Chandler Jones, New England Patriots: He's adapting well to his new position at outside linebacker. Bill Belichick will line him up at defensive end plenty -- and occasionally on the inside. Jones has always been a little raw with his technique, and it appears he's made big strides. This is the best pass rusher Bill Belichick has had since ... Cleveland.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars: He was overdue for a down week, yet the No. 3 overall pick keeps delivering dimes. The Jaguars' confidence in Bortles last week was remarkable. They inserted him in to run a hurry-up offense from the opposing five-yard line with 1:43 left in the second quarter with no timeouts. Bortles calmly drove them down the field with a handful ofthrows that a lot of NFL quarterbacks couldn't make.
DuJuan Harris and Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: It's not like Aaron Rodgers needed more weapons. But he has the deepest backfield of his Packers career with Harris looking outstanding behind Eddie Lacy and James Starks. Richard Rodgers, a surprise draft pick in May, looks a lot more athletic as a receiver than we expected.
Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos: Sanders appeared to cause an interception for Peyton Manning when he went the wrong way on one route against Houston. But that didn't stop Manning from continuing to feed Sanders in an electric performance. Sanders is the rare player that can play the slot and get deep.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers: If Kaepernick wasn't so up and down in the regular season, we wouldn't be as concerned with with an ugly preseason. Kaepernick is used to getting great pass protection, and we'll be watching to see what happens if that doesn't hold true this year. It certainly has been a problem in the preseason.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: Newton doesn't look totally comfortable in his surgically repaired ankle. Now he has a rib injury to worry about and is likely to be hesitant to run early in the season. Newton is a streaky quarterback even when things are going well. That Week 1 matchup in Tampa will be a big challenge.