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NFL mandatory minicamp 2022: NFC rookies picked after Day 1 of draft who could earn key roles

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One short year ago, Amon-Ra St. Brown was just an easy-to-miss, unsuspecting rookie picked after the first round, waiting for his chance in the Lions’ offense. Now, his reach is far wider than the greater Detroit area after an 88-catch eruption in Year 1 as a professional.

A season before that, Antoine Winfield Jr., Jeremy Chinn, and Antonio Gibson were NFC rookies not selected on Day 1 of the draft who sure as heck played like Day 1 selections as rookies. 

In 2019, Deebo Samuel, Miles Sanders, Elgton Jenkins, DK Metcalf and Terry McLaurin headlined those outstanding value selections. And you, NFL fan starved for football, know all about your favorite team’s first-round pick in the 2022 draft. It’s time to really get acclimated with the non-Round 1 selection who has the talent — and situation — to flourish in his debut season in the NFL. 

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Let’s zero in on the NFC rookies picked after the first round with the best chances to earn key roles as rookies. 

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

WR Jalen Tolbert
Drafted:
 No. 88, third round
Impressive stat to know: Had 16 catches of 20 or more yards at South Alabama in 2021

Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb are, of course, back in Dallas. Amari Cooper is not. There are 205 targets available from last year’s Cowboys offense, and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore — noted smart football mind — will likely dedicate a sizable portion of those targets to Tolbert — noted downfield specialist. 

Gallup and Lamb are more move-the-chain types, underneath and intermediate level security options for Dak Prescott, and the same is true for emerging tight end Dalton Schultz. It felt like any South Alabama game I flipped on over the past two years, Tolbert was generating a splash play downfield thanks to either his deceptive speed, tremendous ball-tracking capabilities, or a combination of both. Prescott finished 10th in adjusted completion percentage on long balls in 2021, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities for the rookie to showcase his unique skills. 

Philadelphia Eagles

LB Nakobe Dean
Drafted:
No. 83, third round
Impressive stat to know: Six sacks, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and 10.5 tackles for loss at Georgia in 2021

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Now, of course, this selection comes with the caveat of the apparently battered-and-bruised Dean being healthy as a rookie. With that out of the way — Dean is an animal at the linebacker position, an animal born to hunt receivers, tight ends, and running backs in the modern-day NFL.  

From suddenness, to laser-quick, play-recognition skills, to comfortability in coverage, Dean is ready to really go as a rookie. Don’t be concerned about his size or lack thereof. He has the ideal size to float around the field today, sniffing out screens, flying to outside runs, and being a flat-out nuance for the opposition’s middle-of-the-field passing game. 

Washington Commanders

RB Brian Robinson Jr.
Drafted:
No. 98, third round
Impressive stat to know: 79 missed tackles forced on 271 rushing attempts at Alabama in 2021

Antonio Gibson is the lead dog in Washington. Robinson’s presence won’t change that. While similarly sized to Gibson, he’s not nearly as explosive or fast downfield. The former Alabama star might just be equally as elusive, and he runs through contact like it’s wet paper. 

And something else I love about Robinson — low mileage. He toted the rock only 545 times in his college career, and 2021 was the only season in which he carried it more than 100 times. He’s a boulder of a back with plus vision and shiftiness. Instead of giving defenses a change-of-pace back when Gibson needs a breather, Robinson will provide what will feel like relentless power for linebackers to deal with when clashing with the Commanders. 

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New York Giants

LB Micah McFadden
Drafted: No. 146, fifth round
Impressive stat to know: 15.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and three pass breakups at Indiana in 2021

McFadden’s film was a joy to study. He moves quickly and effortlessly in any direction, thereby making him a stud in coverage, particularly underneath. He reads and reacts to the offense’s collective movements as fast as any linebacker in the class, and while not blessed with freaky athleticism, McFadden rarely looks slow. 

The Giants have needed quality linebacker play for some time now, and McFadden has “outplay his draft position” written all over him. 

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

WR Samori Toure
Drafted: No. 258, seventh round
Impressive stat to know: Averaged 19.5 yards per catch on 48 receptions at Nebraska in 2021

I had three receivers to choose from and went with the seventh-rounder who began his career at Montana. In his lone season at Nebraska, Toure was a problem. Didn’t matter the setting, opponent or the coverage. He even was the most impressive wideout at the East-West Shrine Game. 

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The Packers have 43.5% of their targets available from 2021 and doesn’t it feel like they’re always plucking receivers from obscurity? Jeff Janis, Geronimo Allison, Jake Kumerow, heck, even Allen Lazard was an undrafted free agent. Toure is a big play waiting to happen thanks to deceptive burst and long speed, and he has reliable hands — even through contact — Aaron Rodgers is going to adore. 

