Top NFL Training Camp Battles to Watch

At this point of the NFL offseason, most starting lineup spots are more or less set, but there are a few major spots yet to be won in the upcoming training camps.

Can DeShone Kizer bring the “Believeland” vibe to the Browns?

The Cleveland Browns have been in a seemingly endless quarterback carousel for nearly their entire existence as a franchise. After the Browns drafted DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame in the second round, this trend may just change. Kizer was my top rated quarterback prospect in this draft class, and has prototypical size and arm strength. Kizer has received good reviews from Browns’ coach Hue Jackson, but will have to be a quick learner in training camp to beat out Cody Kessler. Kessler is widely considered not to be the Browns’ long term solution at quarterback, so if Kizer can show that he’s anywhere close to Kessler right now, the Browns may opt to start Kizer in order to see what they have in him and give him in-game experience. 

Where does Mike Williams fit in? 

After being drafted 7th overall, Mike Williams will have to earn his spot in the Chargers’ receiving core. The Chargers’ assumed number 1 receiver, Keenan Allen, has major injury issues in the past, but if he stays healthy, he should be the Chargers WR1. WR2 is where the real battle begins. The Chargers have a lot of solid options to be their number 2 receiver. Travis Benjamin is a solid receiver with great big play ability. Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman each had solid seasons for the Chargers last season. Mike Williams will have to show that he is ready to have a bigger impact than these players in order to beat them out for the WR2 slot, or potentially fill in at the WR1 slot if Keenan Allen goes down with another injury.

Is McCaffery the top back in Carolina?

Christian McCaffery wasn’t drafted at 8th overall to be exclusively a running back. There is a major question as to whether he will even be the main running back option for the Panthers. The Panthers use the slogan Keep Pounding, and their offense emulates this with a very high percentage of run plays. Many people don’t think that McCaffery is built to take the kind of pounding that being the feature back for Carolina would entail, but he should be used as a part of a shared backfield with Johnathan Stewart, and be used to split out as a slot receiver or catch balls out of the backfield. McCaffery will have the opportunity in training camp to prove to the Panthers that he is good enough in the run game to beat out Panthers’ veteran running back and all-time leading rusher Johnathan Stewart as the Panthers’ number 1 option at running back. 

Who is the top corner in Jacksonville?

Jalen Ramsey had a very good rookie season last season, and really began to show his superstar potential towards the end of the season. Ramsey put up 2 interceptions and 14 passes defensed on the season. The Jaguars decided this offseason that they wanted another top notch corner to pair with him and signed free agent A.J. Bouye. Bouye posted an impressive 16 passes defensed last season to pair with 1 interception for the Texans. Ramsey and Bouye will battle in training camp for the role of number 1 corner on what appears to be an up and coming Jacksonville defense.

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