Training camp is a very important time in the NFL season, as stars emerge and some stars start to fizzle out. Rookies can start to show their true colors, unlike OTAs and minicamp, we finally see everyone together. Rookie QBs will get shots against number one defenses. We also get to see position battles, which can be huge for the future of teams and player’s careers. Which are the most important this year?
New York Jets QBs
Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Josh McCown. On one hand, you have Darnold, the third overall pick in the 2018 draft out of USC, who many people thought was the best quarterback in the draft. He has great potential, but there are questions about his NFL readiness. Then there’s Bridgewater, a solid starter for the Vikings who suffered a horrific knee injury two years ago. Before he went down, he proved that he could win in the NFL, and could succeed if given another chance. And finally, McCown. Before a broken hand ended his season last year, McCown led the Jets, a team that some thought would go 0-16, to a “respectable” 5-11 record. All three guys bring something different to the table, but which one will win the job?
Buffalo Bills QBs
This is the least or most exciting competition in the NFL this year. Josh Allen, Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron. The latter two have been unimpressive during their time in the NFL, and the former had an unimpressive college career and was a polarizing draft prospect. He ended up going seventh overall and apparently has been hot and cold in camp, overthrowing receivers on screens. Keep in mind his 56% career Peterman has five career interceptions, which all came in his only career start. McCarron has been unimpressive as a starter too, as he led a Bengals offense that was among the best in the league with Andy Dalton at QB in 2015-16, and they sputtered, before choking in the playoffs once again. While it is important who starts for a team, it might not matter very much in this case.
Arizona Cardinals QBs
Sam Bradford vs Josh Rosen. The battle of who’s going to throw to Larry Fitzgerald. Bradford, the first overall pick in 2010 has a ton of talent, but also a long injury history. He has proven that he can be successful when healthy, but that’s a big if behind a shaky offensive line.
Josh Rosen was the 10thoverall pick in the 2018 draft and was thought to be the most NFL ready QB in the draft. Will his arm talent push him past Bradford? No matter who wins the job, they could be in for a long season. David Johnson can help take pressure off of the winner, but that doesn’t fix the offensive line. They are both accurate passers, but with the heat that might get thrown at them play after play, whoever wins could be in for a rough time.
New England Patriots WRs
After the injury to Jordan Matthews, who was released from the team, the Patriots have some questions at receiver at least to begin the year. Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell are the likely starters while Julian Edelman serves his PED suspension, but behind them is a curious jumble. Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Braxton Berrios are probably going to end up dueling for playing time. Dorsett and Britt will probably see the most time on the field, but you never know. Once Edelman gets back, the receiving corps will sure up, but the first four weeks are incredibly important, as they include matchups with the upstart Texans and Jaguars.
Green Bay Packers CBs
The Packers pass defense was among the worst in the NFL last year, and they addressed that early on in the draft. After taking Kevin King in the second round in 2018, they took Jaire Alexander in the first round in 2018, and Joshua Jackson in the second. Will the young guns be able to beat out the veterans? Quinten Rollins, Tramon Williams, and Davon House have the experience, but the young guys have the talent edge. Aaron Rodgers’ first pass of training camp was picked off by King, which might be a sign of things to come. King and Jackson both have great length, and Alexander has great speed and agility, which combined with Green Bay’s safety tandem, could lead to a massive improvement in pass defense.