NFL rookies to watch this preseason: George Pickens, Alex Wright, Malik Willis…
We got our first taste of NFL action with the Hall of Fame game, and now we want more. Here are the rookies you need to watch as the preseason gets going.
The NFL is finally back in action and we’ve already seen one preseason game when the Las Vegas Raiders took on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Canton, Ohio for the Hall of Fame Game. As training camps finish up, the rest of the teams will start their preseasons this week. The preseason gets a bad rap for being boring since we don’t typically see the starters getting a lot of playing time. But it’s also our chance to see how the rookies do in the bright lights of a real NFL game. Here are some of the rookies we’re most looking forward to seeing in the preseason.
George Pickens (WR), Pittsburgh Steelers
George Pickens has been one of the most anticipated new rookies going into the 2022 season and that’s just been heightened in training camp.
Pickens was chosen by the Steelers in the second round. At Georgia, he had a breakout freshman and sophomore season. His junior year was unfortunately marred by injuries. So while expectations have been high, it should be kept in mind that receivers have been known to thrive in camps and then falter on the field. No pressure.
Alex Wright (EDGE), Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns chose Alex Wright in the second round of the draft. They didn’t have any first-round picks, so they’ll need to see some production from their day 2. Wright will be working alongside fellow defensive ends and former no. 1 overall picks, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. It will be interesting to see how they utilise Wright and defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey.
Malik Willis (QB), Tennessee Titans
Many people expected Malik Willis to go earlier in the draft this year, but he surprisingly wasn’t taken until the third round by the Tennessee Titans. There was some drama when quarterback Ryan Tannehill said it wasn’t his job to teach the rookie anything. He will definitely see some preseason playing time since he’s currently set as their third-string QB. That also means it’s his chance to prove he deserves to be higher up than no. 3 and prove the doubters (and Tannehill) that he can do just fine on his own.
Aidan Hutchinson (DE), Detroit Lions
Aidan Hutchinson went second overall to the Detroit Lions and boy did they need him. Hutchinson is a powerhouse and has continued his Michigan breakout plays into the Lions training camp. He should be a starter right away for the Lions, and he’ll need the practice in preseason, so we’ll get to see more of this:
Skyy Moore (WR), Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs lost an extremely valuable player in wide receiver Tyreek Hill and it won’t be easy to fill the hole left by his departure. I don’t think anyone expects Skyy Moore to come in as a rookie and get 111 receptions and nine touchdowns. But Moore has the chance in the preseason to prove he’s a worthy WR and should be considered as one of the ones taking passes from Patrick Mahomes. He’s got the speed and he knows how to run the routes. He just needs to show he can play with the big boys.