There’s more rookies out there than Johnny Manziel…in case you were wondering. Manziel has stolen away the spotlight from this draft class. Well, now he will start the season as a backup. How about we show a little love to the rookies that should start the season? Let’s take a look at five NFL rookies that will shine this season.
1. Sammy Watkins
Sammy Watkins has a lot of promise coming into his rookie season in Buffalo. E.J. Manuel is still a project, but there’s no question that the Clemson product is going to become his favorite target this season and beyond. He’s going to get plenty of chances to shine. Expect Watkins to be one of the favorites to win Rookie of the Year.
2. Mike Evans
Having Johnny Manziel throw you the ball in college already makes you a superstar. Mike Evans will catch passes from Josh McCown, who came out of nowhere last season when he replaced Jay Cutler. McCown is going to look to throw the ball plenty and Evans is The 6’5″ will be a redzone favorite with his long frame. That should be quite the duo for the Bucs down in Tampa.
3. Jadeveon Clowney
Boy is that Texans pass rush scary. J.J. Watt on one side and now rookie Jadeveon Clowney on the other. If Clowney could stay out of trouble, he will make quarterbacks and offensive lineman lose sleep. The Texans hope their first pick can turn their fortunes around after a 2-14 season. He’s already looked like a major force in preseason. He’s only going to get better when the season comes along. The Texans should put a ton of pressure on the quarterback with the South Carolina product coming at full speed.
4. Bishop Sankey
Bishop Sankey is on the perfect team to shine. The Titans lost Chris Johnson in the offseason, leaving them with Shonn Greene in the backfield. Greene is considered more of a backup, and he’s battled knee problems so far in training camp. The University of Washington alum is going to have plenty of chances to be a breakout back this season. That’s if he can stay away from fumbling the football, which has been a concern so far in camp. He’ll be an electric running back to keep an eye on this season.
5. Kelvin Benjamin
The Panthers lost a lot of receiving talent this offseason in Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Ted Ginn Jr. Rookie Kelvin Benjamin has the perfect spot to have a huge season with Cam Newton. Benjamin is going to be one of Newton’s top targets and could easily have 1,000-yard season. The Panthers are going to need him to breakout right at the start, because they didn’t do much in the offseason to make their offense better. With a weaker offensive line, Newton is going to have to throw, and Benjamin better be ready.