Every year we see players who break out in the preseason, and use that that as a springboard to bigger things in the regular season. On the flip side we also see guys who have a huge preseason and are never heard from again.
I'll take a look at a few guys who should have put up big numbers -- and did -- and a few more who may break out and some whom this may be their proudest achievement.
QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Take a look at their stats and tell me these guys aren't going above and beyond expectations this year. If you're in a fantasy league and wisely decided to wait until the end of preseason, I'd think these two are climbing up draft boards. Dirk Koetter looks like he is making this offense more explosive, and we are just seeing bits and pieces in the preseason.
LB Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
Everyone has heard all preseason how Kuechly had been impressive in training camp. Well, the ninth overall pick in the draft backed it up in the real -- well, nearly real -- games. Kuechly was second in total tackles in the preseason through Wednesday night's games. If Carolina can manage to get him on the field right away, he'll produce in a big way.
LB Dontay Moch, Cincinnati Bengals
Moch is known for his absurd 4.4 40-yard dash he ran at the 2011 NFL Combine, but missed most of 2011 with a foot injury that set him back. Moch was tied for the league lead with 3.5 sacks in the preseason and could be a sign of things to come with his freak speed.
RB Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
I wasn't sure exactly what category Morris would fit into, but after sitting out the Redskins final preseason game it has become abundantly clear that not only will Morris make the Redskins active roster, but he could actually get the start in the season opener in New Orleans. Judging from local media reports it sounds like he may just be the starter week one.
LB Larry English, San Diego Chargers
Considered a bust coming in to this season, it appears as though English may finally be taking that step to live up to his vast potential. English had three sacks in the preseason and seems to be improving each week.
The Completely Unexpected:
RB William Powell, Arizona Cardinals
He's buried on the depth chart in a crowded Arizona backfield and will likely be a practice squad member. Powell has put up 231 yards so far in the preseason, which is not bad since he's only had 33 carries.
RB Travaris Cadet, New Orleans Saints
Cadet is second on the Saints in rushing and leads the team in receiving so far in the preseason. In an even more crowded backfield than Arizona's, Cadet will have trouble making the practice squad.
LB Audie Cole, Minnesota Vikings
With E.J. Henderson no longer on the Vikings roster there is a chance Cole could make the squad. This is especially true as other teams saw what he could do this preseason and would seem unlikely he could clear waivers and be placed on the practice squad. Any contributions on special teams this season would be a plus for Cole.
All of these guys were impressive this preseason, but they all pale in comparison to one player this preseason. That would be THE star of preseason.
QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Who else, right? I mean, the guy has stolen the show and even earned himself the starting nod over Matt Flynn in Seattle. He's top-five in both rushing and passing in the preseason through Wednesday.