Top 10 Rookies from the Second-Seventh Round Who Will Make an Impact in 2009 Part One: Offense
There have been careers made and broken in the NFL. Some that achieved success in their careers by winning a championship or becoming a future Hall of Famer.
The Draft is the event where there are names who are a buy or bust. Every year we wonder who will be the first pick of the Draft. Also we have a cheat sheet and predict who will be taken by what team in the draft.
We focus on the players from first round more. Sure, guys like Knowshon Moreno (Denver), Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia), Matt Stafford (Detroit), Jason Smith (St. Louis) & etc could make an impact, but what about guys in the later rounds?
The players from the second to seventh round have always made an impact. Look at guys like Tom Brady, who was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round and took the Patriots to the Super Bowl and won three titles.
Also Devin Hester, Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin, I can go on about who found success despite not being drafted in the first round.
Join me as we look at who are top 10 of rookies from the Second to Seventh Round who will make an impact this coming season. Cause you know every there's somebody that will jump at you.
First it's all about the offense in this two-part article. Before I go to my top 10 list here are the players who didn't make the cut but will also make an impact on their team.
BONUS PLAYERS TO LOOK AT
Kraig Urbik G Pittsburgh third Round Draft Pick
Troy Kropog T Tennessee fourth Round Draft Pick
Gartrell Johnson RB San Diego fourth Round Draft Pick
Corneilus Ingram TE Philadelphia fifth Round Draft Pick
Jamon Meredith T Green Bay fifth Round Draft Pick
Quinn Johnson FB Green Bay fifth Round Draft Pick
Glen Coffee RB San Francisco third Round Draft Pick
OUTSIDE THE TOP 10:
20.Rashad Jennings RB Jacksonville seventh Round Draft Pick
19.Sammie Stroughter WR Tampa Bay seventh Round Draft Pick
18.Jaguars WR's (Mike Thomas fourth Round Draft Pick, Jarrett Dillard fifth Round Draft Pick, or Tiquan Underwood seventh Round Draft Pick)
17.Shawn Nelson TE Buffalo fourth Round Draft Pick
16.Louis Vasquez G San Diego third Round Draft Pick
15.Andre Brown RB NY Giants fourth Round Draft Pick
14.Austin Collie WR Indianapolis fourth Round Draft Pick
13.Mike Wallace WR Pittsburgh third Round Draft Pick
12.Eben Britton T Jacksonville second Round Draft Pick
11.Andy Levitre G Buffalo second Round Draft Pick
No. 10: Deon Butler WR Seattle Third Round Draft Pick
The Seahawks not only had to worry about the defense but offense was the priority. Last year, Seattle finished 29th in passing and 28th in total offense. The main reason was Matt Hasselbeck was not healthy before and during the season. This year Hasselbeck is back but this time healthy.
What did they have to do to help the offense? Easy, get receivers. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was the first receiver to sign with the Seahawks. Howver, T.J. is 31 so the Seahawks had to look at the future and that was ex-Nittany Lion Deon Butler.
Butler wouldn't have been drafted if it wasn't for DE Aaron Maybin former teammate of Butler and Buffalo's 1st round pick with whom they had a pre-Draft interview with in Seattle.
What the Seahawks like about this guy is that he has long arms to make a catch. His hands are reliable when catching a pass and can uses them outside his 5'10" frame. With his vision, he has eyes and the penetration to make the play.
Here's the bad news about Butler. He's good with hands and all but he can be taken advantaged of by bigger corners because of his size. In the NFL, not only gotta be ready mentally but physically as well. He can try to block the opposition with effort, but his lack of strength is his biggest downfall.
Butler is gonna be in competition with Nate Burleson for the third spot and possibly fourth against Ben Obomanu & Courtney Taylor. This guy would be great as a slot receiver and could take the edge off of T.J. & Deion when things get tight. He could be dangerous if Hasselbeck finds him in coverage.
No. 9: Chase Coffman TE Cincinnati Third Round Draft Pick
The Bengals haven't found success in the tight end position since the days of former tight ends Bob Trumpy (298 career rec, 4,600 yds career rec yds & 35 career TD's) & Tony McGee (299 career rec, 3,795 career yds & 20 TD's as a Bengal).
