NFL Preseason: Top Rookie Battles

Chris MatcovichCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2010

NFL Preseason: Top Rookie Battles

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    The NFL preseason is a time when positions on the teams are won and lost.  Even more importantly this is where players can move up the depth charts and claim a starting job for a team.

    For rookies in the NFL it is harder than most to be named starters, since they have no NFL experience.  But every year there are a few that are able to compete for these starting positions.

    Here is a list of five position battles happening this preseason that include 2010 NFL rookies.

Jimmy Clausen vs. Matt Moore: Carolina Panthers

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    Jake Delhomme is officially out as the starter of the Carolina Panthers.  Now it is time to determine who will lead this team in 2010 and beyond.

    Matt Moore is the veteran and Jimmy Clausen is the future of this team.  It looks like Moore will start the season as starter, but it Clausen can shine in the preseason games he might be able to over take him.

    Clausen will eventually be the starter sometime this season, since Moore is just a short term solution.  It will be a tough battle between these two and should come down to the final preseason game.

Tim Tebow vs. Kyle Orton: Denver Broncos

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    Forgot about his awful haircut, Tim Tebow is contending for the starting quarterback position this preseason.

    Kyle Orton is a proven quarterback in the NFL and it will be hard for Tebow to over take him in this position battle before camp ends.  What Tebow has going for him is that the Broncos are very high on him as a quarterback, unlike many scouts.

    Tebow is being groomed to be the next quarterback of this team this year.  Don't be surprised though to see him get some action if the season for the Broncos just falls apart.

Vladimir Ducasse vs. Matt Slauson: New York Jets

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    The Jets decided to cut former All-Pro guard Alan Faneca in the offseason.  Creating a huge hole in one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

    The leading candidate to fill the whole is the rookie from UMASS, Vladimir Ducasse.  He is a big boy who was looked upon highly as a successor for Faneca by the Jets when they drafted him in the second round this season.

    He is competing for the position against second year Matt Slauson.  Slauson's advantage is that this will be his second year in the system and that he is familiar with the Jets personnel.

    It's Ducasse spot to lose.

C.J. Spiller vs. Fred Jackson: Buffalo Bills

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    Fred Jackson had his first 1,000 yard season last year and should get most of the carries for the Bills this year, right?

    The Bills used their first round pick to add depth at running back by picking Clemson standout C.J. Spiller.  Spiller is penciled in to be a specialty back to start the year, ala Reggie Bush.  The question is how long will that last?  The Bills didn't use a first round pick for a guy to touch the ball only a few times a game. 

    It's hard to believe that Spiller won't be the starter at some point this year, once he shows he can take the punishment of an NFL workload.

Dez Bryant vs. Roy Williams: Dallas Cowboys

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    There is no doubting that Dez Bryant is an explosive wide receiver that gives the Cowboys a legitimate deep threat.  But can he control the personal problems in his life?

    Bryant vs. Williams for the last starting wide receiver position was playing out to be a great battle until Bryant sprained his ankle.  Bryant should be back before the season starts, but will he be able to beat Williams out for that last spot?  It will be hard.

    Roy Williams is not what he used to be when he was on the Detroit Lions.  Bryant will be the starting wide receiver opposite of Miles Austin at some point this year.  The question is whether or not he will be able to showcase his talents and take that spot before the opener.