Christian Wilkins dominating at camp despite no new deal
Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is set to earn $10.8 million this season, a number that will surely go up in 2024 and beyond once he signs a new contract. We have seen numerous players around the league holding out for new deals – most notably Nick Bosa, Chris Jones and Zack Martin – Wilkins has done just the opposite, shown up to camp and dominated.
According to PFN’s Adam Beasley, Wilkins has been the best Dolphins player in camp to this point:
Miami Dolphins News: While His Peers Are Holding Out, Christian Wilkins Is Dominating https://t.co/vVSg2d1JKm
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 3, 2023
Wilkins has graded out as a top-10 interior defender in each of the last two seasons. In that time, he leads the league with 98 defensive stops among players at his respective position.
Chase Claypool and Justin Fields building chemistry
The Chicago Bears acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers last season for a 2023 second-round pick. Claypool struggled to find his groove with the Bears, accounting for just 14 receptions, 140 yards and no touchdowns in seven games.
Claypool’s stock is pointing up in 2023 with a full offseason under his belt in the new system. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is happy with how Claypool is connecting with quarterback Justin Fields in camp thus far:
Luke Getsy: Chase Claypool's connection with Justin Fields pretty good and getting better. https://t.co/OVM8NlAk8O
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 3, 2023
The Bears have quietly put together one of the stronger receiving corps in the NFL with the additions of Claypool and DJ Moore joining Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. Last season, the Bears ranked dead last (32nd) in our receiving unit ranks; this year, they rank 13th.
Javonte Williams expected to play in preseason
Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (who is recovering from a torn ACL last October) is expected to play at some point this preseason, although it is not clear at the moment which game that will be just yet:
Broncos’ HC Sean Payton told reporters today that RB Javonte Williams, who is coming off a torn ACL, is expected to play this preseason, though Denver might wait until the second preseason game to play him. “I like how he’s progressing,” Payton said.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 3, 2023
Williams graded out as a top-20 running back (75.9) as a rookie in 2021. He was limited to just four games in 2022 prior to the injury. Williams’ return will be a welcomed boost for an offense that ranked 28th in overall grade (66.3) as a unit last season.
Brock Purdy recovering well from offseason elbow surgery
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is on a two-day on/two-day off practice schedule recovering from surgery back in March to repair his UCL. While not fully cleared quite yet, quarterbacks coach Brian Griese is pleased with the progress he is making:
#49ers QB coach Brian Griese says Brock Purdy is throwing about 110 passes each of the 2 days he practices. Griese said it's encouraging that Purdy is dealing w/ minimal soreness after those throwing sessions.
"We just need to build up the stamina, get him back into the flow."
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) August 3, 2023
“Mr. Irrelevant” ranked 13th out of 39 qualifying quarterbacks with a 77.7 overall grade in 2022. As of now, the expectation is that Purdy will be ready to roll Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.