Pre-Season Rookie Watch

By | August 25, 2016

WILL FULLER/WR/TEXANS #15 The Texans drafted FULLER to give them the deep threat they needed to compliment a solid corps of possession guys like DEANDRE HOPKINS. After his play last weekend there can be no doubt they got what they were looking for. FULLER had 4 catches for 73 yards and 1 TD. He also got past the secondary deep on several additional plays. His separation speed is undeniable and he showed better hands than he did at times during his collegiate career in South Bend. Even thought he failed to break a really long scoring play he showed some definite yards-after-catch ability with his speed and elusiveness. If QB/OSWEILER proves to be the real deal the average fan may not recognize the Texans Offense compared to last year’s edition.

DREW KASER/P/CHARGERS #8 We won’t quibble over a year or two, but let’s just say the CHARGERS had such confidence in KASER after drafting that they cut loose their Punter of a decade, MIKE SCIFRES, before Training Camp even began. And he has not disappointed to date. Last weekend KASER posted a 45.8 yard punting average which included 2 balls inside the opponent’s 20. He gets excellent height and hang time on his kicks. Hs first 3 Punts of the night carried 56, 52 & 56 yards in the air. And of significance at the pro level of play is his apparent efficiency as a holder for PK JOSH LAMBO, a former teammate at Texas A&M. I’m thinking the CHARGERS feel like they just found their Punter for the next decade in KASER.

PAXTON LYNCH/QB/BRONCOS #12 6’7/244 The BRONCOS organization wants to be careful not to rush their QB of the future into action too soon. But after 2 pre-season games his play is pushing the issue very hard, that he should be No.1 on their QB depth chart. While MARK SANCHEZ continues to show his propensity to turn the ball over by either INT or fumbles, as he has throughout his career, play on the field says LYNCH may have a slight edge over TREVOR SIEMIAN for the job. LYNCH was 15 of 26 last week for 113 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT. He continually kept plays alive with his athleticism and certainly looks very cool under pressure. Don’t be shocked to see LYNCH start in Game 3 to see how he commands the first team against starters from the opponent. The verbiage had indicated that HC KUBIAK would prefer to hold off the starting career of LYNCH at least til mid-season, but I will guarantee that GM ELWAY has no desire to write off this season while LYNCH learns from the sidelines.

BLAKE MARTINEZ/ILB/PACKERS #50 I don’t think I’d get an argument from too many football observers if I said MARTINEZ is clearly the most productive Rookie on the PACKERS roster so far. He’s starting inside and actually making the defensive calls on the field, as called in to him by DC DOM CAPERS. This could truly be a Rookie that CAPERS can trust right away. He turned in 4 tackles with his play against the Raiders, which included one tackle on coverage units. Several of his tackles were solid open field efforts. He trusts his eyes in finding the ball and reading the play, which allows him to get a jump on the offense. The PACKERS have been looking for quite a while for a man inside who could play both the run and drop into intermediate coverage. MARTINEZ looks like he could be that guy so far.

CARL NASSIB/DE/BROWNS #94 Count me in, among those who were somewhat skeptical of NASSIB being able to translate his late developing game in college to the pro level. But after two pre-season efforts I will say that given his extraordinary length (6’7′) and his hustling style of play he is going to wear some OL out as a pro. What e be most amazing about him is his ability to sink his hips drop a shoulder coming around the edge for such a tall guy. He just missed raking the ball out of the QB’s hand in the second game, and his only solo tackle of the night was a sack. He had a second sack in the 2nd quarter that was negated by a defensive penalty elsewhere. Right now I would consider him the largest energizer bunny I have ever seen.

JARRAN REED/DT/SEA HAWKS #99 Amazingly the SEA HAWKS are rebuilding their OL & DL units n the fly with a slew of Rookies and Free Agents. REED and several other Rookies are making them look good early this pre-season. One of their biggest losses was BRANDON MEBANE/DT, who had anchored the middle of the DL for almost a decade. A recent injury to starting DT JORDAN HILL has provided REED with extra playing time and he has taken advantage already. He looks exactly like the same wall of granite he did for the Crimson Tide the past two years. He is also showing some penetration and sideline to sideline pursuit. He’ll be in a DL rotation, but is clearly headed for big things and helping the fans in Seattle rest easy about their DL rotation.

RASHAD ROBINSON/CB/49’ERS #33 Some off-field issues at LSU and the fact that he only weighs about 180 lbs caused many teams to hesitate in drafting this excellent coverage-Corner. But the talent needy Niners grabbed him in Round 4, and he has looked excellent in his play through 2 pre-season games. In the upset win over the BRONCOS last weekend ROBINSON played a lot of the first half against many BRONCOS starters. He was credited with 4 tackles, and I counted 2 PBU by the long-armed athlete. He also laid a couple of big licks on receivers, especially given his slight frame. On a team expected to lose most weekends his current play could earn him a lot of playing time as a Rookie, based on his impressive early showing.

ISAAC SEUMALO/OG/EAGLES One of the biggest weaknesses on the 2015 EAGLES team was their OG play. They were not proficient in either run blocking or pass protection. So GM HOWIE ROSEMAN went to work fixing that problem. He signed VFA BRANDON BROOKS and drafted SEUMALO. Right now that is your starting OG tandem Eagles fans. And the upgrade looks huge! SEUMALO is athletic enough to have played inside & outside in college. He’s tough and strong, and a surprisingly good athlete. He looks fully recovered from foot/ankle two seasons ago and should be very hard to move out of that starting job anytime soon. He may be too valuable as a starter to move around as a multi-positional backup.

KEVIN SEYMOUR/CB/BILLS #45 The BILLS waited until Round 6 to grab this speedy athlete, who never quite seemed to reach his potential in college. But his 6’0/190 lb. frame has great appeal to the RYAN Brothers whose roster contains a number of smallish CB prospects. He has been inserted into the slot-corner position on a regular basis already this pre-season and acquitted himself quite well. And he has indeed been able to display some good deep cover skills and aggressive tackling already.

More next week.