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NFL Weekend: Rookies, Hard Knocks, and The Sin City Raiders...

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NFL rookies have gotten their feet wet at team training facilities around the country. I have to wonder what that singular moment - when they walk through their teams' front doors as actual NFL players for the first time - must feel like? It's a moment they'll remember on par with Draft Day, getting "the call"...

Like many NFL fans who've never gone through this NFL dreamscape written real, we're left to imagine what it's like from afar. I'm sure there'll be a few rough spots. Top draft picks will have the eyes of the NFL world squarely fixed upon them, and their every step will be over analyzed. The near-miss injury to Jacksonville's newest first round pick to go down - prior to playing an NFL game - has to have Jaguars fans breathing easier. A slight meniscus tear shouldn't keep Jalen Ramsey off the field for long.

On the whole, this pre-training camp rookie process has gone well. Up next will be when veteran players mesh with their young position challengers...


The Los Angeles Rams will be featured on "Hard Knocks"; the NFL reality based drama quite a few fans look forward to every year. The whole re-location process may sound juicy to the show's producers, but I'm not all that sure they'll get much more than the inner working of the move to Los Angeles prior to leaving St. Louis. I mean, how many times can a film crew cover a player and his family shopping for a new home? Maybe they think the escrow process will add a nail-biting tenor, or questions about where the best schools can be found? Until 2019, the Rams will be homeless, as they share facilities - off and on - with a couple colleges, and another NFL team. So,what exactly will Hard Knocks have to show its viewers to keep them tuning in each week?

Let's face it, this iteration of the NFL version of "Survivor" should be titled: "The Jared Goff Show." I have to admit, I'd be willing to watch how Goff handles the spotlight as the #1 draft pick overall for 2016. The guy most hoping Goff has a great pre season isn't head coach Jeff Fisher. It's Todd Gurley, who seems to shun the limelight. All eyes will shift to the second year running back phenom if Goff has trouble adjusting the the NFL game in practice. Defensive star Aaron Donald would have to be #3 on the show's list of "Cut to this guy, FAST!" candidates, but he isn't exactly the most drama-laden guy, either. Oh, you can bet Tavon Austin will mug for the camera a bit, and I'll be waiting for William Hayes to be the guy who steps in and saves the day with his funny/skewed take on things in general...


The Las Vegas Raiders? Yup, and it's going to happen; much to the delight of Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke. He'll let Mark Davis have the I-15 willing game day fans, and center his attention on the 12 million or so Angelenos who shun 4+ hour commutes on the weekend.

Davis in Las Vegas is really something akin to a potential train-wreck in the making. But who will be able to resist tuning in each week to find out how the Raiders in "Sin City" are fairing? I don't know why, but I keep flashing to a mind's eye vision of what Kenny Stabler would've been like if his Raiders teams had played in Las Vegas... It boggles the mind, eh?


The San Diego Chargers drafted Joey Bosa at #3 overall, and seem to have been hoping for the Ohio State defensive end to somehow fall to them on draft day? I mean, who am I to doubt what a team covets? Still, if there's a top 10 draft pick for 2016 who could stumble, I'm leaning toward Bosa. It's nothing personal, and I love his passion for the game. The most troubling bit for me to ponder though, is how Bosa reminds me a bit of former Rams defensive end Chris Long. Eerily similar is playing style, Long needed a defensive end counter weight - in his case, Robert Quinn - to be most effective. I'm not seeing a big pass rushing twin for Boas on San Diego's roster right now, are you?


Have a great weekend! Drop into Twitter-ville, and give me your thoughts: @thenovelroad