The NFL’s 2023 training camp is buzzing with electric performances, fresh talent, and seasoned pros showcasing their prowess. As we approach another thrilling season, it’s essential to keep a keen eye on standout players from all 32 teams, some of whom might emerge as game-changers. From rookies setting their first mark to seasoned veterans proving their mettle, we’ve dived deep to spotlight a key player from each franchise.
Arizona Cardinals – Rondale Moore (WR)
Moore’s inaugural year with the Cardinals was admirable, especially in an offense that brimmed with talent. Following the Cardinals’ decision to part with Christian Kirk and DeAndre Hopkins‘ suspension, Moore seems primed for an expanded role. The training camp has had him at the center stage, with many anticipating a standout sophomore season.
Atlanta Falcons – Bijan Robinson (RB/WR/KR/PR)
Selected 8th overall by the Falcons, Robinson is already exhibiting game-altering promise. His diverse skill set has been fully on display during the training camp, with Robinson being deployed in a plethora of roles. Comparisons to the Giants’ Saquon Barkley have been made, and head coach Arthur Smith has been effusive in his praise.
Baltimore Ravens – Isaiah Likely (TE)
Given the importance the Ravens attach to their tight ends, Likely’s rise has caught many an eye. Drafted in the fourth round, he’s consistently shone during training camp, with accolades pouring in from the likes of Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews.
Buffalo Bills – Gregory Rousseau (DE)
Rousseau’s maiden year was steady, appearing in every game and registering four sacks. With the signing of pass-rushing icon Von Miller, Rousseau is primed to learn from the best and elevate his game further. The Bills need pass rush and Rousseau will need to lead the charge.
Carolina Panthers – Ian Thomas (TE)
The tight end scenario in Carolina has been interesting, to say the least. Thomas, though a reliable blocker, has seen his role in the aerial attack dwindle. With the team investing in players like Tommy Tremble and Hayden Hurst, Thomas’s role in 2023 remains shrouded in ambiguity.
Chicago Bears – Velus Jones Jr. (WR)
Cincinnati Bengals – DJ Turner (CB)
While not the most hyped pick of their draft class, Turner has emerged as a standout in Bengals’ training camp. With elite speed and leaping ability, he’s made himself an adversary for quarterbacks, with Trevor Siemian even advising a halt on throwing in his direction.
Cleveland Browns – Austin Watkins (WR)
Watkins’ path to the NFL wasn’t conventional, but he’s making waves in the Browns’ training camp. Having played in both the USFL and CFL, Watkins is now gunning for a spot on the Browns’ final roster.
Dallas Cowboys – Mazi Smith (DT)
The Cowboys have added firepower to their defense in the form of first-rounder Mazi Smith. His physicality is palpable, and coupled with other defensive stalwarts, Dallas looks poised for a formidable defensive year.
Denver Broncos – Javonte Williams (RB)
Williams is coming off of a season-ending injury, but this offense needs to be out there and and up to his old self.
Detroit Lions – Alim McNeill (DT)
McNeill’s transformation in the offseason points towards a pivotal year ahead. Having switched to the 3-tech position in 2022, his third year in the league could see him emerge as a disruptive presence. The Lions defensive line is expected to be one of the best in the league and McNeill may be a dark horse to watch for.
Green Bay Packers – Jordan Love (QB)
Is there any question who the player to watch could be? The Packers need Love to show at least some glimpses as someone who should be built around. This is a division that is very much up for grabs.
Houston Texans – Brevin Jordan (TE)
Houston’s rebuilding process has spotlighted numerous young talents, and Brevin Jordan is among the ones to watch. His rookie season hinted at his potential, with glimpses of athleticism and ball skills. During the training camp, Jordan’s improved route-running and blocking have caught the eye. If the Texans aim for a resurgence, Jordan will be an integral weapon.
Indianapolis Colts – Dayo Odeyingbo (DE)
Odeyingbo’s selection was a gamble, considering he was recovering from an Achilles injury. But as training camp has revealed, the gamble seems to be paying off. The edge rusher has been explosive off the line, showcasing a mix of speed and power. As he pairs with DeForest Buckner, the Colts’ pass rush could be a nightmare for rival QBs.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Walker Little (OT)
Protection for Trevor Lawrence is paramount, and Walker Little is a crucial piece of that puzzle for the Jaguars. Initially facing skepticism due to his long layoff from football, Little’s training camp performances have silenced many doubters. Demonstrating nimble footwork and robust strength, he’s set to be a cornerstone on the Jags’ O-line.
