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What we learned from this weekend's rookie camps

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin answered with a curt "not really" when asked if anyone stood out at rookie minicamp over the weekend.

"More than anything, it's just familiarizing yourself with the young men, how they learn and how they move, areas in which they may be deficient and things of that nature," Tomlin explained. "It's more of a get-to-know than anything else, as opposed to looking for anyone distinguishing themselves. Obviously, it's football in shorts."

Players at rookie minicamps don't wear pads and don't hit. Just introduced to the playbook, and they function at a slower practice speed. In other words, there's only so much we can take from practice reports.

Here is what stood out to us from the weekend rookie camps of the Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins:

Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. First-round pass rusher Jarvis Jones impressed Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert with his maturity and impressed beat writers with his thoughtfulness and humility. Taller and much leaner than LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds, Jones is going to have to bulk up over the next few months.
  1. Second-round tailback Le'Veon Bell couldn't show his power in pad-less practices, but he did impress onlookers with nimble feet and soft hands. The Washington Observer-Reporter has anointed Bell the favorite to start, with the possibility of 300 carries.
  1. Fourth-round quarterback Landry Jones had a rough weekend, outplayed by Purdue undrafted free agent Caleb Turnbush. Jones' passes fluttered and sailed off the market. It's not unusual for quarterbacks to struggle as they get used to new terminology and new teammates.
  1. Fourth-round safety Shamarko Thomas, on the other hand, passed the eyeball test, impressing beat writers throughout the three practices. Thomas should contribute immediately as a gunner on special teams and rotational safety.
  1. Keep an eye on undrafted Utah wide receiver Reggie Dunn. The electrifying kick returner is the only player in NCAA history with five returned touchdowns of 100 yards or more.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  1. Second-round safety Jonathan Cyprien was a "man among boys" over the weekend.
  1. First-rounder Luke Joeckel is adjusting well to right tackle after playing the left side at Texas A&M. Jacksonville's offensive line should be much improved.
  1. Fifth-round "running back" Denard Robinson made an impression at his lone practice before flying back to Michigan for graduation ceremonies. The former quarterback is embracing a "Slash" role with the Jaguars.
  1. Undrafted free-agent quarterbacks Jordan Rodgers and Matt Scott both ended the weekend on the sidelines. Scott has an ankle sprain -- not a high ankle sprain as originally feared. Rodgers is dealing with a groin injury. The two are battling for the third spot behind Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne.

Baltimore Ravens

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  1. First-round safety Matt Elam and second-round inside linebacker Arthur Brown were as good as advertised. "Matt really picked things up quickly," head coach John Harbaugh said. "He really did a nice job of communicating on the back end, which is not usual for a rookie."
  1. Space-eating, third-round nose tackle Brandon Williams took up two blockers on most plays during 11-on-11 drills.
  1. Fourth-round fullback Kyle Juszczyk was used all over the field, just like at Harvard. He was even split out at wide at receiver on occasion.

Washington Redskins

  1. Head coach Mike Shanahan was impressed with the intelligence, athleticism and versatility of his new defensive backs, second-rounder David Amerson, fourth-rounder Phillip Thomas and sixth-rounder Bacarri Rambo.

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  1. Third-round tight end Jordan Reed didn't practice because of a left knee bone bruise suffered during Florida's last game. Coming off anterior cruciate ligament surgery, fifth-round running back Chris Thompson is expected to be ready for training camp.
  1. Alfred Morris' brother, Shawn Morris, a Division III All-American from Birmingham Southern, was a tryout participant.

"They have the same personality for sure," Shanahan said. "I'm not sure they both run the same."

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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