Predicting Each NFL Team's Biggest Training Camp Revelation

Russell S. Baxter@@BaxFootballGuruContributor IJuly 25, 2013

Predicting Each NFL Team's Biggest Training Camp Revelation

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    By the end of the day on July 25, nearly all of the NFL’s 32 teams will have had their players report to training camp.

    Let the intrigue begin.

    Here’s a look at some predictions as to what we will see this summer as all of the clubs prepare for the regular season.

    Some of these revelations will result in a regular-season forecast or two (or more). Some of those predictions may be of the bold variety, something we’ve never had a problem shying away from in these pages.

    Are some of these suggestions out of the question? Hardly, considering this day and age of unpredictability around the league. Are they far-fetched? Perhaps.

    But these are our 32 stories, and we’re sticking to them.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Revelation: Arizona’s offensive line will be much-improved.

    Of course, some would certainly argue that the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive front couldn’t be much worse than it has been in recent seasons.

    Last year alone, the Cards finished last in the NFL in rushing and allowed a league-high 58 sacks. Over the past three seasons, Arizona quarterbacks have been sacked a combined 162 times.

    Three-fifths of the unit will be different from 2012. Left tackle Levi Brown returns after missing all of last season with a biceps injury. The Cardinals will also feature a pair of rookie guards in Jonathan Cooper, the seventh pick in the 2013 draft, and Earl Watford, a fourth-round selection in April.

    In the case of Brown, he will have to perform better than he has in the past. But this unit is getting a fresh start with new head coach Bruce Arians. The results, inevitably, will be noticeable this season.

    Note: Early Thursday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that veteran tackle Eric Winston was on the verge of signing a contract with the team.

Atlanta Falcons

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    Revelation: The Falcons will still need another pass-rusher…or two.

    It seems like we’ve been down this path the entire offseason.

    This offseason, the Atlanta Falcons parted ways with veteran defensive end John Abraham, who racked up 10 of the team’s 29 sacks in 2012. Enter former Pro Bowler Osi Umenyiora, formerly of the New York Giants.

    But who else will step up and make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks?

    Could left defensive end Kroy Biermann provide the spark they need in this department? Could defensive coordinator Mike Nolan implement more blitzing via right outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon?

    Regardless of how they get it done, the Falcons need to get it done. In six games versus their divisional rivals last season, Atlanta defenders totaled eight sacks. That’s just one reason that all three of the team’s regular-season losses last season came to the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Baltimore Ravens

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    Revelation: TE Dennis Pitta will lead the team in receptions in 2013.

    A year ago, veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin led the Baltimore Ravens in receiving during both the regular season and the playoffs.

    Boldin will get that opportunity once again in 2013…for the San Francisco 49ers.

    So who will be quarterback Joe Flacco’s main man this season? Is speedster Torrey Smith, who totaled a team-high eight touchdown receptions in 2012, ready to take on a bigger role? Is veteran wide receiver and special teams star Jacoby Jones prepared to step up? First, he has to get back on the field after a very minor setback.

    The choice here is almost obvious. Emerging tight end Dennis Pitta totaled 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns last season. That was just four fewer receptions than Boldin and one fewer score than Smith.

    And you have to like a tight end who averages 11 yards per reception.

    UPDATE: On Saturday, Pitta suffered a hip injury. You can find the latest information on his status via Bleacher Report.


Buffalo Bills

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    Revelation: Rookie WR Robert Woods will be the starter opposite Stevie Johnson.

    The Buffalo Bills have a new head coach in Doug Marrone and a new quarterback in Kevin Kolb.

    Will they also have a new starter at one of the wide receiver positions?

    Veteran Stevie Johnson is perennially the team leader in catches. But what about the other wideout spot?

    It’s hard to ignore what Woods brings to the table in terms of talent and numbers. The second-round pick in April totaled 252 catches, 32 for scores, in three seasons at Southern Cal.

    But collegiate numbers don’t necessarily add up in the NFL. Why would he be any different than T.J. Graham was last season? We'll find out as the season progresses, but it’s hard to ignore Woods’ nose for the end zone.

Carolina Panthers

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    Revelation: WR/KR Ted Ginn will be a factor in the passing game.

    Where does this notion come from?

