As might be expected during non-contact workouts, the Stars of the Week at OTAs and minicamps were mostly the so-called skilled players -- meaning those whose job description includes touching the ball if they can.

Or to look at it from the other angle, only one offensive lineman was nominated this week by Sports Xchange correspondents at each camp as the Star of the Week -- Dallas Cowboys' first round pick Zack Martin, whose versatility was at least noticeable even without hitting.

Otherwise, the SOW honors were mostly bestowed upon those who either throw, catch or try to defend the pass -- 10 wide receivers and tight ends, eight defensive backs and four quarterbacks.

At the always-topical quarterback position, notable workouts were turned in by:

--Oakland Raiders' Matt Schaub, who wants to keep rookie Derek Carr on the bench.

--New England Patriots rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, who is making the most of backup Ryan Mallett's absence by showing off his quick release and accuracy.

--The New Orleans Saints' 2013 undrafted free agent, Ryan Griffin, as a surprise camper for the second straight year.

--Houston's strong-armed rookie Tom Savage, who is throwing his way into a pile of passers vying for a job with the Texans.

So from correspondents on the scene, here is a closer look at the players selected to be TSX's Stars of this week (On Monday, TSX takes a look at the weakest positions on each team as the NFL wraps up OTAs and minicamps next week):


--Safety Tony Jefferson: The second-year player has stood out all spring. He made the team as an undrafted rookie a year ago and contributed on special teams. On defense, however, he was too quiet, probably because he was often unsure of his duties.

Jefferson has changed. He is more vocal this year, and even when on the sideline, he helps others make adjustments.

The Cardinals took safety Deione Bucannon in the first round, but Jefferson has an early lead in the competition for a starting job.


--Wide receiver Roddy White: After missing most of the OTA sessions because of the shooting death of his brother, White was back at work this week. On his first day back, he chatted briefly with head coach Mike Smith before heading to the practice field. Several players came over to welcome him back.

"It's was nice to see Roddy back out," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "He's been through a lot through the last three or four weeks. He and has family. It was good for him to be with his football family today. He looked great.

"You have to practice and work on your timing and getting Roddy back out there is going to be huge for these next six practices."


--Wide receiver Steve Smith: Putting put on a show at organized team activities this week, Smith made several acrobatic catches, including some one-handed. The five-time Pro Bowl selection brought a lot of intensity to spring workouts. The 35-year-old approaches the game with a lot of enthusiasm.


--Running back Anthony Dixon: The Bills signed Dixon away from the San Francisco 49ers with the thought that he could be a change of pace type player who could also get key yards in the short yardage situations. With no one trying to tackle him in the OTA sessions, Dixon has looked great, mainly because he has brought an infectious enthusiasm to the somewhat mundane practices.

"I'm a high-energy guy, that's what I do," Dixon said. "I bring the noise. I also bring the pain. I'm just trying to set the tone. I'm definitely trying to make plays and just mesh with my teammates, get the chemistry going so we can win games."

Dixon is a 233-pounder who will also play a key role on special teams. With C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown (who was acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles) and Dixon, the Bills have a quality group at the position.


--Cornerback Josh Norman: He was the most noticeable player at Wednesday's practice. With Melvin White sitting out team drills with a sore hip, Norman played a majority of snaps with the ones. He took advantage of the opportunity with multiple pass breakups and a one-handed, falling down interception that stood out as the play of the day.

Norman has teased with his potential before, but his first two seasons were derailed by season-ending trips to the coaches' doghouse. So head coach Ron Rivera has learned to take Norman's latest eye-opening performance with a grain of salt.

"I am reluctant to get excited about that," Rivera said. "We need to be able to take that and transfer that onto the football field during a game situation when we've got the pads on. But he most certainly shows that he does have that ability."


--Linebacker Lance Briggs: Last year Briggs suffered a shoulder fracture and missed half the season. When he returned, he looked overweight and got burned for a few plays. He returned to OTAs in tremendous shape and used his speed an instincts well.

In Wednesday's practice he intercepted a Jay Cutler pass during goal-line passing drills. He said his shoulder feels nearly 100 percent. While expecting an eighth Pro Bowl from a 33-year-old linebacker seems a bit much, Briggs looks to be in the kind of shape he needs to be to lead the defense back to its former elite status.


--Linebacker Vontaze Burfict: He is undeniably the leader of the defense and looks every bit of it during mini-camp. Burfict is anticipating snap counts and sniffing out misdirection as well as any point in his career.

