Rookies Make Plenty Of Headway In Week Two Of Preseason

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Aug 21, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass as Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) rushes during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 21, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass as Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) rushes during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason is a time for rookies to begin their development. Plenty of reps are on the table, and every rookie wants to make the most of it. Through two weeks of preseason play, the rookies have made waves. Who are the biggest standouts so far?


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The Quarterbacks

After a very solid week one, a couple quarterbacks were hit with some reality. DeShone Kizer and DeShaun Watson struggled a bit more this time around. Both guys missed some throws during their portion of the game. However, they did affect the running game, as each scored a touchdown on the ground.

Despite the others struggling, Patrick Mahomes and Mitchell Trubisky picked up where they left off. Trubisky played very well from the pocket on Saturday, and Mahomes made some excellent throws outside the pocket. They have a ways to go, but both guys are making strides.

A Deep Running Back Class, Indeed

It should come at no surprise that the running back class is loaded this season. Now, during the second week of preseason, the rookie class is making the move. Christian McCaffrey looked electric against the Titans. He can run between the tackles and be a huge factor in the passing game. The draft analysts knew it, and now he’s proving them right.

Dalvin Cook struggled a bit on the ground in week one of the preseason, but he found his stride against Seattle. A couple runs were one guy away from touchdowns. Cook is another electric playmaker who could win the starting job with his performances.

Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt also got time with the first string against the Bengals. He proved he’s not only a downhill threat but a pass catcher as well.

Despite the starting job being locked up, Bears rookie Tarik Cohen is playing well this preseason. He’s a dangerous player with the ball in his hands. His performance, along with health, put him in a spot to get passing down snaps early in the season.

Zay Jones Alone In Buffalo

With the Bills receivers dropping like flies, Zay Jones has a great opportunity. Sammy Watkins is gone, and Anquan Boldin just retired. Now, it’s up to Zay Jones and new acquisition Jordan Matthews to carry the load. Matthews is primarily a slot receiver, so Jones has an opportunity to show what he has on the outside. So far, so good with Jones.

Pass Rushers Are Tough To Stop

Let’s get this out of the way. Myles Garrett is going to be a force. He looked very powerful and quick off the edge against the Giants Monday night. He is going to frustrate tackles this season for a Browns team headed in the right direction.

Derek Barnett continues to grab headlines for the Eagles as a pass rusher. They have a deep defensive line, but Barnett will get his opportunities. He made tackles look foolish at times in his first two games.

Defensive Backs Mostly Quiet

We haven’t heard too much from the defensive backs just yet. Redskins rookie Fabian Moreau looked good on special teams last week, but there isn’t too much to report. Corner and safety are tough positions to pick up and run with.

However, one guy stands alone. Chargers defensive back Desmond King has been dominant in his first two games. He sacked the quarterback, broke up a pass, and made a great stop on third down last week, and was all over the place the week before. It’s early, but he could make a case for the steal of the draft.

With two weeks to go, anything can happen.

Jake Schyvinck is the managing editor for cover32 Chiefs. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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