Greatest Contrast Creators from Nfl Preseason

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Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason is in the books, and we learned a little more about everyone at the beginning of the regular season. Sure, it’s a largely meaningless exercise that shouldn’t be overstated, but we saw some standout performances that could signal deep regular-season success.

That’s really what everyone should look at here. Don’t worry about whether newbies succeed or fail, or who really wins. Pay attention to the guys who show skills that could indicate the success of the regular season or which team is winning the depth action. That’s where pre-season can help.

No. 1: KaVontae Turpin, WR/ST — Dallas Cowboys
If you want impact, look no further than KaVontae Turpin. The Cowboys rookie was absolutely brilliant on special teams this week. He pulled off the ridiculously rare double of a punt and a punt return for a touchdown, and they weren’t short returns either. He went from the deep and carried him to the house.

When you consider that most teams play their special teams units as usual in the preseason, this could really highlight something special coming from the pike.

No. 2: Kenny Pickett, QB – Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s less about the raw numbers (which were great) and more about the impact of Kenny Pickett playing excellently in two consecutive weeks. The rookie showed poise in the pocket, ability to lead the team, and this week he was asked to do a little more with his arm.

There is a legitimate discussion about whether Pickett could become the Week 1 starter now, which seemed impossible before training camp. I still don’t know if the Steelers will pitch him to the Wolves this way, but as it stands, Pickett seems like the best quarterback Pittsburgh has on its roster.

No. 3: Alex Bachman, WR-New York Giants
If you want a feel-good story this week: here it is. Bachman is a small, deep receiver who was an afterthought on the Giants’ depth chart. Now he could consolidate himself as part of the 53-man roster thanks to this week, as well as his skills on special teams.

A big part of Bachman’s day was clicking with third-string quarterback Davis Webb, who targeted the receiver all day. However, he continued to produce results, so there is no harm, there is no foul. Bachman’s 11 receptions were the most he’s ever had in a game (including college) and he shone with flashy numbers like the ones above, but also when he made a critical special teams tackle.

This was a great day for the 26-year-old, and he will be a player to be reckoned with.

No. 4: T. Y. McGill, DT- Minnesota Vikings
McGill has been all over the NFL since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2015. The Vikings are now his ninth stop since entering the league and he’s been desperate to stick with a roster.

The Vikings already have a solid defensive line, but McGill has been a standout player this preseason. However, against the 49ers he really took over, showing the ability to eat space and get penetration. These are all things the Vikings desperately need, and I think we could see him become a force for the team.

No. 5: Isaiah Likely, TE – Baltimore Ravens
Who needs receivers when you have tight ends? Mark Andrews is already one of Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets, and he is destined to join rookie Isaiah Likely, who had a great game against the Cardinals and showed an incredible ability to pick up yards after the reception.

This could be big. Andrews will command double teams this season as one of the best TEs in the NFL, and the appearance of Likely will add a wrinkle to Baltimore’s offense that will be very difficult to defend.

It’s a little early to get too excited, but this could be a great year for Lamar Jackson thanks to these two.

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