More than that, his competitiveness is as clear as the 55 across his chest even during the monotony of mini-camp. He is getting after offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, quarterback Andy Dalton and anybody else attempting to sneak plays by him.


--Linebacker Ryan Shazier: So far, the rookie has been as advertised and flourished as the starting inside linebacker. On Wednesday, he covered wide receiver Antonio Brown, intercepted one pass and got his hands on another near the sideline. He has incredible quickness to go with his unbelievable 4.36 speed and has impressed even veteran teammates.

"He's a great addition," cornerback Cortez Allen said.


--Offensive lineman Zack Martin: When the Cowboys drafted Martin in the first round out of Notre Dame this year they touted his versatility as a reason they coveted him. They said he was a lineman who could play all five positions. Martin was plugged in immediately at left guard with the hopes of him moving to right tackle next year. But the Cowboys are looking at him at center as well.

Martin comes to the Cowboys with 52 games of college experience at left tackle. He never played guard in college, and he only snapped during workouts for NFL teams in the offseason. So the work at center was an eye-opener.

"He's a really, really smart football player," coach Jason Garrett said. "You can tell that in how he played in college tape. You can tell that from minute one since he's been here, both in the classroom and on the field. The game comes very easily to him from a mental standpoint. He doesn't seem to struggle with the different looks, playing different spots."


--Cornerback Kayvon Webster: He is taking advantage of increased repetitions available to him while Chris Harris remains sidelined as he rehabilitates a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

After being beaten deep during earlier OTAs, Webster has rebounded with solid, aggressive coverage, and intercepted passes during Tuesday's practice.

A third-round pick last year, Webster was the Broncos' third cornerback for half of the regular season before suffering a thumb injury in Week 15. At the very least, Webster offers insurance, but if Harris' recovery is slower than expected or rookie Bradley Roby struggles, he could play extensively in the regular season.


--Running back Theo Riddick: With Joique Bell sitting out with a knee injury, Riddick, a second-year player out of Notre Dame, got a lot of reps with the first unit and he took advantage of it. Caldwell confirmed what many have observed, running back Theo Riddick has had a strong mini-camp.

"He's had a great spring," coach Jim Caldwell said. "Even in my preliminary evaluations, just watching him in special teams last year he jumps out at you. He's eager, he's hungry, he can run, he's a very good route runner and he can catch the ball. He's had a real fine spring. I hope he continues to develop and I think he will."

Riddick still has an uphill climb to get touches in the offense. He will go into training camp as the third running back behind Reggie Bush and Bell. The Lions also are deploying a fullback (Jed Collins). But Riddick has served notice to a new coaching staff that he belongs in the rotation.


--Safety Sean Richardson: The odds are not in Richardson's favor to get a sniff at the starting lineup this season due to the presence of Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde and first round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

But based on his play thus far, it may be difficult to keep him as only a special teams thumper.

The third-year player intercepted a downfield pass from Aaron Rodgers in a team drill Tuesday and has shown to be fully healthy after missing the first half of last season to recover from neck surgery.

"I dropped three interceptions since the OTAs started," Richardson said about redeeming himself with that pick. "That's been my main focus (this offseason), is catching the ball and increasing my ball skills. When the play comes, focus in and look the ball in. Hopefully, I can get on a roll right now."


--QB Tom Savage: Either Case Keenum or T.J. Yates are expected to be the Texans' backup quarterback this season. But rookie Savage has continued to impress and received a rare public nod of approval from tight-lipped coach Bill O'Brien on Friday, following the end of OTAs.

"He's a little bit behind," O'Brien said. "But you can see he's got some tools. He can throw the football and he works extremely hard."

O'Brien also did not rule out Savage as becoming the team's No. 2 QB.

"I don't know. We'll see. We'll let it play out a little bit," O'Brien said.


--Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks: The former New York Giants starter has performed well during the Colts' OTA practice sessions. With veteran Reggie Wayne held out of the workouts as he continues to rehab his knee, which he injured last October in the win over Denver, Nicks has stepped in and has done a nice job in learning the Indianapolis offense.

Nicks is also continuing to fine-tune his timing with quarterback Andrew Luck, which has been impressive. Nicks shows the ability to catch the ball over the middle and break loose quickly for sizeable gains. He is expected to be part of a three-wide set of receivers for the Colts, along with Wayne and T.Y. Hilton.


