Biggest anticipation football training stay storylines – Aaron Rodgers’ new WR1, Michael Thomas’ lapse and backfield battles

With training camps now in full swing, ESPN’s 32 NFL Nation reporters are about to turn your eyes and ears as we prepared for your anticipation football drafts. We asked any of them to brand a biggest anticipation topics they’ll be following around August, with some discernment on how things competence play out. Nearly half mentioned some form of using behind timeshare — including some tips on how RBs such as Aaron Jones, Tony Pollard, Rhamondre Stevenson, Travis Etienne Jr. and Nyheim Hines could play bigger roles in a flitting game.

Arizona Cardinals

Who will get DeAndre Hopkins‘ share of a passes while he’s suspended?

The initial answer that comes to mind is Marquise Brown. The Cardinals traded for him on a initial day of a NFL draft. And once Hopkins’ cessation was announced, Brown was seen as a healthy deputy for a initial 6 weeks of a season. He has a speed and hands to be a arguable deputy for Hopkins. Brown’s attribute with quarterback Kyler Murray, that dates behind to college, should concede them to get on a same page quickly. That will concede Brown to turn an item to a offense quicker than if he was personification with a new quarterback. – Josh Weinfuss

Atlanta Falcons

Who gets using behind carries?

While a lot of a courtesy will be paid to Marcus Mariota vs. Desmond Ridder during quarterback, a categorical thing to watch will be during using back, where several possibilities will contest to play a poignant purpose along with Cordarrelle Patterson in a using game. Veterans Qadree Ollison and Damien Williams will get a shot, yet compensate courtesy to rookie Tyler Allgeier out of BYU. His distance and strength are what Falcons conduct manager Arthur Smith likes in a using back, and he’s a disreputable Day 3 collect who could have an evident purpose in a offense. – Michael Rothstein

Baltimore Ravens

Who is RB1 during a start of a season?

The Ravens’ tip dual using backs — J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards — are on a physically incompetent to perform (PUP) list after ripping ACLs final summer. Dobbins is approaching to be behind by a start of a unchanging season, yet it’s capricious possibly he will be during full strength during that point. Edwards is over behind Dobbins in his liberation and could skip a cube of a season. Baltimore’s other options are maestro Mike Davis and rookie sixth-round collect Tyler Badie. This is a critical doubt symbol for a organisation that has run a turn some-more than any other organisation over a final 3 seasons. – Jamison Hensley

Buffalo Bills

How will a using behind carries be divided?

Last year, a Bills’ using behind placement was not accessible to anticipation managers. This deteriorate could be formidable nonetheless again. Devin Singletary is in line to get a poignant apportionment of a carries, yet rookie James Cook and 2020 third-round collect Zack Moss are both trending toward carrying roles in this offense. With new descent coordinator Ken Dorsey pursuit plays, a relapse will be even some-more formidable to predict. But as of now, Singletary should be approaching to lead a group, and Cook is approaching to minister as a rusher and receiver. – Alaina Getzenberg

Carolina Panthers

Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold?

No conflict is approaching some-more — and nothing is some-more critical for a success of this organisation — than a one between a initial and third picks of a 2018 draft. Mayfield clearly has a tip palm formed on past success that Darnold hasn’t had. But a recently acquired former Cleveland Browns starter has to learn a new system, that Darnold has been operative in all offseason. And Darnold already has chemistry with teammates that Mayfield is usually removing to know. GM Scott Fitterer says this is an open foe and reps will be separate evenly, yet it’ll be critical for one to emerge as a transparent winner. -- David Newton

Chicago Bears

Darnell Mooney … and afterwards who?

Mooney is WR1 in his third deteriorate after reaching 1,000 receiving yards for a initial time in 2021. His ability to tip that prolongation hinges on a growth of Justin Fields, yet he’s a usually wideout with a proven tie with a Bears’ QB. Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr. will contest for a No. 2 job, while N’Keal Harry and Equanimeous St. Brown wish to gain on a uninformed start and yield unchanging prolongation on a outside. Jones competence be a 25-year-old rookie, yet his blazing 4.3 speed and ability to line adult opposite a arrangement has him in line for a poignant aim share as a WR2. – Courtney Cronin

Cincinnati Bengals

Is Joe Mixon an all-purpose back?

