Yet in Sunday night's thrilling 34-31 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, it was obvious that Bruce Arians' rookies are starting to light fires of their own.
The rookies add a striking dimension to an already potent title contender.
"I felt like it was my time," Nelson said, via the Arizona Republic. "I just had to come out and execute."
With Arizona's offense stuck in the mud during the first half, Nelson jump-started the points machine, hauling in a Palmer heave on the 64-yard score on the first drive of the second half.
"I think everybody expected him to make the plays that he did, and I'm just glad to see him do it," Palmer said of Nelson. "I think he started to realize he's not just a player, he's a big-time player."
At just 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, Nelson can get beaten up by defensive backs. His 4.28 40-yard-dash speed, however, makes him ideal for Arians' scheme. Nelson's speed is such that teammates teased him about being caught by defensive end Michael Johnson after a long catch, deke and run late in the third quarter.
"Oh yeah, I said something to him," Brown said. "'You're supposed to be the fastest one on the team!' He probably was too excited and got caught, but we're all going to give him trouble in the meeting room."
Added Larry Fitzgerald: "I said, 'You run a 4.2 at the combine, and you get run down by a 6-foot-8, 290-pound defensive end? It was disheartening.'"