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NFC Notes: Lions, Panthers, Redskins, & Vikings

Lions

  • Mike Rothstein writes that the health issues Calvin Johnson has dealt with in recent years has opened the door for other receivers around the NFL to enter the discussion for the best receiver in the game.
  • As long as TE Joseph Fauria is healthy, Rothstein expects him to have a role in the team’s offense. However, Rothstein adds that this remains a big year for Fauria to show what he can do.
  • According to Rothstein, undrafted safeties Isaiah Johnson and Brian Suite both have a shot to make the 53-man roster this summer along with running backs Desmond Martin and Zach Zenner.
  • In the end, Rothstein expects the Lions to keep both Kellen Moore and Dan Orlovsky on their 53-man roster with the only question being: Who will be the No. 2 option?

Panthers

  • ESPN’s David Newton expects second-round WR Devin Funchess to have the biggest impact as a rookie among the team’s rookies.
  • Fifth-round pick Cameron Artis-Payne is currently seen as a complement to starting running back Jonathan Stewart.
  • However, should Stewart sustain an injury, Newton can see the Panthers elevating Artis-Payne to the No. 1 running back over Fozzy Whittaker and Darrin Reaves.
  • Former Jets second-round pick WR Stephen Hill has looked good during offseason workouts.
    In the end, the final receiver job could come down to Hill, Jarrett Boykin and Brenton Bersin.

Redskins

  • Even though Terrance Knighton has never played in a 3-4 defense before, John Keim expects him to be a “highly effective” for the Redskins in 2015.
  • Keim suggests that Knighton could be replaced by Stephen Paea and Jason Hatcher in passing-down situations.
  • As far as the team’s return game is concerned, Keim anticipates Jamison Crowder being their punt returner and Andre Roberts handling kickoffs.
  • Keim seems to think Jeron Johnson will end up being a starter for Washington.

Vikings

  • Ben Goessling mentions that the Vikings have had veteran OLB Chad Greenway taking all of the first-team reps in OTAs and minicamp and are planning to start him.
  • Goessling can see the Vikings going to rookie Eric Kendricks in nickel looks, as long as the UCLA product can show he’s ready to handle the job.
  • No surprise, but Goessling expects S Harrison Smith to get a contract extension next year and CB Xavier Rhodes could command a big salary if he puts together a solid 2015 season.
  • In the end, Goessling could see the Vikings allowing former first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson to depart in free agency in the coming years.

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