Younger players are often secret weapons for teams on offense and defense. Unlikely to draw attention from opposing coordinators, these guys make a big difference for their teams before they become full-blown stars at the NFL level.
Offense: Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants
I’m not saying that the Giants made the right play here. I still have concerns that the G-Men pulled the ripcord too soon on this one, but it’s hard to argue with results. As they say, a win is a win, and Daniel Jones helped these Giants over the hump, on the road, against a team that should have been better than them. The stat line isn’t bad, either. Jones threw for 336 yards with a 64% completion rate as well as two passing TDs and two rushing TDs. It’s the sort of line that makes fans of Big Blue wonder: “Why did they wait so long?” Next up, a Washington team that might be on the edge of a QB controversy as well. If the Giants can win that one to get back to 2-2, they might be on to something.
Defense: Devin Bush, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
I know. The Steelers are 0-3 and facing a long brutal season. But Rookie linebacker Devin Bush is a clear and resounding bright spot in what looks like a lost season. The Steelers took Bush tenth overall in last year’s draft after a starring role in Michigan’s stout defense. The rookie exploded in week three, leading the Steelers with eleven total tackles and two forced fumbles in the narrow road loss to San Francisco. No one is ready to anoint Bush the next great Steelers linebacker, but if he keeps up this level of performance week to week, he can help rebuild one of the NFL’s elite franchises.