There was a time when rookie minicamps flew under the radar. Not anymore.
Last weekend was a flood of sound bites, grainy photos, and first-look footage of tomorrow's NFL stars. On the field, little happened, but we finally caught a look at Andrew Luck in blue and white; and Robert Griffin III decked out in burgundy.
For fans, it's that first glimpse.
This weekend offers a heavy dosage of rookie gatherings league-wide, with hundreds of players set to practice with their new teams.
Let's tee it up with five storylines we're watching closely:
5. Detroit finds a gem:Kellen Moore went undrafted, but the former Boise State quarterback makes our list and will make his debut this weekend with the Lions, who signed him to a free-agent contract. Moore shined on "Gruden's QB Camp." Look, we get it: He's short for a quarterback, he lacks the prototypical build, he's a classic longshot. But this is a future coach in the making; a thinking man's passer; and, by the way, the winningest quarterback in NCAA history. Nice work, Detroit.
4. Giants wheel out shiny, new weapons:Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham are out, replaced by David Wilson and Rueben Randle, New York's top two picks in the draft. The Giants grabbed back-to-back skill players for the first time since 2002. Randle joins an already dangerous group of wideouts. Wilson's task is a gritty one: Step in and mend a rushing attack that finished last in the league in 2011. The Giants only improved through the draft.
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3. Rolling the dice in St. Louis:NFL Network's Albert Breer chronicled the volatile backstory of Janorice Jenkins. The question was how far the talented cornerback would fall in the draft. Jeff Fisher and the Rams grabbed Jenkins in the second round and believe he will contribute immediately. His off-the-field issues make him an intriguing figure as he adjusts to life in pro football.
2. New starter in Cleveland?:Reading between the lines, Browns president Mike Holmgren is expecting Brandon Weeden to earn the starting job at quarterback. Colt McCoy deserves a chance to compete, but there's no time to waste with Weeden, who turns 29 this season. Trent Richardson feels like such a secure pick in Cleveland. Weeden will generate more attention at every turn as we progress through the summer.
1. The biggest shoes to fill:Courtney Upshaw's role with the Baltimore Ravens ballooned before he even hit the field. Terrell Suggs is out with a partially torn Achilles', meaning the team will count on Upshaw to learn on the fly and provide this veteran defense with a dose of havoc off the edge. Ozzie Newsome patiently waited to grab Upshaw in the second round, but the former Alabama star will be asked to play like a first-rounder from the start.