As “The Dude” proclaimed to Brant and Jeffrey Lebowski in what is arguably the greatest comedy of my generation, “New shit has come to light”. For purposes of this post, “new shit,” is NFL training camp. Here is a quick update on that new shit.
I have written a new blurb about each player that has moved up or down in these rankings.
6. Jahan Dotson | WR | Commanders
10. George Pickens | WR | Steelers – Two talented players in Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool currently drag Pickens’ ascension to WR1, but he has impressed in camp. Diontae is a free agent in 2023 and Pickens could be ready to take over. I think he’ll be good in 2022, and could be great in 2023.
11. Skyy Moore | WR Chiefs – Flying all the way up from 16, Skyy has looked great in early practices. He has better hands than Marquez Valdes-Scantling, is faster than JuJu Smith-Schuster, and is stronger than Mecole Hardeman. The former Western Michigan Bronco has charged up my rankings.
12. David Bell | WR | Browns – Bell still hasn’t fully participated in practice. He has been seen on the sidelines playing catch. It’s obviously very early, but Bell will need to get on the field in order to prove himself, and then there is the DeShaun Watson situation.
14. Rachaad White | RB | Buccaneers – Management in Tampa Bay has been pleased with his mature approach. Couple that with the news of Leonard Fournete arriving to camp a little overweight pushes White up a spot.
15. Tyler Badie | RB | Ravens – A big mover up from 21. Uncertainty about the health of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards (neither are participating in practice at the moment) has creaked the door open for Badie. It’s a bold ranking, but I believe this kid has the goods.
16. Christian Watson | WR | Packers – Falls down the list because he is not practicing and there is no timetable for his return after post-OTA knee surgery. He’s a raw prospect with a lot of learning to do and any delay in his development is of concern. I still like his skills in the long run.
17. Dameon Pierce | RB | Texans -Has a couple of solid veterans ahead of him on the depth chart with Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack, but Burkhead is older and Mack has a concerning injury history. Expect the Texans to bring Dameon along slowly. There is a lot of upside here. Houston wants to do a better job running the ball. They signed some help for the O-line and fullback positions this offseason.
18. Romeo Doubs | WR | Packers – I dropped Doubs a couple of spots on the previous update, and boy did I get that wrong. The beat writers for Green Bay have been crushing hard on Romeo and it seems they have good reason to do so. He’s been the talk of camp and is making the most of his opportunity with Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins out with injury.
19. James Cook | RB | Bills – Current starter Devin Singletary played well in the second half of the 2021 season. I doubt Singletary gives up his starting role without a fight, so you may have to wait until late in the season before Cook provides consistent production.
20. Isaiah Spiller | RB | Chargers – Spiller has been showing out early in camp. He’s a well-rounded back who has displayed strong receiving skills. Austin Ekeler is a stud and Spiller wont replace a healthy Ekeler. Should the Bolt’s electric back miss time, Isaiah would keep the lights on.
21. Jalen Tolbert | WR | Cowboys – Tolbert has impressed OTAs and now early in camp. He has shown the ability to play all three receiver positions and that versatility will prove helpful. CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup are signed to long-term deals, so Tolbert will have to settle for third fiddle for now. He’s one injury away from starting with a quality NFL passer.
22. Tyler Algeier | RB | Falcons – The bruising back has a great chance at RB2 in Atlanta. He should get a decent amount of carries in 2022 as the Falcons attempt to keep Cordarelle Patterson fresh and healthy throughout the season.
23. Tyrion Davis-Price | RB | 49ers – He’s clearly behind last year’s breakout star RB Elijah Mitchell, but Price has a good burst and runs with a low pad level. I expect him to hold the RB2; which means he’s only one injury away.
24. Alec Pierce | WR | Colts – A faller from his rank of 17th on the previous list. Paris Campbell appears to have the early hold on the WR2 in Indy. Pierce is a good player, but he can’t match Campbell’s athleticism.
25. Tyquan Thorton | WR | Patriots
26. Hassan Haskins | RB | Titans – Early favorite to be RB2 in Tennesse. Haskins is a bruiser who could allow the offense to stay on track if Henry were to miss time in 2022. He carried Michigan in their victory over Ohio State. This kid can play.
27. Brian Robinson Jr. | RB | Commanders – I had him as low as 50 on my early lists, and that was a mistake. Reports are complimentary coming from OTAs and camp. He looks like RB2 in Washington this season.
28. Zamir White | RB | Raiders – He is yet to practice and has two ACL tears in his injury history. I get less optimistic every time the Raiders staff insist it’s merely a minor injury. Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, and Ameer Abdullah are on this team, so White will have to earn a role and he’s gotta be on the field to do that.
29. Pierre Strong Jr. | RB | Patriots – Yet to play in practice as he nurses an injury. This speedster will probably have to bide his time behind Rhammondre Stevenson and Damien Harris, but Harris is a free agent in 2023.
30. Velus Jones Jr. | WR | Bears – Jones Jr. might have the inside track for WR2 in Chicago. Byron Pringle and N’keal Harry are really the only players standing in his way and Velus has looked good in practice. I have my doubts regarding the Bears’ passing game, but if he starts, he should at least provide some production, and he has skills in the return game (if your league awards points for those accomplishments).
The Dude abides.
Sources: ourlads.com, bleacherreport.com, theatlantic.com, NFL.com, RazzBall.com