When the 49ers drafted Kendall Hunter in the 4th round of the 2011 draft, they got a player who is trusted carrying the ball when Frank Gore is not on the field. This is a lot of trust to give a player who is just in his 2nd year. Hunter has continued to improve each week and is poised to take over the full time job when Frank Gore eventually calls it quits.
Richard Seymour has seen a lot during his long time in the NFL, but now he sees a lot of younger players looking up to him for advice and leadership.
If someone asked you to name the top five quarterbacks of all-time, you’d get many different answers. If asked the top five NFL punters, you might get some confused looks. But despite not showing up in box scores, Shane Lechler has made a great case for being one of those elite men who can give his team an advantage when it comes to field position.
Colin Keapernick made his presence felt in last week’s win over the New York Jets. He size and speed put him in the same conversation with Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, but he is still far from earning a starting role in this league. He is on the right team with the right coach and will have a chance to show what he is made of eventually.
Carson Palmer almost had his career cut short by an unmovable president that was not willing to compromise on a deal. With that situation finally settled, Palmer has moved on to Oakland and is flourishing as leader of the Raiders.
The man known for his two fumbles on punt returners in last years NFC Championship Game has returned this season to prove that he is able to contribute at the NFL level. Throughout his entire life he has had to work hard and earn his spot and after a great preseason is a bright spot on a team that is constantly looking for their next play maker.
Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski was the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He is one a four players in NFL history to make a 63-yard field goal.
Vernon Davis has always been gifted, but until recently he had a “me first” attitude that was holding him back on the field. Thanks to the help of former coach Mike Singletary, Davis has matured into a role model in the community and has continued to flourish on the field. He had a record-breaking postseason last year and will play a huge role in the team’s future success.
A profile of Raiders fullback Marcel Reece, his history with the Raiders and noted highlights with the team and collegiately.
Michael Crabtree enters the 2012 season with a big question mark over his head. He has had his good moments and his bad moments, due to what appeared to be a lack of motivation. With the addition of depth at his position the fire under him has been lit and it will be interesting to see how he performs for the rest of the year.