Here’s a look at some NFL notes from Monday morning.
D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that “at least” five rookies including OT Jake Matthews, DL Ra’Shede Hageman, S Dezmen Southward, RB Devonta Freeman and OLB Prince Shembo could all “significant playing time” this season.
The remaining four rookies could be asked to handle roles on special teams this season, so the Falcons are clearly going to be relying on their rookie class to pay dividends right away.
Titans first-round pick OT Taylor Lewan will be arraigned on three assault charges in Ann Arbor Monday, according to the Tennessean.
Lewan has been charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery, but he has maintained that he was not involved in the fight, and was instead trying to break it up.
Panthers first-round pick WR Kelvin Benjamin has impressed the team’s coaching during their first week of rookie camp.
“He’s everything we thought he would be,” coach Ron Rivera said. “We’re not in pads. But watching his route running, watching him catch the ball, make the adjustments, track the ball — all those types of things were really good to see.”
Carolina have Benjamin running similar routes to the ones he ran in college, which should help him get acclimated to their offense.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim mentioned that “there’s a chance” S Tyrann Mathieu will be ready to return in Week 1.
“We think there’s a chance that he’ll be back by the beginning of the season,” Keim said, via ESPN.com.
“I told him, ‘Ty, don’t listen to anybody because nobody can tell you and pinpoint the exact return date. That’s up to you,‘” Keim said. “And he’s a machine. He’s the kind of guy that I really think can come back a lot earlier than people anticipated.“
Saints HC Sean Payton mentioned that he plans on using first-round pick WR Brandin Cooks in a versatile role.
“He is versatile,” Payton said. “He’s obviously a receiver [first and foremost]. And I think we can line him up in the slot, line him up outside. [He has a] very good skill set with regards to acceleration, speed, catches the ball well. And I like his toughness.”
DC Rob Ryan added that Cooks is the type of player that “you can feel his speed.“
“You can feel his speed,” said Ryan. “It’s something that [the late Raiders owner] Al Davis used to say. ‘Can you feel his speed?’ You can feel his speed. So I’m looking forward to seeing him. Because I know how Sean … they’re gonna create roles to get this guy involved, and it’s gonna be awesome.”