With the gloom of the lockout done away with and the initial flurry of free agent activity winding down, it is finally time to start assessing how players will perform on the field rather than in business negotiations.
This time of the NFL year is perhaps no more tumultuous than it is for the NFL rookie. This is especially true for this year's crop of rookies who enter their training camps with an enormous amount of information to learn and digest in an extremely limited time as the Saints and the Packers kickoff the season on Sept. 8th.
Needless to say the amount of high impact rookies will be inordinately low than it usually is given the lack of assimilation by rookies and expectations from coaches, who will most likely turn to veterans to fill holes rather than start a host of rookies, opting to have them ride the bench and learn while playing sparingly and in situations that maximize their skills and abilities.
This is certainly true for a veteran team like the San Diego Chargers who have already signed two expected defensive starters on defense in LB Takeo Spikes and SS Bob Sanders, while the offense will most likely return all but one starter from a year ago.
The Chargers are also still on the lookout out for added depth in the form of veteran free agents and are expected to at least sign two linebackers in the coming days.
All this being said, the Chargers will sport a class of rookies who figure to contribute immediately in some way or another and figure to play a vital role in the team's run at the Super Bowl.
Here are five of those rookies you should be paying attention to as the preseason fast approaches us.