Amidst the controversial new Helmet Rule, the NFL Preseason kicked off, allowing us to watch the new NFL rookies. These are the five things we learned from the first week of Preseason.
#1. The Browns pass offense is DANGEROUS.
Baker Mayfield showed his awesome pocket presence and maneuverability as he avoided multiple pocket collapses. He isn’t a tremendous athlete, but he made some crucial plays with his feet. His connections with Antonio Callaway and Jarvis Landry also looked very promising. We know who Jarvis Landry is. Furthermore, Antonio Callaway, aside from his off-field issues, looks like an absolute BEAST on the ball. He is a tremendous athlete. We can expect Jarvis to have 1,000+ receiving yards in 2018, and I also think Callaway will have a huge year behind Landry and Josh Gordon. The Browns’ WR core will GO OFF next year.
#2. Lamar Jackson can RUN, but his passing is poor-quality.
Both the Hall of Fame Game and Ravens vs. Rams game were packed with exciting Lamar Jackson runs. However, his throwing was pretty bad. He missed some pretty easy slant routes, and he had some pretty dangerous throws. He’s definitely very talented, but at this rate, he won’t play much next season.
#3. Skill positions are easy to fill.
Saquon Barkley looked very good on his first Preseason run. I predict he’ll have a 1,000+ yard rushing and 500 yard receiving year. However, there were MANY rookie skill-position players who shined in Preseason wk1. Ray-Ray McCloud (WR, Bills), Ralph Webb (RB Patriots). Both players are low-profile rookies, but they still made plays. Ray-Ray was a sixth-round draft pick, while Ralph Webb, who had two TDs, was an undrafted free agent.
#4. Darnold and Rosen
Darnold had the best rookie QB performance this week behind Baker Mayfield. He showed his ability to throw on the run and avoid defenders within the pocket. I was most impressed by his fast ball release. His arm looks very hard to defend against. Josh Rosen didn’t have his best day, but he was still throwing darts against the Chargers. If not for the center’s terrible snaps and the wide receivers’ drops, Rosen would have had a much better day. Granted, both QBs threw against 2nd/3rd team defenses.
#5. The Vikings are looking DIRTYY
The Vikings may have confirmed that they are the top-dogs in the NFC. They showed off their great WR duo featuring Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, a re-energized run-game with Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray. Kirk Cousins had some good connections with many of these offensive weapons. Furthermore, the Vikings’ defense SHUT DOWN Case Keenum and the Broncos’ first team offense. The Vikings looked nasty good.
Those were the top 5 things I saw in the first week of the NFL 2018 Preseason. There were many other topics of discussion, and I’m excited to see more in the remaining three weeks of the Preseason.
Featured image from: https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2018/8/10/17674610/nfl-preseason-2018-saquon-barkley-baker-mayfield-patrick-mahomes