Biggest Standouts from Rookie Camp

Aaron NaglerNFL National Lead WriterMay 14, 2012

The latest crop of NFL rookies has now taken its initial snaps while wearing its first NFL helmets during rookie minicamps. Mostly, these three-day affairs are baby steps in the development of a rookie class, as it acclimates itself to life in the NFL.

Rookies learn what being in shape really means. The guys who are sucking wind after half a day of drills know this isn't college anymore, and they learn what is expected of them in the classroom when it comes to learning their playbooks.

Lots of headlines can be generated over the course of a rookie camp, and it's easy to get excited because so-and-so "looks good" during his first days with an NFL team. It's important to take everything you read about rookie camps with a huge grain of salt; this is merely an initial building block for the rollout of the beginning of their NFL careers.

The next phase will come when they step on the field with their veteran teammates, followed by when they put the pads on. Once the rookies get to training camp and preseason games, they will all take steps forward or back, but even then, it's hard to make any kind of worthwhile determination on their NFL futures.

Once they step on the field during a regular-season game, the real evaluation of the rookie class can begin.

So, while guys like Russell Wilson and A.J. Jenkins may be making headlines for opposite reasons, don't put a whole lot of stock into forecasting their NFL careers based on those headlines.


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