Rookie Studs and Duds in NFL Week 1

Drew Copley@DrewatWTKRCorrespondent IISeptember 10, 2012

Rookie Studs and Duds in NFL Week 1

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    Earlier in 2012, the NFL had a huge draft class that was sure to dazzle at the next level. Players of all positions were considered skillful and looked to be starting come the regular season.

    Week 1 has officially kick-started the new season and a new chance to take a look at the coveted rookies.

    Certain hype has surrounded some of these newcomers to the NFL while others have been underestimated in their pursuit of a pro career.

    These are the studs and duds of the rookie class in Week 1.

Stud: Alshon Jeffery

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    The 2nd round pick out of South Carolina by the Chicago Bears, Alshon Jeffery was considered a great wide receiver coming into draft month. He was overlooked by several teams that had a chance to pick him, and Chicago seized the opportunity to give Jay Cutler another weapon.

    He is the obvious No. 2 receiver on the team behind Brandon Marshall, but this gives him an even bigger need for catches, since he faces the lesser talent of opposing corners. He stepped up in a big way against the Colts on Sunday as he caught 3 passes for 80 yards with a long 42-yard TD reception.

    As the season progresses, he will become more of an asset to the offense.

Dud: Trent Richardson

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    As a Heisman-finalist and winner of the 2011 BCS National Championship, Richardson was looked at as one of the top running backs in college and a very high first round draft pick.

    His dreams came true when he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round with the No. 3 pick. With the Browns' former running back Peyton Hillis leaving for Kansas City, Trent Richardson was looked at as the starting running back from the beginning, but was questionable after his August 9th knee surgery. 

    In Week 1 he got the nod for action and looked for a big week against the Philadelphia Eagles. The only problem is that he didn't look like a first round pick. He finished the game having 19 carries which yielded 39 yards. He averaged 2.1 yards per carry and only gained one first down.

    It was a disappointing start to a hopeful rookie.

Stud: Robert Griffin III

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    We all know the journey to the NFL by RG3. A massive trade between the Redskins and Rams allowed Washington to jump up in the draft, giving the Rams three first-round picks and a second-round pick as well. But they felt like Griffin III was the man they needed.

    After winning the Heisman and being selected 2nd overall, he was officially the main man in Washington. He took on the New Orleans Saints on the road in Week 1.

    He led his team to victory with a pretty convincing 44 to 32 win. He had an impressive game passing for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had a QB rating of 139.9. Not only was he the only starting rookie quarterback to win his game, but the only one to not throw an interception.

    Notable rookie QB Duds:

    Brandon Weeden: 38 percent completion rating, 0 TD, 4 INT

    Andrew Luck: 309 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT

    Ryan Tannehill: 0 TD, 3 INT

    Russell Wilson: 153 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble

Dud: David Wilson

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    He was a fast and shifty back for the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2011, and his skill earned him a first-round pick for the Super Bowl champions.

    Wilson wasn't considered a starter, but a good second option as a part of their one-two punch in the backfield. With Brandon Jacobs gone, he was thought to be filling the void.

    Starting the season in Week 1 in the national spotlight on a Wednesday versus the Dallas Cowboys, Wilson had a bad game. I realize he isn't a starter and didn't get enough chance to prove himself, but he had two carries for four yards and a crucial fumble, in which it looked like he was crying on the sideline afterward. His head was out of the game, and that earned him the dud status.

    Hopefully, he will be able to forget about the past, and progress as a player in what can be a very dangerous backfield once they get rolling.

Stud: Janoris Jenkins

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    He was overlooked by many teams in the draft because of off-field issues during his college years.

    After being a three year starter for the Florida Gators, he had trouble with the law. Mix this with problems between he and his college coaches, Jenkins transferred to North Alabama for his senior season.

    Picked in the 2nd round as the 39th overall choice, many teams passed on the corner due to the character issues. New coaching staff and defensive-minded head coach, Jeff Fisher, took a chance by adding him to the newly revamped secondary. 

    Emerging as a starter against the Detroit Lions and their high-powered passing offense was a tough first test. He had 6 total tackles, 1 pass deflected and 1 interception as the defense kept the team in the game.

    Look for his presence on the field to continue being seen in the season to come.

Notable Studs and Duds

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    Stud: A whirlwind of a preseason for the Jets offense, and receiver questions at hand, 43rd pick Stephen Hill was named the starter this past week and took advantage hauling in five catches for 89 yards and two big scores.

    Dud:The wide receiver who caught passes from RG3 in college, Kendall Wright was a first round pick by the Titans. Problems with Kenny Britt made big chances for Wright to step up. He had a below average 5 catches for 37 yards.

    Stud: Another 1st round running back looking to be a tandem backfield, but emerging in his Week 1 game was Doug Martin, who had 24 carries for 95 yards and four catches for another 23 yards. They won the game against Carolina, and he also made a name for himself.