Posted by Matt Olson

Camp MVPs and Other Notes

July 7, 2023


Los Angeles Chargers:

Camp MVP: Hunter Henry

Other Notes: It’s looking more and more like Melvin Gordon will hold out into the season, so Ekeler is the de facto beneficiary. Henry is fully back from his ACL tear a year ago. Tyrell Williams and Antonio Gates have left behind a combined 110 targets. If Melvin Gordon sits out, that leaves another 66 targets. You’d expect Henry and Mike Williams to mostly split the 110 targets, with Ekeler and Justin Jackson picking up the 66 targets.

Los Angeles Rams:

Camp MVP: Cooper Kupp

Other Notes: Kupp is all the way back. He was having a phenomenal year before his ACL tear last year. Can the Rams support three 1,000 yard WRs? They were on track last year. There is no reason to shy away from Kupp. Gurley has practiced about every other day and took part in zero preseason action. All eyes will be on his workload in week 1.

Miami Dolphins:

Camp MVP: Preston Williams

Other Notes: Vegas set the win-loss o/u at 4.5 wins for the Dolphins and that feels generous. If this offense is better than atrocious, I’d be surprised. You have to hope for two things as a Dolphin fan: 1) Josh Rosen starts and 2) He doesn’t get killed behind that porous o-line. If Rosen plays up to his first round draft status, then the Dolphins wouldn’t be forced to take their favorite QB in the 2020 draft and can start building up the rest of the team.

Minnesota Vikings:

Camp MVP: Chad Beebe

Other Notes: Beebe won the WR3 spot with ease. Only four players had over 50 targets last season (Thielen, Diggs, Rudolph, and Treadwell). Dalvin Cook had 49 targets in 11 games. Beebe should get all 53 targets that Treadwell got plus more. 

New England Patriots:

Camp MVP: Jakobi Meyers

Other Notes: No contest for Camp MVP here. Meyers will assumedly start the year as the 4th or 5th receiver behind Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, and N’Keal Harry. He could work his way up to WR3 as the season goes along.   

New Orleans Saints:

Camp MVP: Emmanuel Butler

Other Notes: The injury Butler sustained a couple weeks ago killed his momentum, but he should still be a lock to make the roster. Outside of Michael Thomas, the WR depth chart is wide open. Jared Cook is nursing a sort of mysterious injury right now. Hopefully he’s ready to go for week 1.

New York Giants:

Camp MVP: Daniel Jones

Other Notes: Jones is on track to give the @oldtakesexposed account an absolute field day. I’d venture to guess that Eli Manning is on a very short leash this year. Evan Engram should be the #1 or #2 target in the passing game all year, along with Sterling Shepard. Saquon Barkley may get 100 check down catches.

New York Jets:

Camp MVP: Sam Darnold

Other Notes: All the talk has been about Lamar Jackson and his development, but Darnold may take an even bigger leap in his second year. The Jets went 3 and out on over 40% of their drives last year. With Le’Veon Bell in town, they could easily cut that number by at least 10 percentage points, which would mean more plays for the offense. 

Oakland Raiders:

Camp MVP: Darren Waller

Other Notes: Waller is a great story of redemption. The Raiders offense has a chance to be pretty darn good. They’ve added AB, Tyrell Williams, and Josh Jacobs. If Carr doesn’t have a bounce back year this year, then they’ll likely look to take a QB in the 2020 draft. Jacobs should be a workhorse. 

Philadelphia Eagles:

Camp MVP: Desean Jackson

Other Notes: Based on the Eagles beat writers, the entire team deserves Camp MVP. The Eagles touted themselves as the Dream Team a few years ago with Mike Vick then crashed and burned. This year’s squad may be the actual Dream Team. DJax and Carson Wentz got off to a roaring start in Training Camp. DJax just recently broke a finger, so keep an eye on his practice status leading up to week 1. Miles Sanders has looked like the best RB on the roster, but he’ll likely split carries with Jordan Howard for at least the first few games.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Camp MVP: Donte Moncrief

Other Notes: Everyone expected James Washington to automatically take over the WR2 role, with Juju Smith-Schuster moving into the WR1 role. Although Washington has had a phenomenal preseason, it’s Moncrief that has won the WR2 role, at least to start the season. James Conner should get at least 70% of the starting RB touches. He’s taken it slow this offseason as he saves up his energy for the season.

San Francisco 49ers:

Camp MVP: Matt Breida

Other Notes: Jerick Mckinnon keeps having setbacks and Tevin Coleman has looked pedestrian. Don’t be surprised if Matt Breida ends up leading this backfield. Not sure what to expect with Dante Pettis. He looked great at the end of last year but has struggled mightily in camp this year. Maybe he’ll turn it back on when actual games start. The only known commodity in the 49ers offense is George Kittle. He’s in store for another monster year.

Seattle Seahawks:

Camp MVP: Tyler Lockett

Other Notes: Between Lockett being nearly unguardable all camp and the Seahawk WRs dropping like flies, Russell Wilson will have to look Lockett’s way a lot more than last year. Lockett only had 70 targets in 2018. Expect that number to surpass 100 this year. Chris Carson is also in store for a monster year if he can just stay healthy. The Seahawk coaches love Will Dissly and he’ll have a chance to seize the #1 TE role early in the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Camp MVP: Dare Ogunbowale

Other Notes: 179 (!) targets are gone from last year with the departures of Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson. OJ Howard and Chris Godwin will be the main beneficiaries of those available targets. Assuming health, I’ll be surprised if the Bucs don’t have two 1,100 yard receiver. Ogunbowale should open the season as the #3 RB with only Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones ahead of him.

Tennessee Titans:

Camp MVP: Corey Davis

Other Notes: Davis is a stud. If the Titans can figure out a way to consistently get him the ball, their offense would be much better. The weapons are there for Marcus Mariota. Davis, AJ Brown, and Adam Humphries are a very slid trio at WR. Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith makeup a great TE duo and Derrick Henry is out to prove that the end of last year wasn’t a fluke. 

Washington Redskins:

Camp MVP: Terry McLaurin

Other Notes: The rumors that the Redskins will release or trade Josh Doctson keep getting louder, but I won’t believe it until I see it. The Redskins are confident that Jordan Reed will be ready for the opener and that scares me, for Reed’s sake. Granted, he was having perhaps the best camp of his career. I can’t wait to see McLaurin in action since we didn’t get to see much in preseason games. He should open as the starter across from Paul Richardson. It’ll be really interesting to see how the Redskins split carries between Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson.

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