15 Bold 2010 NFL Predictions: Who Wins Rookie of the Year?
Please note that these are supposed to be bold.
I'm not gonna come out here and say, "I think Sam Bradford's gonna be good, Eric Berry will be good and Dez Bryant will be so great!"
If I wanted to make some weenie predictions, I could, but I'm trying to go out on a limb here!
This year's draft is finally over, and after three long days, I've formed some pretty strong opinions and predictions on what will happen with these prospects.
Faint of heart and easily offended, don't read on! (Just kidding, they're not THAT repulsive...)
1. Gerald McCoy Will Be More Successful Than Ndamukong Suh This Season
Both McCoy and Suh are great prospects. But I have to think Suh's draft stock was raised exponentially by the ESPN hype machine after his monstrous Big XII championship game.
His stock rose from a Top five lock and potential No. one pick to, "blue chip, can't miss," status.
Suh and McCoy are tied for the best defensive tackle prospects we've seen in the 2000s. But if not for ESPN hyping him up as the greatest prospect of all time, people would see Suh's flaws.
For one, he relies too much on his power to overwhelm weaker college offensive linemen. He can't do that in the NFL. He relied on his strength and never really developed a pro style pass rush.
McCoy has all the tools he needs to step right onto an NFL field and be successful. He'll come right in and make an impact for Tampa Bay.
However, once Suh picks up on the intricacies of the position, probably in a year or two, he'll become one of the premier tackles in the league.
2. Bryan Bulaga Makes the Packers Super Bowl Contenders
With the status of Brett Favre in question, a lot of people pegged the Packers as the favorites in the NFC North before the draft, myself included.
However, I didn't think they'd be able to make a deep playoff run without major improvements on their offensive line.
Enter Bryan Bulaga.
Coming from Crystal Lake, Ill., it pains me to see Bulaga go to the Packers, but he's stepping into a great situation where he'll help improve the running game for Ryan Grant while keeping Aaron Rodgers upright.
3. The Redskins Will Regret Picking Trent Williams over Russell Okung
"Williams fits our system better!" Is what all of you heard from the Redskins coaching staff.
While Williams is fluid once he gets in space, he struggled immensely once moved to left tackle this year and should not have been a first round pick, let alone a top five selection.
Russell Okung was a top five pick from the outset of the season and did nothing to dampen those expectations.
While Okung paves holes for Lendale White and Leon Washington, teams will be beating Williams around the corner to sack Donovan McNabb.
4. Dez Bryant Will Find Major Success
There was no better place for Dez Bryant to go than Dallas.
Every piece on that offense is set (except maybe some offensive line issues,) and they have a star quarterback in Tony Romo.
I have no doubt that by the end of the season Dez Bryant will be starting over Roy Williams.
He has elite body control and will emerge as an Anquan Boldin to Miles Austin's Larry Fitzgerald, the elite underneath, possession receiver to the deep threat.
5. Derrick Morgan Will Lead All Rookie's in Sacks
Much like Dez Bryant, Morgan comes into the perfect situation.
After losing Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch this off-season, the Titans desperately need a pass-rusher and Morgan is a blue collar, 4-3 defensive end.
Morgan reminds me of Alex Brown of the Saints, a big tough run defender who will get you a consistent 6-10 sacks a year.
I'm predicting we get eight or nine sacks from Morgan, while Jason Pierre-Paul sees rotational play, and Brandon Graham will be close behind, perhaps maybe even tied with Morgan.
6. Jimmy Clausen Plays Well
It was announced that Jimmy Clausen will wear the number two on his jersey.
I wouldn't be shocked if he's doing so to serve as a constant reminder that most teams in the league passed on him twice or as a reminder that he went in the second round.
If so, I feel sorry for the rest of the NFL because I see a kid who, much like Tim Tebow, will play his ass off to make sure that every team knows they made a mistake by passing on him.
7. Mid-Round Receivers Make An Impact
Last year, we saw players like BYU's Austin Collie, Abilene Christian's Johnny Knox, Mississippi's Mike Wallace, Ohio State's Brian Hartline, and Florida's Louis Murphy all find success after being passed over in the first round.
