We're still a week away from the opening of Ole Miss' fall practice, but a few former Rebels have already taken center stage at NFL training camps, which opened over the weekend. Let's check in on the Big Three.
Robert Nkemdiche hurt his ankle.
Big Rob, who went 29th to the Cardinals back in May, stumbled a bit out of the training camp block. Head coach Bruce Arians said Saturday that Nkemdiche will be sidelined for two weeks with a high ankle sprain, a timeline that could bump up against Arizona's first preseason game on Aug. 12. He was rocking a boot during Sunday's practice, where he nevertheless displayed attentiveness and enthus...
Ah, I see.
Still, the big fell found a way to contribute:
With Calais Campbell, Corey Peters and Frostee Rucker likely locked in atop the depth chart, Nkemdiche isn't expected to compete for a starting gig during camp. Still, he should be able to carve out a healthy role in the rotation, particularly as a situational interior pass rusher.
He may also be reviving his career on the offensive side of the ball: Arians said over the weekend that Big Rob could see some time at fullback this season.
Laremy Tunsil is spending most of his time back at left tackle.
After struggling to transition to offensive guard during minicamp, Tunsil has largely returned to his natural position in the early going at training camp. He began the first two days as the second-team left tackle and stepped in as the starter when Branden Albert took a day off on Sunday.
Tunsil got a bit chippy with D-end Chris McCain during one of those reps.
Still, Tunsil continued taking some reps at left guard, which remains his best chance at a starting job. A lot of folks dogged the Dolphins for attempting to move an elite edge protector like Tunsil inside, but don't forget that Albert is a two-time Pro Bowler. Meanwhile at left guard, the only competition is Dallas Thomas, who finished last season as the worst-rated offensive guard in the league by Pro Football Focus.
The 31-year-old Albert will cede his spot to Tunsil eventually, and to his credit, he's taken it upon himself to groom his successor.
"That's how you make your legacy when you teach a young guy and you sit at home retired and you see that young guy flourish, you're like ‘I helped him along his way,''' Albert told the Palm Beach Post on Saturday. "He has the potential to make a lot of money and change the future of his family and generation after generation. That's what you want. ... so they leave the game with something, they learn something from me and they can say Brandon Albert was a great mentor."
Albert also provided this spot-on quote when asked about Tunsil's draft-night drama: "When he becomes a 14-time Pro Bowler people will forget about this, they already forget about it. Once he become a great player nobody will mention it, people will laugh about it."
Laquon Treadwell is putting in extra work.
Frustrated by struggles with footwork and route running during minicamp, Treadwell told the Star-Tribune that he started in on two-a-day workouts in Dallas. It sounds like it's paid off judging from head coach Mike Zimmer's comments to Arif Hasan.
"Yesterday, I thought Treadwell had a good day. I can tell he worked hard on what we told him this summer," said Zimmer, who added that Quon looked fluid and has a good understanding of routes.
Treadwell has gotten mostly second-team reps, but has had a few opportunities to catch passes from Teddy Bridgewater on the first team. Quon's already showcasing the work ethic that helped him battle back from that grisly leg injury, so I'd expect him to climb the depth chart quickly.
He's been the first one on the field...
The first player to report to #Vikings training camp this morning? Top pick Laquon Treadwell, more than a half hour early.— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) July 28, 2016
And the last one to leave.