Albert Okwuegbunam – it’s nice to see Russ praising the hard work of the young TE. Albert O could be a nice sleeper TE this year in this new Broncos offense especially with redzone specialist Tim Patrick out for the season already.
Russell Wilson said he’s been “pretty hard” on Albert O but it’s paid off:
“I told him in the early morning walk-thru…‘On this play today, if you get this, I want you to do this.’ And he did it. It was like, ‘Boom, there it is,’ and he ran for 40 yards down the sidelines.”
Justin Fields – he may not have the weapons to be a QB1 this year but it is nice to see more positive reports coming out of camp for the 2nd year QB who is now away from Matt Nagy in an offense that should be better suited for his unique skillset.
Some great news #Bears’ fans: Justin Fields has “blown away” the staff thus far, according to one team source I spoke with. “His mechanics have improved, he’s in great shape, he works at it and he really cares. Luke [Getsy] loves him.”
Kansas City Chiefs
JuJu Smith-Schuster – JuJu has seemingly separated himself in camp as the WR1 in this revamped KC Chiefs receiving core as he continues to get praise from his QB Patrick Mahomes.
Watching QB Patrick Mahomes throw to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster this camp has been a treat. The rapport I’ve seen develop makes it look like these guys have been playing together for seasons instead of months. Eager to see how it translates Saturday for 1-2 series in the game.
Mahomes on Smith-Schuster: “He’s a smart guy. He does a great job of getting in and out of routes… a great job of tough, physical catches. He has a great understanding for the playbook already.”
New York Giants
Saquon Barkley – Barkley looks and is saying he’s feeling healthier this year after now being a year removed from his ACL tear.
Barkley postgame “I felt good. I think our offensive line did a great job. We were able to move the ball. I was able to get a catch on a third and five to keep the sticks moving. It was a great throw by DJ [Daniel Jones] great read by DJ. My body just feels really good.”
New England Patriots
Tyquan Thornton – Thornton was able to score a TD in his limited action in his first preseason game and it looks like the hype from camp immediately translated to his play on the field.
Tyquan Thornton TD. Inside release. Robinson had his hands on him and the rookie was able to fight thru contact and create separation at the top of the route. Reminder: Robinson is one of the Giants starting CBs.
Tyquan Thornton continues to impress. Recognizes the need to break off his route to help a scrambling Hoyer, pulls away just enough from the corner, and ends up with the TD.
Malik Willis – Willis flashed in his first preseason action with his rushing abilities, but he also missed some wide-open receivers as well. He will more than likely be the backup to Ryan Tannehill this year.
Malik Willis in the first half for the Titans:
6/11, 107 yards with a 88.1 QB rating
4 carries, 21 yards and scored a TD
The play that got Willis pulled in the 2nd half. Willis’ 1st read (glance to Dez at the bottom of the screen) is wide open, but he doesn’t throw it. His 2nd read (back side post to Burks) is wide open, doesn’t throw it. This should be ripped to Dez for 15+ yds 10/10 times.
Kansas City Chiefs
Isiah Pacheco – I’m not sure if there’s been a more hyped rookie in all the NFL training camp offseason as there’s been from the 7th round rookie out of Rutgers. The drumbeat continues to bang loud with QB Patrick Mahomes taking notice of the young RB.
Asked Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes about seventh-round RB Isiah Pacheco… Mahomes likes what the newcomer brings to the table.
Can confirm some of the training camp hype on Isiah Pacheco. He definitely passes the eyeball test in person while showing impressive burst and power. There’s a lot of juice to his game.
Shemar Bridges – Bridges scored a TD last night and looked pretty good doing it. He’s a rookie in a crowded receiving core in a low volume passing offense so take this with a grain of salt but maybe put him on your dynasty radar at the very least.
Ravens rookie WR Shemar Bridges (Fort Valley State) was impressive with 62 yards on 4 catches. John Harbaugh on Bridges: “I like Shemar. He’s a big, physical guy. He goes up and gets the ball. He posts a lot of good speeds in practice. He plays hard on special teams in practice”
Isaiah Likely – Likely had a 4/44 receiving stat line and showed that the camp hype that he’s been getting should translate to the field as soon as this year.
Big take aways from Ravens pre-season game 1:
1. Isaiah Likely will be a factor in passing game
Ken Walker – with Rashaad Penny already nursing a groin injury, the door appears to be open for Ken Walker to make an early impression to show why he was the 2nd RB selected in this year’s draft class.
Pete Carroll describing Ken Walker III as a three-down back on the same day that Rashaad Penny is sidelined again, this time with groin tightness. Another indication/reminder that Walker is going to play a ton this season.
Carroll had a glowing — even by his standards — assessment of Ken Walker III, saying he’s surprised at how well-rounded the rookie RB has become. Said he’s “turned the page” with his college pass-pro struggles. “He could play all three downs and we’d feel comfortable with it.”
Rashaad Penny is “feeling a little bit of groin tightness,” per Carroll, “so we’re just taking care of him.” Didn’t take part in the walk-thru. Doesn’t sound/look like he’ll play Saturday, but Carroll didn’t quite say that. (Don’t know if he’d play a ton in the preseason anyway)
Carolina Panthers – Mayfield seems like he is going to be the starter but it appears there is still a bit of a QB competition heading into the Panther’s first preseason game.
Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will each play a series of 2 on Saturday, per Matt Rhule.
Minnesota Vikings – the Vikings premium handcuff RB to Dalvin Cook may be on the move next year. This could slightly bump up the stock of Ty Chandler who the Vikings drafted this year in dynasty leagues even though Dalvin Cook figures to be the lead back next year as well.
I wouldn’t expect #Vikings to sign backup RB Alexander Mattison to contract extension before season, putting him in line to be free agent in March. Mattison said he’s “not aware” of there being any contract talks. Indications are he could test market & see if he can land RB1 job.
Deshaun Watson – it feels like this is never going to end but there should be an outcome decided soon so fantasy fans can start to get a feel where we can draft the ancillary Browns pieces this coming draft season.
AP source: Watson willing to accept 8-game suspension, fine.
Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders’ TE Darren Waller has been held out of training camp due to a hamstring injury that is not considered serious, per source.