Hopefully they found that in Missouri TE Chase Coffman. If it wasn't for a foot injury, Chase could have been picked up early in the draft.
Some say he's a duplicate of Heath Miller because of his arm size and has the ability to gain more yardage. This guy reminds me of Dallas Clark when he draws the opposition in slot coverage.
He's quicker than fast and knows how to get the ball. He can position himself well by making acrobatic catches with defenders all over him. Chase's weaknesses are that even though he flashes physicality and toughness, he rarely blocks that often.
Also he's not good as a deep seam threat. Another concern is can he stay healthy without suffering an injury? At Missouri, he's had his share of injuries especially with his foot and even played a game with bone spurs.
He has the talent, footwork, size and ball skills to push Ben Utecht for the starting position. He has that pedigree as a tight end that every team wants. Carson Palmer will not hesitate to throw the ball to Chase if Chad Ochocinco and ex-Jet Laveranues Coles are covered tightly.
This guy could make his mark in Cincinnati for the long haul to be that traditional tight end, if he can stay healthy.
One more thing about this guy and why he's a tight end. His father Paul Coffman was an All-Pro tight end in his days with Green Bay & Kansas City. He even went on a limb and said Coffman will be good in the NFL.
No. 8: Phil Loadholt T Minnesota Second Round Draft Pick
What makes the Vikings successful is scouting lineman and making them effective. Minnesota has a strong pair on the left side with T Bryant McKinnie & G Steve Hutchinson. However, the problem is that their right is the weak side of the O-Line.
When Phil Loadholt was available, the Vikings were not afraid to pull the trigger by drafting this massive tackle from Oklahoma.
Phil has the perfection of being dominant as a drive blocker. That could pay dividends to an O-Line that has the height from 6'4"-6'8". With his 6'8" size, he can devour his matchup and what's amazing about Loadholt?
He can use his body by turning away from the opposing end and pancake him flat on the ground. He has the balance, long arms and quickness for a tackle.
What he has to work on is his weight. There are big men over 300 lbs in the NFL but against ends who hold an advantage by speed against tackles could cause problems for Loadholt. He has to use other abilities instead of relying on his size to fend off pass rushers.
Expect Loadholt to add some size and toughness to the right side moving Ryan Cook to the right guard position. The Vikings have themselves a steal in Phil that could make them even stronger.
No. 7: Brian Robiskie WR Cleveland Second Round Draft Pick
Future of Braylon Edwards in Cleveland was in question not only for this year but for the long term. The Browns solution was to pick up receivers whether it was in free agency or the Draft.
They might have found the future by drafting Ohio State WR & Cleveland native Brian Robiskie (pictured) & Georgia WR Mohamed Massaquoi.
Brian Robiskie may not wait too long to become a starter. Why you must say? First, with him as a No. 2 receiver, he could solidify this spot alongside Edwards because of the contract status with WR/PR Josh Cribbs, plus Massaquoi & David Patten possibly the third & fourth receivers on the depth chart.
Like Father, Like son is the best way to put if for the Robiskie family. His father Terry, who played pro ball as a running back for Oakland (1977-79) & Miami (1980-81), was a wide receivers & interim head coach for the Browns.
Brian was mentioned as a pro-ready receiver in the draft by some scouts. Even ESPN analyst Michael Smith even dubbed the former Buckeye as the "most sure thing in the draft." Here's why.
He's an excellent route runner whose a big-play threat against corners and can separate himself in press coverage. Positioned on the outside or slot, he can be a threat at either one.
He has the frame and ability to go all over the field. As good as he as is, here's the problem.
He might not have the speed and quickness which is a must in the NFL to separate himself from the corners. He can try too hard, even mix it up with the corners.
He struggles at blocking the opposition based on lack of technique. He doesn't have the breakaway speed for a punt returner, even at Ohio State (18 punt returns, 77 punt return yds).
The jury is out on who will be the starting QB in Cleveland between Brady Quinn & Derek Anderson. Whoever gets the start will get a chance to throw to Robiskie because he's a big-play threat. He could be the No. 1 receiver if things with Braylon Edwards become short-term.
