Week 2 Pre-Season Eye Catchers
By Chad Stapley, FootballDiehards.com
Nick Foles Eagles - -- He makes this list because the Eagles named Mike Vick their starting QB, which I think is absurd. Foles did have one awful interception against the Panthers but I think some QB needy team is going to throw some major trade bait at the Eagles for the services of Foles. Foles is a starting caliber QB and he is probably more talented then at least 10 current starting NFL QBs.
Dominique Davis Falcons -- All Davis did was shred the former Super Bowl Champion winning Ravens. He went 8/10 for 98 yards and he ran for 13 yards. This is another guy who some team is going to throw some money at to be their starting QB. The Falcons wont be able to afford him after this season, especially if he gets some playing time in the regular season if Ryan were to get hurt.
Brad Sorensen Chargers -- The 7th round draft pick out of Southern Utah (that’s not a typo) beat up the Bears defense this week going 8/14 for 126 yards and a TD. Last week it looked like he had no competition for the backup spot behind Rivers, but Charlie Whitehurst threw 2 TDs this week against the Bears to reinsert himself in the battle to be the backup.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson Vikings -- This guy intrigues me. You’ve got a former first-round bust starting at QB in Ponder and his backup is a One Hit Wonder in Matt Cassel. Keep having solid nights like he did (10/17 for 107 yards and a TD) and someone upstairs is going to start to notice. Yes its true, he did play against the backups but, I think he showed better pocket presence and overall game poise than either Cassel or Ponder.
BJ Daniels 49ers -- I loved this pick when the 49ers took him in the 7th round out of South Florida. Daniels is something of a clone of Kaepernick just not quite as fast or accurate in the passing game. I like him to beat out McCoy and Tolzien (Probably wont even make the team with the McCoy and Daniel additions this off season) for the backup QB job. Daniels went 6/9 for 72 yards and the game winning TD.
Mike Glennon Bucs -- He went 12/22 for 121 yards and 2 TDs to his 1 INT. The job is Freemans to lose and if he starts throwing a massive amount of INTs like he did last year expect Glennon to get some solid playing time. The thing I don’t understand is why the Bucs would draft the closest thing to a clone of Freeman they could find. Glennon is also a loose cannon that threw a lot of dumb INTs in college. Buyers beware, he will score you a lot of points one game (if he ever even plays) and then he could cost you big time the next game.
Alex Tanney Cowboys -- Tanney played the entire second half for the Cowboys and he did not let the fans down. He went 14/19 for 136 yards throwing 1 TD and 1 INT. His primary competition to backup Tony Romo is Kyle Orton who went 4/8 for a measly 36 yards and 2 INTs. Yes Orton played against the Cardinals starters, and yes he will probably still be the backup for Romo come the end of preseason. But why?
Josh Johnson Bengals -- He went 5/7 for 73 yards and he also ran for 27 yards. I just like what he brings to the table, if Dalton were to go down I think the Bengals could come out with a similar offense to what the 49ers run and Johnson could really shine. That’s a big IF though, and I like what Dalton has done thus far in his career production wise, but I would love for some NFL team to give Johnson a chance to start. Hey Chip Kelly did you watch the Bengals/Titans game? Picture Johnson running that Kelly offense.
B.J. Coleman -- Can someone tell me why his name is not in contention to back up Rodgers? He out performed both Young and Harrell and he threw the only TD of the night for the Packers. Maybe bring Young aboard has lit a fire under Coleman because he played exceptionally well and I look forward to seeing more of him this week.
Landry Jones Steelers -- He had a so/so night but he did throw the only TD for the Steelers. Going 9/22 isn’t going to win over many fantasy owners but he threw a turnover free game and he is young. I think Jones is the QB of the Steelers future, which is good if you’re a Steelers fan.
This was not the best week to be a running back, not a lot of RBs stood out this week.
Taureen Poole Panthers -- He is an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee and is most likely a long shot to make the team with the stable of RBs the Panthers already have but he did run 5 times for 27 yards for a nice 4.6 YPC average.
