A week through the preseason can you learn anything? The answer is yes if you look for the right things. QB play outside of rookies, not really, but you can learn a lot about running backs wideouts o lines and kickers it turns out. So here are five takeaways from week one of the preseason.
1. Baker Mayfield to David Njoku is going to be really fun to watch. The first overall pick of the draft had by far the best preseason week one. He dominated throwing for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Were there points to improve on? yes. Mayfield threw off his back foot twice which is not something you want to be doing at the NFL level as a QB. His footwork was a little bit jumpy but outside of that, he made all the right decisions. When he scrambles he gets out of bounds, that really impresses me because you just don’t see a whole lot of rookies doing that. Both Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor found last years first round pick David Njoku for touchdowns. Njoku looks speedy and strong and it makes me more excited about him then I was previously. I truly do believe this is the year of the break out young tight end and Njoku is one of those guys.
2. DJ Moore is very good. The Panthers wide receiver made two highlight-reel catches against the Bills starters and put up 75 yards in the process. You look at what having a deep threat could do for that offense and you are immediately excited by it. If Moore can be the guy to take the top off this could once again be one of the best offenses in the league. Christian McCaffery also shone brightly in this game. He may not be a great between the tackles runner but he should still be considered one of the better backs in the league and perhaps the best in the passing game.
3. The Redskins offense is about to be markedly worse than I expected. The loss of Darius Guice is crushing to this offense. Even if you love Rob Kelley you have to admit now the pressure falls directly onto Alex Smith to move the ball and I am not sure he can do that without a quality runner. His best years come when he isn’t the focal point of the offense.
4. The Broncos need to cut their losses and cut Paxton Lynch. 6/11 for 24 yards and an interception. Lynch has had his time to develop and he has fallen short. It will go down as John Elway’s biggest draft blunder. However, perhaps he can arise with someone better, Chad Kelley. Kelley of all the young QB’s I watched this weekend looked the best. 177 yards and two touchdowns through the air plus 38 yards with his legs through a quarter and a half. Give him all the second team reps and who knows maybe he’s the QB of the future in Denver. Meanwhile, Case Keenum looked very disappointing, hey it’s the preseason though.
5. Kerryon Johnson is very good. Johnson had 7 attempts for 34 yards but in those seven attempts, I saw a truly special back. A back that could dominate in this league with his size and strength. One of the grittiest runners I have ever seen. If they can pair him with Blount properly, I’m starting to buy this take, the Lions can have one of the best offenses in the league.