October 6, 2022

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7:00 AM ET NFL NationESPN Because the NFL preseason schedule hits full throttle this week,...

Because the NFL preseason schedule hits full throttle this week, heated place battles for all 32 groups might be determined in video games and coaching camp as kickoff for the 2022 season attracts close to.

A number of the competitions may have enormous implications for fantasy football followers — particularly the undecided QB battles.

The Carolina Panthers have an open quarterback competitors between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. The Pittsburgh Steelers count on Mitch Trubisky to open the season as QB1, however he could possibly be pushed by Mason Rudolph and first-round choice Kenny Pickett.

The New England Patriots, New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals have fascinating cornerback competitions brewing, and the Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs are attempting to find out the pecking order at working again.

For the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, the battles for positions behind their high two receivers are heating up.

NFL Nation reporters break down the most important competitions in coaching camp for all 32 groups.

Leap to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

AFC EAST

Slot receiver

After vast receiver Cole Beasley was launched this offseason, Isaiah McKenzie has emerged because the main candidate to take his spot at slot receiver. Free agent addition Jamison Crowder missed a good portion of camp with a lower-extremity subject, which leaves him behind within the battle. He should impress for the remainder of camp and the preseason to maintain up with McKenzie. — Alaina Getzenberg


Operating again

It is troublesome to name this a battle, as a result of carries might be break up within the Dolphins’ crowded backfield it doesn’t matter what. The “battle” is for the lion’s share of reps between Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel — with Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and ZaQuandre White all preventing for a roster spot. Proper now, it seems to be in that order, however the preseason video games will supply a clearer view of the pecking order. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


Cornerback

With J.C. Jackson now a Charger, there’s a notable gap reverse Jalen Mills. Veteran Terrance Mitchell has constantly been the highest possibility in coaching camp, with Malcolm Butler working behind him. Rookie Jack Jones (fourth spherical, Arizona State) has the very best upside, however has but to emerge. — Mike Reiss


Cornerback

Technically, it is nonetheless a battle as a result of Bryce Hall, the incumbent, and rookie Sauce Gardner have been rotating days with the beginning unit. It might be an upset if Gardner, drafted fourth total, is not beginning reverse D.J. Reed in Week 1. Gardner is having a comparatively quiet camp, which is not a nasty factor for a nook. As soon as he proves he’s bodily sufficient to carry up in opposition to the run, the job might be his. — Wealthy Cimini

AFC NORTH

Left guard

Ben Powers, who’s extra constant than Tyre Phillips, has taken the early lead on this battle. Phillips, who’s faster and has extra upside, must outplay Powers within the preseason to unseat him. Ben Cleveland, a third-round decide from a yr in the past, is now thought-about a protracted shot after lacking the primary week of camp as a result of he failed the conditioning check. — Jamison Hensley


Left guard

The Bengals need to solidify a revamped offensive line that may characteristic 4 new starters. The teaching employees has but to call second-year participant Jackson Carman the winner in a battle that features rookie Cordell Volson. Nonetheless, Carman has dominated the first-team reps and seems to have the within observe. — Ben Child


Defensive deal with

The Browns’ total defensive deal with rotation is generally comprised of unproven gamers, creating an intense battle. Veterans Taven Bryan and Sheldon Day might be preventing younger gamers Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai and rookie Perrion Winfrey for time. Relying on how the battle shakes out, the Browns might add one other veteran throughout camp to assist solidify the place. — Jake Trotter


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Daniel Dopp and Mike Clay talk about how they view the Steelers QBs’ struggles in camp.

Quarterback

Mitch Trubisky is listed because the starter on the primary depth chart launched by the Steelers. He has taken virtually all the first-team reps by the primary two weeks of coaching camp and has proven enchancment in current days. Even so, Mason Rudolph has seemed sharp, suggesting the space between the 2 is not that nice. After a tough begin, first-round decide Kenny Pickett is enjoying higher, too, although he nonetheless seems to be third behind the veterans. — Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

Operating again

The working again room is improved in comparison with final season’s group that ranked final in dashing yards per sport (83.6). Former Colt Marlon Mack has flashed glimpses of his outdated self (he rushed for 1,091 yards in 2019 earlier than injuring his proper Achilles in 2020, which worn out nearly all of his 2021 season). Fourth-rounder Dameon Pierce has been essentially the most dynamic again in camp as his quickness by the holes has produced extra explosive performs. Rex Burkhead has been essentially the most constant total, displaying the flexibility to run, catch and block. — D.J. Bien-Aime