Mixon ranked third in a NFL in sum touches final deteriorate notwithstanding essentially being used on neutral and run-heavy downs. But given of his deficiency on third downs, it left his use lacking in flitting situations a bit for anticipation managers. So that leaves him in a wily spot, generally in PPR leagues, given Mixon’s value will count on his touchdown rate. In 2021, he had copiousness of those — 11 red section touchdowns during a rate of 3.35 scores per lift inside a 20-yard line, according to ESPN Stats Information research. But a miss of targets, something that isn’t approaching to boost drastically, will leave him in a unsafe ADP mark for anticipation drafts. – Ben Baby

Cleveland Browns

After Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper, who will get touches?

The Browns have a transparent No. 1 using behind in a All-Pro Chubb and an apparent go-to receiver in Cooper. But after that, is anyone else among Cleveland’s ability players value poignant breeze investment? When healthy, Kareem Hunt has found ways to be prolific both rushing and receiving, notwithstanding subsidy adult Chubb. But a actor to watch in Cleveland competence be parsimonious finish David Njoku, who got a four-year, $57 million prolongation in a offseason. Njoku has nonetheless to perform like a top-10 anticipation parsimonious end, yet a Browns are banking that Njoku has a talent to still turn usually that. – Jake Trotter

Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard?

For a Pollard fans, step lightly. Not that he won’t get some-more work, yet it competence not be usually during a responsibility of Elliott. Mike McCarthy called Elliott one of a keystone pieces of a team. Before removing harm final season, Elliott was on gait for some-more than 1,500 yards. He finished with 12 touchdowns. He will always be a primary red section choice over Pollard. Where Pollard competence surpass is as a pass-catcher while a Cowboys demeanour to reinstate Amari Cooper’s production. Of course, if Elliott gets injured, Pollard would see an RB1 workload. – Todd Archer

Denver Broncos

Who, exactly, will be RB1 or WR1?

The Broncos have a new conduct coach/playcaller on offense in Nathaniel Hackett, a new quarterback in Russell Wilson, and several ability players who have flashed intensity yet have never played with a quarterback like Wilson. Javonte Williams is approaching to be a tip back. And how things shake out during receiver still stays to be seen given Jerry Jeudy missed copiousness of a on-field work in a offseason program. But this organisation competence perplex anticipation managers early in a deteriorate as it gets sorted out, and Hackett shows his palm with how most Williams and Melvin Gordon III competence or competence not separate carries. – Jeff Legwold

Detroit Lions

Who will lead a organisation in receiving yards?

Detroit has versed quarterback Jared Goff with clever descent weapons in parsimonious finish T.J. Hockenson, new giveaway representative far-reaching receiver DJ Chark and rookie receiver Jameson Williams (who is still recuperating from a ripped ACL). But if we were a betting man, we would put my income on receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. All signs are indicating to St. Brown enjoying a dermatitis second deteriorate after environment countless rookie annals in 2021. St. Brown’s prolongation skyrocketed when Lions manager Dan Campbell gave former parsimonious ends manager Ben Johnson a bigger purpose in playcalling responsibilities. Johnson is now a descent coordinator and will find artistic ways to use a Lions’ rising star. St. Brown also led a patrol in receiving yards (912) as a rookie and logged 6 true games of 8 or some-more receptions. He’ll positively be a aim for defenses this season, yet a Lions’ staff is assured he’ll be ready. – Eric Woodyard

Green Bay Packers

Who gets a 169 targets Davante Adams left behind?

Aaron Rodgers spoke of Allen Lazard from Day 1 of training stay as a No. 1 receiver. But that doesn’t meant he’ll get 100-plus targets. Don’t be astounded if a using behind gets a bigger share. Aaron Jones ranked second on a organisation final deteriorate in targets (65). And with a Packers wanting to get AJ Dillon on a margin some-more often, maybe relocating Jones around and removing him a turn in space competence be something they try even more. – Rob Demovsky

Houston Texans

Does it matter who Brandin Cooks‘ QB is?

