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8/2 Training Camp Thoughts

-The Cardinals released an early depth chart Friday, and among it were some surprises. Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk were among the starters as expected, but the third starting wideout was Kevin White. The second team consisted of rookies Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson, along with Trent Sherfield. Fourth-round pick Hakeem Butler, Damiere Byrd, and Pharoh Cooper are listed as the third team.

It's too early to take any conclusive meaning from this, but it generally appears as if White needs to be taken more seriously. Perhaps Kliff Kingsbury is just showing him favoritism out of respect for White's 13 catches against Kingsbury's Texas Tech team in 2014, or perhaps White is the healthiest he's been to this point in his otherwise cursed pro career. It also might be reasonable to consider Butler a long shot for a rookie year impact. It's otherwise worth noting that Isabella is dealing with a minor knee injury at the moment.

Charles Clay is otherwise notably listed as the lead tight end even as he sits with a knee injury, and even Baltimore free agent addition Maxx Williams is listed ahead of previously presumed starter Ricky Seals-Jones at TE. Clay was a productive spread pass catcher in his prolific Tulsa career, while Williams is a former second-round pick who was a strong prospect coming out of Minnesota. They're both worth monitoring closely, while it's tough to have much optimism for RSJ at this point.

-The Patriots signed Cameron Meredith (knee) to a contract, and to bring him along slowly they initially added him to the PUP list. When Meredith is up to speed he'll compete for a roster spot in a horizontally-oriented New England wideout group that only clearly values Julian Edelman and N'Keal Harry. Maurice Harris, Phillip Dorsett, and Jakobi Meyers may be next in line with Dontrelle Inman and Braxton Berrios reportedly struggling somewhat.

-Bruce Arians said Dare Ogunbowale has done well for himself in Tampa Bay's training camp, making even blurrier what was already an unclear competition between Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber. Ogunbowale was a walk-on at Wisconsin and lacks speed (4.65-second 40), but he showed some pass-catching ability in college and seems to have a skill set useful for passing situations in particular. He should probably still be considered a long shot to break the two-deep for Tampa until further notice, but it might be safe to say that Ogunbowale has a lead over Andre Ellington and Bruce Anderson for the RB3 role at least.

-Spencer Ware (undisclosed) was added to the reserve PUP list, knocking him out for the first six weeks. It's unclear whether he made a good enough impression in training camp to secure a roster spot upon his activation at this point, so it remains to be seen whether he ever plays a down for the Colts.

-The preseason opener Thursday was predictably uninteresting for the most part, but one running back for each team made an interesting impression. Khalfani Muhammad totaled 74 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for the Broncos, while Brian Hill stood out for the Falcons by running for 57 yards and a touchdown. Muhammad is an undersized burner at under 180 pounds who never earned a big workload in college and has bounced around the NFL since the Titans took him in the seventh round of the 2017 draft, but he might be able to displace Devontae Booker as the team's third running back. Hill, meanwhile, is a former fifth-round pick (2017) who figured to compete with rookie fifth-round pick Qadree Ollison, but if he keeps running like he did Thursday he might be able to put some heat on 2018 Atlanta RB2 Ito Smith.