NFL

Four Players in Jeopardy of Losing Their Job to Rookies

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While the NFL Draft is a great time for amateur athletes to get their name called and enter into some great wealth, it can be a stressful time for veterans who’ve underachieved.

Why?

Well, because these rookies are looking to take their job and the franchise must believe in them or else they wouldn’t have spent a pick on them.

Without further ado, let’s see which four veterans will be looking over their shoulder this training camp.

Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – Assuming Sam Bradford doesn’t get traded this off-season, the former Oklahoma standout will have some major competition, which is why he wants out in the first place.

If Bradford simply lived up to expectations, he wouldn’t be in this predicament, but here we are.

For the Eagles to even acquire the second overall pick, they traded five picks to the Cleveland Browns. Such a commitment tells you Carson Wentz has a good chance of being the signal caller this fall.

Wentz has a great combination of size and athleticism to go along with a strong arm. He’s capable of making all the throws necessary.

When Wentz was asked about Bradford’s trade request, he answered it how you would want your future franchise quarterback to.

“It kind of is what it is,” Wentz said. “It’s part of the NFL. It’s part of the business side of things. Again, I can’t control it. I’m just going to go in and worry about what I worry about and that’s only what I can control. That will all play out the way it’s supposed to.”

It’s going to be an interesting training camp for the Eagles to say the least.

Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys – Despite having a good comeback year in Dallas this past season, Jerry Jones elected to take Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick.

As soon as Elliott’s name was called, McFadden must’ve saw the writing on the wall. It also doesn’t help his cause that Dallas acquired Alfred Morris from Washington.

At the end of the day, all three backs will get touches, but Elliott has the talent and upside to take over as the Cowboys lead back sooner rather than later.

Nonetheless, Jones said McFadden is still in the picture.

Derrick Morgan, OLB, Tennessee Titans – There are definitely red flags concerning Titans second-round pick Kevin Dodd. However, there may be bigger concerns with outside linebacker Derrick Morgan.

Morgan is coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, while Deiontrez Mount is coming off a torn ACL.

There’s questions surrounding Dodd’s durability as well, but he was just too good of a value pick at 33 for Tennessee to pass up. Dodd is fresh off a breakout year at Clemson, in which he totaled 62 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.

In Dodd’s last collegiate game, he garnered three sacks.

New teammate Brian Orakpo was watching.

“Dodd went off in that game,’’ Orakpo stressed. “I love what he brings to the table. I am very excited to have him on the team. He is going to make everyone better, and we’re going to get him better and he is going to help the pass rush.”

Nothing will be handed to Dodd, but his chances of starting from day one are fairly decent.

Russell Bodine, OL, Cincinnati Bengals – It’s not often you see a fifth round prospect start immediately, however, that may be the case with center Christian Westerman.

Russell Bodine is entering his third season.

Bodine has started during his first two seasons, but he hasn’t been particularly good. Things have got so bad that offensive line coach, Paul Alexander, can’t even go to a local barbershop without harassed about Bodine. 

“I finally had to tell one to F-off. I mean geez,” Alexander stated, laughing. “I can’t even get my haircut.”

It appears that Alexander is sticking behind Bodine.

With that being said, he had some strong words about Westerman.

“He’s tougher than hell,” Alexander stressed. “He’s the toughest kid in the draft.

“When he’s the toughest guy in the draft, I put a nice box around [his name], and in this division, you have to. It’s not for the feeble.”

Bodine will probably start the season, but don’t be surprised if Westerman ends up taking his job sooner rather than later.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.