Matthew Tucker Eagles -- Him and Chris Polk are battling for a roster spot and he gets the nudge this week due to the fact that Polk fumbled. Tucker is young (22) and big for a RB (6’1 227lbs) I am just not sure how he fits in this Eagles offense, I think Polk makes the team in the long run over Tucker.
Edwin Baker Chargers -- Baker is a 7th round pick from 2012 out of Michigan State, He kind of reminds me of a Darren Sproles type in San Diego. He is pretty fast especially when he gets the ball in open space. He ran 5 times for 36 yards and a gaudy 7.2 YPC average. I like him to make the team and play a good amount.
Joe Banyard Vikings -- Banyard is an undrafted free agent out of UTEP, this week he severely outshined Gerhart who is Petersons primary backup RB. Banyard ran 7 times for 47 yards (24 more yards than Gerhart with only one more carry). I like him to possibly make the team, especially if Gerhart continues to struggle.
Knile Davis Chiefs -- I am not a Davis fan, I don’t think he does anything particularly well but he is going to get a lot of carries being Charles primary backup. That means he will be a good option week in and week out to put in the RB/TE/WR spot for people looking for a bit of an edge.
Mike James Bucs -- James is a 6th round pick out of Miami from this years draft and he is showing he was well under drafted thus far. He ripped the Patriots defense apart running 15 times for 81 yards, he did it looking like it was his 50th game not his 2nd, I like this addition to the Bucs backfield.
Brandon Bolden/Shane Vereen Patriots -- Whoever ends up backing up Ridley is going to be constant point scorer in the RB/WR/TE spot. With how shaky the Patriots WRs are this season I expect them to run the ball as much as they have in the preseason so far. Both RBs seem capable of being productive and reliable each week.
Khiry Robinson Saints -- Khiry did it again, this week against the Raiders, and the poor Raiders defense had no answer for him. Chiefs/Raiders-0 Robinson 2. He busted both teams for 50 yards. This week he ran 10 times for 50 yards even for a 5 YPC average, not bad for an undrafted rookie free agent RB.
Giovani Bernard Bengals -- He looked much better in Week 2 then he did in Week 1. He ran 7 times for 37 yards and a 3.7 YPC average; he also caught a pass for 22 yards. He is doing exactly what the Bengals drafted him to do, be a steady runner and a great pass catcher out of the backfield.
Rex Burkhead Bengals -- Burkhead is going to steal carries from both Bernard and Green-Ellis especially if he keeps producing like he has so far. He ran 6 times for 31 yards and he caught a pass for 7 yards, he continues to look like one of the 2013 Drafts biggest steals.
Cierre Wood Texans -- Another week another team Wood showed off against. He ran 5 times for 20 yards for a 4 YPC average; he also had a reception for 24 yards. Him and Burkhead are going to battle it out all year long for the title of BEST UNDRAFTED ROOKIE RB.
Eddie Lacy Packers -- Lacy looked healthy to me, he ran 8 times for 40 yards giving him a 5 YPC average; he also had a reception for 11 yards. He is going to be a great every down RB just like his former teammate Richardson (Browns RB).
Spencer Ware Seahawks -- Ware is proving to be far more productive then his 6th Round Draft pick entitles. A guy drafted this late isn’t supposed to be running 9 times for 54 yards and catching two passes for 26 yards. He is going to push Turbin for carries all season long; he’s from LSU so he knows how to play big time football.
WIDE RECEIVERS/ TIGHT ENDS
Darius Johnson Falcons -- Johnson is an undrafted guy out of SMU and he has a real shot at making this team as a slot WR to backup Douglas. He caught 6 balls for 50 yards, very productive for a 22 year old rookie.
Aaron Mellette Ravens -- Another week another TD for Boldin 2.0, he has 2 receptions for 2 TDs so far. Not too bad for a 7th round draft pick out of Elon, he is going to be quite productive all season long.
Jordan Cameron Browns TE -- Cameron is finally looking like the player the Browns drafted him to be, he snagged 3 balls for 42 yards and 2 TDs. He is going to be a serious Red Zone threat all year especially if Weeden continues to improve.
