As we get closer to fantasy draft time and the start of the NFL preseason right around the corner, scoutPRO has been keeping up with the headlines pouring out of training camps around the league. Here are a few of the latest developments from camp:
One of the biggest storylines unfolding is franchise star RB Maurice Jones-Drew’s holdout and his absence in Jacksonville. There hasn’t been a whole lot of conversation between Jones-Drew and the Jaguars, but with two years still left on his contract, he is facing big fines for not appearing at camp. He hasn’t even met new head coach Mike Mularkey yet! The whole scenario doesn’t bode well for Jones-Drew’s game this upcoming season. After Chris Johnson held out during Titans camp last year, his numbers experienced a big drop-off, and he poisoned the locker room in the process.
The Rams are ready to rise:
New head coach Jeff Fisher’s presence in St. Louis is giving the Rams plenty of confidence heading into the 2012 schedule. Spectators at camp have been treated to a reenergized team, and one that seems more convinced of the team’s talents. Once Fisher solidifies the offensive line and the team adds one or two more experienced weapons on the perimeter, Sam Bradford has the potential to develop into one of the game’s top flight quarterbacks. The 2010 No. 1 pick has a great skill set and more athleticism than many realize. Steven Jackson is getting older in the St. Louis backfield, but has managed to run for more than 1,000 yards in seven consecutive seasons – nothing to scoff at. Consider a look at the Rams role players in this year’s fantasy draft.
Running backs emerge from the pack:
A pair of young RBs have used this training camp as their opportunities to take over their squads’ primary ball handling duties in 2012. In Tampa Bay, rookie Doug Martin has blown away LeGarrette Blount at camp, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He has been touted as quick, decisive, and capable of kicking it into high gear in his reps so far. Look for him to get the majority of the workload this season. Stevan Ridley, the Patriots’ 73rd overall pick in the 2011 draft, has taken the clear lead as the starter at camp in New England. The Pats let BenJarvus Green-Ellis go in free agency, and Ridley’s apparent rise is proof that the team was comfortable with letting the former starter go. New England’s offense is obviously based in the air, but owners in deeper leagues may look for Ridley to make a contribution.