Left deal with

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The Colts moved on from veteran Eric Fisher, leaving Matt Pryor and Bernhard Raimann to battle for this spot. Neither is a perfect candidate — Pryor has by no means been a full-time left deal with and Raimann is a rookie — however Pryor is getting the first-team reps and has held up positive whereas Raimann is off to a little bit of a gradual begin. Pryor is not practically as agile because the bodily gifted Raimann, however at 6-foot-7 and 332 kilos, he definitely possesses energy. — Stephen Holder


Proper deal with

Incumbent Jawaan Taylor, who’s within the remaining yr of his rookie contract, is attempting to carry off Walker Little, a second-year participant. Little, a second-round decide in 2021, was a left deal with in school and was moved to proper deal with solely this spring. Taylor has allowed 40 sacks in 49 video games and the Jaguars hope new OL coach Phil Rauscher can get extra out of him. Nonetheless, Taylor has been battling a hamstring damage suffered early in camp, so Little has gotten all the first-team reps. Taylor is predicted again quickly. — Mike DiRocco


Proper deal with

The Titans have used three excessive draft picks previously three years to handle proper deal with. They thought it was secured once they used a first-round decide on Isaiah Wilson, however he is not on an NFL roster after two seasons. Now 2021 second-round decide Dillon Radunz and 2022 third-round decide Nicholas Petit-Frere are battling for the job. Coach Mike Vrabel needs to guage each gamers in opposition to equal competitors, so that they have taken turns working with the starters. — Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

Guard

Each guard spots on a revamped offensive line stay open as coaching camp heads into its third week. Dalton Risner has taken many of the snaps with the starters at left guard and, not less than in the mean time, seems to have edged his technique to the highest of the depth chart. Quinn Meinerz and Netane Muti have break up nearly all of the snaps at proper guard. Graham Glasgow, who took a pay minimize within the offseason after battling accidents and COVID-19 final season, is essentially the most skilled participant within the group and has the flexibility to play guard or heart. Nonetheless, he has spent a lot of his time with the second-team offense. — Jeff Legwold


Operating again

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is RB1, however he missed vital time with accidents in every of the previous two seasons, so figuring out the highest reserves is excessive on the Chiefs’ to-do record. Ronald Jones has been the No. 2 again for a lot of camp, however the Chiefs are additionally giving lengthy seems to be to Jerick McKinnon, Derrick Gore and rookie Isiah Pacheco. Do not be shocked if the Chiefs maintain 4 working backs as that is the deepest group they’ve had in years. — Adam Teicher


Proper deal with

Brandon Parker, who had been working with the first-team offense at proper deal with all through camp, began at left deal with instead of the resting Kolton Miller within the Corridor of Fame Sport on Thursday night time. And Alex Leatherwood, final yr’s first-round decide who was moved inside to proper guard after simply 4 video games, obtained the beginning at proper deal with. Leatherwood didn’t embarrass himself, however Parker struggled, giving up a pair of sacks. Requested if Parker enjoying a distinct place might need been a part of the issue, coach Josh McDaniels bristled, saying that may’t be a part of the issue. However with greater than $25 million in cap area, would possibly Las Vegas be available in the market for a extra established vet at proper deal with? Keep tuned. — Paul Gutierrez


Proper deal with

It is an open competitors at proper deal with, the place Trey Pipkins and Storm Norton are alternating reps with the starters. “I am actually happy with each of them proper now,” offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi stated after 9 practices, together with three in pads. “We’ll see the way it falls out.” The Chargers spent a first-round decide the previous two years on offensive linemen — Professional Bowl left deal with Rashawn Slater (2021) and rookie proper guard Zion Johnson (2022) — leaving proper deal with as the one place that continues to be a query going into the season as Corey Linsley returns at heart and Matt Feiler at left guard. Norton began 15 video games at proper deal with final season and Pipkins began one. — Lindsey Thiry

