Alvin Kamara RB NO (5) 4 days ago
During portions of practice in last week's minicamp, Kamara would split off and work with the receivers instead of the running backs, reports Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.
Kamara has impressed during minicamp and OTAs, and the Saints were thrilled to land the Tennessee product with the 67th pick in this year's draft, viewing him as a pass-catching "joker" back in the mold of Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush. In fact, the Saints appear to even be considering lining Kamara up at receiver at times in order to get him on the field as much as possible. With both Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson ahead of him on the depth chart, it seems unlikely that the rookie will receive many carries, but Kamara should slide into a pass-catching role in the Saints high-powered offense, which makes him an interesting sleeper in PPR leagues.
Will Fuller WR HOU (7) 4 days ago
Fuller focused on getting stronger during the offseason to improve his tackle-breaking and blocking abilities, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Fuller is coming off a rookie campaign that included 47 catches on 92 targets for 635 yards and two touchdowns. While that production was decent for a first-year player, and Fuller trailed only star teammate DeAndre Hopkins in yards, the Texans expect more from their 2016 first-rounder in Year 2. First and foremost, they want Fuller to cut down on his amount of drops, something that plagued him last season. From there, Houston hopes the speedy Fuller can be more elusive after the catch, where some added strength should benefit him this term.
C.J. Prosise RB SEA (6) 4 days ago
Prosise is anticipated to see a large portion of the Seahawks' third-down backfield duties and could see his role expanded to take advantage of specific matchups throughout this season, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports.
Prosise was impressive in the few games he played as a rookie, finishing with 30 rushes for 172 yards and 17 receptions for 208 yards while scoring once in six appearances. However, because of shoulder and wrist injuries, the Notre Dame product was unable to secure a regular role. Now that he's fully healthy, Prosise figures to do so this season, but having both Eddie Lacy (ankle) and Thomas Rawls on the Seahawks crowds his path to carries. While, like Prosise, neither Lacy nor Rawls have been models of health thus far, their hard-nosed running styles figure to give them a leg up on first and second downs, leaving the pass-catching threat Prosise to come in on third downs. However, given Prosise's unique skill set, he could also feature more if a favorable matchup presents itself or if he gets rolling in a given game.
Thomas Rawls RB SEA (6) 4 days ago
Rawls is expected to receive a decent workload during the preseason, and should see a comparable amount of carries to Eddie Lacy (ankle) during the regular season, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports.
Rawls is coming off an injury-plagued first two seasons in the league, as he's missed 10 of 32 possible games in his career thus far. Although Rawls dealt with leg and shoulder problems last year, he approaches training camp with a clean bill of health. That should allow him to see a fair chunk of exhibition action, but the Seahawks are also expected to be careful in order to preserve him for the regular season. At that point, Rawls and Lacy figure to share the bulk of Seattle's ball-carrying duties, unless one player gets the hot hand and garners an increased workload. With C.J. Prosise around as well, Rawls certainly faces competition for touches, but he'll be keen to capitalize on his opportunities now that he's healthy again.
QEddie Lacy RB SEA (6) 4 days ago
Lacy (ankle) is anticipated to see his fair share of carries during the preseason, but the Seahawks' main goal will be to ensure he enters the upcoming campaign in top condition and health, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports.
Lacy's weight incentives have been highly publicized, but the running back is also coming off ankle surgery heading into his first campaign with the Seahawks. Although he was limited by his ankle during OTAs, Lacy should be ready to suit up for preseason action, when Seattle figures to give him a large enough workload to evaluate his ability against that of fellow tailbacks Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins. Still, the team is anticipated to be careful to not overload Lacy early, as having him enter Week 1 in tip-top shape is far more important.
Xavier Grimble TE PIT (9) 4 days ago
Grimble is currently expected to serve as the Steelers' second-string tight end, but he could make a push for the starting job if his consistency improves, Bob Labriola of Steelers.com reports.
Grimble is pegged behind Jesse James at tight end after the Steelers released Ladarius Green (concussion) in May. Although he only caught 11 passes on 21 targets for 118 yards and two scores as a rookie, Grimble has reportedly shown flashes lately, which could allow him to put pressure on James. However, in order to do so, Grimble will need to show more reliable hands, which is something to monitor once training camp begins.
