Sunday 17 December 2017 / 05:55 AM

Rookies That Should Shine

Less than a month away from preseason, it’s time to get pumped up for NFL football!

Rookies are beginning to feel the nerves of being a professional football player. Some will shine and others will fade into the darkness.

Here are five that will shine bright.

Manti Te’o, LB, San Diego Chargers

Ok so maybe Manti Te’o is completely oblivious off the field. That’s fine. To me, it’s all about what he can do ON the field.

Can he be a fierce tackler in the middle of a defense? Can he read NFL offenses? Can he be a leader of his crew?

I think so. He had one bad game last season and it just happened to be against Alabama in the BCS Championship game.

Aside from that, nobody in college football was a better prospect pre-issues with his “fake” girlfriend.

San Diego will have a solid defense this season and Te’o will play a huge role.

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

I’m always high on running backs that are big, physical, play in a tough conference and do well at the collegiate level.

Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell fits that mold to a tee.

Bell was a workhorse in 2012 rushing the ball 382 times for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns. He brings a physical presence to the Steelers’ backfield to go along with character, something the Steelers have been missing recently.

Good fit and solid rookie campaign.

Chance Warmack, OG, Tennessee Titans

Offensive linemen don’t get much of any credit at all, but they are invaluable to winning football teams. Chance Warmack will make an immediate impact with the Tennessee Titans because he will play a ton in his rookie season.

Warmack is a fierce run blocker. Tennessee rides with Chris Johnson and the rushing attack that is right in the wheelhouse of Warmack.

You might not hear much from him in the media, but expect Warmack to be a staple in the offensive line in Tennessee during his rookie season.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

With Andre Johnson at the No. 1 wide receiver position, DeAndre Hopkins comes to Houston with the responsibility of being a No. 2 receiver; having not to worry about being the main man.

Johnson will eat up safety coverage, take on double teams and create space for Hopkins to do what he does best and that’s making plays on the perimeter.

Hopkins caught 18 touchdowns last season at Clemson proving the explosiveness he carries. We’ll see it in his first season.

Kenny Vaccaro, S, New Orleans Saints

Speed, coverage skills and size – Kenny Vaccaro has all the tools of becoming a prime time performer in his first season

His size and power combines with his ability to tackle effectively. His coverage skills and speed will allow him to be a great cover safety in the league, and he’ll make an impact with his ball skills, too.

Vaccaro will be very active in his first season in New Orleans.

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Justin Welton

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