Professional football kicks off in a month and a week. Marinate on that for a minute.

NFL training camps are in full swing, with most teams already resuming practice in pads. Much is still to be determined before September, though, namely how the rookies selected in May's draft will fill depth charts. The next month and change will provide ample opportunity for Johnny Manziel to surpass Brian Hoyer and for Jadeveon Clowney to shed the rust of a recent sports hernia surgery.

But neither of them have shined like some other members of the 2014 class. Though it's recklessly premature to really decide, a handful of rookies seem to be already enjoying standout summers. Stunningly, none of them are JFF.

10 NFL Rookies Already Making Progress Slideshow


Sammy Watkins

Buffalo essentially gave up half the franchise to move ahead five picks and select Watkins at No. 4. It looks like the right decision. The Clemson product has made spectacular catch after catch in Bills camp, including the stumbling one-handed grab that dominated the Internet a few days ago. Watkins has earned rave reviews and, by all accounts, will start on opening day. CBS Sports has already called him a "star."


James White recently ran a story on White's training camp progress. The former Wisconsin Badger running back was drafted in the fourth round, and he's already broke through the line of scrimmage a few times in Patriots practice. White has also fielded passes from Tom Brady, and at just 5-9, he could be the natural replacement for Shane Vereen, who becomes a free agent after this season.


Aaron Donald

Donald, an absolute force at defensive tackle for Pittsburgh last season, was drafted by the Rams at No. 13. He's already secured St. Louis offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's vote for rookie of the year, according to a story. Everyone from beat writers to ESPN has offered high praise for Donald's training camp performance, and according to Adam Schefter, he looks "unreal" this summer. Donald's big frame and position-defying quickness will cause problems on a D-line already loaded with Robert Quinn, Chris Long and Michael Brockers.


John Brown

Cardinals blog calls Brown, an unheralded third-round selection from Pittsburg State, one of the team's standouts in camp. Brown has reportedly looked great in deep routes, and has earned the praise of publications like Sports Illustrated this summer. He could take Ted Ginn's spot as the Cardinals' No. 3 receiver come Week 1.


Brandin Cooks

There's not much to complain about when drafted into the Saints' system. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans' first-round pick from Oregon State, looks to be on the fast track to an already explosive starting lineup, and the fit here is dangerous. Cooks and Drew Brees spent July 4th weekend working out together, and USA Today recently published a piece on the chemistry developing between these two in the vertical passing game. Cooks' late finish at school kept him out of all but one minicamp session, but he appears to be making up for lost time rather quickly.


Kyle Van Noy

Sure, you could argue that the Lions needed to shore up their secondary rather than their front seven. But second-rounder Kyle Van Noy seems to be standing out in a loaded linebacking corps. The Detroit News has praised his relentless work ethic this summer, while predicts he will be the missing piece alongside Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy.


Eric Ebron

Fellow Detroit rookie Eric Ebron has earned great praise from training camp. The Detroit Free Press already named him a potential team leader, and the charismatic UNC product could have a huge year benefitting from the deep coverage opposing defenses will allot to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.


Bishop Sankey

Running backs drafted in the second round last year turned out just fine: See Giovanni Bernard and Eddie Lacy. Sankey could easily continue that trend in Tennessee, where the former Washington standout is emerging as the team's lead running back. The Titans reportedly view Sankey as an every-down back for 2014, and he should see the bulk of preseason carries.


DeMarcus Lawrence

A second-round pick telling the media he expects 10-plus sacks in his rookie season? Sounds like DeMarcus Lawrence and the Dallas Cowboys were a natural fit. Lawrence told that he does indeed plan to step up in the absence of future Hall-Of-Famer DeMarcus Ware. Dallas moved up 13 spots to get him in May, and after two dominant years at Boise State, Lawrence's breakout wouldn't be a total shock.


Teddy Bridgewater

Once projected as a No. 1 overall pick, Bridgewater dropped to the final pick of the first round. According to Jay Glazer, the Louisville quarterback has been "more impressive than [the Vikings] expected," and is competing with Matt Cassel for first-team reps. Minnesota has praised his short-ball accuracy, and Vikes offensive coordinator Norv Turner went on record saying Bridgewater should have been a top-10 pick.

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