Every NFL team will be hoping their rookies emerge as immediate standouts in 2014, but with regards to both skill sets and situations, some first-year players glisten above the rest of the pack as potential top performers for their new teams in 2014.
Not all of the rookie standouts are easily predictable. While it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that New York Jets first-round pick Sheldon Richardson was the league’s top rookie defensive lineman this past season, it might have come as a bigger surprise that San Diego Chargers third-round pick Keenan Allen was the top rookie wide receiver and that Detroit Lions guard Larry Warford, also a third-rounder, stood out among the first-year class at his position.
With that being said, all of the following selections from the 2014 NFL draft stand out as being among the most likely to represent their rookie class in a memorable and positively impactful fashion this season.
While logic and history would both suggest that the players selected highest in the draft have the best chance of being instant success stories, there’s more to projecting the top performers than simply cherry-picking the top of the draft board.
Each of the following players were top-100 picks, but they furthermore stand out as players who were productive in college, should be ready to play well in at least one capacity in 2014 and are in situations that should lead them to significant playing time right away.