Training camp is the time of the year when players get a chance to show what they are worth. With 90 men at camp and only 53 spots available you have to find a way to stand out. With only a limited number of practices to look at at this point it isn’t much more than a first impression, but first impressions can be important. Although I have a fraction of a percent of the information that the coaches have, let’s look at a couple players who I think have helped or hurt their stock so far at training camp.
Stock Up: Zach Brown
Going into camp we all knew who the top two running backs were going to be. The third spot on the other hand is much more up for grabs. Tashard Choice is still the favorite to hold this spot as the depth chart shows, but Brown seems to have made quite a leap this year. He appears to be running the ball with vision, and hitting the holes hard to find yards. Brown may not edge Choice for the spot behind CJ and Fred, but his stock is certainly up!
Stock Down: Left Guards
We all knew that the left guard spot would be hard to fill after the loss of Andy Levitre to the Tennessee Titans this offseason, and that was confirmed last week at camp. Coach Marrone clearly didn’t think that the two left guards were coming along as quickly as he had hoped. He also talked about bringing in someone else at that spot to add more competition. Doug Legursky may have set himself apart some with his experience near the end of the week as he took more of the first team reps, but the group as a whole certainly has some work to do. I do expect both Legursky and Brown to make the final roster, but the starting job is still up for grabs.
Stock Even: Quarterbacks
I’ve heard multiple times over these last few days that Kolb’s fluke injury will give Manuel a hand up in the quarterback competition. Though the injury did give Manuel quite a few more reps with the first team, and the experience that goes along with that, it by no means will be any integral part in the decision of who starts week one against New England. This competition is still pretty even, especially if Kolb returns to camp in the next few days, as seems to be expected. Manuel definitely put together more highlights at the beginning of camp, but Coach Marrone admitted that Kolb had seen more difficult defensive packages. All this makes it very hard to judge exactly who is ahead and who is falling behind. We may not know the answer until week one, but much like I hope the stock market will do, our curiosity will rise as time goes on.