Top 15 NFL Rookies to Watch in Camp

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Top 15 NFL Rookies to Watch in Camp
David Maxwell/Getty Images

The average NFL rookie has no idea what they're getting into when training camp rolls around.

We often analogize the trials and failures of sports figures to our own experiences. And that means we believe we can "commiserate" with professional athletes because of something that happened in t-ball, or that we can criticize athletes because of our time under the lights of Friday night. 

So, too, rookies might believe that training camp is a step up from the offseason team activities they just went through, or maybe just a ratcheted-up version of the camps that they experienced on their respective college campuses. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

The problem with analogies like this is that they always fall far short of reality. While college football may be rigorous—especially at power-conference programs or other such "football factories"—those are still "student-athletes" (at least by definition). In the NFL, this is the totality of their lives between now and when the season ends, and these rookies are no longer the big men on campus they once were. 

In reality, the next few weeks are going to be more analogous to drowning in water when it comes to the mental toll the NFL often takes on rookies and being tied to a rock and beaten by waves in terms of the physical toll it will take on their bodies. 

With that in mind, what can we expect from some of the most intriguing rookies heading into training camp?

The following 15 players aren't necessarily the best, the most exciting or my predictions for Rookie of the Year. Rather, these are 15 young men who have a chance to make headlines by earning a spot in their respective starting lineups or carving out a niche in their scheme. 

These are guys who, with a good training camp, can help set their teams on a path of success for the 2014 season.

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