Posted by Zach Ring

One Player (or Players) from Each AFC Team that I’m Excited to Follow this Training Camp

July 21, 2023

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens – Zay Flowers – James Jones recently said “another thing I’m hearing out of that camp is Zay Flowers is the best WR out there, including OBJ, and it ain’t close.” That’s enough for me. Give me all the Flowers news and videos during Camp.

Cincinnati Bengals – Irv Smith – The Bengals are set at pretty much every position besides tight end, where they’ve brought in Irv Smith Jr and Devin Asiasi (a lot of dynasty players remember this name) to compete with 2019 second round pick Drew Sample. You have to think Smith is the most talented of the group and who the coaches want to win the job.

Cleveland Browns – Elijah Moore – What’s a Training Camp without Elijah Moore hype? Will a change of scenery be good for Moore. Word so far is a resounding yes, but we’ve been down this road before…

Pittsburgh Steelers – George Pickens – If the Steelers want their offense to take the next step, then they absolutely need George Pickens to be an Alpha. He has the traits, but can he build off of his rookie season? A lot of that depends on the development of Kenny Pickett. Pickens provided several highlights last Training Camp and I’m looking forward to him doing it again.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills – Dalton Kinkaid – How will the Bills use Dalton Kinkaid? The betting favorite is as a big slot receiver with Dawson Knox maintaining the traditional tight end role. Also, will they use him enough to justify where he’s being picked in best ball drafts right now?

Miami Dolphins – De’Von Achane – The Miami Dolphins have so much speed on their offense and only added more with De’Von Achane. Do they view him as a third down type back or do they trust him to handle early downs too? He’ll start off as the #3 running back, but he could move up quickly with a good Training Camp.

New England Patriots – Mac Jones – This just feels like a make or break year for Mac Jones. The Patriots haven’t helped him in the weapons category, but they did bring in Mike Gesicki (meh). Signs point to them going to more 12 personnel this year with Gesicki and Hunter Henry. Jones has to improve this year or the Patriots will be looking to move on, whether that’s fair or not.

New York Jets – Aaron Rodgers – How can I not pick Aaron Rodgers here? Many think age is catching up to him and he’s lost a step. Hard not to think that after last season. He’s still an improvement over Zach Wilson, but does he still have enough juice to turn the Jets into true contenders?

AFC West

Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy – Jerry Jeudy is going to have a huge year. I can feel it. He finished last year strong. He’s healthy. Russell Wilson has to be better, which is a big IF. The Russ-Jeudy connection is what I’ll be watching this Camp.

Kansas City Chiefs – Kadarius Toney – Kadarius Toney is much like Elijah Moore. The talent is there, but there are so many other question marks. Patrick Mahomes thinks Toney can be a #1 receiver in the NFL. He just has to stay on the field.

Las Vegas Raiders – Michael Mayer – The Raiders feel boring this year. So I’m going with Michael Mayer as my player to watch. Mayer was highly touted coming out of Notre Dame and the Raiders took him early in the Second Round as the second tight end off the board. He’s a traditional TE that can catch and block.

Los Angeles Chargers – Quentin Johnston – How does Quentin Johnston fit in the Chargers offense? He’ll be a starting outside receiver in three WR sets if he can beat out Josh Palmer during Camp. Johnston feels a little redundant with Mike Williams already there, but Williams and Keenan Allen both have injury history, so Johnston could find himself in a very relevant role. Also, it feels like a guarantee that he’ll have at least a couple highlight reel Camp catches.

AFC South

Houston Texans – CJ Stround/Nico Collins/Metchie – I’m looking forward to the CJ Stroud/Nico Collins connection. Is Collins only relevant because of the lack of weapons at receiver? Or is he actually good? And John Metchie. How does he come back? Will he be a full go? The Texans have a lot of questions on offense. It’ll be interesting to see how it all comes together.

Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Richardson – Am I even allowed to pick anyone else? Anthony Richardson hasn’t taken an NFL snap and he already might be the most polarizing player in the league. No one will question his measurables or athleticism. His accuracy and throwing will be questioned just about every day during Camp.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Calvin Ridley – It’s nice to have Calvin Ridley back on an NFL football field. By all accounts, he hasn’t lost a step and is as explosive as ever. This was an obvious choice for the Jaguars.

Tennessee Titans – DeAndre Hopkins – Another obvious choice. Are the Tennessee Titans truly where receivers go to die or will DeAndre Hopkins buck that trend? After his 6 game suspension last year, he still looked like the Nuk of old until he got hurt in Week 16. So this doesn’t feel like the same thing as when Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, and Julio Jones all joined the Titans late in their careers. We shall see…

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