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Best 2022 Training Camp Competitions

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/20/2022

We’re not just excited for NFL training camps to open because we love the game. We can’t wait for the new season to start. One of the best parts of July and August is watching the various position battles that take place around the league. 

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Quarterback 

Kenny Pickett vs. Mitchell Trubisky-Pittsburgh 

Quarterback Kenny Pickett is the betting favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, as per NFL odds in an open board. First things first, however. He has to beat out Mitchell Trubisky.

The Steelers spent a first-round pick on Pickett with the plan of having him start. However, Trubisky was the second overall pick in 2017, he’s only 27 and he has far more experience running an offense in the pros. 

Drew Lock vs. Geno Smith-Seattle 

Assuming the San Francisco 49ers don’t change course and trade Jimmy Garappolo to their division rivals or just release him, the competition to be the Seahawks’ starter is between 31-year old journeyman Geno Smith and former Denver Bronco Drew Lock

Smith has been in the system, and did play well in Russell Wilson’s absence last season. However, he’s just 13-21 all-time as a starter, a 34-touchdown-to-37-interception log. Lock is 25, 8-13 as a starter over three seasons (25 touchdowns and 20 interceptions). 

Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold-Carolina 

The betting odds strongly favor Baker Mayfield to begin the season as the starting quarterback in Carolina, but coach Matt Rhule insists that the Panthers’ competition is open.

Considering the team has very little invested in Mayfield (a conditional fourth- or fifth-round pick in 2024 and less than $5 million in salary), there may be some truth to it. Also, Sam Darnold is making $18.8 million, an awful lot for someone not starting. Add the pressure on the entire coaching staff and front office to actually win some games, and anything could happen. 

Running Back 

Devin Singletary vs. James Cook-Buffalo 

Josh Allen is going to take a lot of the rushing in Buffalo, but the first option other than Allen is going to be interesting. Devin Singletary was plenty efficient in 2021, 870 yards and 4.6 yards per carry. However, his receiving numbers were less stellar.

Enter rookie James Cook. He’s a younger brother of the Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook, praised by Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane for his run-after-catch abilities. Cook averaged 10.5 yards per reception and 6.4 yards per carry at Georgia last season. 

There will be a huge rise in value for the man moving to the top of the depth chart by the first week of the season. Buffalo is favored to win the title this season, per Super Bowl odds. 

Michael Carter vs. Breece Hall-New York Jets 

The Jets drafted Breece Hall to be an every-down back who’s a consistent threat on offense. They’re in love with him. They’re also infatuated with Michael Carter (4.3 yards per carry in ‘21).

As it stands at the moment, Hall and Carter are 1-2, in that order. However, the flashes that Carter exhibited last season (nine catches, 95 yards against the Bengals and 16 carries, 118 yards rushing against the Jaguars), he may well become Gang Green’s No 1a. 

Wide Receiver 

Christian Watson vs. Allen Lazard-Green Bay 

Best news in Green Bay is that Aaron Rodgers is still quarterback. The worst news is that the two receivers who figured to replace Davante Adams as Rodgers’ first option might not qualify.

Lazard, as the vet, gets the first crack at becoming the favorite target of Rodgers. Watson, out of North Dakota State, is quite big and quite fast. Even though he’s raw, he’s a freak of an athlete. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore-Kansas City 

Tyreek Hill was more of a unique weapon in Kansas City than Adams was in Green Bay, and thus replacing him will be a challenge. It won’t be for lack of potential candidates at Arrowhead.

So, the Chiefs have three main options in new additions JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore. Smith-Schuster has the best NFL track record of the trio,1,486 receiving yards in 2018. Moore, however, is as intriguing as anyone. Earning some high praise for his catch ability during contact, he had 1,292 receiving yards at Western Michigan last season. 

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