NFC EAST

Left guard

Rookie Tyler Smith and Connor McGovern have break up reps with the primary staff for the reason that opening follow, however the feeling is Smith, the first-round decide, will ultimately take over full time. The Cowboys referred to as him a “left-sided participant” once they took him at No. 24 total with an eye fixed on him being the left deal with of the longer term. In camp, he has solely performed left guard. His power is noticeable and he has to date been penalty-free, which was a problem at Tulsa. McGovern has additionally carried out properly and can also be robust, however he is preventing a first-rounder and the first-rounder typically wins when all issues are equal. — Todd Archer


Tight finish

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There is not a lot of a contest proper now, as a result of Ricky Seals-Jones has been sidelined by an undisclosed damage most of camp. That places Daniel Bellinger in place to begin and be the Giants’ major tight finish. The rookie fourth-round decide hasn’t precisely lit it up this summer time, however in the mean time he’s not going through a lot competitors. It is one thing to look at as coaching camp winds down. Do the Giants add a veteran to this combine? — Jordan Raanan


Large receiver

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith relaxation securely on the high of the depth chart. From there, it will get fascinating. A lot of the intrigue revolves round Jalen Reagor, the previous first-round decide (2020) who’s “battling for a spot” on the staff, based on coach Nick Sirianni. With Smith coping with a groin pressure, Reagor has gotten some work with the primary staff and has had a number of good moments in camp. With Brown, Smith, Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal anticipated to make the staff, Reagor is preventing for positioning together with Greg Ward and rookie Britain Covey. — Tim McManus


Nickelback

Washington used Landon Collins in its three-safety bundle final season, however he is unsigned and the Commanders have to fill that function alongside starters Kamren Curl and Bobby McCain. Second-year security Darrick Forrest has performed properly in camp after lacking most of final summer time with a hamstring damage. He has been bodily and fast to the ball. Rookie Percy Butler and veteran Jeremy Reaves are also getting seems to be. Washington might additionally go for a conventional nickelback, with nook Benjamin St-Juste enjoying within the slot. He, too, has seemed good this summer time. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

Offensive deal with

Assuming Lucas Patrick can return for Week 1 after struggling a hand damage that requires surgical procedure, the Bears probably have their heart (Patrick), left guard (Cody Whitehair) and proper guard (Michael Schofield) spots discovered. The deal with spots additionally look nearer to being settled. Rookie fifth-rounder Braxton Jones has taken practically all of the reps at left deal with through the second week of camp. Riley Reiff and Larry Borom have break up reps at proper deal with the previous week, although Reiff’s veteran expertise might win out (and he might nonetheless see reps at left deal with, based on coordinator Luke Getsy). It appears like Teven Jenkins has a protracted technique to go to get first-team reps after lacking seven consecutive practices with an undisclosed damage, regardless of coaches saying they count on him to compete for a beginning spot at left or proper deal with. — Courtney Cronin


Cornerback

Throughout coaching camp, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn declared an open competitors between Jeff Okudah and Will Harris for one exterior cornerback spot. It is an fascinating battle as a result of Okudah, the third total decide in 2020, is coming off a season-ending Achilles damage and has simply 10 whole video games performed coming into his third season whereas Harris is transitioning from security. They’re each extremely motivated to show themselves. “Earlier than we began follow, I referred to as each of these guys on the identical time and simply instructed them here is the deal, ‘Are you guys going to compete?’ They stay up for it and so they have been open to seeing what the competitors goes to be about,” Glenn stated. Could the most effective man win. — Eric Woodyard


Offensive line

Whereas a lot of the eye has been on the receiver depth chart now that Davante Adams is gone, the O-line scenario may be extra essential. And it is much less of a battle and extra about who may be obtainable. If the Packers are with out their two greatest linemen — David Bakhtiari (knee) and Elgton Jenkins (knee) — then it is nonetheless undecided who replaces them. The Packers have tried numerous combos of Jake Hanson, Royce Newman, third-round decide Sean Rhyan and fourth-rounder Zach Tom on the two right-side positions. Whereas Yosh Nijman has performed principally at Bakhtiari’s left deal with spot, he might transfer to proper deal with if Bakhtiari is prepared for the opener and Jenkins is just not. — Rob Demovsky


Security

Lewis Cine was the No. 32 total decide of the draft, a spot that may produce fast starters, and there was a gap ever since veteran Xavier Woods departed by way of free company. However by the primary two weeks of camp, the Vikings haven’t pushed Cine forward of second-player Camryn Bynum. Whereas Cine has carried out properly, and his hitting capacity has been on show since full pads got here on, Bynum has taken many of the first-team reps alongside Harrison Smith. — Kevin Seifert