    In six NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers, wide receiver Ted Ginn has totaled 161 catches for 2,048 yards and six touchdowns. Those seem like the kind of numbers Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson may be capable of in one season.

    All kidding aside (maybe), Ginn spent three seasons in San Francisco and totaled 33 catches in 40 contests. While always dangerous on returns, he has yet to blossom as a wide receiver. His best year came in 2008 with the Dolphins, when he caught 56 passes for 790 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

    If you are Ginn, who would be better to learn from than Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith? The veteran remains one of the best in the game and, like Ginn, has made an impact on special teams as well.

    Look for strong-armed quarterback Cam Newton to take advantage of what he and Ginn do best this season: the big play.

Chicago Bears

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    Revelation: WR Brandon Marshall will not catch 100 passes this season.

    And would that be a bad thing?

    Chicago Bears Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall had another big year in 2012, this time with his third NFL team.

    Last season, the four-time Pro Bowler enjoyed career highs in receptions (118), receiving yards (1,508) and touchdown grabs (11). Quarterback Jay Cutler clearly made him the focal point of the passing attack. Running back Matt Forte finished second on the team with 44 catches, and the rest of Marshall’s teammates combined for 10 scoring receptions.

    But look for second-year wideout Alshon Jeffery and new tight end Martellus Bennett to take up the slack when it comes to catches this season. New head coach Marc Trestman will give Cutler and the Bears offense everything it needs to succeed.

    However, if you’re looking for Marshall not to lead the team in catches once again, you are looking in the wrong place.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Revelation: Rookie Shawn Williams will be the new strong safety.

    A year ago, the Cincinnati Bengals featured one of the best defensive units in the league.

    Who says they won’t be even better in 2013?

    Marvin Lewis’ team ranked sixth in the league in yards allowed, while only the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams totaled more sacks in 2012. In their final nine outings of the season, including the playoff loss to the Houston Texans, the Bengals allowed no more than 20 points in any of those contests.

    Last season, veteran Chris Crocker was the team’s strong safety, but for now, the job belongs to Taylor Mays. The former second-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers has done little in his short stint in Cincinnati.

    Williams may be too good to keep out of the starting lineup.

Cleveland Browns

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    Revelation: QB Brandon Weeden will edge Jason Campbell for the starting quarterback job.

    Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden is about to embark on his second NFL season and will turn 30 years old in October.

    Jason Campbell is the new backup quarterback in Cleveland. The former first-round pick is now with his fourth NFL team as he enters his ninth season. Campbell will turn 32 years old on New Year’s Eve.

    Roughly a two-year difference in age, but a wide gap when it comes to NFL experience.

    Last season, Weeden completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 3,385 yards, 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The rookie signal-caller was sacked 28 times and fumbled six times, losing one fumble.

    What he won’t be losing is his job to Campbell, at least not for now. The combination of new head coach Rob Chudzinksi and offensive coordinator Norv Turner should help in Weeden’s development. But the young/old quarterback needs to take much better care of the football if the team is to end a five-year streak of 11 or more losses in a season.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Revelation: MLB Sean Lee will be even better in the 4-3 defense.

    For the third time in four seasons, the Dallas Cowboys will have a new defensive coordinator.

    Regardless of how the team lines up on defense, you can count on talented linebacker Sean Lee to come up big.

    Last season proved to be a lost year for the prolific tackler. Lee played in only six games last year due to a toe injury but still totaled an impressive 58 tackles, good enough to finish fourth on the team in that department in 2012.

    In Monte Kiffin’s defense, inside linebacker Lee becomes middle linebacker Lee. And if the Dallas defensive line keeps him clean, it could be a Pro Bowl year for the young defender.

    Still, it won't be an easy task. Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is currently on the physically unable to perform list, and defensive end Anthony Spencer will be sidelined for a bit.

Denver Broncos

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    Revelation: WR Eric Decker will catch at least 100 passes this season.

    When the Denver Broncos added free-agent wide receiver Wes Welker to the team this offseason, they knew they were getting the only player in NFL history to total at least 100 catches in a season five times.

    But when it’s all said and done this season, it will be wide receiver Eric Decker who hits triple digits in catches.

