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2014 NFL OTAs: 15 Rookies Who Are Making Instant Impacts

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2014 NFL OTAs: 15 Rookies Who Are Making Instant Impacts

2014 NFL draft, Roger Goodell
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For rookies looking to prove their worth to NFL teams, there are few better places to shine than at OTAs. At OTAs, rookies in particular are under stress to shine in order to prove they deserve a shot at the next level. With that said, here are 15 rookies who are making a splash so far at OTAs.

15. John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

WR John Brown, Arizona Cardinals
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15. John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

WR John Brown, Arizona Cardinals
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Widely considered to be a reach for the Cardinals in the third round of last month’s NFL Draft, John Brown is already proving his doubters wrong. Brown has picked up the Cardinals’ playbook quickly, and he appears primed to enjoy a solid rookie season.

14. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Baltimore Ravens

DT Timmy Jernigan, Baltimore Ravens
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14. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Baltimore Ravens

DT Timmy Jernigan, Baltimore Ravens
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A projected first-rounder in the 2014 draft, Timmy Jernigan slid into the second-round where he was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in a move that now looks like a steal. Jernigan has apparently been absolutely dominating at OTAs so far, and he figures to be an immediate starter.

13. Kony Ealy, DE, Carolina Panthers

DE Kony Ealy, Carolina Panthers
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13. Kony Ealy, DE, Carolina Panthers

DE Kony Ealy, Carolina Panthers
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Despite having Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy on the roster, the Carolina Panthers spent a second-round pick on defensive end Kony Ealy. That said, Ealy appears to be rewarding the Panthers’ confidence in him so far. Ealy has adjusted quickly to life in the NFL, and his raw tools are just too good to think he won't make an impact.

12. Russell Bodine, C, Cincinnati Bengals

C Russell Bodine, Cincinnati Bengals
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12. Russell Bodine, C, Cincinnati Bengals

C Russell Bodine, Cincinnati Bengals
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With Mike Pollack battling injuries, Russell Bodine has gotten a shot to show what he can do for the Bengals, and it’s been impressive. Bodine has displayed the toughness and physicality that made him one of the best centers in college football, and it appears likely he could be the Bengals’ opening day starter.

11. Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
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11. Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Although Blake Bortles is still nowhere near being ready to start for the Jacksonville Jaguars, he has made steady progress at OTAs. Bortles has a ton of natural talent, and his performance so far has been admirable.

10. Dee Ford, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs

OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
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10. Dee Ford, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs

OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
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With Justin Houston absent from OTAs, Dee Ford has had an opportunity to show off his skills -- and so far so good for the young pass-rusher. Ford has explosive athleticism and is impressing everyone with his play so far.

9. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

WR Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins
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9. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

WR Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins
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Despite not being as highly-rated as LSU teammate and fellow receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry has been great at Dolphins practices so far. Landry is reportedly catching everything thrown his way and looks to be developing a nice rapport with QB Ryan Tannehill.

8. Ryan Shazier, ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers

ILB Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers
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8. Ryan Shazier, ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers

ILB Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers
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With his play so far, Ryan Shazier is looking to become the first rookie linebacker to be in Pittsburgh’s Week 1 starting lineup since Kendrell Bell back in 2001. Apparently, Shazier has been making plays all over the field so far, and there’s no doubting he has the physical tools to be a special player.

7. Zach Mettenberger, QB, Tennessee Titans

QB Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans
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7. Zach Mettenberger, QB, Tennessee Titans

QB Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans
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Once thought to be a first-round prospect, Zach Mettenberger fell to the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round due to injury concerns. That said, Mettenberger has apparently had a great performance so far and is shaping up as the Titans’ best backup QB behind Jake Locker. With his play so far, Mettenberger is showing he is ready for the next level.

6. Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns

RB Terrance West, Townson
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6. Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns

RB Terrance West, Townson
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Despite the fact that the Browns signed Ben Tate to be the starting running back, there’s no guarantee that Tate will be the team's’ starter come Week 1. This is mainly due to the play of Terrance West so far in OTAs. West has been every bit as good as Tate, and at the very least, West looks like a great situational back.

5. Tom Savage, QB, Houston Texans

QB Tom Savage, Houston Texans
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5. Tom Savage, QB, Houston Texans

QB Tom Savage, Houston Texans
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Selected in the fourth round by the Texans, Tom Savage was thought to be more of a long-term project than an immediate starter. And while it’s hard to believe Savage will start in his rookie season, there’s no doubt that his play so far has made things interesting in Houston.

4. Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

RB Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
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4. Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

RB Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
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The second running back selected in this year’s draft, Jeremy Hill could very well put BenJarvus Green-Ellis out of a job before long. Hill is a better athlete than Green-Ellis, and he has shown a lot of skill so far at Bengals’ OTAs.

3. Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

WR Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
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3. Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

WR Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
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With DeSean Jackson gone, the Philadelphia Eagles need someone to step up and fill the void -- and so far, Jordan Matthews is doing just that. Matthews has great route-running ability and speed, and it looks like he’s ready to contribute.

2. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
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2. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
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Although the Oakland Raiders brought in veteran QB Matt Schaub to fill the void at the quarterback position, it’s Derek Carr who has the inside track for the spot. Carr fell into the second round of the draft, but his play so far could make him a starter come Week 1.

1. Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

RB Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams
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1. Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

RB Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams
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Despite Zac Stacy’s presence on the roster, the St. Louis Rams spent a third-round selection on Tre Mason. And so far, Mason has proven that the Rams were right in selecting him. Mason has outplayed Stacy at OTAs, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the starting lineup come the regular season.