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Sunday, March 3, 2024

6 NFL rookies who stood out in preseason Week 1


The NFL preseason is barely sufficient time to make full reads about what a participant can or can’t be within the upcoming season. With restricted time going in opposition to second and third stringers, making any huge conclusions a few participant’s expertise stage is slightly little bit of an overreaction.

Nonetheless, some rookies can use the time to get acclimated to the NFL stage and put their bodily instruments to the take a look at. Some gamers take time to do this, whereas others stand out instantly. Listed below are six rookies who instantly made an affect of their staff’s first preseason sport.

Will McDonald, EDGE, New York Jets

Technically, it’s McDonald’s second preseason sport, because the Jets performed within the Corridor of Fame sport in opposition to the Cleveland Browns. Nonetheless, in opposition to the Carolina Panthers, McDonald confirmed off the go rush potential that made him the fifteenth total choose within the 2023 NFL Draft. Via each preseason video games, he has six pressures and a sack in 25 go dashing snaps, and his burst mixed together with his velocity make him a formidable presence off the sting.

I used to be slightly extra down on this choose when it occurred as a result of I believed the Jets had extra urgent wants, however McDonald offers the Jets a distinct model of go rusher on the sting. With guys like Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers on the sting, they’ve extra power-based rushers. McDonald relies on velocity and burst, giving the already formidable Jets DL one other standout go rusher.

Keeanu Benton and Nick Herbig, DL, Pittsburgh Steelers

I grouped these guys collectively for 2 causes: each are former Wisconsin Badgers who are actually on the Pittsburgh Steelers and each wrecked store for the Steelers of their preseason victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Benton appeared particularly sturdy within the run sport, flexing the facility and heavy arms that made him a Day 2 draft choose. He was routinely within the backfield within the run sport and usually prompted havoc on early downs.

Herbig performs on the sting, and goes to supply extra go rush juice to an already stacked EDGE unit. He had just a few very good go rush reps in opposition to Tampa, getting a sack with a candy inside transfer after establishing an outdoor lengthy arm.

Each guys look to issue into the Steelers protection very early, though in two totally different elements of the sport. If they appear something like they did in week one of many preseason, Steelers followers must be very excited.

Deuce Vaughn, RB, Dallas Cowboys

The Diminutive Dynamo in Dallas destroyed defenders within the Cowboys loss to the Jaguars. Vaughn carried the ball for 50 yards and a TD on eight carries, whereas additionally including in a reception. Vaughn routinely made could be tacklers miss and turned small positive factors into explosives.

Vaughn goes to be an element within the Cowboys offense that’s seeking to create extra explosive performs. He’s a strolling large play, and regardless of being 5’5, Vaughn is compactly constructed and doesn’t take many huge hits. With Tony Pollard entrenching himself as RB1, Vaughn has an excellent probability to be the subsequent man up within the Cowboys RB room.

A.T. Perry, WR, New Orleans Saints

A.T. Perry was a late spherical select of Wake Forest regardless of placing up good numbers as a Demon Deacon, nevertheless it seems to be like he is likely to be a steal for the New Orleans Saints. Perry had six catches for 70 yards, together with an attractive TD catch on a throw from backup QB Jameis Winston.

The Saints WR room may be very deep, however Perry has proven he could make performs in a number of spots. New Orleans acquired him concerned within the fast sport with display passes, in addition to utilizing his potential to get downfield and make catches for explosives. The climb to each taking part in time and targets is an uphill battle, however Perry has proven that he can produce when given the chance in a Saints offense that appears a lot smoother.

Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Nacua has been turning heads in Rams coaching camp, and in opposition to the Chargers, appeared like he’ll issue into the Rams beginning offense as properly. Nacua had three catches for 32 yards and a TD, and confirmed off good route working and skill to get downfield after the catch.

With the Rams searching for a constant second possibility subsequent to Cooper Kupp, Nacua might be that man. He received’t precisely be essentially the most explosive possibility, however he’s dependable and may win within the intermediate areas of the sector. Nacua has the potential to show himself as a possible constructing block for a Rams staff in transition from contending to rebuilding.



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