Kansas City Chiefs – Creed Humphrey (C)
Maintaining an elite offense requires continued evolution, and Humphrey’s introduction has been a part of that. His rookie and sophomore seasons were solid, and training camp has highlighted his continued growth. As the Chiefs chase another Super Bowl run, expect Humphrey to be pivotal in the trenches.
Las Vegas Raiders – Chandler Jones (DE)
For the Raiders, generating a consistent pass rush has been a challenge. Maxx Crosby is one of the best edge rushers in the league and they drafted Tyree Wilson, but Jones back to his old self would make this the best edge rushing defensive line in the league.
Los Angeles Chargers – Asante Samuel Jr. (CB)
Cornerbacks often face the league’s toughest assignments, and Asante Samuel Jr. is no exception. Building on a promising rookie campaign, Samuel has been a star during training camp. His coverage skills, combined with a high football IQ inherited from his Pro-Bowl father, makes him a key player in the Chargers’ secondary.
Los Angeles Rams – Matt Stafford (QB)
Does Stafford have anything left in his arm for the Rams? He hasn’t looked good since the Super Bowl win, but the Rams can’t afford to just eat his contract at this point at they haven’t secured any other option at QB than him.
Miami Dolphins – Jaelan Phillips (DE)
The Dolphins’ defense is brimming with young talent, and Phillips stands out. His rookie year showcased raw talent, and this year’s training camp indicates refinement. With enhanced pass-rushing moves and a relentless motor, Phillips could be Miami’s next defensive star.
Minnesota Vikings – Kellen Mond (QB)
With Kirk Cousins‘ future uncertain with the Vikings, all eyes are on Kellen Mond. The young QB has shown considerable progress in training camp, displaying a better grasp of the playbook and a more consistent throwing motion. While Cousins remains the starter, Mond’s development is a subplot worth monitoring closely. Even though he shouldn’t be hitting the field at all, he needs to step in pre-season and practice to prove that he’s a capable backup.
New England Patriots – Christian Barmore (DT)
Barmore’s addition has reinforced the Patriots‘ D-line. After an impressive rookie campaign, training camp has spotlighted his continued growth. With his ability to disrupt both the pass and run game, Barmore is set to be a cornerstone of Belichick’s defense.
New Orleans Saints – Michael Thomas (WR)
Does Michael Thomas have anything left for the Saints? How will he manage a new offense with a new QB? It seems like this may be his last chance and cannot afford an injury-riddled season.
New York Giants – Darius Slayton (WR)
Slayton’s dynamic playing style remains one of the Giants’ bright spots. Teammates and reports are raving about his performance in training camp thus far. He looks to be the field stretcher and big play receiver heading into the 2023 season.
New York Jets – Corey Davis (WR)
Davis, with his combination of speed and agility, is poised to be a significant part of the Jets’ aerial attack. The Jets had every reason this his offseason and would’ve saved $10M, but they didn’t. They must have plans for him in this new offense with Aaron Rodgers.
Philadelphia Eagles – D’Andre Swift (RB)
Pittsburgh Steelers – Pat Freiermuth (TE)
Since Freiermuth’s rookie season cemented his reputation as a reliable pass catcher. With the Steelers transitioning to a new era post-Big Ben, this year’s training camp has highlighted Freiermuth’s enhanced role in the offense. His size, catching ability, and improved blocking make him a dual-threat TE, perfect for the Steelers’ evolving offensive scheme.
San Francisco 49ers – Sam Darnold (QB)
With the 49ers’ QB situation in disarray, Darnold’s role to play is something to keep an eye on. Trey Lance has allegedly been struggling and Brock Purdy is still recovering from his elbow injury. Could Darnold finally be in a spot for him to succeed?
Seattle Seahawks – Jamal Adams (S)
Jamal Adams is coming off of a season-ending injury. So far it looks like the Seahawks were undisputed losers in that trade. Adams was a game-wrecker early on in Seattle, but the team changed they way they used him since then. He needs to roam free and be used as a pass rusher.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (EDGE)
Maintaining a dominant defense is crucial for the Buccaneers. Tryon-Shoyinka, with his blend of speed and power, could be the next great Bucs pass rusher. This year’s training camp has displayed a more refined edge defender, but he needs to step up and become a legit pass rusher with double-digit sacks.
Tennessee Titans – Treylon Burks (WR)
Washington Football Team – Chase Young (Edge)
Washington’s defense remains one of the league’s best, and Chase Young was thought to be the cornerstone of that unit. Instead he’s been hurt and he sack numbers were never really there. The team declined to pick up his 5th year option. How will he recover and will he make Washington pay for not picking up that option?