10 local storylines to follow in this year’s NFL training camps

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Date sent: 2017/07/22 08:40:45
Each year, training camp and preseason play <a href=""></a> are proving grounds for thousands of young NFL players trying to earn more playing time and a tune-up for veterans looking to build on their careers.
This year, 93 players with Utah ties will be headed to NFL training camps over the next several days. From veterans to rookies alike, there is something to prove.
While the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys kick off their training camps this weekend — the two teams play in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3 — the bulk of teams will have their veterans report between July 25 and July 29, signaling the start of training camps league-wide.
Here’s a look at 10 local storylines to follow with NFL training camps set to kick off.
Will Mays, Williams break into the RB rotation in Green Bay?
One of the more interesting running back battles to watch in this year’s NFL training camps will take place in Green Bay and include BYU’s all-time leading rusher, Jamaal Williams, and former Utah State bruiser Devante Mays.
The Packers already have stated Ty Montgomery is the starter at running back, but for Williams and Mays, there will be a chance to prove they deserve playing time, whether as a third-down back, in passing situations or simply spelling Montgomery.
Of the six backs on the Packers’ roster, five are rookies, including three 2017 draft picks: Williams (fourth round), UTEP’s Aaron Jones (fifth) and Mays (seventh). Green Bay also has experienced fullback Aaron Ripkowski on its roster. This should lend itself to a highly entertaining battle for roster spots throughout camp and in preseason play.
"You’ve been dreaming about it for so long and now you finally make it, now you’ve got to keep going forward. Just have fun, work hard and <a href=""></a> hopefully you get the milestones," Williams told the La Crosse Tribune.
Will Utah’s rookie linemen be starting Year 1?
The Utes had a program-high eight players taken in this year’s NFL draft, and four of those were offensive linemen. Most if not all of them could be in line for playing time as a rookie.
The biggest name among them is Garett Bolles, the first-round pick by the Denver Broncos. He’s already received first-team reps at left tackle, according to the Denver Post, and could be a Day 1 starter in the league. “He’s made a lot of progress. It’s a tough spot to play as a rookie, and it takes a lot of football IQ to play that spot in the NFL," Broncos coach Vance Joseph told the Post.
Isaac Asiata, a fifth-round selection by Miami, is also in contention for early playing time at guard for the Dolphins. USA Today’s Draftwire listed Asiata as the team’s surprise rookie starter at left guard.
Center J.J. Dielman, a fifth-round selection by the Cincinnati Bengals, and tackle Sam Tevi, a six-round pick by the Los Angeles Chargers, will also be looking to make strong impressions in training camp.
Will an undrafted player make the 53-man roster?
There are 25 local rookies who signed as undrafted free agents this offseason and are currently on an NFL roster. That is a higher number than normal — 12 higher than last year — giving plenty of first-year locals a chance to earn a spot either on the 53-man roster or a practice squad. That also likely means there will be more guys hearing their names during final cuts before the regular season.
Among the intriguing options this year to go from undrafted to the 53-man roster are New England linebacker Harvey Langi (BYU, Bingham High), Cleveland safety Kai Nacua (BYU), Jacksonville defensive end Hunter Dimick (Utah, Syracuse High), Detroit safety Josh Thornton (Southern Utah) and Arizona linebacker Tre'von Johnson (Weber State, Hunter High), among others.
One particular storyline worth following is that <a href="">Jaelen Strong Authentic Jersey</a> of former BYU cornerback Michael Davis, who signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Los Angeles Chargers and earned first-team reps in organized team activities, in part due to injuries and opportunities opening up, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I think training camp will be big, just to see how far he comes with it,” Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley told the Times.
Which locals could take on more prominent roles this year?

Date sent: 2017/12/04 03:18:35
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