QArDarius Stewart WR NYJ (11) 4 days ago
Stewart (groin/thumb) is not sure if he will be ready for the start of training camp, though coach Todd Bowles is optimistic, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports.
Selected in the third round of this year's draft at No. 79 overall, Stewart couldn't have landed in a better position to earn immediate playing time, though the likelihood of poor quarterback play figures to limit his productivity even if he's regularly on the field. His bid for a starting role did take a bit of a hit when he missed time at OTAs due to a thumb injury which ultimately required surgery in June. With the rookie already slated to miss minicamp, the Jets decided it was best that he also have surgery on a lingering groin injury that likely would've required attention at some point in his career. In the meantime, Eric Decker's release further thinned out a shaky receiving corps, leaving Quincy Enunwa as the No. 1 target and Robby Anderson -- who may be facing a suspension -- as the team's only other wideout with any real NFL track record. Even if he misses a good chunk of camp, Stewart should be in the mix for a key early-season role, with the Jets hoping his polish as a receiver makes up for his middling athletic measurables.
Evan Engram TE NYG (8) 4 days ago
Engram said he started to gain confidence following a June practice in which he made some big catches and knew all of his assignments, Art Stapleton of The Record reports. "I had a really good day, some really big catches, and I could see I was starting to learn the offense, getting comfortable," said Engram. "There were a couple times, I went out in the slot or in my position [at tight end], and Eli [Manning] gave an adjustment, and I knew exactly what to do, and I felt really confident, and I went and made the play."
Engram may have been slightly intimidated joining an offense with veteran standouts like Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall, but it seems the No. 23 overall pick from this year's draft is quickly seeing how he can be an asset to a team that had tight ends account for only 609 of its 4,027 receiving yards and three of its 26 receiving touchdowns last season. Engram may start his career with a part-time role, but his 4.42 speed should make him an immediate asset on passing downs, at the very least. It seems everything has gone in his favor over the last year, as he produced a 65-926-8 receiving line in 11 games during his senior season at Ole Miss, and then tore up the Combine with top-three marks for his position in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle as well as the 40-yard dash. Returning starter Will Tye was one of the league's least explosive and least efficient tight ends last season, producing 8.2 yards per catch and 5.6 per target (on 70 targets).
DeVante Parker WR MIA (11) 4 days ago1 Comment
Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen expects Parker to have a big season, ESPN.com's James Walker reports. "I really think he'll have a great, big year -- a gigantic year for us," Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said of Parker. "That would be huge. It helps with the quarterback. It helps with your running game. It helps everything."
The No. 14 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Parker seemingly has been hampered by injuries and questionable conditioning more than his total of three missed games in two seasons suggests. Dolphins coach Adam Gase hinted that the 24-year-old wideout didn't pay enough attention to details the past two years while attempting to coast on the talent that made him an early pick. Parker seems to get the message that he'll need a more dedicated approach if he wants to venture beyond mediocrity and into stardom, as he revamped his diet, sleep schedule and preventative injury work during the offseason. Parker shouldn't have too much trouble topping last season's 90 targets if he stays healthy, but there are still concerns about workload upside in an offense which also features Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, RB Jay Ajayi and TE Julius Thomas. Should he truly reach his potential, Parker could push ahead of Landry as the team's top target and quickly put those questions to rest .
Devin Funchess WR CAR (11) 4 days ago
Panthers coach Ron Rivera and GM Dave Gettleman both said the team should have used Funchess (ankle) more last season, Bill Voth of Panthers.com reports.
Funchess didn't exactly make a strong case for a larger workload last season when he hauled in only 23 of 59 targets (39 percent) in 15 games, though he did produce 16.1 yards per catch and four touchdowns. He's still the favorite for the No. 2 wideout job, but the Panthers probably wouldn't have used their first two draft picks on pass-catching back Christian McCaffrey and slot receiver Curtis Samuel if they had confidence Funchess -- a 2015 second-round selection -- were about to emerge as a major weapon. Part of the problem may be that Funchess' skill set is somewhat redundant alongside Kelvin Benjamin, as neither offers much speed and both are among the league's largest wide receivers. Funchess suffered a minor ankle injury during the offseason program, but he participated in mandatory minicamp in mid-June and should be at full health for training camp.