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Patterson shines: Who's making the leap after Week 1?

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Around the NFL spent many long summer weeks putting together this year's "Making the Leap" list, our collection of the top 25 players we see taking a major jump in 2014.

With Sunday's action in the rear-view mirror, let's take a look at who helped -- and hurt -- their case in Week 1:

Stock up


1. Cordarrelle Patterson: We're confident Patterson will justify his No. 1 ranking on our list. Looming as an ideal fit in Norv Turner's offense, the athletically freaky Vikings wideout caught three passes for 26 yards and led the way on the ground with 102 yards and a touchdown off three carries. A tackle-breaker in the open field, Patterson has a touchdown run of at least 35 yards in three straight games -- something no receiver has ever done.

2. Le'Veon Bell: Pittsburgh's second-year running back tortured the Browns with 109 yards on the ground and 197 total yards from scrimmage. To the naked eye, Bell looked faster on Sunday, displaying quick cuts and a knack for barreling past Cleveland's first wave of defenders into open space. Only Chris Ivory topped Bell's 84 yards after contact in Week 1.

3. Zach Ertz: The second-year Eagles tight end met our expectations on multiple levels, playing 60 percent of the snaps on offense and lining up all over the formation en route to three catches for 77 yards and a score. He's a core piece of Chip Kelly's air attack.

4. Markus Wheaton: Pittsburgh's second-year receiver hauled in six passes for 97 yards while dominating his matchup with Browns first-round corner Justin Gilbert. Wheaton's speed brings a new dimension to Pittsburgh's passing game.

Honorable mention: Montee Ball, Justin Hunter

Stock down


1. Toby Gerhart: The Jaguars bell cow got off to a rough start on Sunday, carving out just 42 yards on 18 carries on what he later called a "really sore" ankle. We're not concerned about Gerhart's skill set, but he's playing behind a nightmarish interior line that contributed to his puny 2.3 yards per tote.

2. Christine Michael: After missing Thursday's rout of the Packers with a sore hamstring, the Seahawks runner is clearly lodged behind Robert Turbin in the pecking order. Our June "Leap" writeup offered this appropriate caution: We might have come calling one year too early on Michael.

3. Josh McCown: Tampa's starting quarterback fought his way out of an abysmal start against the Panthers on Sunday. Finishing with 183 yards, a pair of touchdowns and two picks, McCown's 5.2 yards per attempt topped only Derek Carr (4.7) and Tom Brady (4.4). The state of Tampa's offense behind a super-shaky line has us worried about this late-bloomer under center.

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" covers the Falcons' impressive offense, RGIII's struggles and recaps all Sunday's Week 1 action.

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