New England, which plays a 3-4 defense that utilizes four linebackers, supposedly views Mayo as Seau's heir-apparent at one inside 'backer spot. Seau recorded 74 tackles last season and is starting to show his age. Bruschi, the other ILB, posted a team-high 92 tackles last season. Eric Alexander (18 tackles in 2007-08) is the only other inside linebacker on the team's preseason depth chart.
Although New England drafted two other linebackers last weekend – third-round selection Shawn Crable of Michigan and fifth-round selection Bo Ruud of Nebraska – Mayo already appears to be penciled in as a possible starter for 2008-09. A recent blog on ProFootballWeekly.com reports: "According to one team insider, Mayo is an odds-on favorite to win one of the two starting ILB jobs by the season opener."
The Chiefs boast one of the game's premier tight ends in Tony Gonzalez, but he's a 12-year veteran who doesn't stretch the field the way he once did. Still, he caught 99 passes last season, averaged 9.9 yards per catch and scored five touchdowns.
Cottam has a great chance to be the team's No. 2 tight end right away. Other than Gonzalez, the only other tight ends on the Chiefs' current roster are Michael Allen (a seventh-round draft pick in 2007), plus free agents John Paul Foschi, Joe Lobdell and Michael Merritt. None of them caught a pass for KC last season.
Finally, former UT quarterback Erik Ainge has a good shot to latch on with the New York Jets, who selected him in Round 5 last weekend. That's because Ainge shows a knack for avoiding the sack. He was sacked just three times in 2007. That's got to weigh heavily in his favor on a Jets team whose quarterbacks were sacked a whopping 53 times last season.
New York basically split the QB duties a year ago between nine-year veteran Chad Pennington and third-year man Kellen Clemens. Pennington completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 1765 yards with 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. His passer-efficiency rating was a solid 86.1.
Clemens, on the other hand, completed just 52 percent of his passes last season for 1529 yards. He threw five touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His passer-efficiency rating was 60.9.