Cooks should be an impactful anticipation receiver. Throughout his career, a QB hasn’t mattered for Cooks. Whether it has been Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Davis Mills, Drew Brees or Tyrod Taylor underneath center, Cooks has produced. So even yet Mills is still noticed as an unknown, it won’t stop Cooks’ production. He’s finished with 1,000 yards or some-more in 6 of his 8 seasons. The Texans’ receiving weapons aren’t deep, and Cooks is a usually proven threat. This screams double-digit targets per diversion for Cooks. – DJ Bien-Aime

Indianapolis Colts

How will touches be divided between Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines?

Matt Ryan‘s attainment outlines a biggest change in a Colts’ offense, yet Indianapolis is also perplexing to rethink using behind Taylor’s effort in 2022. Taylor, final season’s rushing leader, led a NFL in carries in 2021 as a Colts became overwhelmingly run-heavy in a latter apportionment of a season. They intend to have a some-more offset proceed this season, that is where Hines enters a picture. Hines, who is mostly used as a receiver, posted career lows in targets and receptions final season. The Colts have vowed to change that, and Ryan’s story of targeting using backs bodes good for Hines. – Stephen Holder

Jacksonville Jaguars

How does a brew of Travis Etienne Jr. and James Robinson work?

Robinson is recuperating from a ripped Achilles, yet a organisation didn’t place him on PUP, and a wish is he’ll be entirely privileged in mid-August. Head manager Doug Pederson pronounced in a open that a organisation still views Robinson as a tip back. However, Etienne will be heavily concerned in a flitting diversion (he has lined adult out far-reaching and in a container mixed times in practices). Offensive coordinator Press Taylor pronounced he can see Etienne being used identical to a approach Philadelphia used Brian Westbrook years ago. Educated guess: Robinson has some-more carries than Etienne, yet Etienne could have a slight lead in sum touches by a time a deteriorate ends. – Michael DiRocco

Kansas City Chiefs

Who’s a No. 1 far-reaching receiver?

The Chiefs are not usually looking to fill Tyreek Hill‘s role, yet also perplexing to figure out that other far-reaching receivers will make a biggest statistical contributions. Free representative additions Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster and rookie Skyy Moore join a returning Mecole Hardman to form a categorical organisation of far-reaching receivers. But over that, all is adult for grabs. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes went to Valdes-Scantling mostly and with success in offseason practice, and that could be a pointer of things to come. – Adam Teicher

Las Vegas Raiders

Are there adequate balls to go around on offense?

While parsimonious finish Darren Waller held a franchise-record 107 passes dual seasons ago, container receiver Hunter Renfrow had 103 catches final season, and new wideout Davante Adams has averaged 111 receptions a past 3 seasons. Figuring out how to widespread a resources and keep guys happy will be a “good” problem for quarterback Derek Carr to navigate by in camp. Throw in a fact that a Raiders are training a new intrigue around new conduct manager Josh McDaniels, and storylines abound. -- Paul Gutierrez

Los Angeles Chargers

What to design from a parsimonious ends?

Justin Herbert‘s tip targets are good determined between receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and using behind Austin Ekeler. But what about a parsimonious ends? The Chargers sealed Gerald Everett to a two-year, $12 million agreement in giveaway agency, Donald Parham Jr. earnings for a third season, and Tre’ McKitty earnings as a second-year pro. Herbert has already determined a rapport with Parham and McKitty, yet how fast a sixth-year pro Everett can ingratiate himself with Herbert and learn a offense will be value examination around training camp. - Lindsey Thiry

Los Angeles Rams

Can we trust Allen Robinson II as a WR2?

The Rams’ tip 3 receivers seem to be set going into a season: Cooper Kupp, Robinson and Van Jefferson. And Los Angeles didn’t surrogate most late final season. There are questions about Robinson after his discouraging miss of prolongation with a Bears in 2021, yet Matthew Stafford will be by distant a best quarterback he’s played with. Offensive coordinator Liam Coen forked to Robinson’s route-running peculiarity and flexibility as to because he’ll flower in 2022. To start a season, a Rams are profitable Robinson too most income to not feed him mostly and see what he can do. But Jefferson could also mangle out in Year 3. There’s also a judicious probability of Odell Beckham Jr. returning after in a deteriorate to cruise if you’re meditative of drafting Robinson. — Sarah Barshop

Miami Dolphins

How will this backfield effort play out?

