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10 NFL Rookies Who Shined During Preseason Week 2

10 Rookies Who Shined During the Second Week of the Preseason

Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings
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Another week of NFL preseason action is in the books, and another group of rookies has found its way into the spotlight. From unheralded quarterbacks to late-round offensive linemen, these rookies took the field this past weekend with chips on their shoulders and didn’t disappoint. It’s still early, and it is only the preseason, but the future looks bright for these youngsters.

Here’s a look at 10 rookies who shined bright in Week 2.

Connor Shaw, QB, Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins
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Connor Shaw, QB, Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins
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While the world was focused on Johnny Manziel, the Browns’ other rookie quarterback quietly had a sensational game. After stepping in during the fourth quarter for Cleveland, the undrafted rookie out of South Carolina impressed with a mix of athleticism and arm talent. On top of showing excellent poise in the pocket, Shaw put together a last-minute drive capped off with a Hail Mary touchdown pass.

Bashaud Breeland, CB, Washington Redskins

Bashaud Breeland
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bashaud Breeland, CB, Washington Redskins

Bashaud Breeland
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his recent off-field issues, Breeland wasted no time getting to work when the Redskins put him in the game. The fourth-round pick was extremely active against the Browns, flying around the field and consistently making big plays. Between a recovered fumble, several impressive tackles and a key pass breakup on fourth down, Breeland forced the Washington coaching staff to take notice.

Seantrel Henderson, OT, Buffalo Bills

Seantrel Henderson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Seantrel Henderson, OT, Buffalo Bills

Seantrel Henderson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

You knew an offensive lineman would land on this list eventually. While most rookie offensive linemen have been up to their ears through the first couple of weeks of the preseason, Henderson has been making the Bills feel great about the risk they took to draft the former Hurricane. If he can clean up a few minor mistakes and play with more consistent effort, Henderson may be the biggest steal of the 2014 draft.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
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Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
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There weren’t too many fireworks in Matthews’ breakout performance, but there was plenty of production. The rookie receiver caught all nine of the passes thrown his way for 104 yards, and proved to be a reliable option for whoever was under center for the Eagles. Despite reserved playcalling, Matthews picked up big yards after the catch and looks ready to be a reliable part of the Philadelphia offense.

Zach Mettenberger, QB, Tennessee Titans

Zach Mettenberger
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Mettenberger, QB, Tennessee Titans

Zach Mettenberger
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It certainly wasn’t a clean game for Mettenberger, who committed two turnovers in his first extended taste of NFL action. Despite the hiccups, he mustered a note-worthy performance, connecting on 20 of his 25 attempts for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Mettenberger is still a work in progress, but the success he had against the Saints gave the Titans hope for the future.

Ethan Westbrooks, DE, St. Louis Rams

Green Bay Packers v St Louis Rams
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Ethan Westbrooks, DE, St. Louis Rams

Green Bay Packers v St Louis Rams
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Despite his status as an unknown, Westbrooks continues to impress. While this week’s performance wasn’t as outstanding as last week’s, the undrafted rookie is still shining bright. Not only was he extremely effective as a pass rusher (one sack, one hit, one hurry), but Westbrooks also was a menace against the run. The Rams found themselves a diamond in the rough with this one.

Vinnie Sunseri, SS, New Orleans Saints

Vinnie Sunseri
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Vinnie Sunseri, SS, New Orleans Saints

Vinnie Sunseri
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

If Sunseri continues to perform the way he did in Week 2, the Saints will have found themselves quite the steal. Despite missing most of last season with a torn ACL, the former Alabama standout is living up to the Saints’ high hopes. His work against the run was solid, but Sunseri’s presence as a pass defender (one interception) really helped him stand out against the Titans.

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans

Jadeveon Clowney
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans

Jadeveon Clowney
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Many will cite going unblocked as reason for Clowney’s impressive performance against the Falcons, but the fact remains that 2014’s first overall pick played another outstanding game. Even when going unblocked, Clowney showed the burst and athleticism to drag the back down in the backfield. To top it off, he racked up a sack on the next play. Believe or not, Clowney is already looking like a stud.

Calvin Pryor, SS, New York Jets

New York Jets Rookie Minicamp
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Calvin Pryor, SS, New York Jets

New York Jets Rookie Minicamp
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Pryor was arguably the most impressive rookie of Week 2, especially considering it was his NFL debut. His coverage skills were certainly commendable, but it was his tenacity as a run defender, enforcer and even pass rusher that really stood out. No matter what the Jets asked him to do, Pryor seemed to find some way to disrupt the Bengals’ offense, proving why New York spent the No. 18 pick on him back in May.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings
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Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings
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After a rough preseason debut for Bridgewater, it looked like Matt Cassel had the Vikings’ starting quarterback job in the bag. An impressive second outing for the rookie first-round pick, though, has reopened discussions. On top of looking cool and collected, Bridgewater displayed tremendous confidence in the pocket, leading the Vikings to a game-winning drive while tossing two touchdowns.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.