NFL Training Camp Updates on the Most Hyped Rookies
With NFL training camps underway, one of the most important things teams have to evaluate is the progress of rookies.
The 2012 NFL draft was incredibly deep and had a ton of top-end talent selected. Most of the first-round picks from this year's draft are expected to contribute immediately.
Here is a look at how some of the NFL's most hyped rookies are doing in training camp so far.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
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Football fans have been awaiting the arrival of Andrew Luck in the NFL for more than a year now, and the Stanford quarterback hasn't disappointed thus far.
Luck has been impressive during the first few days of Colts camp, as Indianapolis tries to rebuild a winner out of the rubble left from a 2-14 season.
New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians claimed that he believes Luck can be "scary" good if he develops correctly (via The Herald Bulletin).
Luck has already built up a solid relationship with Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie. In camp, he's hit fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton on a perfect deep ball. He also threw a back-corner fade to Wayne on Tuesday that was reportedly a thing of beauty, according to Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star.
On top of all that, his teammates appear to like and have confidence in him.
It's safe to say Luck is living up to the hype so far.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
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The No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL draft hasn't jumped in as smoothly as Luck. According to ESPN 980 Washington's Chris Russell, Robert Griffin III has been up and down to start training camp.
The Baylor product hasn't been accurate while throwing on the run, but he has displayed a rocket arm and incredible speed for a quarterback.
Griffin is also reportedly holding the ball for too long, according to Rich Campbell of The Washington Times. That could be a big problem.
Griffin is used to being able to create time in and out of the pocket with his legs, but that won't work as easily in the NFL. Defenders are faster and smarter, which means he'll have to get rid of the ball or make the decision to take off running much faster.
It appears the rookie signal-caller has some work to do before the regular season starts, but that's what the preseason is for.
Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills
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Cornerback Stephon Gilmore hasn't received the most hype among this year's rookies, but the No. 10 pick in the 2012 NFL draft is already turning heads at Buffalo Bills camp.
Receiver Stevie Johnson told NFL.com that he believes Gilmore is already up there with some of the best defensive backs in the league.
Gilmore was a playmaker at South Carolina. He is an outstanding cover corner who can also help against the run. The Bills have needed a jolt to the secondary. If Gilmore can provide that, it will be a huge boost to the team.
It appears he's already impressing everyone in attendance at the team's camp.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
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Trent Richardson was the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft and is the best all-around running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson in 2007. So far in training camp, Richardson has lived up to that billing.
Richardson has shown his versatility already. According to the Associated Press (via the Newark Advocate), he has looked equally comfortable coming out of the backfield catching passes and bursting through holes running the ball.
On the opening day of camp, he had several impressive runs and got the crowd cheering. He should easily adapt to the next level and won't have trouble becoming an elite back in a short amount of time.
Morris Claiborne, Dallas Cowboys
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Dallas Cowboys rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne was probably the most hyped defender coming into the 2012 NFL draft, but he has struggled so far adjusting to life in the NFL.
On the first day of training camp, he sat out the last 15 minutes of practice and post-practice sprints because of soreness in his leg (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
Claiborne was smoked by Dez Bryant for a long touchdown on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he was beaten several times by Dwayne Harris and Raymond Radway, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. However, he did get Bryant back on Wednesday by breaking up a pass in his direction.
Cornerback is a tough position to become a star at immediately. Claiborne has struggled early but has all the tools to become a Pro Bowler eventually.