Eric Wood, Andy Levitre OG: This Tandem is looking like it is going to start from day 1. This was a necessary occurrence for the Bills to have a chance at a solid O-Line after losing their Pro Bowl Left Tackle. If these boys don't block, all those fancy toys on the outside are going to be a tremendous waste of money. But hey, 2 good things would still come out of this for Bills fans. First, you got to enjoy the quality piece of television that is T.O. on reality TV. Second, you wouldn't have to worry about losing another superbowl after all these years.
Patrick White: They need weapons and he is as dynamic as they come. Patrick Turner may be a solid red zone weapon as a rookie as well, but Pat White should be TNT in the dolphins wildcat attack. It is really weird to be feeling excitement about the fins offense. I am sure they will bring me back down to earth soon enough, especially with Pennington starting at QB. Eventually one of those receivers is going to want to run a route longer than 20 yards down the field right?
New York Jets:
Mark Sanchez: He looks to be the starter from day 1 for the Jets. As shown by his early miscues against the Ravens, it will not all be smooth sailing, but he has the talent and fortitude, and the Vets are pulling for him. He is going to be a star in New York. He better be since they tossed the whole draft to get him.
New England Patriots:
Darius Butler: The Patsies secondary is in rough shape, and they need someone to step up. The Rookie started the second preseason game and looked solid and the edge and in the slot. I will be surprised if he is not at least the #1 nickel back they have come opening day. You know, it's fun to look for chinks in their armor, but this is a juggernaught. Damnit.
Michael Johnson: The Bengals are sorting through a slew of quality rookies, but the one who looks to have the most immediate impact is Johnson. He is already in the 2 deep rotation on the D-Line and has shown the burst and athleticism that got him noticed at Ga. Tech. If he can show the consistency expected of a professional, he will be a star. Anybody wanna take a guess at the over under for arrests on this squad before Christmas?
James Davis: This kid is scary fast at Running Back. One missed tackle on this guy hurts real bad. He never had an Offensive Line at Clemson, and the one the Browns are putting together could be the thing to give him a chance to meet his potential. At worst, he should be a great change of pace to go with Jamal Lewis. Look for either Massoquoi or Robiskie to be starting opposite Braylan Edwards by the end of the year. A message for them, you boys be nice and send a thank you card to that bartender in Florida. Donte', you might have just lost your job.
Michael Oher:Oher and Paul Kruger are both running with the starting units right now and are expected to be big contributors as rookies. The difference is, Kruger is running with the first team because Terrell Suggs is out. Good for him for being in the 2-deep already, but starting left tackle trumps backup DE. I just can't bring myself to make a joke about the way the Ravens draft. Ozzie is the man.
Mike Wallace: Don't expect to see any of the Steeler's rookies breaking into the starting lineup this year. This team, as you would expect of the returning champes, is loaded. That said, Wallace has looked good. It was well known that he could fly, but he has shown good hands, better route running than expected, and has gone over the middle for some tough catches. Towards the end of the year, he may somebody nervous about their roster spot (I am talking to you Limas Sweed).
Austin Collie: The Colts were another team who really loaded up with impact players. I had a hard time picking who was going to be the star of this class early on with 2 DT's who are going to get reps, Donald Brown looking like the real deal as he moves to #2 at tailback, and Collie. However, Collie looks like the favorite to get the nod as the slot receiver in the Colt's prolific offense, and don't be surprised if he picks up right where Gonzalez left off before moving to take over for Reggie Wayne on the outside. This kid is quicker than expected and might have had the best hands in this last draft. Oh, and noone will be paying attention to him with Reggie Wayne on the field anyway.
Terrance Knighton: I hope for the Jags sake that I am not right about this, but right now the only rookie looking like he is going to play significant minutes this season is the surprise contender for the DT rotation. None of the Wideouts have put together a solid-all around camp, and Eugene Monroe was late getting into camp. Monroe will be a good one, but history does not bode well for the player who is late to camp. MJD is the man, but he is going to be a tired little guy. You know how much some of those guys weigh? Tough to carry that much weight for long.
Conor Barwin: The Texans have been getting some production from their draft picks in the preseason despite losing Brian Cushing for an extended period to a knee injury. The others are getting some run and making some plays, but Barwin is about to crack the starting lineup. If I was Cushing, I would be worried that there may not be much room for me when I come back. Then again, Cushing is a monster. Texan fans should be looking at their front 7 seven and just be drooling for the future. You know, that sounds awful familiar. You think Texans fans and Cubs fans hang out? Not yet? Well, wait till next year.