    This isn’t exactly a stretch, although many may be surprised that Decker is the choice to hit a c-note in receptions and not Welker. A year ago, Decker totaled 85 catches for 1,064 yards and a team-high 13 touchdowns, which was more than one-third of quarterback Peyton Manning’s touchdown pass total (37) in 2012.

    Now that’s not to say that Welker might not get to 100 receptions this season as well. With Manning at the controls with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, both wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark totaled 100 catches.

Detroit Lions

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    Revelation: Rookie DE Devin Taylor will lead the team in sacks in 2013.

    After a 10-6 finish and playoff appearance in 2011, the Detroit Lions fell hard a year ago. Jim Schwartz’s team was 4-12 and lost its last eight games of the season.

    This offseason, there were changes. One area was the defensive line, as the team released veteran defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, while defensive end Cliff Avril tested the free-agent waters and wound up swimming upstream to Seattle.

    With the fifth pick in April’s draft, the Lions opted for the raw but talented Ziggy Ansah, who is expected to step in and bolster the pass rush.

    That may be the case, but look for fellow rookie and fourth-round selection Devin Taylor to steal the limelight when it comes to rushing the passer. At 6’8” and 265 pounds, the former South Carolina Gamecock will make a splash in whatever role he assumes.

Green Bay Packers

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    Revelation: RT Marshall Newhouse will lose his job to Derek Sherrod…soon.

    This is not rocket science, although Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was lit up a few times last season.

    Despite another brilliant year that saw him throw 39 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions, no quarterback in the league was sacked more times last season than Rodgers, who was dumped 51 times in 2012.

    Green Bay’s fix-it plan has been well documented. Left tackle Marshall Newhouse moves to right tackle and Bryan Bulaga moves to left tackle. Left guard T.J. Lang moves to right guard and Josh Sitton moves to left guard.

    Got it?

    Well, maybe. The Packers used a first-round pick on tackle Derek Sherrod in 2011, but so far, so bad for the unlucky prospect. Sherrod missed all of last season recovering from a broken leg he suffered in December of 2011.

    Look for that to change this fall. Don’t call it a comeback. Just call in inevitable as Sherrod winds up beating out Newhouse for the right tackle job this summer.

Houston Texans

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    Revelation: Second-year OLB Whitney Mercilus will lead the team in sacks.

    Under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips the last two seasons, the Houston Texans have been consistent in a number of areas, most notably the pass rush.

    In 2011, the Texans totaled a franchise-record 44 sacks. The team duplicated that effort last season thanks in large part to NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. The big-play defensive end amassed 20.5 sacks and also batted more balls than some of the Houston Astros.

    All kidding aside, the team made Whitney Mercilus a first-round selection in 2012. The former University of Illinois standout finished third on the team with 6.0 sacks last season. Now Mercilus assumes a starting role in Phillips’ defense, as outside linebacker Connor Barwin signed with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason.

    With Watt demanding double-teaming, look for Mercilus to emerge as the team’s sack leader in 2013. But not by much, as he totals 12.5 sacks, Watt finishes with 12.0 sacks and the team sets a new team record in this category again.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Revelation: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey will have a career year in 2013.

    Some will say that this revelation for the Indianapolis Colts is hardly a revelation.

    Of course, opinions vary.

    Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. The only thing the raw speedster did to distinguish himself his first two seasons in the league was to drop his share of passes.

    Over the last two seasons, however, he has certainly made some progress. In 2011, he totaled career highs with 64 receptions and 975 receiving yards while scoring four touchdowns. A year ago, his catches fell to 41, but he caught a career-high five scoring passes.

    Still, Heyward-Bey was part of the house-cleaning orchestrated by Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie this offseason. But the four-year veteran landed on his feet and signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

    With a little luck, Heyward-Bey could put up some impressive numbers. But with a lot of Andrew Luck, you can look for the wide receiver to enjoy a terrific year. With Donnie Avery off to Kansas City and veteran Reggie Wayne as a mentor, the sky is the limit for Heyward-Bey.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Revelation: DT Roy Miller will be a Pro Bowl player in 2013.

    It’s hard to be much worse than the Jacksonville Jaguars were in 2012.

    Then again, it’s hard to be better than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were against the run last season.

    While the Jaguars were busy winning two games, the Bucs were on the way to being ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run last season.

