Reporters covering every NFC camp and every practice for The Sports Xchange each selected a Player to Watch. They are presented here as fans prepare to take a look for themselves at this week's games.
Wide receiver Chris Hubert: An undrafted rookie free agent out of tiny Fayetteville State, the even tinier Hubert caught a break when his father, a former equipment manager at North Carolina State, convinced alum Steve Keim, the Cardinals' general manager, to take a look at his son while Keim and area scout John Rich were working out players this past spring in Raleigh. Hubert opened their eyes during a later tryout in Arizona and won Keim and the coaches over. "So far in camp they can't cover him," Keim said. The 5-foot-9 Hubert would have to beat out a handful of other receivers, namely Brittan Golden, and excel in special teams to have a shot at making the team as the sixth wideout.
Cornerback C.J. Goodwin: Goodwin, a former receiver turned cornerback, is making plenty of noise in training camp. With Desmond Trufant held out of Friday night's practice at Grayson High School because of a hip injury, Goodwin manned the starting job at left cornerback. Goodwin spent 2014 as a receiver on Pittsburgh's practice squad and joined Atlanta's practice squad last November. Last year in practice, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn wanted to see what would happen if he lined up Goodwin at cornerback a few times opposite All-Pro receiver Julio Jones. Goodwin made enough plays on the ball for Quinn to move him to defense earlier this year. On Tuesday in practice, he snatched a ball away from receiver Eric Weems on a contested deep pass. "We know Goodwin has the ball skills," Quinn said. "We're anxious to see him this preseason."
Wide receiver Damiere Byrd: This spring, when receivers coach Ricky Proehl predicted Byrd would "be a force to be reckoned with," many figured it was just coach-speak. It wasn't. After a solid spring, Byrd has been one of the most dynamic players at Carolina's training camp. The 5-foot-9 speedster spent all of last season on the practice squad, and now he is making a real push for a roster spot.
Safety Deon Bush: The fourth-round draft pick has impressed coaches with better range than anyone expected. What Bush was really known for in college is an ability to hit, but he obviously doesn't get to show that in scrimmage at practice. He did put receiver Cameron Meredith down to the ground with one hit for an incompletion, but this will be his first real chance in live fire to show his abilities. The staff and personnel decided after OTAs that they liked Bush enough that they could dispatch Omar Bolden, who signed in free agency. With a good game, Bush might even be able to establish himself as a threat to Harold Jones-Quartey's starting job or even to Bryce Callahan at nickel corner.
--Wide receiver Andy Jones: An undrafted free agent from tiny Jacksonville University, Jones has been the most impressive receiver in camp not named Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Brice Butler. And it might be a tie with Brice Butler. Jones played at a school that doesn't give away scholarships. Now he is almost a lock to make the roster if he continues to show up and stand out in preseason games as he has done in practice. The Cowboys already know he will not get to the practice squad. They can't stash him.
Wide receiver Jay Lee: When the Lions signed Anquan Boldin to a one-year contract before the start of training camp, it seemed like Lee, an undrafted free agent out of Baylor, was destined for the practice squad. That still may be his eventual landing spot, but not quite three weeks into camp, Lee has made a compelling case for a job as the Lions' No. 5 receiver. He shined in the team's mock game, catching a touchdown pass among a half dozen or so receptions, and has become a favorite target of backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky because of his combination of size (6-foot-2, 211) and speed. Both TJ Jones and Andre Caldwell have been nursing injuries of late, so Lee, one of the Lions' few true deep threats, should get plenty of snaps Friday against the Steelers.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Inside linebacker Blake Martinez: One hundred thirty players were selected ahead of Martinez in this year's draft. Not many of them, however, will be in the esteemed position Martinez could have in about a month when the Packers open the season at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11. The fourth-round draft pick from Stanford drew rave reviews from coaches shortly after arriving in Green Bay in May and hasn't disappointed. He's been a staple in the middle of the Packers' first-string defense since the spring workouts and looks to be a natural fit with the pads on early in training camp. A hard-working and savvy Martinez will have his belated first NFL preseason game (following the cancellation of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night) to show he is a rookie keeper in the starting lineup when the Packers host the Cleveland Browns on Friday.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Tight end Tyler Higbee: A rookie from Western Kentucky, Higbee has been making plays all camp and now hopes to translate practice success into games. The 6-foot-5 Higbee is getting snaps with the first team and has shown an ability to get open and hold onto the ball - a component the Rams have missed from their tight ends over the years. If his skill-set can carry over to preseason games, he has a chance to make a case for immediate playing time as a rookie.
