The NFL offseason has given many players an initial chance to make a good first impression heading into the summer months, and training camp.
We’re focusing on 10 of the NFL players who have created significant positive buzz during OTAs and minicamps. These men have shown the ability to carve out big roles for their respective teams in the workouts this spring.
Danny Amendola, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
A veteran receiver who became legendary for his postseason performances with the New England Patriots, Amendola is now in Detroit after spending one year with the Miami Dolphins. The early reports coming out of Lions workouts are positive. Amendola and quarterback Matthew Stafford appear to have instant chemistry. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press recently wrote that, “Amendola caught just about everything thrown his way” during OTAs. It appears that the veteran will be a hot target for Stafford this season, assuming he can stay healthy.
Scotty Miller, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have an opening on offense now that slot specialist Adam Humphries is in Tennessee. So far, it appears sixth-round rookie Scotty Miller out of Bowling Green has an excellent shot of filling the void. Quarterback Jameis Winston recently said Miller has “been phenomenal,” noting, “Scotty’s doing everything he can to fill that spot.” The diminutive 5-foot-9 receiver could be a sleeper fantasy star if he keeps this up.
Jamie Collins, linebacker, New England Patriots
Coming back to New England, Collins finds himself in a perfect situation to excel once more. The Patriots need the help at linebacker, and despite an up-and-down 2018 campaign in Cleveland it appears Collins will step right into the starting lineup. Albert Breer of SI.com recently wrote that “The ex-Browns linebacker has lost weight, and his play speed has caught the attention of the staff in the spring.” Once a bona fide star for the Pats, Collins appears destined for big things once more.
Daniel Jones, quarterback, New York Giants
Just a couple months back, the Giants were touting Eli Manning as a guy who could play two or three more seasons, despite selecting Jones No. 6 overall in April’s draft. Since then, New York has begun shifting its comments more and more in favor of the rookie. Most recently, head coach Pat Shurmur wouldn’t close the door on Jones actually starting for Big Blue in Week 1. A training camp battle between these two quarterbacks is a real thing now, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how it plays out.
Greedy Williams, cornerback, Cleveland Browns
Heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams was considered by many analysts to be one of the top corners in this year’s draft class. Cleveland ended up landing a steal in the second round after he slid further than anyone expected. Since then, the former LSU star has done nothing but impress. He’s working with the starting defense, and Nick Shook of the team’s official website wrote Williams has “improved significantly from the start of rookie minicamp to the conclusion of mandatory minicamp.”
Darrell Henderson, running back, Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley is still not practicing as he rehabs what has been reported as arthritis in his knee. His absence has opened the door for Henderson to shine. One of the more underrated players at any position this past draft cycle, the former Memphis star has done just that. A player general manager Les Snead has compared favorably to Alvin Kamara, Henderson could very well become the most explosive rookie running back in the NFL this coming season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins gave up a second-round pick to trade for Josh Rosen during the draft. All reports indicate the second-year quarterback has done well, too. However, Rosen probably won’t start this season for Miami, because Fitzpatrick has been absolutely dominant. The reports coming out of practices this offseason have been FitzMagical. He’s working almost exclusively with the first-team offense and has been consistently dropping dimes all over the field. Miami might just be more dangerous on offense than anyone imagined this coming season.
Montez Sweat, outside linebacker, Washington Redskins
All Sweat has done since the start of Washington’s offseason program is impress his new coaches and teammates. This rookie has already garnered favorable comparisons to a future Hall of Fame pass rusher. Beat writers have gushed over Sweat’s raw speed off the edge, and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula hasn’t held back his praise for him, either. This former Mississippi State star appears headed toward a dominant rookie campaign.
Devin Bush, linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers traded up to No. 10 overall during the draft to land this former Michigan star, and so far it’s safe to say the team is giddy about his potential. Teammate T.J. Watt recently said “He’s quicker than snot,” and that Bush has been “flying around and making a lot of good plays.” Bush is also being mentored by Ryan Shazier, who was the last dynamic inside linebacker starring for Pittsburgh before a back injury derailed his career. The sky appears to be the limit for this young man.
Kyler Murray, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
The only rookie quarterback this year who will instantly be his new team’s starter, Murray has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Based on the early returns, however, he’s more than up to the task. Future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald recently told reporters that Murray knows Kliff Kingsbury’s system “better than we do” and praised the rookie for his mastery of the offense. On top of that, coaches and teammates have been comparing Murray’s arm strength to that of Patrick Mahomes. That’s some serious buzz.