Always one of the most contested divisions in football, which NFL rookies could make early statements in the NFC East?
Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin – RG
Demarcus Lawrence hasn’t played any meaningful football for the Dallas Cowboys, but even if he had it’s not likely he would’ve outpaced Zack Martin as the most probable rookie starter. The Notre Dame product has looked the part of an NFL offensive lineman from the very beginning. He doesn’t stand out on tape, which is a good thing, and he plays with strength, toughness and an edge. All of these things will be a tremendous help to the offense in 2014 and beyond.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Matthews – WR
The top of the receiver depth chart may already be set for the Philadelphia Eagles, but that hasn’t stopped rookie Jordan Matthews from launching an all-out assault in preseason to crack the starting lineup. His size and hands have been on display early and often. So much in fact that he’s the 4th leading receiver in the entire league through three weeks of preseason action. The team loves him and what he brings to the table. If anybody gets the nod for opening day, it will be him.
New York Giants: Weston Richburg – C
This may come as a slight surprise. Odell Beckham Jr. is the 1st round pick and expected to really help out what has been a struggling air attack for the New York Giants. However, his ongoing hamstring problem has hampered his progress. Meanwhile, Weston Richburg has quietly gone about his business at the center and guard positions where the competition is as wide open as it gets. Veteran J.D. Walton has held him off at center thus far but the margin is very slim and reportedly shrinking. The next two preseason weeks could mean the difference.
Washington Redskins: Morgan Moses – RT
Having not had a 1st round pick, it may prove difficult for any Washington Redskins rookie to get into the starting lineup early. The only one who has even a realistic shot is tackle Morgan Moses. With his chances on the left side zero behind Trent Williams, the rookie is getting an extended look at the right tackle position. There Tyler Polumbus and the other veterans have failed to make any sort of statement. Moses is big and strong, which will help with the run game but it’s his good feet for pass protection that the Redskins are hoping comes through.