This year, I think we see players like the Cardinals' Andre Roberts, the Seahawks' Golden Tate, the Bengals' Jordan Shipley, the Titans' Damian Williams and the Broncos' Eric Decker all find success.
All are pro ready receivers who'll make big impacts for these receiver-needy teams.
8. Sam Bradford Barely Sees the Field
This draft has confused me. It's just like the 2005 Draft—there are two top quarterbacks.
One's a pro-ready, polished quarterback (Aaron Rodgers/Jimmy Clausen,) and one's a spread QB with questionable arm strength who put up big numbers (Alex Smith/Sam Bradford.)
The Rams made the same mistake the 49ers did (although I don't think Bradford will be as bad as Smith was,) and I think we'll barely see Bradford play this season because of how much work he has to do.
9. CJ Spiller Puts Up Better Stats then Jahvid Best
Jahvid Best has a chance to be explosive, but I just have way too many concerns with him.
First off, there are the concussions, Spiller carries no such concerns.
Best has a slight build while Spiller is a bit stockier, which is what makes him such an impressive inside runner.
While both play behind terrible offensive lines, Best has the added bonus of playing with a big armed quarterback and elite wide-out.
If there's any reason Best plays better then Spiller, it'll be because he has an actual semblance of a consistent offense around him.
10. Rob Gronkowski Catches 40+ Passes for 600+ Yards
Gronkowski is the type of player that you can't help but get on the field.
Along with being a wild and crazy guy, he's the best blocker of the top 10 tight ends drafted this year, as well as being one of the most dangerous receivers.
If not for being injured this past season, he'd likely have been a first round pick.
With Wes Welker hobbled by injury and Randy Moss likely having his head on what will happen during the off-season, the Patriots will need weapons for Tom Brady to pass to and Gronkowski fills that void perfectly.
11. Neither of the Broncos First Round Picks Make an Impact
A year and a half ago, the Broncos had an elite young quarterback and fantastic wide-out. Their offense looked to be set for the next 10 years.
Now? They have a hard-working quarterback who can't take snaps from under center and has a wonky left-handed motion, and a wide receiver who broke his toe this off-season and can't run routes.
Needless to say, I wasn't a fan of the Broncos draft.
12. The Rookie Corners Play Well from Day 1
While the 2011 class might grade out a bit higher, this class of corners is one of the best I've seen.
With four selected in the first round, I expect them to get considerable playing time and to make splashes.
The Texans' Kareem Jackson, the Browns' Joe Haden, the Patriots' Devin McCourty, and the Jets' Kyle Wilson will all find themselves on the field and will make plays.
13. Mike Iupati Struggles, Maurkice Pouncey Flourishes
Iupati's a dominating run blocker, but as seen in his performance at the Senior Bowl, there is reason for legitimate concern as far as his pass-blocking goes.
Maurkice Pouncey is more polished as far as the pass blocking game goes, I think.
Both teams will be facing unsure quarterback situations this season, and both will rely on running the ball.
I think the Steelers might have more success because of how well I anticipate Pouncey playing.
14. Ben Tate Wins Offensive Rookie of the Year
I'm a huge Ben Tate fan.
With a strong class of offensive talent, like the Panthers Jimmy Clausen and the Cowboys Dez Bryant, Ben Tate landed in the perfect situation for himself.
He fits the Texans' zone-blocking scheme to a T, and with his combination of speed and power, he should find the end zone often for a team with a lethal aerial attack in need of a pounding run game.
Like I said earlier, watch out for Jimmy Clausen and Dez Bryant to compete for the award as well.
15. Eric Berry Wins Defensive Rookie of the Year
There are a lot of good defensive backs in this class, but Eric Berry is head and shoulders the best.
He's a huge hitter and play-maker in a secondary that sorely lacked them.
Don't be shocked to see Eric Berry win Defensive Rookie of the Year, and make a much bigger impact then last year's Jairus Byrd.