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NFL training camp 2013, roster battles: Jarvis Jones, Barkevious Mingo and others

Camp battles are heating up with the first week of preseason games upon us.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Training camp can get tedious at times, with players going through the same drills day after day. Sometimes the occasional fight will get the juices flowing, but outside of that it's a ton of individual work, fitness exercises and some team drills with the rare serious contact. However, there is the one thing that can pique the interest of any fan: training camp battles.

Here are eight battles worth watching as they play out early in camp:

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers

Key players: Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones

No city loves its linebackers more than Pittsburgh. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated believes Jones has a good shot at supplanting Worilds with his impressive camp. The No. 17 pick in the draft, Jones has all the skills to become a perfect bookend opposite LaMarr Woodley.

Denver Broncos running backs

Key players: Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno

The Broncos released their first depth chart of the year, with Hillman holding the top spot over Ball and Moreno. Hillman is in his second year compared to Ball being a rookie, perhaps spelling the difference at this point.

Cleveland Browns outside linebackers

Key players: Barkevious Mingo, Jabaal Sheard

Moving into a 3-4 defense, Sheard has really turned heads so far, especially that of his defensive coordinator, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In his first two seasons as an end, Sheard racked up 15.5 sacks. The "loser" of this competition will see plenty of looks in sub-packages with Paul Kruger manning the other side.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers

Key players: Jon Baldwin, Donnie Avery

Baldwin has had a brutal camp thus far, dropping passes and being yelled at by coach Andy Reid for being tired and lazy. On the other hand, Avery has played well with the second team while recovering from a hamstring injury. Coming in with a three-year, $8.55 million contract, Avery could supplant Baldwin soon if things don't change.

Green Bay Packers cornerbacks

Key players: Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Davon House

Williams will likely be the top corner coming out of camp, but first he needs to overcome a knee injury that will hold him out of the first exhibition game, per Pro Football Talk. Last year as a rookie, Hayward had six interceptions to make a name for himself going forward.

New Orleans Saints running backs

Key players: Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas

Sproles is the most dynamic, but he won't be leading the team in carries by any stretch. Ingram was a first-round pick two years ago and has 1,076 yards thus far, helping to make Thomas the starter with the first release of the depth chart. Despite Ingram's struggles, coach Sean Payton thinks Ingram has a bright future, according to Pro Football Talk.

St. Louis Rams running backs

Key players: Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson, Zac Stacy, Terrance Ganaway

Coach Jeff Fisher has said Richardson is the starter at this point, according to Turf Show Times. Richardson has the most experience of the group, but he only has one year and 98 carries under his belt. It could very well be a running back-by-committee approach to replace Steven Jackson until someone emerges through performance this preseason.

New Orleans Saints left tackle

Key players: Charles Brown, Terron Armstead

Yes, we came back for more from the Big Easy. Brown appears to have the edge over Armstead to protect Drew Brees' blind side, per the team's official website. In his three-year career, Brown has started eight games while Armstead, the Saints' 2013 third-round pick, was honing his craft at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

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