    While defensive tackle Gerald McCoy earned Pro Bowl honors last season and deservedly so, what of defensive tackle Roy Miller? While he didn’t grade out that well according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the potential is still there.

    That potential will be realized with the Jacksonville Jaguars and new head coach Gus Bradley, who was previously the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator. Last season, the Jaguars were not only 30th in the league in total defense, but only two teams in the NFL gave up more rushing yards per game.

    Here’s saying that things will be dramatically better in 2013.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Revelation: CB Sean Smith will equal or top his career interception total in one season.

    It proved to be a forgettable season for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. Now, new head coach Andy Reid hopes to make it a memorable one for the organization.

    In what can only be described as a strange coincidence, both Reid’s Eagles and the Chiefs totaled a league-low 13 takeaways in 2012.

    So why sign free-agent cornerback Sean Smith this offseason? The four-year veteran totaled only five interceptions in 63 games with the Miami Dolphins.

    But Smith also knocked down his share of passes. With outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali leading the way, look for a few errant throws to come Smith’s way.

    Last season, the Chiefs totaled seven interceptions as a team. That will be the number of picks totaled by Smith in 2013.

Miami Dolphins

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    Revelation: Rookie RB Mike Gillislee will be the team’s second-leading rusher in 2013.

    For the first time in a number of years, there are high expectations attached to the Miami Dolphins this season.

    With a young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and free-agent pickups such as wide receiver Mike Wallace, tight end Dustin Keller and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, Joe Philbin’s team figures to be a playoff contender in 2013.

    As for the ground game, it will have a different look than in recent seasons. Reggie Bush enjoyed his two best seasons in the NFL as a running back with the Dolphins, but he signed with the Detroit Lions. Second-year pro Lamar Miller will be the starter this season in the backfield.

    But while Daniel Thomas was the team’s second-leading rusher in 2012, rookie Mike Gillislee will wind up filling that role this season. The fifth-round pick from Florida has big-play ability, and that’s what these new-look Dolphins will be seeking this season, especially if Miami intends on pushing the New England Patriots in the AFC East in 2013.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Revelation: FS Harrison Smith will lead the NFL in interceptions.

    Some players just have a nose for the football.

    The Minnesota Vikings know that as well as anyone. Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Paul Krause owns the NFL record with 81 career interceptions, the majority of those with the Vikings.

    Could second-year free safety Harrison Smith become one of those ball hawks? Don’t be surprised.

    Last season as a rookie, Smith was second on the team with 104 tackles, and he also knocked down 11 passes, totaled three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and recovered a fumble.

    Smith also has the luxury of one of the best pass rushes in the league, one that has totaled 94 sacks over the past two seasons (44 in 2012). That kind of heat will present Smith with plenty of opportunities; look for him to make the most of those chances this season.

New England Patriots

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    Revelation: Rookie WR Aaron Dobson wins a starting job.

    The New England Patriots offense will have a much different look in 2013.

    Keep in mind that this is a team that has scored 500 or more points in three straight seasons and four of the last six years.

    Gone from the team are wide receivers Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Deion Branch, along with running back Danny Woodhead and tight end Aaron Hernandez. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is recovering from his numerous offseason surgeries. Those were six of the team’s top seven pass-catchers from a year ago.

    The offseason, the Patriots added wide receivers Danny Amendola, Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones and Lavelle Hawkins to offset those losses. Julian Edelman returns as well. Jones was recently released by the Patriots.

    But the Pats also added rookies Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce in the second and fourth rounds, respectively, in April. Dobson, who caught at least 40 passes in each of his final three seasons with the Marshall Thundering Herd, may be the one to emerge.

    Last season, Dobson totaled a career-high 57 catches in just 10 games. In 13 contests in 2011, he totaled a dozen touchdown receptions.

    Of course, when was the last time the Patriots organization had any success with players from Marshall?

New Orleans Saints

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    Revelation: Saints will trade for an outside linebacker before the start of the season.

    A year ago, the New Orleans Saints gave up the most total yards in a season in NFL history.

    A year ago, Rob Ryan was in his second season as the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator.

    One of those things has definitely changed. And if Ryan, now the defensive coordinator of the Saints, does his job, the other most certainly will change too.

