These football rookies (and other 2nd and 3rd stringers) showed serious potential during the preseason. Keep your eye on them: It probably won't be long before they're making their way into the starting lineup.
Phillip Hunt is a 26-year-old defensive end who could be on the verge of his first breakout NFL season. After going undrafted out of Houston in 2009, Hunt signed with Winnipeg and played two strong seasons in the Canadian Football League, leading all players with 16 sacks in 2010. Last year was his first with the Eagles, but he only played in nine games, with very limited playing time in many of them. Even so, he still managed two sacks and eight tackles, mostly near the end of the season when he got a few more chances.
When it comes to whether he’ll see some more action this year, we’ll see, but he’s certainly made a statement about it on the field this preseason. He tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks, forced two fumbles (the rest of the team forced two altogether) and collected nine tackles. Hunt has been so impressive that one analyst from Sideline View has issued a “breakout alert” on him, claiming he has the potential to compile up to 10 sacks this season. Hopefully that doesn’t serve as a jinx for Hunt, who’s looked great this summer without any hype.