The opening weekend of the 2016 NFL Season is in the books as the next chapter kicks off on Thursday Night. For me the excitement will run till the final play of Super Bowl LI in February. One of the things that should be exciting to see is the continue development of the 2015 NFL Draft Class.
A draft class that included back to back quarterbacks at the top of the class, a stud wide receiver, a true feature back and a solid defensive group. Two of those players are wide receiver Amari Cooper and Jameis Winston who are both looking to build on terrific rookie seasons.[wpsm_video]https://youtu.be/stooe70HDsM[/wpsm_video]
Last season Cooper pulled in 72 of his 130 targets while posting 1,070 yards to go along with six touchdowns. Meanwhile in Tampa Bay, Winston started to build a bond with a few of the Buccaneers other young stars including wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Winston would finish the season throwing for 4,042 yards to go with 22 touchdown passes compared to just 15 interceptions.
For these two stars the continue growth continued in week 1 as both players put together big games. Winston completed 23 of his 33 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns to help lead his Buccaneers to a 31-24 win over division rivals the Atlanta Falcons. Meanwhile Cooper helped lead a dramatic comeback in New Orleans pulling in six catches for 137 yards.
Here are a few of the other members of the 2015 NFL Draft Class we are keeping our eyes on.
Kevin White, Chicago Bears:
White who missed the entire 2015 NFL campaign after suffering a stress fracture during the preseason. White was the second receiver off the board last year making this season hopes very high. While the Bears receiver struggled in week 1 pulling in just three catches for 34 yards we still expect to see some big things from him aside Alshon Jeffery.
Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers:
Now all eyes may be on Todd Gurley but his lack of a talent at the quarterback position has us turning our eyes to Gordon. The former Wisconsin Badgers running back posted just 641 yards as a rookie while failing to reach the end zone. Those struggles wouldn’t slow him down week 1 this season as Gordon found the end zone for a pair of touchdowns to go along with 57 yards on the ground.
Trae Waynes, Minnesota Vikings:
Not all playmakers come on the offensive side of the ball. For us Waynes has the body size and physical abilities to be a true playmaker at the cornerback position. In the Vikings week 1 win this season, Waynes posted a career high ten tackles while playing physical on the outside.
Landon Collins, New York Giants:
Here’s another defensive playmaker we suggest keeping an eye on this year. Collins who played who college ball at Alabama will be a key to the Giants secondary success this season after posting 112 tackles as a rookie last year. In week 1, Collins registered six tackles to go along with one pass defense as the Giants picked up a key divisional win 20-19 over the Dallas Cowboys.
Other key players to watch from the 2015 NFL Draft Class include Dante Fowler Jr (returning from injury), Dorial Green-Beckham, Tyler Lockett, Za’Darius Smith, T.J. Yeldon and Marcus Peters.