No. 6: Shonn Greene RB NY Jets Third Round Draft Pick
The Jets find themselves in a dilemma with not one but two disgruntled running backs. Thomas Jones & Leon Washington are barking for a new contract. There's a chance that one of them might not be a Jet in 2010.
With the Jets trading picks and players like TOPPS cards, they had three picks. The one pick that could be a steal and a long-term running back is Shonn Greene.
The Jets like the fact that Greene is a down-hill power runner who attacks the line of scrimmage. He's has the mental and physical toughness to bang it out in this power running Jets offense.
This guy's a beast and bounce off tackles the. With his size, he's a great pass blocker. He can cutback because of his stellar vision. He has good leg drive and finishes his runs.
A true breakaway threat but lacks the quality of speed to get to the outside. Like Jamal Lewis he has rubber hands and doesn't have the experience as a receiver. As a Hawkeye, he caught 11 career receptions for only 2 yds.
That's a problem for the Jets especially in screen plays because Jones & Washington are experienced in that area. He might not catch on with a playbook that's complicated. Also he's old for a rookie. Well, not that old, but he turns 24 on Aug. 21.
If Shonn is used more in the system watch out. This could be a three-back monster attack along with Jones & Washington, if it pans out for the Jets. This guy has starter material.
No. 5: Juaquin Iglesias WR Chicago Third Round Draft Pick
When you look at Chicago, you don't have a superstar big play receiver like Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Randy Moss, Greg Jennings, etc on the team. The Bears offense didn't have a problem running the ball but not throwing the ball more to the receivers was a problem.
With ex-Bronco Jay Cutler coming to the Bears he could make this Bears passing offense that was pedestrian last year at No. 21 into an all-out aerial assault with Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Greg Olsen and this guy here rookie Juaquin Iglesias from Oklahoma.
The Bears drafted Iglesias because of his quickness. He's quick on his feet to get into his route. He's strong as a route-runner who can seperate himself from defenders by his agility. I like his toughness and he's not afraid going to the middle in the heat of battle to make play.
He has good ball skills and mechanics and his vision is on point. He's also a fighter when he gains for extra yards. He could be used as a kick and punt returner because of his experience.
What goes against him is he depends on his quickness and agility too much to create separation from the corners. That could limit his chances of becoming a deep threat. He doesn't have the experience as a go-to target and needs to improve if he can face the challenge of today NFL's corners.
Now he comes to Chicago to help the Bears improve in the passing game. With his speed, good hands and footwork, look for this guy to be a sleeper possibly a fantasy pick if he cements Earl Bennett to become the receiver alongside WR/KR/PR Devin Hester or in the slot. Iglesias this year is a dark horse in his rookie year.
No. 4: Max Unger C/G Seattle Second Round Draft Pick
Seattle's needs were not only to help add some youth in the receive core. Their job was to add some in the O-Line. When Steve Hutchinson left for Minnesota, there was a lack of strength in the guard position.
With Walter Jones years in the NFL winding to a close, they had to make some moves to stabilize the O-line of the Seahawks. Fortunately a guy by the name of Max Unger of Oregon was around in the second round.
Why the Seahawks chose him is no mystery. In his days in high school and at Oregon, he played three positions on the O-Line. He's a multi-task lineman that likes to be lined up wherever he's positioned.
His hands are his weapons when fending off the defense to protect his quarterback. He's a valuable cut blocker who can get off the snap and search for his targets downfield with his foot speed.
He has the tools and technique to be the perfect pass blocker in the NFL. In every great offensive-lineman there's gonna be negatives which for Unger is minor.
He needs to adjust more off of the shotgun snap and needs to work more being experience with Hasselbeck under center. Oregon's offensive scheme held him back in drive blocking. He's better inside the line than outside.
He has the toughness, swagger, humility, technique, the whole nine to help Walter & Co block for Matt Hasselbeck. He could play all positions whether it's tackle, guard or center if one of the starters go down.
