By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor
E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
Manuel was the first quarterback drafted this year – and the only one taken in the first round. Even after minor knee surgery about three weeks ago, the Bills named him the Week 1 starter. The first week of the season won’t be one of the easier ones either as Buffalo hosts the New England Patriots. However, many fans are excited to see what Manuel can do.
Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets
Being on the New York Jets will generate headlines simply for being on the team. Reporters have closely watched Smith’s performances in practice, preseason and then how he looked on the sidelines nursing an injury. Now, they will get to see him as the starter. New York officially announced Smith would be its starter this weekend when the Jets host Tampa Bay.
Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams
Austin was the best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft. With him and Chris Givens, the St. Louis receiving corps has the makings of being one of the best in the league this year. While Austin maybe undersized (5-foot-8, 174 pounds), he has explosive speed that can separate him from defenders.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Patterson played just one season of college football at Tennessee. He has potential to be a star in Minnesota. While at Tennessee, he made big plays, and that’s something the Vikings want to see again. With the loss of Percy Harvin to Seattle, Patterson could bolster the receiving corps.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
The Packers have been a pass-heavy offense the last several years, so it will be interesting to see where Lacy will fit into Green Bay’s scheme. Lacy is considered to be the starter in the backfield.