Preseason excellence doesn’t always lead to regular-season production in the NFL, but August stars like Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt will try to ensure that it does in their individual cases this year.
There’s little reason to pay attention to the successes of well-established veterans during the preseason, but the summer session often provides a window into who could be the league’s next wave of rising stars.
Some of those emerging names will quickly fizzle out this fall (remember when Zach Sudfeld was supposed to be the New England Patriots’ next big thing at tight end last year?), but for others, the preseason might only be the beginning of a breakout 2014 season.
Each of the following players has yet to become a household name in the NFL, but all of them became more prominent than ever this preseason by posting impressive performances. That said, not all of them are expected to keep it up this fall.