Who knows he could be the anchor when Walter Jones finishes his career. He could have a promising career not only as a Seahawk but as an NFL player.
No. 3: Ramses Barden WR NY Giants Third Round Draft Pick
We're familiar with colleges in Californa such as USC, UCLA, California, & Fresno State. However, Cal Poly is a name we'll never remember but the name Ramses Barden will be stuck in our heads for quite some time.
That's why the Giants drafted him to fill the void of Plaxico Burress & Amani Toomer along with first round pick Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina.
What works out for Barden is his 6'6" height and strong overall build. He takes advantage of the corners which enables him to get downfield for the big play.
Whether it's screens or short patterns he can do it. For a receiver with a freakish stature, he has the foot quickness and acceleration. Also with his size he's a red-zone target and is not afraid to snatch the ball away from the corner if covered.
His hands though can beat him at times when he's inconsistent on jump balls, where he has the advantage because you guessed it his size. He doesn't have the open-field quickness to beat NFL corners who are true veterans.
He was dominate against the lack of competition in his days at Cal Poly and hasn't been challenged, which in the NFL is way different from College/D1-AA. He's gotta use his size more to hold off NFL corners when run blocking comes into play.
With Nicks, they could possibly be Nos. 1 and 2, if they can unseat Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon. There have been doubts about this year's receiving corps, based on the lack of veteran leadership with the departures of Burress and Toomer.
However adding youth, bulk and speed will not be a problem. Ramses Barden could be the starter especially Eli's favorite target if he works his way up on the depth chart.
No. 2: Pat White QB/WR Miami Second Round Draft Pick
I know it's high for a backup QB to be at No. 2; however, Pat White could make an impact in the Wildcat formation for Miami. Bill Parcells made it known that if he had the opportunity, he would bring White to Miami, but on the first day of the Draft, his dream became a reality when he available.
White is every coaches dream. He has speed and vision to make plays and dance around the opposition. I don't mean dancing as the "Stanky Leg", LOL" but opponents have a tough time taking this guy down because he's too fast.
His arm throwing skills are amazing. He's accurate and can make long throws down the field. What makes him valuable is his team leadership and he's a motivator.
He's a big question mark and why I do say that? Which role does he play in the NFL? QB or WR? I had my share of concerns about players especially Reggie Bush because he was a multi-task RB, but with Pat White he's lacks weight requirement to be the prototype quarterback in the NFL.
His weight of 197 could see him as an easy target and his body is not strong enough to take hits from defenders. He has to master catching skills if he's involved in slot plays because he's not careful when holding on the ball. In the pocket, he's impatient. He's better off as a wide receiver.
With Chad Pennington as the starter and Chad Henne possibly the man in 2010, Pat White could become a wide receiver, which wouldn't be a bad idea.
He's a great fit for the Wildcat formation and that could decrease the carries of Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams. He has the speed, arm, footwork, & vision to make this Dolphins Offense exciting.
No. 1: LeSean McCoy RB Philadelphia Second Round Draft Pick
Brian Westbrook is the pinball machine of the Eagles. With him creeping to 30, not only age is a problem but his health is. The Eagles had to find a backup to takeover for Correll Buckhaler, who left for Denver.
McCoy is like a carbon copy of Brian Westbrook, except the weight. The Eagles don't have to worry about Westbrook being the only receiver. McCoy has excellent hands and that's good fit for a team that likes to do screen plays.
He likes to go inside and hit the hole in a single-back set. With his speed and versatility, he can pose problems for the defense whether it's running the ball or getting receptions.
His hips are shifty and can shake a defender off of him. He has to the ability to juke as well. Has body control and can go through arm tackles on the outside. Moves his legs and can bounce off of tackles.
Biggest disadvantage for LeSean is he doesn't have the weight of an elite back. He doesn't hold on to the ball tightly and that can ask for a turnover ASAP. He doesn't switch the ball.
He has to prove himself to get the tough yards. In pass protection, he's not trustworthy, he uses his shoulder but he doesn't move his feet nor even get in the way of a rusher.
LeSean McCoy is definitely a reliever and will help Westbrook. If he can excel in the Eagles system and contribute, he'll succeed.