The third installment of this multi-part series on minicamps around the AFC East. Check back all week long for more updates.
Which rookie showed the most at camp and could contribute immediately?
Alain Poupart (Dolphin Digest): The Dolphins took cornerbacks in the first and second round of this year's draft with Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, and it was Smith who clearly stood out in the offseason. The second-round pick from Utah showed his unusual height (6-3) does not hinder his ability to move and make plays. The Dolphins will have a battle to see who will start opposite veteran Will Allen at cornerback, and after the last minicamp Smith might be ahead of Davis and free agent acquisition Eric Green in that battle.
Tyler Dunne (BuffaloFootballReport.com): Aaron Maybin. He may not start right away, but Maybin will be a pass-rushing threat immediately. The guy is a chiseled, physical freak. Before the draft, he worked with the same trainer Paul Posluszny did and transformed himself into an ideal NFL pass rusher. His blend of speed and power hasn't been seen at DE for the Bills in a long time. In spots, you can already see the blips of potential. The Bills hope Aaron Schobel recovers fully from his foot injury. If so, Chris Kelsay or Ryan Denney will probably man the other spot on first and second downs. Not necessarily a bad thing for Maybin. He'll be fresh and hungry to produce.
Dan Leberfeld (Jets Confidential): The most impressive rookie at the spring camps was probably undrafted free agent tight end Jack Simmons. The Minnesota prospect made a ton of catches, including some difficult ones. It remains to be seen what kind of blocker he is. Remember in the spring there are no pads and very little contact.
While he looks like he has the talent to contribute immediately, it remains to be seen if he still gets caught up in a numbers game. He might end up on the practice squad is Bubba Franks is able to come back after knee surgery.
Jon Scott (Patriots Insider): CB Darius Butler is going to be the guy to watch. Though Im pretty impressed with S Patrick Chung, I think Butler is that special type of player who can do more than expected. He has phenomenal athletic ability, and a nose for the ball. Considering Jonathan Wilhite and Terrence Wheatley were starters at one point last season, I see no reason why Butler cant push for playing time on defense. He has more talent than Wilhite and more athletic ability than any of the other DBs on the roster.
Look for more in the series later this week
Dan Leberfeld covers the New York Jets for Jets Confidential Magazine
Alain Poupart covers the Miami Dolphins as the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest
Tyler Dunne covers the Buffalo Bills for the Buffalo Football Report
Jon Scott covers the New England Patriots for Patriots Insider