Stock Up, Stock Down for NFL Rookies in Their First Minicamps
NFL minicamps provided us with the first real information for the 2012 NFL season. Chief priority among this information was anything related to rookies.
Whether it was a first-round pick living up to the hype—or alternatively not living up to the hype—or a late-round pick impressing, rookies receive plenty of attention.
So with minicamps ended, which rookies have surprised in good or bad ways?
Stock Up: Dezman Moses, Green Bay Packers
When Clay Matthews received a day off, undrafted free-agent Dezman Moses played with the first-team defense opposite first-round pick Nick Perry (per the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel). Yes, Moses has already passed last year's starter Erik Walden.
The 6'2", 249-pound Tulane product has impressed with his relentless motor and pass-rush ability. Anytime an undrafted free agent is working with the first-team defense, he is clearly exceeding expectations.
Stock Down: Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Justin Blackmon's declining stock stems entirely from his drunk-driving arrest. There haven't been many reports of negative play from Blackmon, but the Jaguars have to be concerned about Blackmon's second drunk-driving arrest.
Blackmon's ability to stay out of trouble is being questioned, and for good reason. The Oklahoma State product has given reason for speculation of an alcohol problem, and those have ruined careers in the past.
Stock Up: Danny Trevathan, Denver Broncos
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A sixth-round pick, Danny Trevathan has already spent some time with the first-team defense (via the Denver Post).
Trevathan's mental progress was praised by head coach John Fox, which is always a good sign for a rookie.
Even if Trevathan doesn't start as a rookie, the fact that he is in the mix to play is a pleasant surprise. Few sixth-round picks contribute much as rookies.
Stock Down: A.J. Jenkins, San Francisco 49ers
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Of any rookie, A.J. Jenkins' minicamp struggles have perhaps been the most documented.
Jenkins didn't even play with the second-team offense, much less the first-team.
As a first-round pick, Jenkins is clearly coming up short of expectations. In fact, it's looking like Jenkins may not play much at all as a rookie.
Stock Up: Josh Robinson, Minnesota Vikings
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Despite not being drafted until the third round, Josh Robinson is already working with the first-team defense at cornerback (via 1500 ESPN). With Harrison Smith likely starting at safety, the Vikings could have two rookies playing in the secondary.
A small, quick cornerback, Robinson can be overpowered, but he matches up well with the speedy wideouts of the NFC North.
Stock Down: Brandon Brooks, Houston Texans
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Head coach Gary Kubiak publicly criticized Brandon Brooks for being overweight (via CBS Houston). The Texans generally prefer smaller offensive linemen anyway, so Brooks' size doesn't bode well for him starting as a rookie.
Though he is a bigger guard, Brooks was expected to compete to start, but that now looks unlikely. The Miami (Ohio) product will need to slim down before that is even remotely possible.
Stock Up: Jayron Hosley, New York Giants
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In minicamp, Jayron Hosley performed excellently, gaining attention for his play against star wideout Victor Cruz (from Giants101.com). In fact, Hosley has a chance at beating out 2011 first-round pick Prince Amukamara for the nickelback job.
Hosley is a quick cornerback with some return skills, which make him even more valuable. The undersized Virginia Tech product is an ideal nickelback, but it would still be impressive if he beat out Amukamara.
Stock Down: Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
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It took until Miami's final minicamp practice for Ryan Tannehill to take snaps with the first team (via the Miami Herald).
Because of Tannehill's experience with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, many expected the No. 8 overall pick to start.
Now, that isn't looking so likely. Though Joe Philbin praised Tannehill for making some nice throws, he also criticized Tannehill's decision-making.
It seems that the rookie still has a long way to go before he is in a legitimate competition with Matt Moore and David Garrard.
Stock Up: Quinton Coples, New York Jets
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At minicamp, Quinton Coples moved around and played a bit of linebacker (from The Star-Ledger).
The Jets have said nothing but positive comments about Coples, and he is already key to the team utilizing the 4-3 defense in 2012 (according to Scout.com).
So far, Coples has filled in at a variety of roles and dominated at all of them. It's hard to imagine more positive reports coming out of New York.
Stock Down: Dre Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati Bengals
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When Dre Kirkpatrick has been featured in the media, it's mostly been for his inconsistent play, as reported by the Dayton Daily News.
Inconsistency is expected from a rookie, but it sounds like Kirkpatrick has been bad more than he's been good.
The Bengals would really like Kirkpatrick to start this year, but if he doesn't improve, that seems unlikely.