While the quarterback is the most important player on the field, there are 10 other rookies at other positions who will prove vital to their team's success (or lack thereof) in 2014. The non-quarterback neophytes to watch are:
Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney
The No. 1 overall pick of this past May's draft, Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has the talent to evolve into a transcendent player.
If Clowney is as good as advertised, he'll combine with all-world defensive end J.J. Watt to form potentially the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL.
And in a weak AFC South, that could be enough to vault the Texans back into playoff contention.
The game to watch Clowney in will be Week 3 against the Broncos, as he'll get his first opportunity to bring down the great Peyton Manning.
Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins
The Buffalo Bills paid a king's ransom (the ninth overall pick in this past May's draft and first- and fourth-round picks in 2015) to bring wide receiver Sammy Watkins to Western New York, and the pressure is on the young pass-catcher to thrive.
The directive for the Bills is clear: Make the playoffs and end the club's 14-year postseason drought. If that's to happen, Watkins must sparkle.
Expect the Bills to feed him the ball early and often in the preseason.
Oakland Raiders LB Khalil Mack
The fifth-overall pick of this past May's draft, Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack has a chance to be the franchise's most disruptive defensive player in a decade.
It'll be fascinating to see Mack and fellow linebacker Sio Moore operate in coach Dennis Allen's defense. The preseason will be the perfect time for the two players to jell.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown was surely salivating when the club tabbed wide receiver Mike Evans with the seventh pick in 2014.
The 6'6" Evans profiles as a red-zone monster and has a real opportunity to catch eight to 10 touchdown passes as a greenhorn. It would be an upset if he didn't score once in the entire preseason.
New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks
Perhaps no player has received more training camp hype than New Orleans Saints rookie receiver Brandin Cooks.
If the scuttlebutt is to be believed, Cooks is set for a monster campaign on the turf of the Superdome. He could end up as one of the most exciting players in the league, and you know coach Sean Payton will give him an opportunity to shine in the preseason.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews
The all-time receptions leader in SEC history, Jordan Matthews draws the unenviable task of replacing the departed DeSean Jackson in the Philadelphia Eagles receiving corps.
He could be a beast in coach Chip Kelly's offense, so his preseason rapport with quarterback Nick Foles will be noteworthy.
Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey
The first running back selected (pick No. 54), Bishop Sankey projects as the workhorse for the Tennessee Titans.
Titans fans (and fantasy players) are surely waiting with bated breath to watch Sankey run in the preseason. Tennessee possesses a very solid offensive line, so he has a chance to succeed right off the bat.
Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill
While BenJarvus Green-Ellis is currently above rookie rusher Jeremy Hill on the Cincinnati Bengals depth chart, that's pretty meaningless at this point.
Hill will end up splitting time with Giovani Bernard in the Bengals backfield and could emerge as a preseason star in the Queen City.
San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde
With San Francisco running backs dropping like flies (Kendall Hunter is out for the season and LaMichael James is recovering from a dislocated elbow), it looks like second-round rookie Carlos Hyde is set to receive a lot of preseason action.
Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman
One of the stars of the debut episode of Hard Knocks, fourth-round rusher Devonta Freeman will play early and often for the Atlanta Falcons, especially considering his main competition is the oft-injured Steven Jackson, who is already on the shelf with a hamstring injury.
Jacksonville Jaguars LB Telvin Smith
Telvin Smith, a fifth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, could easily end up starting at weak-side linebacker in Week 1. He's drawn rave reviews thanks to his speed and could very well emerge during the preseason.