Kyle Rudolph, Julio Jones leaders in training camp


Around the League looked at the rookies making noise early in training Monday. Now, it's time for the veterans.

Click on team name for full report; click here for a complete archive.

AFC East
Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Seahawks

First, a disclaimer. We are wary of putting too much stock in practice reports. A player that looked great one day can struggle the next. The players listed here have received consistent back slaps as standouts day after day.

1. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings TE: Perhaps no player has received more love letters from media and coaches than Rudolph. NFL Network's Michelle Beisner said Rudolph has been the team's "MVP" according to team insiders. During one practice, he was listed as "option No. 1, 3 and 5" for quarterback Christian Ponder.

We'd be stunned if Rudolph wasn't option 1A behind Percy Harvin for the Vikings this year.

2. Jonathan Baldwin, Kansas City Chiefs WR: He's taking advantage of Dwayne Bowe's absence. We care less about all the "newfound maturity" talk. We like hearing more about the jaw-dropping plays we heard about each day. Last year's camp for Baldwin was a nightmare.

3. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers TE: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network joined the chorus of observers that have said Gates looks healthier and quicker than he has in years. The proof is in the practice reports. Gates isn't sidelined or recovering for the first time in years.

4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons WR: Pat Yasinksas said Jones is the most dominant player he's seen at any training camp. There is no hole in Jones' game. He's ready to pass Roddy White in Atlanta and can be a top-five wideout starting now.

5. Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots TE: It was the "summer of Gronk" but it may be the season of Hernandez. Cornerbacks aren't big enough to cover Hernandez; no one else is quick enough because he runs routes like a wideout. With Brandon Lloyd also impressing in camp, the Patriots are loaded with weapons.

6. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans DE: Next stop, Canton.