There is always a learning curve for rookies entering the NFL. Whether it be the complex schemes, the speed of the game or maybe even a position change, it takes times for rookies to become productive NFL players.
That being said, every year there are a few guys who breakout of that stereotype and become an essential aspect of their team's success. Last season it was Victor Cruz and A.J. Green, and this year there are a slew of potential candidates to follow in their footsteps.
While we could sit here and go through each team's first-round pick and talk about why that specific player will be a breakout star, it may be more prudent to dig a little deeper. All football fans know who Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon are, but there are players who were drafted in the lower rounds who have star potential.
Let's take a look at three non-first-round picks who could make big plays for their team in Week 1.
Brian Quick (St. Louis Rams, WR)
Brian Quick is an immensely talented wideout in an offense that lacks a viable receiver to accompany Sam Bradford at quarterback. Quick's 6'4", 220-pound frame will make him a matchup nightmare for any cornerback. He could emerge as a No. 1 receiver as soon as Week 1.
Check out what the National Football Post said about Quick:
Quick is a former prep basketball stud, who played only one year of football in high school before signing with Appalachian State and his coordination on the hardwood certainly carries over to the gridiron. He does a nice job off the line setting up defenders, maintaining proper balance, using his long arms to keep himself clean and exhibiting a burst into his route. Gets upright a bit when trying to side step defenders and needs to play lower, but the length and quickness is there. He's also natural going up and extending his arms for the football down the field and is the kind of big target quarterbacks love to throw at.
The Rams are more than likely going to be in a shootout against the Detroit Lions this Sunday. The Lions offense is capable of scoring in the blink of an eye, and their secondary is porous. The Rams will have to throw the ball to keep pace with the Lions' high-octane offense. With that, Brian Quick will have every opportunity to produce.
Jerel Worthy (Green Bay Packers, DE)
Jerel Worthy was perhaps the most underrated defensive tackle in this year's NFL draft. The scouting report on him was that although he has the physical tools to be a productive NFL player, he has shown an inability to consistently make plays throughout his career. However, his assignments at Michigan State often included clogging rushing lanes, taking on double-teams and controlling the line of scrimmage.
Take a look at FF Toolbox's scouting report on Worthy:
Most evaluations miss this change in assignment and see a guy who doesn't penetrate, doesn't get in the backfield, doesn't make impact plays, etc. But the role of a defensive tackle isn't necessarily to be involved in that more than a couple times per game. Worthy does all his new tasks very well. He shows a great explosion off the line and is strong enough in his upper body to grab a player with one arm and, all in one motion, bring the ball-carrier into his chest and down to the ground.
On a Packers team that has lacked a solid pass rush, Jerel Worthy's breakout campaign could start as soon as this week.
Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears, WR)
Alshon Jeffrey is going to be the Bear's No. 2 wideout to start the season. With Brandon Marshall on the other side of him, Jeffrey will consistently see one-on-one coverage from each team's second-best cornerback. He is talented enough to become the best rookie wideout in the NFL this season.
While Jeffery doesn't have breakaway speed, his 6'3", 215-pound frame will make him hard to matchup with. Throughout the preseason, Jeffery showed his ability to use a physical style of play to become productive.
The Bears are playing the Indianapolis Colts this weekend. The Colts have never been known for their ability to defend the pass, so look for Chicago to utilize their aerial attack early and often. While Brandon Marshall will see the majority of quarterback Jay Cutler's targets, Jeffery will get his chance to shine as well. Look for him to be a key factor in a Bears victory.
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