Javon Ringer: As they always seem to do, the Titans seem to have hit on nearly every rookie they brought into camp. Kenny Britt will be their 3rd receiver, and several others are looking to be in the 2 deep. Ringer is the one opening eyes though. Expected to be hard pressed to get touches with Chris Johnson and Lendale White in front of him, the rookie has shown enough flash and ability that the coaches are looking for ways to put the ball in his hands. For now, he looks to be the front-runner to return kicks. Judging from his 51 yard explosion last week, that is not a decision that they will regret in Nashville.
Knowshon Moreno: The Broncos went through a well-publicized roster gutting this off-season. They traded their all-pro quarterback and judging from the play of Orton in the preseason, the Donkeys are going to need to run the ball. Lamont Jordan has had a couple chances to be a premier back and Correll Buckhalter never deserved a chance to be one. Moreno has the talent and the work ethic to be the man, and he better be for Denver's sake. Look for Alphonso Smith to sneak into a starting role before the season is over and to do damage returning kicks at the beginning. Over under on wins for the Donkeys? I am going with 5.
San Diego Chargers:
Larry English: This draft was a draft for depth and long-term. Frankly,there weren't many players in this draft who can crack the Charger's lineup. Their defense is predicated on the pressure they get off the edge from their linebackers. English is a good fit for what they do, and will give the depth that they needed last year when Merriman was out. So, to summarize, the rookies on the Chargers don't mean sh!t for this year.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Ryan Succop: The Chiefs have a lot of young players, including Magee and Jackson at DE who are going to get some run. Succop is ready to go now and he gives the Chiefs one of the best tandems of kickers in the league, potentially. Yup Cheifs fan. Your kicker is the bright spot so far. I would go on and on about how it's ok, but hell you know better.
Oakland Raiders: I reached out to a displaced Raider fan for this one....Thanks John B.
Darius Heyward-Bay: With a 2009 class flush with offensive linemen, it seems ironic that Oakland would spend so many draft picks on non-starters. The only other rookie on the radar is Shawn Bayes, a Kent State alum signed prior to this year's draft.
The winner by default is Darrius Heyward-Bey. Maybe Big Al thought that a fast wideout would help JaMarcus Russell come in under 30 sacks this year.
Kevin Ogletree: I know, I know...who in the???? He is an undrafted kid who is about to send Manuel Johnson home. Yeah, Manuel Johnson who played and lit it up at OU. This kid lit it up against the Titans and the Cowboys expect him to hang around for a few years. Hey, with any luck, he can be the next T.O. . After all, it is the Cowboys, somebody has to implode.
LeSean McCoy: He has stopped right into the backup Running Back and is looking like a perfect fit for the explosive Philly offense. And no, Vick does not count as a rookie.
New York Giants:
Clint Sintim: He is a perfect fit for what the Giants do and has been showing it early on. He is expected to battle for a starting outside linebacker spot sooner rather than later, seeing the field in pass rush situations as early as week one. All together now, everyone thank Eli Manning for refusing to play in San Diego. If the Giants had Phillip Rivers they would be scary. Quick, which villain from the Batman comics does Eli remind you of?
Brian Orakpo: Marko Mitchell has made some plays and looks like he is going to be good receiver for the Skins down the line too, but Orakpo has been a monster on the edge in camp and the pre-season. Putting him beside Albert Haynesworth is almost unfair. So, now that the Skins appear to have embraced the Ravens plan for Super Bowl contention, there is only one question. Is Jason Campbell as good as Trent Dilfer? Yeah, it's really been that bad.
Juaquin Iglesias: Frankly, he will see the field because the Bears need him to. He has had a decent camp but would be buried on the depth chart for most teams. But, he does have good hands and will compete. I really, really tried to find something better to say about this draft class, but they are struggling to find the field as part of an average football team. But, I am sure their parents are still very proud.
Louis Delmas: All the talk has revolved around Matthew Stafford, and down the line he is, by far, the most important player the Lions drafted this year. He is not ready to carry a team yet though, which is what the Lions need from the QB spot. Delmas is looking like he could be a star at safety in Gunther Cunningham's system. This young man can hit....no, this young man LOVES to hit people. The Lions need this defense to be an above average unit if they are going to show improvement and he is a big piece of that. Expect to see him on the field sooner rather than later. The Lions are very happy with what they are seeing out of their draft with 2 TE's in the 2 deep and a number of other players looking like they will see some playing time. Then again, it's the Lions. If they could not compete for a spot on this team it would just be sad....I mean who wants to go home from camp and tell their boys and family that they couldnt' make the cut on the Lions? Now there is what I call negative reinforcement.
