As we transition into the time of the offseason when NFL teams begin to have more on-field work -- organized team activities and then a mandatory minicamp -- part of the task at hand is to begin evaluating which 53 players (of the 90 who teams can have on their roster at this time of the offseason) might make up the team's regular-season roster and how those players align within their respective positions.
Depth charts are often worth about their weight in paper at this point of the offseason, but there are positional battles that bear monitoring as we creep closer to the start of training camp.
Below is a look at 2016 draft picks who are likely to compete for a starting job over the next few months. For this exercise, we'll exclude top-20 selections, as those are players who are often going to be slotted in as Day 1 starters already.
Cincinnati Bengals: Cornerback
Rookie contender: William Jackson III
Few teams have invested as much draft capital into a single position as the Bengals have into cornerback. Cincinnati has used a first-round pick on a cornerback on three occasions in the past five drafts, most recently making Jackson the No. 24 pick. What he brings to the table is an abundance of speed and on-ball production. He'll likely compete with 2014 first-rounder Darqueze Dennard for third cornerback duties, as there's a vacancy behind Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones with Leon Hall no longer in the mix. Teams often deploy a fifth defensive back on close to 60 percent of the defensive snaps. There's a spot for Jackson if he shows well in preseason.
Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback
Rookie contender: Mackensie Alexander
Like the Bengals, Minnesota has poured many picks into its cornerback spot: Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes are first rounders (2013 and 2015, respectively), while Alexander is a second-rounder that many believed might end up in the back end of the first round. Rhodes has one starting gig locked down and veteran Terence Newman also remains in the fold. Captain Munnerlyn is a steady slot presence, but perhaps Alexander can earn reps inside as a rookie. He has very good quickness, something that will serve him well in a division that features two passing offenses in Green Bay and Detroit that will spread you out and can stress a defense not just vertically, but also horizontally before picking up yards after the catch.