--Tight end Marcedes Lewis: The veteran tight end is enjoying one of his better OTA camps, setting the tone for others at his position by catching nearly every ball thrown his way.

Lewis wants to make up for an off-year in 2013 when he caught just 25 passes for 359 yards, his lowest totals since his rookie season. Some of that can be attributed to missing five of the first six games due to a calf injury.

Lewis shows value in other ways than just catching the ball. He is taking on more of a leadership role following the departure of two veteran leaders -- Brad Meester (retired) and Maurice Jones-Drew (signed with Oakland).

"He's having a great camp," coach Gus Bradley said. "I think if he stays healthy, it will help his mind and confidence."


--Tight end Demetrius Harris: Everyone watching OTA practices is raving about what he is showing in the Chiefs' offense.

The former college basketball player spent all last season on the team's practice squad and his work there and in the weight room during the offseason has turned him from a basketball player trying to play football into a football player trying to play tight end.

Because June standouts sometimes do not shine in the late summer, the Chiefs are not overly optimistic that 6-foot-7, 230-pound Harris will have a breakout season in the NFL. In Andy Reid's offense, tight ends must block, and until the pads go on in late July, how much development Harris has made in that skill remains to be seen.


--Wide receiver Mike Wallace: Just as he was last year, Wallace has been money on short and intermediate routes. He had three touchdowns in a red zone drill on Monday. Wallace had one pass successfully defended by safety Jimmy Wilson, but overall Wallace ran good routes and showed reliable hands.

This is significant because the Dolphins are not efficient in the red zone and they do not have a specific red zone receiver or runner. At least Wallace offered hope with Monday's performance.


--Cornerback Xavier Rhodes: A first-round pick in 2013, Rhodes appears to be picking up where he left off last season. This week's OTAs were particularly strong, highlighted by an interception return for a touchdown during team scrimmage drills on Wednesday.

Facing the No. 1 offense and presumptive starting quarterback Matt Cassel, Rhodes jumped a quick pass, extended nicely and held on to the ball. A 6-1, 210-pounder with long arms and good instincts, Rhodes set the franchise rookie record for pass deflections with 23. He will be asked to play more press coverage under first-year head coach Mike Zimmer this year.


Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo: With Ryan Mallett missing from New England's third OTA workout in front of the media June 12, Garoppolo took advantage. The second-round pick had plenty of extra reps, both in drills and running the full team offense.

He did not appear to have issues in terms of knowing the plays, calls and adjustments and looked comfortable running the unit. He also received one-on-one tutoring from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Garoppolo is displaying decent athleticism, solid mechanics, a quick release and active arm in his early work.


--Quarterback Ryan Griffin: After receiving considerable praise in last year's training camp from coach Sean Payton for picking up the system, the undrafted free agent (2013) from Tulane continues to shine whenever he gets an opportunity.

Griffin stood out during the team's three-day minicamp, playing with confidence and poise when he got snaps with the second-team offense. On Tuesday, he turned heads with four consecutive touchdown passes in a red-zone drill and came back Wednesday to complete a deep ball to veteran wide receiver Marques Colston.


--Cornerback Charles James: With wide open competition for the final cornerback spot, James, the second-year player out of Charleston Southern, is making a strong bid for a role on the Giants' 53-man roster.

James unofficially leads the Giants this spring with three interceptions, his latest coming during Thursday's OTA when he picked off Ryan Nassib's pass. James' primary competition for a roster spot appears to be sixth-round draft pick Bennett Jackson and Jayron Hosley.


--Wide receiver Eric Decker: The Jets' high-priced free agent acquisition shined during red zone drills Wednesday, when he caught a touchdown pass from Geno Smith. Of Decker's 34 career touchdowns, 27 have come in the red zone, including nine of his 11 scoring grabs last year. The Jets had just nine red zone passing touchdowns as a team in 2013.


--Quarterback Matt Schaub: Despite or because of an NFL Network report indicated the Raiders would be quick to switch to second-round draft pick Derek Carr, presumptive starter Matt Schaub has been outstanding in OTAs.

Schaub wasted no time making this his team, taking the majority of the snaps, serving as the leader of the offense and throwing the ball well both short, medium and long.


--WR Jordan Matthews: This year's second-round pick out of Vanderbilt has been impressive in the non-contact OTAs. He picked up Chip Kelly's offense quickly and caught everything within reach. The Eagles envision him as their primary slot receiver this season, replacing departed Jason Avant.


