NFL training camp brings plenty of position battles as teams get ready for the start of the regular season. These camp battles are the most significant as we move closer to training camp.
Marcus Gilbert missed most of 2019 to a knee injury, but he's been a quality starter for most of his career. Although Gilbert was re-signed in March, Arizona drafted Josh Jones in the third round to challenge him. It's a critical spot for a Cardinals offensive line that struggled last season.
Atlanta prioritized the pass rush by moving on from Vic Beasley and bringing on Dante Fowler in the offseason. However, the Falcons have another pass-rush competition between former first-round picks Takk McKinley vs. Charles Harris. Harris was added in the offseason and could give McKinley a run at playing time after a regression to 3.5 sacks last season.
Baltimore liked what it saw from Marquise Brown in his rookie season despite injuries, but fellow rookie Miles Boykin didn't produce much beyond the occasional deep pass. He will be challenged for snaps in 2020 by Chris Moore and rookies Devin Duvernay and James Proche.
Not many teams had more turnover on defense this offseason than the Panthers. One of their big priorities is the starting cornerback spot opposite Donte Jackson, as the team looks to replace the departed James Bradberry. Carolina doesn't lack candidates, with Eli Apple, Troy Pride and Corn Elder in the mix.
After his struggles last season, Mitchell Trubisky is set to be challenged by Nick Foles in training camp. Just based on salary and experience, Foles would seem to have the edge, but the front office has incentive to give Trubisky the benefit of the doubt rather than admitting failure after drafting him ahead of stars Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017.
The Bengals have been busy this offseason. The lack of cohesion could hurt in an abbreviated offseason, but there's no lack of talent on offense. Wide receiver looks particularly strong with the return of A.J. Green from injury, Tyler Boyd, John Ross and rookie Tee Higgins. Ross and Higgins are likely to battle for snaps as the No. 3 wideout.
Safety was a big problem for the Browns last season, and they hope the spot has been adequately addressed. Former Raider Karl Joseph and veteran Andrew Sendejo bring experience, while second-round pick Grant Delpit has the most upside.
Replacing Byron Jones won't be easy, but the Cowboy see strength in numbers. The team brings back Anthony Brown and also signed Daryl Worley and drafted Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson.
The offensive line play could have been better for Denver last season. Former first-round pick Garett Bolles hasn't developed as hoped, had his fifth-year option declined and could be in a battle for his starting spot with Elijah Wilkinson.
The Lions were disappointed with Kerryon Johnson's durability last season and have addressed that spot by drafting former Georgia star D'Andre Swift in the second round. Swift should give Johnson a run for his money in training camp.
The Texans don't lack depth at tight end, but like last year, they do lack a clear starter. Darren Fells got most of the snaps last season, but the team seems optimistic about recent draftees Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas and Kahale Warring. The position could figure more into the game plan after the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins.
The wide receiver position was in shambles for the Colts during most of 2019 due to injuries. T.Y. Hilton remains the clear No. 1 option, and there are some intriguing talents behind him. 2018 second-round pick Parris Campbell remains a great fit in the slot but missed time last year due to injury. Rookie Michael Pittman Jr. has upside, and Zach Pascal performed well when he was pressed last season. Philip Rivers will be looking to build accord with the receivers after coming over from the Chargers.
The Jaguars saw a breakout season from DJ Chark in 2019, but the play was less consistent behind him. Dede Westbrook's early career has been up and down, but free agent signee Chris Conley did show flashes in his first season with the team. Rookie Laviska Shenault could challenge that duo for snaps in the best case, as he showed explosive ability with the ball in his hands while at Colorado.
The Chiefs are in a great situation with a wealth of talent at running back. Playoff hero Damien Williams is back for 2020, but he's never been a bell cow back over a full season. First-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a gifted pass catcher who could challenge Williams for the starting role from Week 1, though both running backs should see a healthy dose of playing time.