Minnesota Vikings

CB Andrew Booth Jr.
Drafted: No. 42, second round
Impressive stat to know: Five interceptions and nine pass breakups in his last 21 games at Clemson

Booth was a first-round talent all day. The vaunted injury red flag precipitated his plummet to the second round. What I kept going back to with Booth during the pre-draft process was this — he has the feet and suddenness of a slot corner and the disruptive length and acrobatic ball skills of a tall outside corner. 

Learning from Patrick Peterson will do wonders for any rough edges of Booth’s game. He’s going to be a stud, quickly, in Minnesota. 

Detroit Lions

EDGE Joshua Paschal
Drafted: No. 46, second round
Impressive stat to know: 15 tackles for loss at Kentucky in 2021

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I could’ve gone with linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, but I love Paschal’s presence on Detroit’s roster as the other edge rusher picked outside of Aidan Hutchinson, who’s going to attract all the eyeballs and offensive game plans during his rookie season. 

Paschal brings it too at nearly 6-3 and a well-built 268 pounds with a 38-inch vertical that illustrates how powerful and explosive his lower half is. On film, he plays with reckless abandon and has enough pass-rush moves to attack with a diverse arsenal. Paschal should see the field often on a Lions defense experiencing massive renovations and will make a mess of the opponent’s backfield relatively often. Like Hutchinson, he’s a three-down defensive end and he’s comfortable winning on the interior. 

Chicago Bears

OT Braxton Jones
Drafted: No. 168, fifth round
Impressive stat to know: Jones became a starter as a redshirt sophomore and started four games at left tackle during his redshirt junior season.

Jones and Larry Borom will duke it out for one of the starting tackle gigs in 2021, and what Borom has in experience, Jones has in flat-out athletic prowess. He’s long, powerful and extremely well-balanced in pass pro and when climbing to the second level on run plays. 

Based on his 2021 film at Southern Utah and what he demonstrated against high-caliber rushers at the Senior Bowl, I believe Jones can be the Bears’ franchise left tackle. He’s that impressive athletically and with his technique.  

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NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

EDGE Arnold Ebiketie
Drafted: No. 38, second round
Impressive stat to know: 42 pressures on 374 pass-rush snaps at Penn State in 2021

I don’t love that Ebiketie will be asked to be the primary outside rusher as a rookie. But his natural talent and all-around game made him worthy of this selection. The second-rounder from Penn State — by way of Temple — ticked all the boxes for me when evaluating edge rushers.

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He erupts off the snap, wins around the corner with speed, through the blocker with power, back to the inside with quickness, and his hands never stop moving. The Falcons may not be in many second-half situations in which Ebiketie can pin his ears back and rush, but I just adored him so much as a prospect I couldn’t keep him out of this article. 

Carolina Panthers

LB Brandon Smith
Drafted: No. 120, fourth round
Impressive stat to know: 81 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three interceptions and five pass breakups at Penn State in 2021

Smith was underwhelming at Penn State, given that he was the No. 1 linebacker recruit in the country in the 2019 high school class and that he’s nearly 6-4 and 250 pounds with 4.52 speed and a 38-inch vertical. 

Despite his slower-than-desired play-recognition skills, Smith’s traits jump off the tape, and the Panthers have a sizable hole at linebacker next to the much smaller Shaq Thompson. If Smith plays with less hesitation and tackles more efficiently, he can be a super-impactful rookie in Carolina. 

New Orleans Saints

DB Alontae Taylor
Drafted:
No. 49, second round
Impressive stat to know: Ran 4.36 in the 40-yard dash at 6-foot and 199 pounds at the combine

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Taylor was one of the older prospects in the 2022 draft, and he played like it. Incredibly knowledgeable on the field. And his standout trait is his explosiveness. He’s a rocket to the football and can hold his own at outside corner, in the slot when needed or at safety. 

Learning from the outstandingly versatile and pesky Chauncey Gardner-Johnson — who’s only a year older than Taylor — will be majorly beneficial for Taylor as a movable chess piece in New Orleans’ secondary.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RB Rachaad White
Drafted:
No. 91, third round
Impressive stat to know: His 40-yard dash, vertical, and broad jump were all above the 75th percentile at the RB position at the combine starting in 1999

There’s minimal competition for White as Leonard Fournette’s backup in Tampa Bay, and Tom Brady loves cycling through backs, especially those who are competent pass-rushers. And that’s precisely an area of strength for White. At Arizona State, he hauled in 43 receptions for 456 yards in 2021. 

