Around the League  

 

What we learned from Friday's rookie minicamps

Rookie minicamps are underway, and, contrary to reports, Geno Smith isn't the only human being on the field for the New York Jets.

The Daily News reported that coach Rex Ryan was thrilled with first-year defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. "He's impressive to say the least," Ryan said, after employing Richardson at nose tackle for much of Friday's session.

Richardson said he felt comfortable lining up as a one-technique in the 3-4 after mostly playing in a 4-3 at Missouri. We expect Ryan to use Richardson all over the line as New York shifts between three- and four-man fronts to suit the situation.

Here's what else we've picked up from the first 24 hours of league-wide rookie minicamps:

» Some wondered if Tim Tebow was back in the house at Florham Park, but not so. The man roaming the greens in a No. 15 jersey this weekend is undrafted Jets wide receiver Zach Rogers out of Tennessee, per Rich Cimini of ESPN New York. As of yet, we've heard no public promises of Rogers operating the Wildcat.

Draft signings
The New Orleans Saints' Kenny Vaccaro and Detroit Lions' Ziggy Ansah were the first of the 2013 NFL Draft first-round selections to sign. Follow all the moves right here. More ...

» Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery talked about first-round pick Kyle Long starting his career at left guard, but the former Oregon lineman opened Friday on the right side, according to the Chicago Tribune. Don't read too much into that here in May. The Bears have Gabe Carimi penciled in at right guard, and we'll learn more about Long's role when the veterans hit town.

» The Tennessee Titans quietly have improved their roster on both sides of the ball this offseason. I'm most excited about the addition of receiver Justin Hunter, the team's second-rounder out of Tennessee. The Titans love his blazing speed, but they've asked Hunter to pack on at least 7 pounds to his lanky 6-foot-4, 196-pound frame, per Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com.

» In Big D, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has talked up rookie running back Joseph Randle as a potentially big part of the ground game. But that's on hold as Randle is expected to be limited in workouts until training camp in order to rehab from thumb surgery. Jones told Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday that the team knew about the procedure, but "there are a lot of things we can do out here in OTAs and get that thumb clubbed up and he'll get a lot of work in, a lot of valuable repetition."

2013 NFL Draft grades by division
The draft is finally behind us. How did everybody do? Bucky Brooks breaks out the red pen and grades all 32 teams by division. More ...

» While we're on the topic of the Dallas draft, third-round pick J.J. Wilcox played offense before moving to safety during his senior year at Georgia Southern. You'd think a third-rounder would have a chance at making an impact, but Cowboys defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson told the Star-Telegram that Wilcox is "light years, light years" from making a difference. Ouch.

» Some additional items we've expanded on this morning in Around The League: (A) The Buffalo Bills are impressed with EJ Manuel's deep-ball ability, but his footwork is under the microscope in Buffalo; (B) In Philly, Lane Johnson is digging in at right tackle for the Eagles and working out the kinks, while Matt Barkley's excessively positive outlook on life continues unabated.

With Saturday's sessions getting underway, keep it here for updates and news from around the NFL.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15