The secondary wasn't the Raiders' strongest area last season, and it remains a work in progress. The team addressed it by taking two cornerbacks in the first four rounds of the draft and recently signing veteran Prince Amukamara. Amukamara will challenge first-round pick Damon Arnette for playing time, while 2019 draft choice Trayvon Mullen and Lamarcus Joyner also get regular snaps.
The Rams released Todd Gurley in the offseason, and they don't have a clear starter going into 2020. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson are the incumbents, but the team also drafted Cam Akers. All three backs should figure into the mix early in the season, and it remains to be seen if one will emerge as the bell cow.
Ryan Fitzpatrick did a good job as Miami's starter for most of 2019, and he looks like the logical starter to begin 2020 as Tua Tagovailoa rehabs from hip surgery. Still, it's too soon to rule out Tagovailoa's early-season return, especially if he impresses in training camp. The rookie is clearly Miami's future under center.
Minnesota has invested heavily in the offensive line via the draft in recent seasons, including 2020. Ezra Cleveland was selected in the second round and could challenge Pat Elflein for the starting at left guard.
The signing of Cam Newton throws quite a wrinkle into the Patriots' offensive plans after seemingly getting behind second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham this spring and summer. The Patriots could have a legitimate competition between the former league MVP and Stidham. Given Newton's foot injury last year and lack of free agent interest, it might not be a foregone conclusion that he will win the job.
The Saints have built impressive defensive line depth, potentially creating a fight for snaps on the interior of the line. David Onyemata came on strong in 15 starts last season as Sheldon Rankins rehabbed from injury. The two big men could be on a collision course for starter snaps.
The Giants improved their secondary by signing former Panther cornerback James Bradberry, but the nickel corner role is still up for grabs. Among the candidates are Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley in what could be a key area for the Giants defense.
The Jets have gone cheaper at cornerback after moving on from Trumaine Johnson. Currently, it looks like Pierre Desir, rookie Bryce Hall and second-year player Blessuan Austin are battling for one starting spot. New York still has time to add more players to the fray.
The Eagles addressed their leaky secondary by acquiring former Lions cornerback Darius Slay, but the other starting spot is still up for grabs. Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones have both had injury issues early in their careers, but the Eagles are relying on one player from that pair to emerge in 2020.
James Conner's stock plummeted last season, as he stayed healthy for only 10 games and averaged just 4.0 yards per carry. He remains the favorite to be the starter, but the Steelers drafted Anthony McFarland Jr. and also still have recent draftees Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell on the roster. Should Conner continue to struggle, another Steelers back could emerge.
The last two years of running back production in San Francisco could spur the argument that the starting back doesn't matter. The team has played musical chairs at the position, but Kyle Shanahan's scheme and play calling has consistently created a productive running game. Raheem Mostert's late-season production could make him the favorite for the majority of carries, but Tevin Coleman, Jeffery Wilson and possibly Jerick McKinnon are in the mix.
The Seahawks haven't had great continuity in their offensive line over the last few years, and that continues this season. They're set to have multiple new starters, and the starting center job remains up for grabs. Ethan Pocic, B.J. Finney, and Joey Hunt are the top current candidates to start at center.
Ronald Jones has had a lot of hiccups in his first two NFL seasons, so it wasn't a surprise to see the Bucs challenge him with a draft pick. Former Vanderbilt back Ke'Shawn Vaughn should at least figure into the running back conversation and could possibly replace Jones as the starter if he impresses.
Replacing Jack Conklin at right tackle won't be easy, but the Titans have two capable contestants. Dennis Kelly is a reliable veteran, but the team didn't spend a first-round pick on Isaiah Wilson with the idea that he'd sit on the bench for long. The Titans could have a fun camp battle at right tackle.
Washington had too many weaknesses last season, and the offensive line was one of them. The team struggled to fill Trent Williams' shoes last season, but they have more depth this year with offseason acquisition Cornelius Lucas, Geron Christian and rookie Saahdiq Charles potentially competing for the left tackle job.
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