September 4, 2013
Kenny Stills WR – New Orleans Saints – Stills has continuously gotten open in the Saints offense in the preseason and made difficult catches in traffic. Drew Brees has been reunited with Sean Payton this season, and he had a terrific year passing the football despite the Saints losing quite a few games on the field. Stills could solidify himself as the number two option in a pass heavy offense, behind Marques Colston.
Mike Tolbert RB – Carolina Panthers – Tolbert would have stolen some goal line touches from DeAngelo Williams and Johnathon Stewart anyway, but now Stewart is likely out until Week 7. Tolbert showed power and determination as a runner in the absence of his starters before, and he could thrive in the number 2 spot behind the oft-injured Williams.
Rueben Randle WR – New York Giants – The Giants like to pass the football and they have one of the most potent three headed receiving corp in the league with Cruz, Nicks, and Randle. However, Cruz has missed a few preseason games because of injury and Nicks gets injured almost every season, so Randle might have some value this year. Plus, Eli Manning, his quarterback has been high on him this year in training camp and the preseason this year.
Alshon Jeffrey WR – Chicago Bears – Jeffrey was a big play receiver in South Carolina. He lacked elite speed, but made up for that with great hands and a good vertical leap. With Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler’s favorite target hurt, Alshon should get the bulk of the targets. And, if Cutler finds any chemistry with him, then he could have a special year.
David Wilson RB – New York Giants – David Wilson was primed to have a good year with the Giants before the preseason. He acquired the starting job last year through hard work and an unfortunate injury to the starter. He has all the tools that a running back needs to excel in the league. He has quick feet, good hands, good speed, and elusiveness in space. And, once again someone else’s injury has worked to his benefit. The #2 back who could have pushed him for carries was injured in the preseason, and now Wilson has to carry the load. His statistics in rushing yards, receiving yards, and touchdowns should increases this year.
Michael Floyd WR – Arizona Cardinals – Michael Floyd almost usurped Vincent Jackson for the number one spot in San Diego, but then Phillip Rivers found Antonio Gates. Well, Floyd is a solid #2 option behind Larry Fitzgerald, and he should see a lot of single coverage because Fitzgerald will definitely see a lot of double-teams. Floyd could have a break-out year if he is focused. He has the size, hands, and has decent speed.
Eddie Lacy RB – Green Bay Packers – The Green Bay Packers know how to draft. Last year, when teams expected them to draft offensive linemen to bolster the porous line that keeps allowing pressure to get to their franchise quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, they instead looked past the inferior prospects at lineman and gave Rodgers better options to throw the ball to on the outside. This year, they made another sound pick by drafting Eddie Lacy out of Alabama. Lacy was the bigger, faster version of Heisman trophy winner James Ingram. He carried for nearly as many as Ingram did in a limited role. Now he goes to a team that has one of the best quarterbacks in the league garnering all the attention. He will get all the goal line touches and he will be a great option out of the backfield when defenses are geared up to stop the pass. Lacy could have a breakout year.
Chris Givens WR – St. Louis Rams – Only had 698 receiving yards last year and three touchdowns, however he is the first rookie in NFL history to have 5 straight games with a 50 yard catch. Translation: He is a big play guy. Givens became Sam Bradford’s favorite target last year, and Bradford can stay healthy with the progression of Givens from rookie to veteran, he could be more consistent and therefore more productive. Teams will likely load the box to stop Stephen Jackson and the Rams can beat them over the top.