NFL Rookie Rumors: The Latest Rookie Buzz out of OTAs
In the NFL, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) get a ton of attention from both the media and fans. And right now, the hype train is off and running.
The media and fans alike are focused on rookies. This is the world's first glimpse at how these first-year pros will be used, and how they are performing.
So just what exactly are we hearing about rookies as they meet the field with their NFL teams for the first time?
Brandon Weeden Will Start
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Despite head coach Pat Shurmur's assurances that there is an open competition, everyone seems to know that Brandon Weeden is going to start at quarterback for the Browns. Weeden is receiving the first-team reps, and the media is raving about his play.
Colt McCoy isn't expected to put up much resistance. It's well-known that Weeden is more talented, and he isn't as far behind as many thought.
Riley Reiff Is Taking Someone's Job
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Riley Reiff has played at left tackle for the Lions in OTAs, but he could still move to the right side. In fact, the Lions have pretty much admitted that Reiff will start.
It remains to be seen whether Reiff will steal Jeff Backus or Gosder Cherilus' job. However, Reiff is going to start at tackle come Week One.
Russell Wilson Has a Chance
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The positive reviews continue to come in, and Russell Wilson seems to be in the midst of a legitimate quarterback competition. Matt Flynn remains the favorite to win Seattle's starting job, but Wilson isn't out of it by any means.
Wilson has impressed with his arm strength and accuracy, while demonstrating his trademark athleticism. The bigger questions will be answered once Wilson faces contact and a legitimate pass rush.
Maybe Ryan Tannehill Won't Start Week One
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Ryan Tannehill seems to be third on the depth chart for the time being. Tannehill still has the advantage of knowing Mike Sherman's offense, but the others are catching up.
The No. 8 overall pick is the most talented quarterback on the roster, but he is still a rookie, and a rookie with decision-making issues at that. Tannehill will have to out-perform Matt Moore and David Garrard to win the starting job in Miami.
Everyone Loves Robert Griffin III
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Already named the starter, Robert Griffin III has impressed everyone. From the media to the coaches to the players, Griffin has surpassed the high expectations set for him.
As of yet, there seems to be not a single negative report on the No. 2 overall pick. This could change in time, but, for now, Griffin is on cloud nine.
Dontari Poe May Not Be as Raw as We Thought
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Many felt that Dontari Poe would be better off as a backup in his rookie year, but he has already been named Kansas City's starting nose tackle. Though Poe didn't face much competition, this is a good sign.
No one doubted Poe's natural athleticism. His technique and play on the field, on the other hand, were widely criticized, and few thought Poe would be starting so soon.
Don't Pencil in Derek Wolfe Just Yet
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Derek Wolfe was widely expected to win one of Denver's two vacant starting defensive tackle positions, but Kevin Vickerson has gained 49 pounds and is vying for a starting job next to Justin Bannan.
Wolfe is known for his pass-rushing ability, and the second-round pick could make an immediate impact even if he doesn't start. The University of Cincinnati product will be facing plenty of competition, though.
Georgia Tech's Offense Won't Keep Stephen Hill from Starting
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Georgia Tech's option offense led many to question whether Stephen Hill could run routes at the NFL level or catch the football consistently. Hill, however, is already starting opposite Santonio Holmes for the Jets.
Hill is a 6'4", 225-pound physical freak, and only his rawness caused him to fall to the second round. If Hill is already to start, he could be scary in a couple years.
The Packers Aren't Wasting Time with Their Rookies
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Green Bay went with defense in the first two rounds of the draft, selecting Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy. Both Perry and Worthy are already working with the first-team defense.
Perry looks to fill in opposite Clay Matthews at outside linebacker, and Worthy should replace Cullen Jenkins, whose absence still hasn't been filled. The Packers needed an impact season from the two rookies, and it looks like they're expecting to get it.
Rueben Randle Will Need to Step Up
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Hakeem Nicks is expected to be healthy for the season opener, but he may not be at full strength by then. Even if he is, though, the Giants need Rueben Randle to replace Mario Manningham, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers in free agency.
Randle was widely considered one of the draft's top wideouts, and he should be capable of excelling as the team's No. 3 option. The Giants' pass-happy offense needs him to.