Training camp updates for all 16 NFC teams
Earlier, I did training camp updates for the AFC. Now, the NFC.
Training Camp Notes
Cowboys: Word out of Dallas every day has been the Randy Gregory is blowin’ up. The 28-year-old former second round pick had six sacks two years ago, 3.5 sacks in 10 games last year, but appears to be forcing his way into the every-week discussion as the Cowboys’ most feared pass rusher.
Eagles: It sounds like concern about Jalen Hurts being the starting quarterback is building up by the day. Maybe he just isn’t a good “practice QB” because of his desire to run the ball, but that should only motivate the team to have him throw more from the pocket and it sounds like that isn’t happening. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Joe Flacco is Philadelphia’s starting quarterback for the majority of next season.
Washington: Hope is around the corner that safety Landon Collins will finally prove worthy of the free agent deal he signed three years ago. And 28-year-old running back DeAndre Carter is turning heads with his ability to catch the football.
Giants: Second-year inside linebacker Carter Coughlin is making a case to be a regular. The offense apparently stinks in practice so far too.
Packers: 2020 UDFA linebacker Krys Barnes is standing out. Elgton Jenkins has been playing left tackle in camp because of injuries and apparently he looks solid there too.
Vikings: There’s a four-way competition to start at right guard. And WR Bisi Johnson suffered a torn ACL.
Bears: There’s not a lot of interesting news to report out of Chicago, which itself is interesting and apparently they’re having an issue with not many fans showing up to support. Running back Damien Williams, tight end Jesse James, and rookie fifth round edge Trevis Gipson have made a little noise. The Bears are my sleeper to have the number one pick in 2022 — which, of course, they must ship to the Giants because of Justin Fields.
Lions: Detroit picked two defensive tackles on day two of the draft and right now it seems like Alim McNeil — the second of those two picks — has pulled ahead of Levi Onwuzurike.
Falcons: 2020 seventh round cornerback Chris Williamson is one of the most shocking names to be “standing out” around the league right now. Head coach Arthur Smith says Williamson “keeps showing up”.
Panthers: Rookie CB Jaycee Horn, like Patrick Surtain with the Broncos, is already playing like a starter.
Saints: The battle between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill remains undecided and it’s believed that Saturday was Hill’s best audition yet. Former Seahawks tight end Nick Vannett didn’t have as good of a week.
Buccaneers: Second-year WR Tyler Johnson could see an increased role in 2021. Johnson had 12 catches for 169 yards as a rookie. Third-year cornerback Mike Edwards, who didn’t have a start last season until the NFC Championship game, is apparently looking great in camp.
Cardinals: A.J. Green looks anything but “washed up” in camp so far. Also, the starting cornerback duo has been Robert Alford and Byron Murphy (not Malcolm Butler), and rookies Zaven Collins and Rondale Moore are being counted on to contribute right away at linebacker and receiver, respectively.
49ers: The QB competition heated up Saturday with Trey Lance apparently ending the day with a more solid effort than Jimmy Garoppolo. But Kyle Posey at Niners Nation (a guy I trust) says “not so fast” with Lance’s latest practice effort. We could also see Brandon Aiyuk join the ranks of “1,200+ yard” receivers this season.
Rams: As someone who covers the LA Rams, let me tell you that the big stories so far would be the injury to Cam Akers (Darrell Henderson is the only RB on the roster with a career offensive snap now), the progress of second-year defensive back Terrell Burgess (he could start at Nickel or Safety), and a competition at linebacker for three open positions. I’m sure there are some young standouts already but reports like that have been pretty light thus far.
Seahawks: Free agent corner Ahkello Witherspoon wasn’t considered a “loss” for the 49ers, but he made plays in his first week with the Seahawks. Alton Robinson, D.J. Reed, and Bryan Mone also stood out on defense. And right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi is making a push to start over fan favorite Brandon Shell.
That’s the NFC.