Zach Ertz Eagles TE -- Kelly knows exactly what Ertz brings to the table, a dominant Red Zone threat and a great pass catcher. If Ertz can turn himself into a reliable blocker he is going to be a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators.
Ladarius Green Chargers TE -- The Chargers drafted Green in 2012 in the 4th round out of UL-L to be the apparent successor of Gates but he didn’t come out firing in 2012. So far this preseason he has 7 receptions for 104 yards and 2 TDs, he is going to be a headache all year for opposing defenses.
Rodney Smith Vikings -- Smith is an undrafted rookie out of Florida State, he is a big bodied WR (6’5 220lbs) and has good hands. He could be a solid #3 in Minnesota but I think there is just too much WR competition amongst the Vikings for him to get a legitimate chance.
Marquise Goodwin/Robert Woods Bills -- These two are going to be productive each week, not only in the receiving game but also in the return game. Goodwin has a return TD already and woods had 5 Punt Returns for 64 yards this week. I think they are going to take turns outshining each other week in and week out.
Zach Sudfeld Patriots TE -- Everyone at Patriots camp is calling Sudfeld Gronk Jr, which for anyone is an amazing compliment especially for an undrafted rookie free agent out of Nevada. He is a good blocker and he has a solid set of hands, everyone can forget about Hernandez now.
Brice Butler Raiders -- Butler is proving to be a solid target on Offense, he followed up his strong week 1 performance by grabbing 3 balls for 38 yards. He was the leading WR for the Raiders on the night.
Kenny Stills Saints -- Stills shook off his shaky week 1 performance to grab 4 balls for 64 yards and a TD in week 2. He looks like he is going to be very productive in the Drew Bree’s led Saints offense.
Gabe Escobar Cowboys TE -- Escobar is going to get a lot of touches in Red Zone Packages because defenses will have to double cover Bryant and Witten leaving Escobar and Austin single covered. That is going to give the 6’5 Escobar a lot of mismatches and he will be a nightmare to cover, linebackers beware.
Kerry Taylor Cardinals -- Taylor is an undrafted WR out of Arizona State, he took his opportunity and ran with it. He outshined every other WR on the Cardinals offense grabbing 4 balls for 85 yards, I think he has an outside chance to make the team.
Marvin Jones/Mohamed Sanu Bengals -- Both 2nd year WRs look like they are going to make strides in year two with the Bengals. Sanu caught a TD this week and Jones grabbed 3 balls for 28 yards.
Lestar Jean Texans - -- Jean followed up his strong Week 1 performance by grabbing 2 balls for 57 yards and another TD. Jean looks like he can be a solid target for the Texans, which will take a lot of pressure off of Owen Daniels.
Myles White Packers -- Can White turn a solid preseason into a roster spot? In Week 2 he grabbed 5 balls for 48 yards, if he keeps producing like that the Packers will have to find a spot on the roster for him.
Julius Thomas Broncos TE -- Thomas has caught 8 balls for 105 yards so far this preseason, at 6’5 250 lbs. Thomas is a legitimate Red Zone Target. Look for him to make strides in year 3, especially with Manning calling the shots on offense.
Darrius Heyward-Bey Colts -- Is it the change of scenery, or maybe it’s the fact that he actually has a good QB throwing to him for an organization that isn’t in shambles. Anyone who plays for the Raiders is unfortunate as of lately because they just fire and hire coaches like its musical chairs. I think Heyward-Bey is going to have a 60+ reception year and he might break into double digit TDs if he can stay healthy.
Markus Wheaton Steelers -- If Wheaton shines again in week 3 of the preseason then I am going to take him off this list because it’s no longer a surprise, it is expected. Wheaton was a stud at Oregon State and he is going to star for the Steelers. He may be one of my favorite WRs in the whole 2013 draft.
David Douglas Bucs -- Douglas is a 2nd year guy of Arizona (Member of the Giants in 2012) and if he sticks with the Bucs on the active roster he will produce. He is a 6’1 slot WR that can stretch the field and isn’t afraid to go over the middle. He had a great game in week 2 and I look for him to have another strong performance in week 3.
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