LOCALS IN THE NFL

Locals In The NFL Storylines That Spark Intrigue Heading Into Training Camp

Jul 4, 2021, 11:00 AM
Taysom Hill - Zach Wilson...
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) during training camp on July 27, 2019 at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, LA. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) and Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets runs drills during New York Jets Mandatory Minicamp on June 15, 2021 at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The numbers of local players in the NFL increased this offseason and so did the storylines that are interesting to watch heading into the preseason.

NFL training camps begin in a few shorts weeks and pretty soon it’ll be the regular season.

As we celebrate America’s Independence Day, here is a preview some of the NFL storylines that could explode around the league this season.

Will Zach Wilson take off with the Jets?

Being an NFL rookie is hard. Being first-year quarterback is difficult. Being a starting quarterback is extreme. Living up to the hype of being the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft is something else.

Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has his work cut out for him as he heads into his rookie campaign with the Jets.

New York has struggled for a decade and hopes that Wilson is the organization’s answer at arguably the most important position in sports.

The Jets have yet to bring in a veteran quarterback with the experience I’d like to see around Wilson as he embarks on his NFL career.

I think the adversity Wilson faces in his first season and how he handles those struggles will be interesting. I also believe the dazzling plays he has in his arsenal will be like watching a spectacular fireworks show on the Fourth of July.

League’s Best Linebackers

In my opinion, the NFL’s top two linebackers and commanders of defense have roots from local universities in the state of Utah.

Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers and Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks are two of the best LBs in the league, if not the very best two.

Wagner has been a standout player for multiple seasons and Warner has ascended to the top of his position in only a few short years.

The former Utah State star is on the backend of his career, but I believe has more left in the tank. Warner is just beginning to count his Pro Bowl selections.

I want to see if the duo can continue to light up opposing offenses and remain the two best at their position for a couple of seasons just to show football fans that Utah is linebacker country.

Is it Taysom Time in NOLA?

Taysom Hill’s opportunity to lead a franchise and be a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL has arrived, that is if he wins the job.

After struggling with injuries throughout a highlight filled career at BYU, Hill has waited patiently for a chance to prove himself on the biggest stage of football.

Last season, Saints great Drew Brees suffered an injury for the second consecutive season and instead of turning to another quarterback, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton looked to Hill for a month of action.

During his brief stint as the Saints’ starter, Hill led the team to a 3-1 record, and looked efficient doing so.

However, this offseason, New Orleans re-signed QB Jameis Winston and set up Hill with a non-guaranteed contract.

Now is the time for Hill to seize his opportunity. Will it end up being his job or will the Saints turn to a former starter in Winston? I’m fascinated to see the sparks fly during New Orleans’ camp.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Locals In The NFL Storylines That Spark Intrigue Heading Into Training Camp