Pre- season week two: Things that caught my eye
As the the off season moves along players look to get into more of a groove and with the swing of thing’s. Top tier player’s also getting some of their first action as it’s an unnecessary risk to play them in the first week. Some players look to improve and or bounce back. Some are fighting to simply get noticed. I already had my predictions of players who I thought where players to watch, who could possibly be sleepers to make the roster, and this team is no stranger to that.
One of the most obvious stand out’s is Mike Williams, a former first round pick who hardly played last year due to injury. To say the least Williams looks nothing short of phenomenal as he has all training camp thus far. The potential is oozing to be the next great big bodied outside threat. Could he possibly be a speedier version of a Brandon Marshall in his prime? It seems to look like it thus far giving Phillip Rivers another big time threat that will get plenty of looks with the dangerous Keenan Allan on the opposite side. However my pre camp number one prediction for sleeper to make the roster was Artavis Scott who was a teammate of Williams at Clemson and a undrafted free agent last year who spent most his time on the practice squad. Through two weeks of pre-season Scott looks more like a lock rather than a sleeper at this point as he is now not just exceling at receiver but also returning kicks. Scott doesn’t have ideal size or straight away speed but these things tend to be over rated at times. He does more than make up for that with his amazing route running and quick twitch reaction instincts. I look for him to make it as the 5th wide out.
Second year corner Michael Davis looks flashy at times and yet vulnerable at other’s. This was apparent as after allowing a big completion down field that was also a botched interception by safety Jahleel Addae coming over in coverage the offense went right after Davis again on the next play allowing yet another completion. The defense ultimately forced a turnover on the goal line to save the drive. I’m not ready to say I’m concerned about Davis as there is still a few more weeks to get his rhythm. Not to mention last year Trevor Williams looked similar in his inconsistencies and yet turned out to be nothing short of great once the bell rung. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar situation play out here for the second year corner.
At the linebacker position’s I noticed that Kyle Emanuel is still the starting strong side backer. I’m not a big fan of this and hope second round pick out of USC Uchenna Nwosu either win’s the job and or gets more snap’s even if he comes off the bench. Nwosu has been playing more and the weak side as Bradley likes to blitz his linebackers more often from that side, yet Nwosu showed his great instincts and sideline to sideline speed to do either or.
On the offensive line I was very impressed with the development of Dan Feeney. The second year guard out of Indiana showed great awareness to be able to help with a inside gap chip block to instantly come off and pick up the opposite side blitz flawlessly. However the guard on the other side Michael Schofield I’m a bit concerned about as he seemed to get blown off the line and out powered more than a few times. Depending on how quickly Forrest Lamp can get back into full action and game shape after returning from a knee injury, the solution may be just a sideline away. Lamp was already medically cleared to begin practicing but he should be broken in slowly. Spencer Pulley who was the starting center all of last year could also be more serviceable then Schofield.
I would like to see undrafted quarterback Nic Shimonek get some playing time moving forward in order to give himself a chance to prove himself. He looked well worth a developmental project in his minimal playing time in week one and yet received zero playing time this week. I’m sure this is due to the fact that coach Lynn was just doing all he could in order to let Jones get something going as he rarely had good field position. None the less the team looked much improved from the previous week as this is really the main goal of every team week to week especially throughout the pre-season. Let’s hope to see this team keep the momentum going this week as the will have some joint practices with the New Orleans Saints.