    The Saints will switch to a 3-4 defense this season but have already received bad news. Free-agent pickup and outside linebacker Victor Butler, who played for Ryan in Dallas, suffered a knee injury a few weeks ago and is likely lost for the season.

    So what will head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis do? Former defensive end Will Smith will man the right outside spot, and third-year pro Martez Wilson will inherit Butler’s spot. But this is now a very thin area on the team and figures to be addressed before the end of the summer.

New York Giants

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    Revelation: Terrell Thomas will reclaim the right cornerback job.

    Back in 2010, you couldn’t do much more than cornerback Terrell Thomas did for the New York Giants.

    A second-round pick in 2008, Thomas led the team in tackles (101), passes defensed (21) and interceptions (five). Thomas also recorded a sack and forced four fumbles that season.

    But the former USC Trojan hasn’t been heard from since. He tore his ACL during the 2011 preseason and then re-injured that knee in 2012.

    However, look for Thomas to vie for NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors by pushing former first-round pick Prince Amukamara to the nickel role. A return to form by the talented Thomas could do wonders for a Giants defense coming off a very disappointing 2012 performance.

New York Jets

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    Revelation: Kellen Winslow wins the starting tight end job.

    Reunited…but will it feel so good?

    A few weeks ago, tight end Kellen Winslow signed with the New York Jets looking to revive a career that once saw him named to a Pro Bowl in 2007 while with the Cleveland Browns. We dug a little into the archives to find this picture of Winslow against the Jets back in 2006.

    Considering the Jets could use all the help they can get on offense these days, it’s not a bad gamble. The feeling here is that it will pay off. Will Winslow have the same effect that Dustin Keller (now with the Miami Dolphins) had with the team when he was healthy?

    That remains to be seen, but look for Winslow to edge Jeff Cumberland out for the starting job, although the latter will still play a significant role with the team.

    And if the Winslow signing doesn’t work out, at least there’s a role for him in the personnel department.

Oakland Raiders

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    Revelation: Tracy Porter will be the team’s starting left cornerback in Week 1.

    Last season while with the Denver Broncos, cornerback Tracy Porter picked off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and took the ball to the house in Week 1.

    Despite the fact that the Oakland Raiders selected D.J. Hayden with their first-round pick in April, Porter will get a chance to terrorize Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on opening weekend as the starter at left cornerback. Hayden had abdominal surgery in late May, and even more importantly, the 12th overall selection in April’s draft remains unsigned.

    By the way, the photo of Porter in the piece was taken on June 11.

    These days, someone else on the team is now wearing No. 24…again.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Revelation: Matt Barkley will take over the starting quarterback job in Week 13.

    We are all still trying to figure out what the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles offense will look like.

    With new head coach Chip Kelly, the former University of Oregon sideline leader, will we see the entire “duck"?

    At this time, we are still not sure who will be at the controls of the attack. Will it be veteran Michael Vick, second-year pro Nick Foles or rookie Matt Barkley, who the Eagles grabbed in the fourth round in April?

    How about (d) All of the above?

    Still, following the Eagles’ bye in Week 12, a hunch says Kelly goes with Barkley, whom he saw up close and personal while he was at Oregon and Barkley was at USC.

    For the sake of the Eagles, Kelly is hoping that Barkley can fill the “bill.”

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Revelation: OLB Jarvis Jones will be a Week 1 starter.

    It is fairly rare to see a rookie in the starting lineup of Dick LeBeau’s defense.

    The longtime defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers certainly knows his craft. He may also know a standout defender when he sees one.

    Back in June, LeBeau complimented the instincts of the team’s first-round draft choice. The Steelers took outside linebacker Jarvis Jones with the 17th overall selection.

    While Jason Worilds owns the starting right outside linebacking job for now, a spot once owned by James Harrison, along came Jones in April. We’ll see what the summer battle for the position brings as well.

St. Louis Rams

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    Revelation: Second-year CB Janoris Jenkins will be a Pro Bowler in 2013.

    The St. Louis Rams made cornerback Janoris Jenkins their second selection in the second round a year ago.

    The talented and opportunistic defender made quite a first impression.

    As a rookie in 2012, Jenkins finished sixth on the team with 73 tackles (64 solo tackles). He also led the team with four interceptions and 14 passes defensed.

