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June 20, 2015

Checking Back In On The Rookies….

by Larry Leek
Former Florida St. QB, Jamis Winston

Former Florida St. QB, Jamis Winston

With NFL mini camps winding down it’s time to check back in on some of the rookies to see how they have performed thru the camps and which rookies have shown promise and who IF any are projected to be starters at the beginning of the 2015 season.

Many new faces have made names for themselves in the NFL, during their teams OTAs and mini camps and some have already been projected as starters, But who are those and what are there chances?

Quarterback’s Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are perhaps two of the biggest names and then there’s Running backs that went in the first round of the 2015 draft, Which has become a rarity over recent years. It was the first time one was selected in Rd. 1 since 2012. This draft was graced with two, RB’s like Melvin Gordon and Troy Gurley.

If you Consider undrafted free agents you CANNOT get by La’el Collins, who was destined to be a top 5 pick before word leaked out that police wanted to question the HIGHLY touted O-Lineman about the murder of his EX- girlfriend. The news, sadly scared NFL teams officials enough, that Collins went completely undrafted.

This Is Whats On My Sports Mind about a few of these rookies….

Tampa Bay:

QB, Jameis Winston (Cover Photo) is definitely going to be the Buc’s gameday starter come opening day.

First, there are no real competitors (Mike Glennon & Seth Lobato) for the starting role, not taking anything away from Winston’s abilities.

But with Winston being the Buc’s #1 pick & the first pick of the draft, My Sports Mind tells me, you can see the pressure to start Winston here regardless of who else is on the roster but then when you see who actually IS, the choice is obvious.


Marcus Mariota    Enter Titans QB, Marcus Mariota.

Tennessee has had nothing but praise for their new QB. Many believe that Mariota has a couple of big obstacles to overcome in order to be successful at the next level.

Learning to be more of a pocket passer, taking snaps from center and checking off his receiver’s before taking off running are the key points Mariota needs to be focusing on.

If Mariota will actually get the starting job over Zach Mettenberger or maybe even Charlie Whitehurst still remains to be seen. Also Mariota still remains unsigned by Tennessee but they remain confident that this will not be an issue.

Given the competition that Mariota will be up against in camp,My Sports Mind tells me that he will have to be mighty awful or one of them will have to be VERY good for Mariota NOT to be the starter come September.

Cowboys:   Byron Jones has been splendid,

In Cowboys OTR’s and Mini Camp and will be in the Cowboy’s starting line up for sure come September.

The good thing for the Cowboys is that Jones might not be the only rookie that will probably be starting on the Cowboys defense. DE, Randy Gregory is also expected to push for a starting role opposite last years rookie DE, DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys defense appears to be completely rebuilt and ready to achieve great things ahead.

As a Cowboys fan I am excited to see what Byron Jones will bring. My Sports Mind Tells me that MAYBE, Having Byron Jones in the secondary will help Morris Claiborne find his game. Oh how nice that would be….

San Diego:

Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon The Chargers have a man crush on Melvin Gordon.

He has been great for the Chargers through OTA’s and their mini camp.

The Chargers tagged the best player on the board in the 2015 draft when they selected Gordon not to mention that RB was their #1 need position and thus far Melvin Gordon has NOT been a disappointment.

When the 2015 season kicks off you can BET Gordon will be in the starting lineup for the Chargers & also thousands of fantasy football teams as well.

My Sports Mind tells me that, the Chargers have a future Pro Bowl RB and that you will see MANY more stiff arms like the one above from Melvin Gordon, Count on it….

St. Louis:

Georgia's Todd Gurley Troy Gurley is expected to be ready by the start of the regular season but it is not a certainty.

He was unable to participate in the QTA’s or mini camp so to speak, So the beast that Gurley can be will probably happen next season it just probably will not not be right out of the gate.

Head Coach, Jeff Fisher compares the type of impact Gurley CAN have for the team as the same impact Eddie George had with the Titans.

My Sports Mind agrees with Coach Fisher 100%, In fact I think Gurley has the ability to become the next best RB in the league and once Gurley’s health is at 100% there’s NO DOUBT that he will be in the starting lineup.

Honorable Mention:

Other’s that’s have really shown promise during OTA’s and Mini camp for their respective teams are:

DL, Leonard Williams (New York Jets) WR, Amari Cooper (Oakland) DE, Eddie Goldman (Chicago), OL, La’el Collins (Dallas) have really looked awesome in their early tenure’s on their new teams and have greatly increased their chances of solidifying starting roles.

So Whats On Your Sports Mind about this subject?




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