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NFL Preseason Week 2: 5 Rookies to Watch

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NFL Preseason Week 2: 5 Rookies to Keep an Eye on

NFL Preseason 2014
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason is a time for rookies and backups to get valuable snaps and experience. This is why it's possibly the best time to evaluate them and see what exactly their role will be on the team. Waiting until the regular season to do so means you may miss out on a sleeper or two, which is why the following five rookies are guys you should keep an eye on in Week 2 of the 2014 preseason schedule.

5. Mike Evans, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

5. Mike Evans, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Evans has been facing questions and doubts since the pre-draft process began after bowl season. And now that he's dealing with a hamstring injury during camp and catching zero balls on two targets in his preseason debut, the former teammate of Manziel needs an impressive outing this Saturday if he wants to keep his spot as the team's No. 2 receiver opposite the equally tall and imposing Vincent Jackson.

4. Logan Thomas, QB Arizona Cardinals

Logan Thomas, QB Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Logan Thomas, QB Arizona Cardinals

Logan Thomas, QB Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Logan Thomas was seen as the ultimate project quarterback coming out of Virginia Tech. But after going 11-for-12 for 113 yards and a touchdown in his preseason debut, the 6-foot-6 rookie may be closer to playing than many expected. Thomas was going up against third-string defenders, but if he moves up on the depth chart this week and continues to play well, it could be a sign of things to come for the physically gifted but inconsistent Thomas.

3. Jordan Matthews, WR Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Matthews, WR Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jordan Matthews, WR Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Matthews, WR Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Matthews was targeted a total of seven times in his first preseason gam,e but he was only able to reel in four catches for a measly 14 yards against the Chicago Bears. Matthews was a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, and with a 6-foot-3 build, the tall and speedy receiver figures to play a big role in Chip Kelly's offense this season, meaning it's likely he continues to see plenty of action for the remainder of the preseason.

2. Johnny Manziel, QB Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel, QB Cleveland Browns
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2. Johnny Manziel, QB Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel, QB Cleveland Browns
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel will be in the spotlight on Monday evening as his Cleveland Browns take on Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins on ESPN. Manziel is reportedly getting closer to taking over the starting role from incumbent Brian Hoyer, and an impressive performance on Monday Night Football may just be the final straw before head coach Mike Pettine names him the team's starter going forward.

1. Brandin Cooks, WR New Orleans Saints

Brandin Cooks, WR New Orleans Saints
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

1. Brandin Cooks, WR New Orleans Saints

Brandin Cooks, WR New Orleans Saints
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Brandin Cooks was another rookie who saw plenty of action last week as the shifty slot receiver caught five passes for 55 yards and one touchdown. Given how often Drew Brees hits his check-down option or slings a quick pass to a shifty runner, Cooks has an opportunity to reel in over 80 balls this season. It all starts in the preseason, however, where he must prove worthy of those targets by breaking tackles and making defenders miss.

Nick Baker is a contributing writer for Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.