Rookie Quarterbacks Shine
Both DeShone Kizer of the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears first-round pick Mitch Trubisky put on shows in their NFL debuts on Thursday. For Kizer, it included a 45-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Jordan Payton late in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints. Kizer would ultimately complete 11-of-18 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Meanwhile, Trubisky followed up disastrous performances from Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez to show everyone why he was the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft. The North Carolina product completed 18-of-25 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown through the air. He also added 38 yards on three rush attempts.
There's absolutely no reason for either the Browns or Bears to avoid playing these youngsters against starting defenses movivng forward in the preseason. It's in this that we will be able to better gauge how each one will perform against better competition.
Victor Cruz Scores Touchdown in Bears Debut
Now that Alshon Jeffery is in Philadelphia, the Bears will be looking for another veteran receiver to step up behind Cameron Meredith and Kevin White. That's why the team signed the injury-plagued Cruz in the offseason.
And in his first game as a member of the Bears, Cruz was targeted a whopping six times in limited action. He came away with three catches for 11 yards, including a two-yard touchdown catch from the aforementioned Trubisky. The vet is someone to definitely keep an eye on throughout the remainder of the preseason.
Leonard Fournette Gets In Work
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie No. 4 overall pick Leonard Fournette got in work against what remained of the Patriots' starting defense after the team decided to sit most of its regulars. The LSU product proceeded to put up 31 yards on nine attempts, including a touchdown.
We saw Fournette get goal-line and short-yardage opportunities in his first preseason games. It's somewhat of a split from previous reports suggesting that Chris Ivory might see most of those opportunities. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Vikings Give Dalvin Cook a Ton of Work
Minnesota's first three offensive plays of the preseason consistency of handing the ball off to this rookie second-round pick twice and finding him out of the backfield on a third-down reception. All said, Cook ran the ball five times for 13 yards while adding 30 yards on four receptions.
We're expecting the Vikings to utilize Cook in a three-down role this season. That's why many believe the rookie will be a surprise RB1 option. If Thursday against the Buffalo Bills was an indication, that's likely going to happen.
Jimmy Garoppolo Tremendous As Pats Starter
We're not going to see a ton of Tom Brady in the preseason. That's a given. It also enables soon-to-be free agent Jimmy Garoppolo to show his worth to both the Patriots and the rest of the NFL. And much like we saw with Brady suspended to start last season, this former second-round pick showed his stuff.
Garoppolo completed 22-of-28 passes for 235 yards, including a three-yard touchdown to Austin Carr and a five-yard scoring strike to K.J. Maye. While we're not expecting Garoppolo to be traded this year, it's definitely going to be important to see how he performs as early returns come in about the quarterback's ability to start in New England or elsewhere down the road.