At a thick 6-0 and 214 pounds, White is a smooth mover on the field, too, leading to quality elusiveness between the tackles. He’ll be a Brady favorite by November. 

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NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

WR Danny Gray
Drafted:
No. 105, third round
Impressive stat to know: Averaged 16.3 yards per reception at SMU in 2021

Kyle Shanahan is enamored with YAC-based skill-position players, and his offenses hum at an optimal rate when he has a genuine burner to not only hit the occasional big play but free space underneath. 

Shanahan got productive seasons out of Taylor GabrielMarquise Goodwin, and Travis Benjamin all of whom profile almost identically to the nearly 6-0, 186-pound Gray with 4.33 speed. With Deebo Samuel — who’s going to be back, right? — George KittleBrandon Aiyuk and Co., I’m not envisioning a monster rookie season from Gray. Just a fun collection of home runs from rocket-armed quarterback Trey Lance.  

Seattle Seahawks

EDGE Tyreke Smith
Drafted:
No. 158, fifth round
Impressive stat to know: Pass-rush win rate of 20.2% at Ohio State in 2021

Smith was one of the most NFL-ready rushers in the entire draft class. I really believe that. From his size, length, bend, and most importantly veteran-caliber collection of pass-rushing moves, he had no business being available in the fifth round. 

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Seattle selected Boye Mafe in Round 2, so he’ll likely be the first priority for offensive lines to game plan to stop, but Smith is ready to hit the ground running, particularly as a pass-rusher, and will. 

Arizona Cardinals 

EDGE Myjai Sanders
Drafted: No. 100, third round
Impressive stat to know: 62 pressures on 389 pass-rush snaps at Cincinnati in 2021

Sanders was arguably the most unique outside rusher in the 2022 class. He looks like a skinny tight end on the field but plays with the sheer force of a 275-pound defensive end with no pass-rush plans who only leans on his bull rush. Offensive tackles must not be deceived by the former Cincinnati star’s lanky frame. He’s keenly aware of how to utilize his hands to beat blockers, too, and never takes a play off. 

What else is good for Sanders — there’s a massive hole to fill after Chandler Jones left in free agency, and he’ll have a rookie running mate at edge rusher in Cam Thomas.  

Los Angeles Rams

OG Logan Bruss
Drafted:
No. 104, third round
Impressive stat to know: Allowed nine pressures — including no sacks — on 275 pass-blocking snaps at Wisconsin in 2021

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Bruss is not your classic Wisconsin offensive lineman, a heavy-footed power play whose eyes light up when a run play is called in the huddle but gets queasy when preparing for pass protection. Bruss does have the Wisconsin-branded run-blocking heartiness to his game but plays with dynamic athleticism to combat springy defensive tackles trying to force their way upfield. 

He’s an absolutely exquisite match for Sean McVay’s zone-blocking scheme, and he’s penciled in as the Rams’ starting right guard. 



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Watch Everton vs. Nottingham Forest: How to live stream, TV channel, Saturday’s Premier League start time

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The Premier League is back in action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Nottingham Forest @ Everton
  • Current Records: Nottingham Forest 1-1; Everton 0-2

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for 1 month with promo code ITALY.

What to Know

Everton will look to defend their home turf on Saturday against Nottingham Forest at 10 a.m. ET.

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This past Saturday, Everton fell a goal shy of Aston Villa, losing 2-1. That was Everton’s second consecutive one-goal defeat against Villa.

Speaking of close games: Nottingham Forest won by a goal, slipping past West Ham United 1-0. The Nottingham Forest offense checked out after the first half but had enough goals banked to take the contest anyway.

Nottingham Forest’s victory lifted them to 1-1 (10th place with three points) while Everton’s loss dropped them down to 0-2 (18th place with zero points). We’ll see if Nottingham Forest can repeat their recent success or if Everton bounces back and reverse their fortune.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  

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How To Watch

  • Who: Everton vs. Nottingham Forest
  • When: Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: Goodison Park
  • Online streaming: Peacock
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Everton -111; Draw +245; Forest +325

Featured Game | Everton vs. Nottingham Forest

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last six years.

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How to watch Fulham vs. Brentford: Premier League live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

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The Premier League returns to action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Brentford @ Fulham
  • Current Records: Brentford 1-0-1; Fulham 0-0-2

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for 1 month with promo code ITALY.

What to Know

Fulham will look to defend their home turf on Saturday against Brentford at 10 a.m. ET.

This past Saturday, Fulham and Wolverhampton tied 0-0, good for one point each.

