2010 NFL Draft: 2 For 1
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were initially criticized for drafting two defensive tackles in Rounds 1 and 2. By the end of the fourth round they had acquired two wide receivers as well.
There is a very good chance that these four players will line up and play against the Cleveland Browns in Raymond James Stadium on opening day.
In retrospect, let's take a look at some of the teams who picked two players that play the same position on draft day between rounds 1 through 4, that may start or play on opening day.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gerald McCoy and Brian Price—McCoy has outstanding quickness for a defensive tackle. He should be a disruptive run-defender and a productive pass-rusher. There’s a 100 percent chance that he will start for the Bucs.
Price moves very well for his size as well and has the potential to become a dynamic run defender. He can also make an impact rushing the passer. If Price does not start for the Bucs, he will definitely rotate with Roy Miller.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams—Benn's production suffered because of inconsistent quarterback play at Illinois.
He has the strength, athletic ability and hands to develop into an effective No. 1 wideout who can produce additional yards after the catch. Should be a starter.
Williams has been considered the third-most-talented receiver in this year's class. Williams has great size, and above-average ball skills, and he could become a big-time playmaker for the Buccaneers.
He has been considered as one of the steals of this draft. If he does not start, he will rotate with Reggie Brown, Maurice Stovall or Michael Clayton.
Tyson Alualu—Is considered very active and explosive, with tremendous upper-body strength to quickly shed the block.
Although he does not have great initial quickness, he can beat blockers to the point of attack and penetrate to the pocket.
Being the No. 10 pick in the draft, you would think that he would start.
D'Anthony Smith—Smith is considered to have above-average athletic ability and can move well laterally for his size.
Smith is also an above average pass-rusher with a wide assortment of moves.
Look for Smith to rotate on the defensive line.
Demaryius Thomas—Thomas brings size and speed to the wideout position and will be an immediate deep threat for the Broncos.
While at Georgia Tech, he came from a triple-option offense and is considered a bit raw as a route runner, but his size and ball skills provide him with great upside.
If his foot injury is healed, look for Thomas to start.
Eric Decker—Decker has a good combination of size and overall athleticism.
He is deemed limited in his ability to stretch the field, but he shows exceptional toughness and ball skills to become a solid possession receiver for the Denver Broncos.
If his foot injury is healed, look for Decker to rotate at the wide receiver position.
New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski—The biggest concern with Gronkowski is his durability; he missed all of the 2009 season with a back injury.
If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to develop into a complete tight end. He has shown the ability to make plays down the seam, get open underneath and ward off defenders as an inline blocker.
If his back injury has healed, look for Gronkowski to rotate with Alge Crumpler and Aaron Hernandez.
New England Patriots
Aaron Hernandez—Hernandez is considered one of the better pass-catching tight ends in this year's draft.
He will bring an immediate receiving threat to the Patriots' offense, while his best attribute is picking up additional yardage after the catch.
Look for Hernandez to rotate with Algee Crumpler and Rob Gronkowski.
Jimmy Clausen—Clausen has the arm strength, size and confidence to develop into an effective opening day starter.
He doesn't have to worry about making the transition to an NFL offense, either, after playing for Charlie Weis at Notre Dame he is probably more game ready than any quarterback from this past draft.
Look for Clausen to compete for opening day snaps with Matt Moore and Tony Pike.
Tony Pike—Although Pike was chosen in the sixth round, I put him in this debate because he also has the opportunity to dress out on opening day.
The Panthers have Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen and Pike to compete for the starting quarterback position. Stranger things have happened during quarterback battles.
Look for Pike to dress out and be the third string quarterback.
Brandon LaFell—LaFell may have some of the biggest upside in this year's receiving class.
He has excellent size and does an outstanding job using his body to shield defenders from the ball. He would be a great compliment to Steve Smith on opening day.
Armanti Edwards—Edwards played quarterback in college but will probably play slot receiver for the Panthers.
He has the athleticism and experience to conduct a Wildcat package, option or return specialist. Look for him to play on opening day.
Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell—At more than 6-foot-8, Veldheer may start at left tackle for the Raiders.
He has great upside to become a better-than-average NFL left tackle.
Campbell has elite potential as a right tackle or guard and was considered worth the risk in round four.
Although he is regarded as a unpolished prospect, he is a far better athlete than football player. He will dress out for opening day.
Ed Dickson—Dickson is considered one of the better pass-catching tight ends in this year's draft.
He has exceptional top-end speed to stretch the field with ideal body control and ball skills.
He still needs to develop as a run-blocker but would definitely contribute in the passing game. He will share snaps with Todd Heap.
Dennis Pitta—Pitta is a savvy zone-beater who should develop into a dangerous red zone threat for Joe Flacco on opening day.
He will be a part of the Ravens tight end rotation.
Will Teams Double Their Pleasure?
There you have it. Seven teams who doubled their 2010 Draft Picks at the same position for various reasons.
It would be a shock if any of these players do not dress for opening day for their respective teams (minus injury).
I feel most of them will start or have considerable playing time to start the season. Out of these rookies, which team will have the most participants on opening day?