Green Bay Packers:
B.J. Raji: He was looked at as one of the most NFL ready players in the draft and he has looked in despite a short holdout. He is a monster at DT and perfect for the 3-4. He is already pushing Ryan Pickett for the starting job, and I expect to see him follow through on that push. As for Clay Matthews, he hasn't done much as he fights off an injury. Seems to be a trend for those USC linebackers. Maybe the vitamins aren't as good in the NFL. Seriously though, Pete Carroll must have worked those boys to the bone, but expect them to follow through on their potential, once someone gives them a band-aid or two.
Percy Harvin: This draft has the looks of a landslide victory for the Vikings with Harvin, Loadholt, and Asher Allen vying for starting day 1st team spots. Loadholt almost got the nod here with his taking over at Right Tackle and he is a great fit for the power rushing attack that the Vikings use. That rushing attack was already in place though, what was not in place was talent on the edge. Harvin was one of the most electric skill players in the country last year and look for him to take full advantage of that fast track in the metrodome. The Vikings are loaded and get to play the Lion and Bears each twice. Life is good in Minnesota.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Josh Freeman: Freeman is the future of this franchise and he as been showing why. He is still rough around the edges, but his kind of ability only shows up a couple times a decade. I expect him to sit the bench for at least a few games, but he will push from day one and hope drives passion. Sammie Stroughter has been making a lot of nice plays on special teams and is edging up the depth chart as Roy Lee Miller has fought his way onto the 2-deep at DT. The Bucc are rebuilding and this is a rough year, but at least it isn't a rough, Vinnie at QB kind of rough, year.
Peria Jerry: The big man out of Ole Miss walked in and took over a starting spot on the inside of an improving Falcon Defense. The falcons have turned a thin, mediocre D-Line into a strength. Expect Lawrence Sidbury to be a terror on passing downs as well. He is rough and needs some work to round out his game, but he has a great speed rush to start from. It's amazing how good a team can be when you get rid of Michael Vick. Does not bode well for the Eagles huh lol...
Everette Brown: The Panthers were roundly questioned and criticized when they traded a 1st round pick to pick up Brown in the second round. It looks like the Panthers may have been right to consider Brown a 1st round value. He is the latest premier pass rusher out of Florida State, and if you haven't heard of him. Look up the tape of the Va. Tech game last year. He put 2 qb's on the sideline by chasing them down from behind, and one of them reportedly runs a 4.4 40. So.....who is playing receiver for the Panthers again?
New Orleans Saints:
Malcolm Jenkins: Due to injuries, it comes down to Jenkins and Thomas Morstead the punter. For the Saints sake, it had better be Jenkins, and his talent is obvious. He is still learning the intricacies of NFL coverage and still may be better suited at safety. He can play, and he is very solid in run support, but can be burned if he's not careful. Just what the Saints need, another corner giving up big plays. This kid better figure it out because the idea of Jenkins at his potential anybody is a better pair than the Saints have had in years, maybe ever.
San Francisco 49ers:
Glenn Coffee: He is already the primary backup to Frank Gore, and given Gore's history with injuries, that is a key position for the niners. He can do a bit of everything, and comes in fairly well polished. He should a solid pro for a lot of years. All of that is great unless you think about the first round of last year's draft. Can someone explain to Mr. Crabtree that he has to sign a contract to get paid for catch a football?
Beanie Wells: The public hasn't seen much of him since he finished up at Ohio State, but the Cardinals are excited enough to have him penciled in as the 2nd string RB in Arizona. There is no questioning his ability, but seriously, this guy takes a game off for a hangnail.
St. Louis Rams:
Jason Smith: The Rams could not afford to not pick up a left tackle and they could not afford to miss at the top of the draft this year. The cupboard was just too bare. Jason Smith gives them a hit on both of those, it just remains to be seen if it is a bunt single or a Pujols blast. In the meantime, James Laurinitis has taken over the middle linebacker spot for the Rams, and is quickly making it his own. He looks like the real deal so far.
Aaron Curry: Curry is still catching up after a short holdout, but he is a stud and will be a key cog for waht could be a dominant defense for years. While he is getting in shape, Nick Reed has been tearing it up,but he is buried on a deep depth chart at Defensive End. Really weird to think of the Seahawks as a Defensive Team. Course then again, it was weird to see them in the Super Bowl a few years back too.
COMING SOON: My Prediction for rookie of the year, unless someone has a better idea.
Thanks again to our guest submitter.