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NFC preseason grades: Kirk Cousins, Dallas Goedert ace Week 1

The preseason is a time for jobs to be won, opportunities to be seized and depth charts to be determined. So, while wins and losses might not matter, there's plenty at stake for many players in these exhibition games. To help put these moments into context, Bucky Brooks will provide a grade for one player of interest from every NFL team after each of the first three full weeks of preseason action.

Below, see the NFC player grades following Week 1:

Arizona Cardinals: Josh Rosen, QB. Don't be fooled by the numbers -- 46.2 percent completion rate, 53.7 passer rating -- Rosen actually played well in his debut performance, when you factor in his ability to overcome poor snaps and porous pass protection during his time on the field. Although he only completed 6 of 13 passes for 41 yards, Rosen showed better-than-anticipated mobility within the pocket to deliver the ball to his receivers in timely fashion. Most importantly, the rookie never looked rattled or flustered by the constant harassment and continued to compete despite his circumstances. Grade: B

Atlanta Falcons: Damontae Kazee, S. The second-year pro has successfully transitioned to safety in the Falcons' defensive backfield. He entered the league as a corner who was viewed as one of the best ball hawks in college football. Since then, Kazee has become a tackling machine with the instincts and range to make plays from numbers to numbers. Although he is likely destined to be the Falcons' third safety, Kazee's strong play -- he finished with 11 tackles against the Jets -- could earn him serious playing time in the team's sub packages during the regular season. Grade: B+

Carolina Panthers: DJ Moore, WR. The Panthers have been looking for a dynamic weapon on the outside since they parted with Steve Smith Sr. in March of 2014. Moore looks like he could fill the void as a catch-and-run specialist on the perimeter. The rookie finished with four catches for 75 yards against the Bills, including a fantastic 32-yard catch that showcased his ball skills. Moore's ability to make plays on the outside should enhance an aerial attack that features a couple of big-bodied playmakers (Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen) who are at their best working over the middle of the field. Grade: B+

Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, QB. The Bears' over-hyped offense was a bit of a disappointment, with Trubisky failing to find his rhythm during his two series of play against the Bengals. The second-year pro completed 2 of 4 passes for 4 yards and took a sack guiding a unit that looked out of sorts under his direction. Grade: C

Dallas Cowboys: Michael Gallup, WR. The rookie receiver has been the buzz of Cowboys training camp as an athletic playmaker with WR1 potential. Gallup displayed those skills in the preseason opener when he raced past the 49ers' defense on a 30-yard touchdown down the boundary. Although the score was his only catch of the night, the rookie showed Cowboys officials he might be ready for the big role when the season starts. Grade: B+

Detroit Lions: Kerryon Johnson, RB. The Lions might've found their ideal combo playmaker at running back in Johnson. The rookie tallied 67 scrimmage yards on 11 touches (seven runs, four catches) against the Raiders, displaying outstanding quickness, balance and body control with the ball in his hands. The Lions gave the football world a sneak peek at how they could use him in the regular season, feeding him the ball on a handful of draws, delays and screens to balance out an offensive attack that could be a little pass-heavy with Matthew Stafford at the controls. Grade: A

Green Bay Packers: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR. The Packers took a chance on Valdes-Scantling as a "HWS" (height-weight-speed) prospect in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and they might've found a solid WR3 in the process. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound pass catcher put on a show against the Titans, exhibiting strong hands and solid running skills while collecting five catches for 101 yards and a score. Valdes-Scantling won consistently on quick routes (slants and sticks) and added some big-play potential to the passing game as a vertical playmaker from the slot. If he continues to thrive as a big slot receiver in spread and empty sets, MVS could emerge as a nice complement to Davante Adams and Randall Cobb on the perimeter. Grade: A

Los Angeles Rams: Sean Mannion, QB. The fourth-year pro struggled in a surprise start against the Ravens. Mannion connected on just 3 of 13 passes for 16 yards and an interception while directing an offense that only recorded three first downs and 45 total yards in the first half. Although the unit's overall ineffectiveness points to problems bigger than the quarterback, the Rams' QB2 certainly didn't play well enough to earn the confidence of the coaches. Grade: D

Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins, QB. The Vikings' marquee free agent played like an 84 Million Dollar Man in their preseason opener against the Broncos, completing all four of his passes for 42 yards and a score. The veteran passer was sharp tossing the ball to open receivers on a variety of quick-rhythm throws at short and intermediate distances. If No. 8 continues to connect the dots like he did Saturday, the rest of the NFC could have a tough time dealing with the reigning NFC North champs this season. Grade: A

New Orleans Saints: Taysom Hill, QB. It's uncommon for a special-teams standout to earn a role as a QB2, but Hill is making a bid to defy convention with his work in New Orleans. The second-year pro has been a key contributor on the Saints' kick-coverage units in the past, but he is beginning to make his mark as a backup quarterback. Against the Jaguars, Hill connected on 8 of 9 passes for 72 yards and added 52 rushing yards on seven attempts. The dual-threat playmaker gives Sean Payton a unique talent to develop behind Drew Brees while also allowing the offensive wizard to tap into some of his creativity as a play designer. Grade: A-

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB. The No. 2 overall pick immediately flashed his spectacular talents during the Giants' preseason opener against the Browns. Barkley exploded for a 39-yard run on his first carry, displaying exceptional balance, stop-start quickness and burst to slip out of the back door on the play. Although he failed to muster another significant gain after his initial jaunt, Barkley's home-run potential as a playmaker adds another dimension to the Giants' offense. Grade: B+

Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Goedert, TE. The small-school standout certainly looks like the real deal, based on his strong debut performance against the Steelers. Goedert finished with four catches for 66 yards and a score while displaying the athleticism and slick route-running skills that had some scouts salivating over his talent and potential coming out of South Dakota State. The rookie worked the seams effectively on a few "all go" routes and showed good awareness settling in open zones in sit-down routes, including his 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Grade: A

San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB. The 49ers' QB1 only played nine snaps against the Cowboys, but he recorded a couple of third-down conversions on pinpoint passes. He completed 3 of 6 attempts for 34 yards, misfiring on a couple of passes directed outside the numbers. It hasn't been an issue to this point, but defensive coordinators will continue to study his tape to see if he is unable to target all areas of the field. Grade: B-

Seattle Seahawks: Shaquem Griffin, LB. The fifth-round pick quickly showed observers that he is more than a feel-good story with a strong effort in his debut. Griffin racked up nine total tackles (six solo and three assists) against the Colts and showed outstanding effort pursuing runners from sideline to sideline. Although he was credited with a few "JOPs" (jumping on the pile), Griffin quickly reacted to runs between the tackles on the way to making a handful of stops near the line of scrimmage. The rookie's grit and hustle should make him an ideal special-teams contributor during his first season. Grade: A-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ronald Jones, RB. Yes, Jones scored a touchdown in his preseason opener -- but the rookie didn't make much of an impact against the Dolphins beyond his 2-yard score. He finished with 9 yards on eight rushing attempts and didn't have a run cover more than 5 yards. Although the Buccaneers' offensive line is partially responsible for the dismal numbers, Jones is expected to create positive runs with his elusiveness and wiggle in the hole. Grade: C+

Washington Redskins: Colt McCoy, QB. The backup quarterback was effective and efficient running the offense during the first half against the Patriots. McCoy completed 13 of 18 passes for 189 yards and two scores. McCoy's pinpoint passing and overall command of the offense confirms his status as a top-notch QB2 for the 'Skins. Grade: B+

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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