32 Players 32 Days
The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted a rookie who made an immediate impact and started opening day was Kendrell Bell in 2001, but first-round draft pick Ryan Shazier has all the skills of an NFL starter and the backing of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
If before the 2013 season you would tell Bolt fans that Cal rookie Keenan Allen would become the “go-to” guy for much of last season, many may have scratched their head a time or two. When all was said and done last season, Allen emerged not only as the Chargers’ top threat, but one of the top wide receiver stories around the NFL.
The Jets marquee offseason signing is more than just a number one receiver for Gang Green.
In December of 2011 the NFL formally announced the suspensions of two Redskins players, tight-end Fred Davis, and left-tackle Trent Williams. Both players received a four game suspension without pay, for testing positive for marijuana three times throughout the course of the season.
The New Orleans Saints had a vastly improved defense in the NFL in 2013, but it never hurts to get a bit more veteran leadership and skill onto the roster. That’s what they did by adding Champ Bailey during the offseason, and he is looking for a Super Bowl ring before his stories career ends.
It may be ugly at times in 2014, but Bortles will be unnerved and will benefit by going through any growing pains this fall as the Jaguars have much work to do before competing in the AFC South.
The Minnesota Vikings have a long tradition of having very good defensive tackles. They drafted Sharrif Floyd in the first round of the 2013 draft in hopes that he can continue the trend. He learned a lot of from former teammate Kevin Williams and slimmed down in the offseason to reach his full potential. This season should be the beginning of the Floyd era in Minnesota.
Johnny Manziel fell a lot further than anyone would have expected at the NFL Draft, but he landed right where the Cleveland Browns wanted him to fall. Now, the focus needs to stay on the field instead of off it, and Manziel could up bringing an excitement that the Browns have not seen in decades.
The 49ers’ acquisition of wide receiver Stevie Johnson is a win for both the team and player. San Francisco gets what they hope is the final missing piece to their passing game, while Johnson gets the chance to return home and not only play for a contender, but play in a market where his talents will not go un-noticed.
Even though he will be 38 in October and well past his prime, safety Charles Woodson has the ability to lead the Oakland Raiders defense this season to a level the team hasn’t seen in awhile.
It’s been a long-time since the New England Patriots had a shutdown cornerback on their roster, and they finally have one in former New York Jets star Darrelle Revis.
Jeremy Maclin is not going to have to be Jerry Rice or Terrell Owens. He merely needs to be a receiver for Nick Foles, while the tight ends help chip in the rest of the production in the passing game.
The Carolina Panthers cut the face of the franchise, Steve Smith, and let the only other three wide receivers on the roster that caught a pass last season leave as free agents. Tight end Greg Olsen is the only proven receiver returning from last season’s squad. Olsen should be Cam Newton’s favorite target this season.
Hobbled by injuries, the Indianapolis Colts hope (wide receiver) Hakeem Nicks can contribute with the type of production that catapulted the New York Giants to a Super Bowl championship in 2012.
The Detroit Lions’ struggles last season cost Jim Schwartz his job, and another disappointing season could do GM Martin Mayhew in. When Lions fans and NFL analysts discussed the team’s issues and needs, the secondary came up more often that not.
The Ravens made huge strides to improve what turned out to be a putrid offense in 2013. But one of the few bright spots on the offensive side of the ball was Marlon Brown. An undrafted rookie from Georgia with a lot to prove, and loads of potential to do just that.
Running back Jamaal Charles has become a veritable workhorse for the Kansas City Chiefs, and it is not surprising since he’s one of the best backs in the entire NFL. With a new contract extension in place, the Chiefs hope for another great season out of Charles, and they’re likely going to get one.
Ask Aaron Donald and he’ll tell you without a doubt, that he believes he couldn’t have landed in a better spot when he was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the No. 13 overall pick.
Free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie heads a group of new Giants’ defensive backs that have the look and pedigree to make New York’s secondary the strength of the team’s defense. Adding DRC to a talented group that already included Antrel Rolle, Prince Amukamara and Stevie Brown puts Big Blue at the top of the list of the NFL’s best secondaries
When Sammy Watkins was drafted out of Clemson by the Buffalo Bills, it was thought that the partnering of him and Stevie Johnson would make one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL. Now, he’s the number one receiver and he’s already looking to lead the Bills from worst to first.