It's early. We know it's early. But the first half-week of training camp meant more than the entire OTA and minicamp season combined. We can start to draw conclusions, especially about rookies that are making a quick move up the depth chart. Here are five rookies who stand out early:
1. New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower: As Albert Breer pointed out, Bill Belichick has lavished praise on Hightower. The last time we saw him praise a rookie this much was Jerod Mayo and that worked out well. Hightower is very intelligent and versatile, two qualities Belichick prizes most. Hightower should start right away and might make a quicker impact than buzzier rookie Chandler Jones.
We can't wait to see this kid on the field during the regular season.