NFL minicamp storylines include how QBs Wilson, Watson, Wentz look with new teams


Necessary three-day minicamp kicks off for 17 groups this week after 12 others held theirs last week. The Miami Dolphins had their session two weeks in the past, and the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals aren’t holding one this 12 months.

Many gamers have taken half in voluntary organized group actions, however the necessary ingredient of those minicamps means some veterans shall be making their first appearances this offseason.

And for groups that added key players during the offseason, just like the Denver Broncos after buying quarterback Russell Wilson and the Washington Commanders after buying and selling for quarterback Carson Wentz, minicamp shall be an opportunity for them to sync up with new teammates.

What do you want to learn about this week’s actions? We requested our NFL Nation reporters to preview this week’s minicamps and inform us the largest factor they’re watching.

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The very first thing to observe is whether or not Kyler Murray, who would love a brand new contract, exhibits up. Coach Kliff Kingsbury stated he expects his quarterback to be there. The subsequent factor is how nicely Murray connects together with his receivers, most of whom he both performed with final season or has a historical past with, like former Oklahoma teammate Marquise Brown. — Josh Weinfuss

The Falcons will get their first prolonged take a look at potential beginning quarterbacks, veteran Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder. It is the primary time since earlier than Matt Ryan was drafted in 2008 that there’s a true competitors for the spot in Atlanta, because the franchise begins to navigate its post-Ryan future. Mariota ought to be the anticipated starter getting in, however Ridder goes to have an actual likelihood to win the job. — Michael Rothstein

All eyes shall be on Lamar Jackson after the quarterback missed voluntary exercises for the primary time in his five-year profession. He returns to an offense with a brand new No. 1 extensive receiver in Rashod Bateman (after Baltimore traded Marquise “Hollywood” Brown), a brand new No. 1 working again in Mike Davis (J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are recovering from torn ACLs) and two new starters on the offensive line (first-rounder Tyler Linderbaum and free-agent addition Morgan Moses). Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman stated the group has added 20% to its scheme this offseason, which implies Jackson has some catching as much as do. — Jamison Hensley

Will security Jordan Poyer attend necessary minicamp, and if he does, how a lot will he take part? Basic supervisor Brandon Beane stated throughout OTAs that he doesn’t have any purpose to consider that Poyer will not be in attendance, whereas defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier stated, “Hopefully we’ll see him quickly.” Poyer is getting into the ultimate 12 months of his contract and has requested an extension from the group. The 31-year-old All-Professional has not taken half in any of the group’s voluntary OTAs. — Alaina Getzenberg

All eyes shall be on quarterback Sam Darnold to see if he has improved what he known as “chaotic” footwork in 2021 and exhibits indicators of taking his sport to the following stage. If not, will third-round decide Matt Corral grasp sufficient of the offense to problem Darnold for the beginning job as soon as the group will get to coaching camp? Tied to that’s the preliminary chemistry of the rebuilt offensive line and the way left sort out Ikem Ekwonu, the No. 6 total decide, handles the velocity of NFL pass-rushers, like Brian Burns. — David Newton

We have heard the reward heaped on quarterback Justin Fields by teammates and coaches concerning the progress he has made this offseason on the sector and within the assembly room. With one remaining take a look at the Bears’ offense earlier than late July, can Fields show he has constructed continuity with the playmakers round him and that his skills can elevate Chicago’s offense in moments when issues break down? 12 months 2 is all about how a lot Fields can develop inside an offense that is anticipated to play to his strengths. We’ll be on the lookout for tangible indicators of that starting Tuesday. — Courtney Cronin

What would be the first impressions of this new-look offense with quarterback Deshaun Watson? The Browns, who had been largely a power-running offense the previous two seasons, may very well be extra extensive open with Watson, who hasn’t performed for the reason that 2020 season — when he led the NFL in passing with 4,823 yards. The Browns traded for Watson, who missed final season after he requested a commerce from the Texans in January, 2021, and since that request, 24 civil lawsuits have been filed in opposition to him amid accusations of inappropriate conduct and sexual assault throughout therapeutic massage periods. — Jake Trotter

