The first preseason game is always exciting even it’s just because we’re so desperate to see our team on television. It’s easy to overreact because it’s been so long, so it’s important to focus mostly on individual matchups rather than playcalling and the final score. So which players are going to shine or need to shine to keep their spot on the roster?
Wide Receiver Ace Sanders
Ace Sanders has been the most talked about rookie in training camp so far and for good reason – Sanders has been getting open consistently and catching the ball with impressive regularity. Despite his lack of top-end speed, Sanders’ short area quickness gives him the ability to get open on short routes and shake defenders in the open field. It’ll be exciting to see if Sanders can translate his dominance in practice over to the preseason.
Defensive End Andre Branch
Many fans (including myself) were hoping the Jaguars were going to draft athletic freak Dion Jordan. Well now the Dolphins have Jordan and we have turned our attention to second year player Andre Branch. After a rough rookie season where he only got one sack, Branch has been underwhelming in camp. He seems like a natural fit for the LEO position but he’s failed to affect the quarterback at almost every position he’s been situated. If he can’t get any pressure against a shaky Dolphin’s offensive line, he could be a candidate for roster cuts before the regular season.
Right Tackle Luke Joeckel
Luke Joeckel will probably be seeing a lot of the guy drafted right after him – Dion Jordan – and it will be interesting to see how quickly Joeckel has adapted to the right side of the line. The right tackle position has been a nightmare for Blaine Gabbert so far in his career and this will be our first look at Gabbert with two competent tackles available to form a pocket for him.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89