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Meanwhile, Brentford got themselves on the board against Manchester United this past Saturday, but Man United never followed suit. Brentford took their game against the Red Devils by a conclusive 4-0 score. The Brentford offense checked out after the first half but had enough goals banked to take the match anyway.

After their draw, Fulham will be looking to earn the full three points in this match.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  

How To Watch

  • Who: Fulham vs. Brentford
  • When: Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: Craven Cottage
  • Online streaming: Peacock
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Fulham +145; Draw +240; Brentford +190

Featured Game | Fulham vs. Brentford

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‘Ticked off’ Yankees shut out again: ‘We need to play better’

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NEW YORK (AP) — Rather than break out, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees were shut out.

Again.

Kevin Gausman and the Toronto Blue Jays became the latest team to blank the Yankees, holding the AL East leaders to four measly singles Friday night in a 4-0 win

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The Yankees didn’t get a runner beyond second base as they lost for the 14th time in 18 games.

New York have been shut out three times in the last six games and five times in the last 13. Judge and his teammates were shut out just six times in their first 107 games.

“I feel like we’re pressing a little bit,” Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu said. “Ticked off, frustrated, all of it.”

New York saw its lead over second-place Toronto shrink to eight games, its smallest since June 13.

“We can talk about that — eight, nine, seven, 10 — we need to play better. If we play like this, it’s not going to matter anyway,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

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The Blue Jays won their third in a row. In that span, their starting pitchers have combined to allow only one earned run in 20 innings.

Gausman allowed four hits in seven innings, striking out seven with one walk. He pitched after Ross Stripling carried a perfect game into the seventh inning Wednesday and after Jose Berrios opened the Yankees series by giving up two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

“We say hitting is contagious, pitching can be, too,” interim manager John Schneider said. “You watch ‘Strip’ and you watch Jose and then Kevin’s about as good of a competitor as there is. So he kind of wanted to come out and kind of make a statement and keep the ball rolling.”

It was the third scoreless effort in four starts for Gausman (9-9), a span in which he has a 1.75 ERA.

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“Kind of sounds bad to say, but we’re always trying to pitch better than the guy the night before,” Gausman said.

The right-hander issued a one-out walk to Judge in the first and gave up a two-out single to Josh Donaldson before retiring 10 in a row.

Gausman induced Isiah Kiner-Falafa to hit into a double play in between fifth-inning singles by Gleyber Torres and Oswaldo Cabrera and struck out Donaldson to strand Anthony Rizzo following a two-out single in the sixth.

“At times when the offense is struggling, we have a lot of guys who can put runs on the board with one swing, so I think at times we can get a little — I feel like we need to play the hero a little bit too much,” Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said.

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Yimi Garcia threw a perfect eighth and Jordan Romano tossed a hitless ninth in a non-save situation.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had an RBI groundout in the third before Alejandro Kirk led off the fourth by singling against Jameson Taillon (11-4). Teoscar Hernandez followed with a long homer to left-center — the 14th surrendered in the last 11 starts by Taillon, who gave up just six homers in his first 12 starts.

Danny Jansen had a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Blue Jays, who have outscored the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles 19-3 over the last three games.

Taillon allowed six hits and walked none with five strikeouts over five-plus innings. He has a 5.35 ERA since carrying a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels on June 2.

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CABRERA’S BIG CATCH

Cabrera made an immediate impression in his first big league start in right field by leaping at the eight-foot wall and robbing Gurriel of a homer on the first pitch of the game by Taillon.

The rookie punctuated the catch by flexing and yelling before firing the ball back into the infield and exchanging an enthusiastic hand slap with Judge, the center fielder.

It was just the fourth professional start in right field for Cabrera, whose versatility — he is the first player in Yankees history to make his first three starts at three different positions, he started at third base and shortstop earlier this week — and energy has already impressed manager Aaron Boone.

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VLADDY 500

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who turned 23 on March 16, collected his 500th career hit by doubling to lead off the sixth. His Hall of Famer father had 305 hits prior to turning 24.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: OF/DH George Springer didn’t play after fouling a ball off his knee while going 5-for-5 in Thursday’s win. … LHP Tim Mayza (dislocated right shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Buffalo Saturday. He was injured Aug. 6 following a collision at home plate with the Minnesota Twins’ Nick Gordon.

Yankees: OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (left Achilles tendinitis) worked out prior to the game and is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset on Saturday. Boone said Stanton could return as the Yankees’ DH as soon as Wednesday. … RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) threw 30 pitches Thursday and is scheduled to throw again Saturday before throwing batting practice against Stanton on Tuesday.

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UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Mitch White (1-3, 3.72 ERA) will make his third start since being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (9-5, 3.30 ERA) is 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.

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