For 30 NFL teams, two preseason games are in the books, so trends for young players are have started to emerge.
But now that there's legitimate NFL film to watch, grades are to be handed out, meaningless game or not. Yes, I was pumped to watch these prospects, who I studied for months, on a professional field.
These are preseason grades for the second exhibition game of first-round rookies. Before I begin, if a rookie isn't listed, it's either because he did not play in his respective team's most recent game or, due to a variety of reasons, wasn't able to make much of an impact at all, bad or good.
1. Bryce Young, QB, Panthers
Young's second preseason showing was eerily similar to the first. Not great. Now, it must be noted, his offensive line did him no favors, but Young had a hard time fully eluding pressure inside the pocket, was forced into a small collection of throwaways and had some misfires. Nothing looked easier for him in preseason game No. 2.
2. C.J. Stroud, QB, Texans
After two misses near the end zone, Stroud settled on the next drive, highlighted by a pinpoint throw on the run on a bootleg that was placed gorgeously away from a trailing defender near the sideline. Stroud also demonstrated his on-point accuracy on a anticipation throw toward the other sideline later, yet cooled with two incompletions on his final throws. However, Stroud did flash that deceptive athleticism, spinning away from a free rusher on his final attempt of the contest.
3. Will Anderson, EDGE, Texans
Anderson's tackle for loss came on a screwy play in which most of the Dolphins offensive line barely moved at the snap. And his sack fumble came on an unblocked play until a running back slid over late to get in his way, but at that point Anderson was in the lap of the quarterback. Other than that, the former Alabama superstar got close on a few pass rushes and shed blocks violently.
6. Paris Johnson, OT, Cardinals
George Karlaftis got the best of Johnson on an outside rush with a rip early-ish in the game, and he whiffed on a second-level climb on a run play. Other than that, lights out for the long, athletic blocker against the Chiefs.
8. Bijan Robinson, RB, Falcons
The first (preseason) run of the Robinson era in Atlanta was vintage Bijan -- the third-level cut was so silky smooth after knifing through the defense. He didn't get much space beyond that and got onto the highlight reel with the one-handed grab on a screen play.
9. Jalen Carter, DT, Eagles
Just a few more snaps for Carter against the Browns. No stunningly quick pass-rush win. Those aren't going to happen every game. He did command some doubles against the run. No major impact.
11. Peter Skoronski, OG, Titans
Another held-his-own performance from Skoronski, especially blocking for the ground game. He looks ready to go at guard, although there'll be some hiccups against power.
13. Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Packers
Van Ness was phenomenal against the Patriots. Strong, slippery, not complacent with his hands... on pass and run plays. While he didn't register a monstrous statistical impact, he was supremely difficult to corral by blockers.
14. Broderick Jones, OT, Steelers
The Bills threw some unique blitzes at Jones that confused him at times, yet he didn't look totally overwhelmed in those situations. There were some dominant physical reps in the run game, as expected.
15. Will McDonald, EDGE, Jets
Only one pressure from McDonald after his six-pressure eruption in the opening exhibition outing from the storied Iowa State producer. It was a sleek outside spin and re-route back to the quarterback. Didn't have much production beyond that against the Buccaneers.
16. Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Commanders
The highlight play from Forbes in the epic preseason game against the Ravens was a third-down stick in space to force a punt. Nothing of major substance, either bad or good, in coverage from the spindly, playmaking corner.
17. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Patriots
In zone, I loved that after Gonzalez "allowed" a completion near the sideline, he laid a big pop on the receiver as he landed. After studying him for months as a prospect, Gonzalez's fluidity mirroring routes in man -- although he didn't get many of those reps against the Packers -- was outstanding.
18. Jack Campbell, LB, Lions
Campbell's strong preseason continued against the Jaguars, with two impact stops against the run. In coverage, he retreated explosively after some play-action fakes, and stuck with running backs out of the backfield. He's ready.
20. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seahawks
JSN's been busy this preseason, and if we don't see him again until the regular-season opener (he's reportedly having wrist surgery but may be back in time), his final exhibition grab was a 48-yarder on an over-route that allowed Smith-Njigba to showcase his magnificent ball-tracking capabilities and silky YAC skills.
21. Quentin Johnston, WR, Chargers
Three grabs from Johnston against the Saints, and I liked he demonstrated the awareness to sit down in zone voids and make himself available. No drops either. He ran a crisp in-breaking route against bail technique too.
22. Zay Flowers, WR, Ravens
Flowers looked ultra shifty on his touchdown early in the Monday Night Football preseason outing against the Commanders.
24. Deonte Banks, CB, Giants
Banks was as advertised in his second-straight preseason game. Against the Panthers, he squeezed a sideline back-shoulder route perfectly and stuck like glue to Laviska Shenault on a quick stop route underneath on another incompletion.
25. Dalton Kincaid, TE, Bills
Kincaid wasn't a people-mover in the run game -- that's not why the Bills drafted him. His intricate route-running skills and that sneaky-good YAC talent were on full display on his three receptions for 45 yards.
26. Mazi Smith, DT, Cowboys
An effort Smith and the Cowboys will want to forget from the rookie. For Dallas' sake, it was just the preseason. He was repeatedly moved when trying to halt the run and his pass-rush moves stuck to blockers without moving them. Sometimes doubles got the best of him, other times Smith was cleared out of the intended running lane by a single offensive lineman.
29. Bryan Bresee, DL/EDGE, Saints
Bresee batted down a pass and recovered a fumble. Other than that, I didn't notice him moving the needle much in his second exhibition contest. He's yet to register a pressure as a pass rusher
30. Nolan Smith, EDGE, Eagles
Smith had a ridiculous win against mountain of a man Dawand Jones in which he dipped incredibly low, kept his balance, and flattened to the quarterback. There was a chase down of blisteringly fast Anthony Schwartz on an end around that went kinda viral too.
31. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Chiefs
Two more pressures from FAU in his second preseason outing, although one came on a defensive line slant to the inside in which no one touched him on his way to the quarterback. Not quite as dynamic as his exhibition debut. There were plenty of pass-rush losses. Anudike-Uzomah was far from bad in this game though.