NFC SOUTH

Middle

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That is in all probability the one true 50-50 roster battle left amongst starters in Falcons coaching camp. Drew Dalman and Matt Hennessy have been splitting reps with the primary staff by the day and coach Arthur Smith is open to taking the competitors so long as he must. Dalman was a fourth-round decide final yr and Hennessy was the starter at heart all through 2021. — Michael Rothstein


Quarterback

Most groups know who their beginning quarterbacks are coming into camp. Not the Panthers. They’ve an “open” competitors between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, the Nos. 1 and three picks, respectively, from the 2018 draft. Neither has created separation so far, and coach Matt Rhule would not count on to decide till someday after the Aug. 19 preseason sport in opposition to New England. Mayfield is the fan favourite judging by cheers in follow, however the final result might be decided by manufacturing in preseason video games. Mayfield’s edge is he has had some success, main Cleveland to an 11-5 file and a playoff win in 2020. Darnold has but to steer a staff to the playoffs. — David Newton


Left deal with

Coach Dennis Allen stated veteran James Hurst is the present starter at left deal with following the departure of Terron Armstead in free company, however the Saints aren’t more likely to maintain first-round decide Trevor Penning on the sidelines very lengthy. Penning and Hurst are rotating within the left deal with spot, but it surely’s probably Penning might be given each alternative to be the Week 1 starter. — Katherine Terrell


Inside offensive line

With beginning heart Ryan Jensen out for a major time frame (presumably your entire season) and Alex Cappa and Ali Marpet gone, the Bucs’ inside offensive line will get a complete overhaul in 2022. Shaq Mason will seize the correct guard place, however heart and left guard haven’t been stuffed. Rookie Luke Goedeke, Aaron Stinnie and Nick Leverett are difficult for the left guard spot, whereas Leverett and Robert Hainsey, a third-round decide in 2021, are competing to switch Jensen. — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

Cornerback

This a lot is understood about Arizona’s corners: Byron Murphy Jr. is the popular slot nook. He can play exterior when wanted, however coach Kliff Kingsbury likes him inside. That leaves the 2 exterior nook positions basically up for grabs. Kingsbury needs Marco Wilson to be an every-down starter, however stated the jury remains to be out, regardless of him getting vital reps final season. That leaves a battle for the opposite spot between rookie Christian Matthew, Antonio Hamilton, Josh Jackson and Breon Borders with Jace Whittaker making a push. The competitors could possibly be settled if Arizona brings in a veteran, however for now, camp will resolve who the 2 exterior corners are when Arizona performs formations with three or extra cornerbacks. — Josh Weinfuss


Proper guard

The Rams used their first 2022 draft decide (No. 104 total) on Logan Bruss, however coach Sean McVay stated the staff is “actually going to open it up and attempt to see what it seems to be like to search out who’s going to be that fifth participant” on the offensive line. Early in coaching camp, he stated Coleman Shelton was getting reps at proper guard and heart as a result of he thinks the fourth-year participant can “begin at any of the three inside spots and carry out at a excessive stage.” McVay stated he has been “inspired” by Bruss’ progress, however that the Rams have “a protracted technique to go till we’ve to make these varieties of selections.” — Sarah Barshop


Middle

The 49ers have competitors all around the inside of the offensive line, however that is the place coach Kyle Shanahan values most. After Alex Mack retired within the offseason, it left a contest between Jake Brendel, who has three NFL begins to his identify, and Daniel Brunskill, who performed proper guard final season and began eight video games at heart in 2020. The battle between Brendel and Brunskill is simply getting underway, and whoever wins the job may have an necessary job with Trey Lance in his first yr because the beginning quarterback. — Nick Wagoner


Proper deal with

Whereas ninth total decide Charles Cross is a lock to begin at left deal with barring damage, it is a three-man race to be his bookend. Jake Curhan has been getting many of the first-team reps to date in camp after beginning the ultimate 5 video games there final season, however Abraham Lucas‘ standing as a third-round decide suggests he’ll get critical consideration, as will Stone Forsythe. If Lucas wins the job this summer time and Cross stays wholesome, Seattle can be solely the third staff since 1970 to begin a pair of rookie tackles in Week 1, based on ESPN Stats & Info analysis. — Brady Henderson