With Raheem Mostert privileged for use after recuperating from knee surgery, a Dolphins’ backfield is one of a some-more swarming in a NFL. Mostert, Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel and Myles Gaskin have all been lead backs during some indicate in their careers and will form what is approaching to be a committee. New conduct manager Mike McDaniel’s offenses in San Francisco weren’t fearful to underline a lead behind notwithstanding a common workload, so whoever can settle himself this summer competence be value holding a mid-round navigator on come breeze day. – Marcel Louis-Jacques

Minnesota Vikings

How many targets will Irv Smith Jr. get?

Smith is in line to be a Vikings’ starting parsimonious finish a year after pang a season-ending right knee injury. Quarterback Kirk Cousins likes targeting parsimonious ends. Since he became a full-time starter in 2015, he ranks fourth among quarterbacks in parsimonious finish targets. But Cousins has a lot of options among a Vikings’ gifted organisation of skill-position players, and training stay will give us a initial glance during bargain how Cousins and conduct manager Kevin O’Connell will sunder a ball. – Kevin Seifert

New England Patriots

Will Rhamondre Stevenson acquire a bigger purpose in a pass game?

By a finish of final season, Stevenson was a clever 1B choice alongside a Patriots’ 1A Damien Harris. The dual are behind again atop a RB abyss chart, with Stevenson opposed to make himself some-more of a cause in apparent flitting situations — that is traditionally James White‘s role. It sparks a applicable anticipation football question: With White entrance off a critical hip injury, can Stevenson position himself for some of White’s duties? – Mike Reiss

New Orleans Saints

Will Michael Thomas lapse to WR1 status?

Thomas’ lapse to use on Day 1 of training stay was a outrageous step in a right direction. His anticipation building will turn a lot safer with any day we see him continue to swell this preseason. we do design him to be a Saints’ WR1. But his anticipation roof is a trickier question, given we don’t know how prolonged it will take him to lapse to rise earthy form. He will also be bursting time in a more-crowded WR organisation alongside Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave; and he is now personification with a opposite character of QB in Jameis Winston, who competence not peppers him with targets a same approach Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater did. -- Mike Triplett

New York Giants

Which Giants WR is value investing in?

The Giants’ offense has been a anticipation duct a past dual years. You didn’t wish to have any of their playmakers on your roster. It’s tough to find a receiver that is value any arrange of investment this year, either. The best gamble would substantially be Kadarius Toney. He’s immature and explosive, and during slightest is on a margin early this summer. Toney was targeted on 29.8% of his routes run his rookie season, a eighth-highest sum in a NFL. Even yet a offense and playcaller have changed, a enterprise to get him a turn has not. Questions also still sojourn about Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard, that usually adds to Toney’s value. – Jordan Raanan

New York Jets

Michael Carter or Breece Hall as RB1?

Carter is a obligatory after heading a organisation in rushing as a rookie, yet a clarity is that Hall will pass him during some point. Carter did a plain pursuit in 2021, rushing for 639 yards and 4.3 per carry, yet he’s on a smaller side and doesn’t have breakaway speed. Hall is bigger, faster and a improved receiver than Carter. Hall was drafted 36th overall, yet he was 18th on a Jets’ breeze board, that illustrates how most they like his potential. There will be early flourishing heedfulness as he learns to transition divided from his ultra-patient using style, yet he should leapfrog Carter on a abyss breeze once he finds his rhythm. – Rich Cimini

Philadelphia Eagles

How will a using behind revolution shake out?

Miles Sanders is a projected starter, with Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott slated for personification time as well. Sanders is in a agreement year. Running behind one of a best descent lines in a fasten and alongside Jalen Hurts, a event is there to have a beast season. But injuries have kept him from reaching his full intensity to this point, including in 2021 when he finished with 754 rushing yards and 0 touchdowns in 12 games. Gainwell, meanwhile, is entrance off an considerable rookie deteriorate with 544 yards from struggle and 6 touchdowns. Ideally, a Eagles would like Sanders to take a lead purpose and run with it. But if he gets banged adult or isn’t behaving during a high level, Gainwell could pierce into a some-more featured role. – Tim McManus

Pittsburgh Steelers

How will Diontae Johnson‘s targets shake out with a new QB?

