The NFL preseason is finally over. Many younger and/or fringe players fought for roster spots on NFL and your fantasy football teams. We got slight glimpses into the thought pattern of some teams with how much or how little these athletes played and others we can only guess. Here are my general thoughts about some of the more interesting younger players or free agents from the first half of their last preseason game.
Falcons vs. Jaguars
The Hard Knocks legend, rookie running back Devonta Freeman, may continue to get dressed down in team meetings and see the field third of the backs, but he continues to produce. I love the way he gets small in the hole, shows a good burst, and runs tough between the tackles. The former FSU runner scored a short yardage touchdown, makes clean catches in the passing game, and is working on his pass blocking. Second year linebacker, Paul Worrilow, gets to the ball quickly with good vision and agility. He also provides pressure in the passing game rushing the passer or can drop back into coverage.
NFL and fantasy football pundits alike should be discussing first round rookie quarterback, Blake Bortles. The young signal caller showed maturity taking a sack when nothing was open and no safe passing lanes were present. He is very mobile, sets his feet before he throws, but needs to improve his pocket presence. For his detractors that question Bortles’ accuracy and arm-strength, look at his 45 yard rainbow that fellow rookie Marquise Lee caught for a 57 yard touchdown. Receiver Cecil Shorts is still knocking off the rust for not playing the rest of the preseason due to injury. The wide out creates separation with clean, crisp routes and a bit of wiggle. Third year defensive end Alan Branch is stepping up his game, playing the Leo position at times. He gets good penetration off the snap, and flows quickly down the line playing both the run and pass equally well.