2022 NFL Preseason: 7 Players who made a name for themselves in Week 1

NFL preseason, Atlanta Falcons, Desmond Ridder - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
NFL preseason, Atlanta Falcons, Desmond Ridder - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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After the dust settles and we all look back at week one of the preseason we probably won’t remember any of the guys who made big-time plays, but the NFL is officially back. For most, preseason is a meaningless game, but it means a lot for the players who haven’t established themselves as starters.

As fans and NFL media, we’ll watch the preseason for the rookies and guys who may or may not make the roster. After all, we rarely get to see stars play in week one. Of course, there was an exception with Deshaun Watson, who looked a bit rusty — I digress.

It’s always fun to watch guys step up to make a name for themselves even if it is the preseason. Instead, week one is a time for other players to shine, both vets and rookies alike. Speaking of rookies, Malik Willis made his debut. He looked solid with the ball ripping out of his hand. He showed off his athleticism when he made Kyle Hamilton look foolish. The third-round pick is settling in and showing why he could be the future of the Tennessee Titans. He finished the game 6/11 for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Other notable guys were Seattle Seahawks Drew Lock, who made a case to be the starter, but Geno Smith didn’t do anything to lose the job. Steelers running back Anthony McFarland looked great in his third year finishing the game with 56 yards averaging eight yards per carry.

Eight players got to the quarterback two times, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Arden Key. And a defensive tackle sixth-round pick, Tanzel Smart, who could find a home with the Jets.

Tom Kennedy was the top pass catcher with 8 catches for 104-yards. Could he be a player the Detroit Lions can use in the slot, or a piece worth trading for? Jake Hummel led all players in tackles for the defending Super Bowl champs. Those were just a few notable ballers from week one who didn’t make this list.

NFL preseason
NFL Preseason, New Orleans Saints, Chase Hansen (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

NFL preseason Week 1 star no. 7: Chase Hansen, LB, New Orleans Saints

Perhaps year three is a charm for Chase Hansen. If the Saints found another star on the defensive side of the ball, look out. Based on week one of the 2022 NFL Preseason they have. The former Utah linebacker is a third-year player who had the best defensive performance in week one.

His ability to drop in coverage, lay the run and attack jumped off the screen. He was a talking machine who made ball carriers pay including a tackle for loss. One of his better plays came on an interception where he took it up the right sideline for 45-yards.

The third-year pro opened up some eyes in his first game. Hopefully, he’s been impressive at camp, or perhaps he’s just a gamer. Hansen at the very least earned himself a roster spot with that performance. If he can string together a couple more games. Who knows? We could be looking at Hansen taking over as a full-time starter.