NFL Training Camp 2022: Predicting the Top Position Fights – NBC Chicago | Hot Mobile Press

2022 NFL Training Camp: Best Position Fight Prediction originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The training camp season is here and it’s time for football’s brightest stars to compete for a place in the squad.

All 32 teams will enter the training field this week and some of the top position battles will follow. While offensive positions will draw more attention, some teams will need to show their best defensive performance.

Quarterback fights remain the biggest headliners of training camp, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks awaiting their signal callers to prove themselves before the 53-man roster cut on Aug. 30.

Here are some positional battles to watch out for at this year’s NFL training camp:

Quarterbacks:

Panthers: Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold

Early in the offseason, the Panthers publicly praised Darnold for being a much-improved quarterback they see as a productive sophomore, but that was just before the Cleveland Browns traded Mayfield for Mayfield. While Darnold looked set to be the signal caller for the Matt Rhule-led team, Mayfield could run away with the position once he gets a firm grip on the playbook.

Seahawks: Geno Smith vs. Drew Lock

Smith has an advantage in this fight, having filled in for Russell Wilson last season and making three solid starts. The 31-year-old has already won the trust of coach Pete Carroll. And while Lock, acquired from the Denver Broncos as part of the trade-in for Wilson, has an age advantage on his side, this fight can be won through team experience.

Steelers: Mitchell Trubisky vs. Kenny Pickett

Pickett was the only first-round quarterback pick in this year’s NFL draft and one of the few rookies seen as one who had the opportunity to start early and succeed. Trainer Mike Tomlin said that the rookie will get his chance to earn the starting gig, though the Steelers signed Trubisky in free agency. While Trubisky appears to be more productive in Pittsburgh than in Chicago, where they start will depend heavily on what they see in Pickett.

Previous race:

Buffalo Bills: Devin Singletary vs James Cook

This training camp fight features last year’s main defender in Singletary and a second-round rookie with elite pass fighting upside in Cook. While another RB candidate is 24-year-old Zack Moss, this race looks more like a two-person race. Singletary ended the 2021 season with a tear, scoring nine touchdowns in the team’s last six games, but keep an eye out for Cook, who is beginning to make the RB spot.

Miami Dolphins: Sony Michel vs Chase Edmonds vs Raheem Mostert

Miami’s running game struggled last season, finishing 30th in running back yards. But now they have a couple of options after bringing in Edmonds, Mostert and Michel via free agency this offseason. While Mostert is familiar with Coach Mike McDaniel’s system, Edmonds has the highest pass-catching stat, having 96 receptions for 713 yards in the past two years with the Arizona Cardinals.

Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott vs. Tony Pollard

While Elliott has already proven himself as a solid running back for the Cowboys, Pollard’s explosiveness and speed are bringing a bigger part of that offense to the table. As Elliott enters his seventh season, he’s looking to qualify as first string once the season rolls around, but Pollard isn’t very far behind.

Wide receiver:

Golden Bay Packers: Christian Watson vs. Allen Lazard vs. Sammy Watkins

Davante Adams left big footprints after busting out for the Las Vegas Raiders, and now the Packers are looking for a receiver to fill the void. Lazard appears to be the leader of this three-man battle for Watson and Watkins. The 26-year-old receiver presents the strongest case using his skills and familiarity with Aaron Rodgers.

Chiefs: Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. Skyy Moore vs. Juju Smith-Schuster vs. Mecole Hardman

The signings of Valdes-Scantling and Smith-Schuster, along with the call-up of Moore, will help fill Tyreke Hill’s void following his departure to the Dolphins. While Smith-Schuster is looking to make an explosive debut alongside Patrick Mahomes, Hardman also appears to be another major threat.

Linebacker:

Philadelphia Eagles: Nakobe Dean vs. TJ Edwards vs. Davion Taylor

Dean, who was drafted third in this year’s draft, still looks like a surefire ban for the Eagles as a future star linebacker medical concerns. Although Edwards and Taylor have veteran experience, they failed to establish themselves as solid starting linebackers throughout the season after the switch. The fight seems to lose Dean.

Security:

Eagles: Marcus Epps vs. K’Von Wallace

The Eagles’ safe starting position could be that of Epps to Anthony Harris. The 25-year-old is able to play at a high level in defense for the first time in his career. Wallace is also likely to get an extension of play in Jonathan Gannon’s defense as a third-year pro.

Outside cornerback:

New England Patriots: Malcolm Butler vs. Jalen Mills vs. Terrance Mitchell vs. Jack Jones

The Patriots want at least one new starting cornerback in 2022 and they have some top contenders to choose from. Mills, Mitchell and Butler are all in contention for the starting spot based on their experience making them solid veteran options at the top of the depth chart. But not far behind is rookie Jones, who also gives a starting push.

Leave a Comment