    Playing next to and learning from former Pro Bowler Cortland Finnegan in the secondary certainly doesn’t hurt. In fact, it will pay off this season, as Jenkins will wind up in the Pro Bowl. Perhaps he’ll be joined by his teammate in that all-star tilt.

San Diego Chargers

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    Revelation: WR Danario Alexander will lead the team in receptions and touchdowns.

    Once upon a time, former University of Missouri wide receiver Danario Alexander was a promising prospect.

    But knee issues temporarily delayed his NFL future, as the former Tiger wideout was never drafted.

    Alexander wound up with the St. Louis Rams, catching a total of 46 passes in two seasons. In 2012, he wound up with the San Diego Chargers and was hard to ignore. In 10 games with the Bolts, Alexander totaled 37 catches for 658 yards and a team-high seven touchdown receptions.

    This season, look for the emerging wideout to up his game even more.

San Francisco 49ers

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    Revelation: The 49ers will have three new starters in the secondary this season.

    It’s a foregone conclusion that the San Francisco 49ers will have at least one new face in their starting secondary.

    Two-time Pro Bowl free safety Dashon Goldson signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; hence the Niners’ selection of LSU defensive back Eric Reid in the first round in April.

    A few days ago, the Niners traded for Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright, but the deal fell through.

    Obviously, head coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t content with a secondary that had its issues down the stretch and in the playoffs last season.

    So don’t be shocked when Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is taking aim at Reid, along with new cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Nnamdi Asomugha, when the teams meet in Week 1 in San Francisco.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Revelation: Rookie Michael Bowie will be the team’s right tackle by midseason.

    By all accounts, the Seattle Seahawks are as talented a team as any in the NFL.

    That doesn’t mean they don’t have a weak spot or two.

    One of those weak spots is right tackle, where No. 68 Breno Giacomini is the starter. But according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he’s more like 111…as in the 111th-rated tackle in the league.

    It would not be surprising to see Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll make a change on his offensive line this summer. The likely candidate to move into the starting lineup would be Michael Bowie, the team’s fourth seventh-round pick in April and the 242nd player selected overall.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Revelation: RB Doug Martin will lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2013.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano saw plenty of running back Doug Martin last season.

    The rookie finished third in the NFL with 1,926 total yards from scrimmage in 2012 and led the team with a dozen touchdowns.

    Here’s a hunch that the more Schiano sees of Martin, the more he likes. Last season, the former first-round pick touched the ball 368 times via rushing attempts (319) and receptions (49).

    You can look for just under 400 plays from scrimmage from Martin in 2013 and just over 2,200 yards from scrimmage this season. How do we know? We already predicted it.

Tennessee Titans

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    Revelation: WR Kenny Britt will be playing elsewhere in 2013.

    When the Tennessee Titans have had wide receiver Kenny Britt on the field, good things have happened.

    But being a consistent part of the starting lineup has been the issue for the former first-round pick.

    Britt is in the final season of his rookie contract. That’s why it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Titans try to move him.

    Last season, the former Rutgers standout totaled 45 receptions for 589 yards and four scores. A year ago, Tennessee also added wide receiver Kendall Wright in the first round, and he led the team in catches in 2012. And three months ago, the Titans drafted wideout Justin Hunter. The team’s second-round pick in April totaled 73 catches for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns for the Tennessee Volunteers last season.

    Add in veteran Nate Washington, and don’t be surprised if Britt is facing the Titans instead of suiting up for them in 2013.

Washington Redskins

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    Revelation: Jeremy Trueblood will be the team’s new starting right tackle.

    Last season, the Washington Redskins enjoyed their share of firsts.

    As in finishing in first place in the NFC East for the first time since 1999.

    Mike Shanahan’s club also ranked first in the league in rushing, rolling up over 1,000 yards more on the ground than it did the previous season.

    Rookies such as running back Alfred Morris and quarterback Robert Griffin III were big factors in that improvement. So was the play of an offensive line that remained fairly intact.

    Right tackle Tyler Polumbus has been identified as a weak spot on the line. A hunch says that free-agent pickup Jeremy Trueblood winds up with Polumbus’ job before the start of the season and no later than Week 4.