MINNESOTA VIKINGSWide receiver Moritz Bohringer: The 22-year-old rookie became a national story on draft day when the Vikings used a sixth-round pick to make Bohringer the first European-born player to be drafted with no college football experience.
Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) May 11, 2016The Aalen, Germany, native figures to get a lot of playing time on Friday in the Vikings' preseason opener vs. Cincinnati. Unfortunately for him, most of it could come alongside Joel Stave, an undrafted rookie quarterback who struggled throughout camp. Bohringer became interested in American football five years ago when he saw YouTube clips of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. His only experience is three years in the German leagues, but he has flashed some speed, athleticism, strength and soft hands to go along with his 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame. Watching him against live NFL game competition, even against fellow third-stringers, will be one of the reasons to keep watching late into the game.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Wide receiver Tommylee Lewis: An undrafted free agent from Northern Illinois, the 5-foot-7, 168-pound dynamo started turning heads in OTAs and the full-squad minicamp and hasn't slowed down in the first two weeks of training camp. Lewis faces long odds with the top four roster spots at the position likely set with Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, Michael Thomas and Brandon Coleman. But Lewis made a big move to perhaps nail down the fifth spot last Thursday when he scored on a jet-sweep in the red zone before latching onto a long TD pass from Garrett Grayson. Lewis, who has been playing as a gunner on special teams, will likely get a chance to return kicks in the preseason opener at New England -- which, if successful, could help him make a move on incumbent return man Marcus Murphy in his bid to earn a roster spot.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Running back Paul Perkins: The rookie fifth-round pick out of UCLA missed most of the spring OTAs, but you wouldn't know it watching him on the field these days. Perkins is speedy and shifty, and has shown some home-run potential with some of his outside runs. While he will probably be the bottom man on the totem pole this year once the coaches sort out the depth ahead of him, Perkins could be contributing to the Giants' running game a lot sooner than anyone anticipated, particularly if the running game gets off to a slow start this season.
Cornerback Jalen Mills: Mills, a rookie seventh-rounder, has had an excellent camp so far and already has moved ahead of 2015 second-round pick Eric Rowe, who started the final five games last season.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Defensive back Rashard Robinson: The fourth-round pick will play in his first game since Oct. 25, 2014 when the 49ers open the preseason Sunday against Houston. Robinson, a freshman startER at LSU in 2013, was suspended for the final four games of 2014, before getting kicked off the team prior to the start of last season. The 49ers nonetheless took a flyer on the talented defender with the No. 133 pick in April, and he's been impressive early in training camp.
Defensive tackle Brandin Bryant: An undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic, Bryant has quickly made himself a contender for a roster spot. He was initially signed as a fullback and defensive tackle as the team was uncertain about his best fit. However, Bryant handled defensive tackle so well the team abandoned the fullback idea altogether. Bryant has been working with the second-team defense for the majority of camp and appears to be the favorite to win the backup job at three-technique tackle. His speed and strength play well as an interior pass rusher.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Wide receiver Jonathan Krause: The former Vanderbilt receiver spent time on the practice squads of the Browns and Patriots before finally seeing action in two games last season with the Eagles. Krause picked up the playbook in a hurry and has a chance to earn a spot on a thin receiving corps that is looking for a fourth and fifth receiver.
Cornerback Dashaun Phillips: The nickel back worked with the starters throughout OTAs and minicamp, but now is locked in a heated battle with third-round draft pick Kendall Fuller for this spot. It's possible Washington will keep as many as six corners so Phillips is a good bet to make the final roster. But he and Fuller have traded reps for much of camp with the first-team defense. An undrafted free agent from Tarleton State in 2015, Phillips landed on Washington's practice squad last year and eventually appeared in six games.