Johnson was a favorite aim of Ben Roethlisberger, yet with Roethlisberger’s retirement, a far-reaching receiver is going to be throwing passes from a new quarterback. Johnson still total to be a tip far-reaching receiver on a team, yet will he still get a lion’s share of a targets with Chase Claypool looking for a bounce-back year and rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin III fasten a team? Johnson is also blank time early in stay as he is “holding in” while anticipating for a new contract, giving younger guys some-more opportunities to build chemistry with a quarterbacks. – Brooke Pryor

San Francisco 49ers

How will a using behind conditions play out?

Wash, rinse, repeat. Yes, this is always one of a primary anticipation questions about a Niners underneath Kyle Shanahan, and that substantially won’t change any time soon. San Francisco has had a opposite heading rusher in any of Shanahan’s 5 seasons during a helm, that creates it tough to put trust in a actor during a tip of a abyss breeze in August. Elijah Mitchell will be that actor this year, and he will get a initial moment during gripping his pursuit after environment a authorization record for rushing yards by a rookie final season. But a organisation drafted Tyrion Davis-Price in a third round, brought behind Jeff Wilson Jr. and still has JaMycal Hasty and Trey Sermon in a mix. Ideally, Davis-Price offers short-yardage and goal-line assistance with Mitchell doing a bulk of a work. But damage concerns about Mitchell are real, and it wouldn’t be a warn to see Davis-Price and Wilson concerned early and mostly even if Mitchell hangs on to a starting spot. — Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

How will Seattle share carries between Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker III?

Chris Carson‘s retirement means Penny will conduct into a deteriorate as a Seahawks’ definite No. 1 choice for a initial time in his career. But a “as-long-as-he-stays-healthy” qualifier competence request to Penny as most as any actor in a NFL given that he’s missed 30 of a probable 69 games due to damage (playoffs included). He has also carried a turn 20-plus times in a diversion usually twice in his career. The Seahawks will have to conduct his snaps and give some of a backfield work to Walker, yet Seattle’s rookie second-round collect will have to uncover coaches that he’s ready. – Brady Henderson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Will Chris Godwin be prepared for Week 1?

The receiver underwent medicine to correct a ripped ACL this offseason, and while a Bucs did not place him on a PUP list to open camp, sources contend they will work him behind in slowly. And a signing of destiny Hall of Famer Julio Jones affords them a possibility to do that. But accurately when Godwin will be prepared is not transparent during this point. – Jenna Laine

Tennessee Titans

Can Austin Hooper lapse to Pro Bowl form?

Is Christian McCaffrey a Mike Trout of anticipation football?

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  • Hooper has done it his personal goal to rise chemistry with Ryan Tannehill given fasten a team. The dual have put in additional work during downtime in practice. They are in consistent communication after reps during organisation and 7-on-7 periods. Tannehill complimented Hooper’s savvy route-running ability and speed that helps him get open. There will be some-more targets to go around given Tannehill’s formerly adored pass-catcher A.J. Brown is now with a Eagles. Since Tannehill took over as a Titans’ starter in Week 6 of a 2019 season, 24% of his targets have left to parsimonious ends. Tannehill has also thrown 25 of his 76 touchdown passes to a parsimonious ends. – Turron Davenport

    Washington Commanders

    How will Carson Wentz and Terry McLaurin click?

    McLaurin missed a OTA workouts and imperative minicamp while available a new contract, yet he did spend time with Wentz and other teammates in California progressing this month. Wentz seemed to filigree with rookie receiver Jahan Dotson during a spring, yet for this offense to work he contingency have chemistry with McLaurin. It helps that McLaurin excels on contested catches — generally critical with a quarterback who is infrequently inaccurate. Wentz will be means to trust McLaurin, an superb route-runner. And, for McLaurin’s sake, Wentz will be a best passer he’s played with. In his initial 3 seasons, McLaurin has played with 8 opposite starting quarterbacks, nothing as good as Wentz. That’s because there’s reason to trust they’ll work good together. – John Keim

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