--Linebacker Ryan Shazier: So far, the rookie has been as advertised and flourished as the starting inside linebacker. On Wednesday, he covered wide receiver Antonio Brown, intercepted one pass and got his hands on another near the sideline. He has incredible quickness to go with his impressive speed (4.36 seconds in 40 yards) and has caught the attention of veteran teammates.

"He's a great addition," cornerback Cortez Allen said.


--Wide receiver Austin Pettis: It seems every year Pettis is counted out, and every year he has an outstanding spring and subsequent training camp to earn a roster spot. It is happening again in OTAs, as he consistently finds ways to get open and catches everything throw his way. Pettis was having a productive 2013 season, but tailed off after quarterback Sam Bradford was lost for the season in Week 7. Pettis seems to be Bradford's security blanket.

This year he will need another strong camp to win a job thanks to the addition of Kenny Britt and competition from Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Brian Quick and Stedman Bailey.


--Inside linebacker Donald Butler: The offense has been disrupted and did we mention Donald Butler is back at full strength? Butler, the team's most reliable tackler, has been active moving about the field as he gets further away from the groin injury which cost him three games last season.

Butler signed a sweet extension in the offseason and hit the OTAs with a keen goal in mind: to play in all 16 regular-season games, something he has not done in the past two seasons. With the way Butler is moving, and being such a pain to the offense, it appears he has a head start on his aspiration of getting in a full season after the Chargers gave him a contract with an $11.5 million bonus.


--Inside linebacker Chris Borland: Although Borland had the shortest arms of any linebacker in this year's draft, it did not prevent him from becoming a third round pick nor has it prevented him from making a statement in the early going of his pro career.

Borland -- battling for the opportunity to fill in for NaVorro Bowman, who is recovering from a torn ACL -- deflected a pass by Colin Kaepernick that was intercepted by reserve safety D.J. Campbell Tuesday during team drills.

"He's probably leading the team right now in deflections and interceptions," coach Jim Harbaugh said of his rookie inside linebacker.

The former Wisconsin Badger finished his collegiate career with 15 forced fumbles, good for the second-most in FBS history. Borland is competing with Michael Wilhoite, Nick Moody and Shayne Skov to replace Bowman, who will likely miss at least the regular season's first six games.


--Cornerback Tharold Simon: A fifth-round pick last year out of LSU, Simon missed a lot of workouts with injuries to both of his feet, requiring surgery. But he is now healthy, and on Thursday made two interceptions in Seattle's last OTA to cap what has so far been a good offseason.

Simon spent much of the day working with the starting unit when Richard Sherman took the day off. And at 6-3, 202 pounds, he has the kind of size that the Seahawks like in their cornerbacks. If he can stay healthy, Simon looks like he could end up in Seattle's cornerback rotation this season.


--Cornerback Rashaan Melvin: The Bucs' second year pro out of Northern Illinois capped a great week of practice with two interceptions, including a diving pick of a pass in which he came over the top of receiver Chris Owusu to end a two-minute drill.

The Bucs have plenty of depth at cornerback, with Atteraun Verner, Johnthan Banks, Mike Jenkins and Danny Gorrer. But Melvin also has a good chance to make the club and make a big contribution.


--Quarterback Jake Locker: While the Titans are still installing all parts of the offense, Locker has looked like he is adapting well to Ken Whisenhunt's offense.

After one drive in an open OTA in the two-minute offense, Locker received a fist bump from Whisenhunt for his execution of the drill.

Locker not only looks completely healthy coming back from Lis franc surgery on his foot, but he also looks comfortable in learning the offense and using the weapons at his disposal. Of course, the proof will come when the Titans begin playing in preseason.


--Defensive end Jason Hatcher: After an excused absence, Hatcher was back at OTAs this week. The 6-6, 299-pound defensive end signed away from the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent after a career-best 11-sack season in 2013, should help bolster Washington's presence up front.

Hatcher generated good push against the offensive line during Wednesday's practice and forced quarterback Robert Griffin III to adjust several times. It is a start as Hatcher adjusts back to the base 3-4 defense he played during his first seven years with the Cowboys. Dallas switched to a 4-3 last season.

--Frank Cooney, founder and publisher of The Sports Xchange and, covered the NFL and the draft since the 1960s and is a selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.