With training camps opened across the NFL this week, teams can finally start working on a clean slate for the upcoming season. No matter how last year finished, each team can start anew with a sense of optimism for 2012.
Of course, the 2012 class of rookies will enter the NFL with a clean slate from the start and will be looking to prove themselves early in team drills. Some will try to back up their lofty draft status; even more will want to prove that 31 other teams missed out when they passed them up.
Rookies especially create a lot of buzz around this time of year, with debates raging on who will succeed and who will flop. Even with this level of scrutiny, every year brings a number of rookies that shock the league in their inaugural campaign. Cam Newton may have been the No. 1 pick overall last year, but very few foresaw the record-breaking season he had right out of the gates.
Here, we'll look at seven rookies from this year's class that could surprise with their performances in 2012.
(Note: Any stats used in this article were derived from ESPN.com)