The Cowboys’ offensive line will doubtless be the important thing to their success, however let’s not get slowed down in that stuff in pad-less practices. Let’s surprise about Dak Prescott‘s connections together with his receivers. Amari Cooper is gone. Michael Gallup is rehabbing from a knee damage. CeeDee Lamb is the brand new No. 1. However Prescott has not gotten a lot on-field work with free-agent pickup James Washington or third-round decide Jalen Tolbert simply but due to minor accidents to each receivers. Prescott will want each to be components, particularly early within the season in Gallup’s absence, so any work within the minicamp shall be good. — Todd Archer

Look, you might have a first-time head coach, a first-time offensive coordinator and a first-time defensive coordinator on the prime of the teaching circulation chart, all putting in new schemes with a brand new quarterback — you may need heard the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson in March. By means of their on-field work thus far, the Broncos have flashed immense potential and slightly choppiness. Minicamp will present take a look at the standing of a number of the personnel groupings, particularly the offensive line, the place the group remains to be churning via combos. — Jeff Legwold

Has quarterback Davis Mills improved? Mills enters minicamp because the Texans’ anticipated starter, which is totally different from a 12 months in the past when Tyrod Taylor and Watson have been nonetheless on the roster. Coach Lovie Smith stated Mills is continuous to get “on the identical web page” with coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offense however that the 2021 third-rounder “picks issues up pretty fast.” — Sarah Barshop

The Jaguars have put No. 1 total decide Travon Walker at outdoors linebacker, however there may be nonetheless some tinkering to be carried out: becoming in two different rookie linebackers (twenty seventh total decide Devin Lloyd and third-rounder Chad Muma) and free-agent signee Foyesade Oluokun (who led the NFL in tackles final season with the Atlanta Falcons). Additionally keep watch over working again Travis Etienne Jr., a former first-round decide who missed his rookie season due to a Lisfranc damage in his left foot, as he works because the No. 1 again whereas James Robinson recovers from a left Achilles damage. How a lot will he be used within the go sport? — Mike DiRocco

Who’s catching Patrick Mahomes‘ passes? Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman return, however in any other case, the Chiefs rebuilt their receiving group, signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and drafting Skyy Moore within the second spherical. Jobs can be found deeper down the extensive receiver depth chart, with gamers akin to Josh Gordon, Justyn Ross and Corey Coleman competing for roster spots. — Adam Teicher

Will free-agent additions Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson make a distinction on the defensive position? Whereas the commerce for Khalil Mack and signing of J.C. Jackson acquired extra consideration, the Chargers want Joseph-Day and Johnson to play huge and assist a protection that allowed 139 yards per sport final season. — Adam Teicher

Sadly, we cannot see this offense at full energy but whereas quarterback Jameis Winston, extensive receiver Michael Thomas and tight finish Taysom Hill stay in numerous levels of damage rehabs, although Winston is predicted to participate in minicamp. Nonetheless, we should always get a glimpse of how high-powered the Saints will be once more with working again Alvin Kamara anticipated to affix Winston and new receivers Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave on the follow area. As soon as wholesome, this offense is poised to make as huge a leap as any unit within the NFL this season. — Mike Triplett

The Jets will get their first take a look at offensive sort out Mekhi Becton since he sprained the MCL in his proper knee Week 1 final season. The 2020 first-round decide, who spent the previous two months coaching in Texas, has been the speak of the offseason due to his sturdiness and conditioning points. How’s his surgically repaired knee? How a lot does he weigh? Is he switching to proper sort out? Can they rely on him? They may get some, however not all, of the solutions in minicamp. — Wealthy Cimini

Who performs left guard and proper sort out? The most important gap within the Titans’ roster stays alongside the offensive line. It is nonetheless a thriller the place 2021 second-round decide Dillon Radunz will line up. However he is anticipated to fill one of many beginning voids created when the Titans launched left guard Rodger Saffold III and did not re-sign proper sort out David Quessenberry. Tennessee added former Seattle Seahawks lineman Jamarco Jones in free company and chosen Nicholas Petit-Frere within the third spherical of the draft. Veteran Aaron Brewer shall be within the combine as nicely, however there are not any clear-cut favorites to win the roles. — Turron Davenport

Quarterback Carson Wentz‘s connection together with his receivers would be the greatest factor to observe. Wentz clicked with first-round decide Jahan Dotson in early-spring exercises, however he’ll have to point out he can join with different targets, too, on a constant foundation. Alongside these strains, receiver Terry McLaurin didn’t attend the voluntary periods as a result of he needs a contract extension. Will he return, and what kind of connection will he set up with Wentz? — John Keim

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