NFL Rookies Who Will Play Biggest Roles This Season

Most rookies enter the NFL understanding they must earn their stripes. For a smaller group, there are expectations to look the part of starters and take on bigger roles right away.

In some cases, specifically those of first-rounders, there’s no time to take reps with second- or third-stringers. Several rookies have already lined up with starters in preparation for Week 1.

In other scenarios, coaching staffs opt to follow more gradual plans through organized team activities before ramping up in-house competitions during training camps.

As most teams set up for mandatory minicamps, we’ll take a look at rookies primed to assume the biggest responsibilities during the upcoming season.

There’s no question. The New York Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley with the intention of extending quarterback Eli Manning’s career via an improved ground attack.

In addition to his prospective workload as a ball-carrier, the Penn State product can be a threat in the short passing game, which should help Manning make quick and effective decisions in the pocket.genuine nfl jerseys

Barkley provided a preview of what he brings to the field during OTAs, per Dan Salomone of the team’s official website:

“The second overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft has made the most of non-contact spring football, giving the Giants absolutely no drafter’s remorse. jersey cheap nfl On Thursday, he looked particularly sharp and was heavily involved as he racked up the touches. A valuable outlet for Manning, Barkley made a nice catch down the sideline for a big gain early in practice.”

Similar to 2017 No. 4 overall pick Leonard Fournette and 2016 No. 4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliott, Barkley—also the first running back picked in his draft class—will take on the bulk of the work in the backfield.authentic nfl jerseys for sale

The Cleveland Browns surprised some draft analysts when they drafted cornerback Denzel Ward over pass-rusher Bradley Chubb at No. 4. Nonetheless, the Ohio State product will fill a major void on the boundary.

General manager John Dorsey revamped the secondary, and Ward has stood out after missing some time with a minor hip injury. He took first-team reps during OTAs, and head coach Hue Jackson praised him.authentic nfl jerseys sale

“Ward being out there is because he’s earning it,” Jackson said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “He’s working at it. He plays a position that we’ve been needing a guy to step up. We see him improving each and every day and doing the things that we’re asking. He needs to continue to do that to continue to be out there, but we know he’s very talented.”

The Browns traded Jason McCourty and Jamar Taylor nike jersey nfl separate deals to clear a path for Ward. The front office signed E.J. Gaines, who should start opposite the rookie on the boundary, and T.J. Carrie, who spent most of his time with the Oakland Raiders playing in the slot.jersey nfl wholesale

Briean Boddy-Calhoun has started 14 games over the past two seasons. nfl nike jerseys for sale He is the only in-house competitor capable of pushing Ward for a spot in the starting lineup.

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