner started six game for the Tide last year, but this was his first chance to step up as the leader of the secondary. Michigan doesn’t exactly have the most potent passing attack, but Milliner shut down everything thrown his way. He finished with one interceptions and four pass break ups. There’s still a long way to go before the cornerbacks sort themselves out this year, but Milliner is definitely in the mix to come off the board in the 1st round.
Eddie Lacy – RB – Alabama Crimson Tide
It’s not that Lacy looked bad against Michigan, it’s just that he didn’t get many chances. It looks like Lacy will be part of a running back-by-committee approach which will limit his ability to impress scouts this season.
David Amerson – CB – N.C. State Wolfpack
Amerson entered the season as the top cornerback on many draft boards but he was exposed against Tennessee. He was torched for two long touchdowns and was exposed for his lack of speed. After watching this game, I started to wonder if Amerson might be better suited to play free safety at the next level.
Brandon Jenkins – DE- Florida State Seminoles
Jenkins suffered a season-ending foot injury on Saturday. Jenkins can apply for a medical redshirt and would likely receive it, but I would be surprised if he didn’t enter the draft. Jenkins would have been a Day 2 pick had he entered the 2012 Draft and he’ll still have a chance to get back to that level if he’s healthy enough to work out this offseason.
Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley will get the start in their final preseason game in place of Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.
Ken Whisenhunt made it clear that Lindley was not part of the quarterback competition, but this is still a great opportunity for Lindley who could potentially see some action late in the season for the Cardinals. It’s become clear than Kolb and Skelton are likely not the long-term answers in Arizona, so it would not be a surprise to see Lindley get some action if this season slips away from the Cards.
The key to Lindley’s development will be his accuracy. He has the size and arm strength to play at this level, but accuracy has always been an area of concern.
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur has announced that rookie Brandon Weeden will sit on Thursday, giving the nod for the final preseason game to Colt McCoy.
The Browns announced weeks ago that Weeden was the starter, and typically starting quarterbacks sit out the final preseason game. But Weeden isn’t your typical starter. He’s struggled the past two preseason games and many fans were hoping to see Weeden get a few more reps under his belt before the season opener.
The San Francisco 49ers cut the roster down to 75 and have already parted ways with 6th-round pick Jason Slowey, an offensive lineman out of Western Oregon.
There’s nothing unusual about a draft pick not making the team, especially a 6th or 7th round pick. But to not even make it to the final preseason game is somewhat surprising, and definitely reflects poorly on the front office.
The rest of the 49ers draft class remains with the team, although 5th-round pick Darius Fleming remains on the PUP list and is unlikely to be activated by the start of the season.
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Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles outplayed Cleveland Browns rookie Brandon Weeden on Friday night, and it wasn’t all that close.
Weeden struggled against the Eagles
Weeden fumbled twice while completing just 9 of his 20 pass attempts. Weeden also did not appear to be on the same page as his No. 1 receiver, completing just one of fourpasses aimed at Greg Little. Both Weeden and Little were visibly frustrated on the field due to their miscommunications on two of the incompletions.
The issue with Weeden was handling Philadelphia’s pass rush, which brought consistent pressure and forced Weeden into multiple mistakes.
Foles, on the other hand, exceeded expectations and likely made Andy Reid feel very comfortable about his quarterback situation. Foles was expected to be Philly’s third string quarterback behind Mike Vick and Mike Kafka, but could now push Kafka for the backup job.
Against the Browns Foles looked poised under pressure, especially for a rookie, and completed 12 of 19 passes for 146 yards.
Cincinnati Bengals undrafted free agent Vontaze Burfict is reportedly on the bubble for making the final 53-man roster according to Paul Dehner Jr., of CBS Sports. Burfict has been competing with Roddrick Muckelroy for the backup job behind Rey Maualuga.
Frankly, the fact that he’s even in the conversation is a big win for Burfict. He may be worth developing, but unless he has improved by leaps and bounds this offseason, he isn’t ready for the NFL. Since the Bengals consider themselves serious contenders in the AFC, it would come as a surprise if they used a roster spot on a rookie with significant development still needed.
Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted rookie linebacker Adrian Robinson‘s stock is rising, according to Chris Adamski of CBS Sports. Robinson entered camp with little chance of earning a spot on the 53-man roster due to the Steelers depth at linebacker, but his performance could make for a tough decision for the Steelers coaching staff.
Adamski currently has Robinson on the outside looking in on his projected 53-man roster, but notes that if James Harrison or Jason Worilds starts the season the PUP list, it would open up a spot for Robinson.