Top 10 Rookie Playmakers To Watch in 2010
Now the dust has settled from the draft and we know more about what kind of team settings the rookies have landed in, and so we can start to create our wishfull and more or les well argumented predictions on how the rookies will fare in their first year.
In this article I wanted to focus on which of the rookies that in my mind will have a playmaking impact on his team. In my mind a playmaker is a player that can have a (positive) gamechanging impact through his ability to make big plays on offense or defense.
I have tried to evaluate not only on the single players abilities but also on his position on the team - will he be put in a position where his playmaking abilities will be utilized.
You might differ in oppinion - feel free - this is my subjective point of view - of the players I am looking forward to watching.
There are players out there with equal or better playmaking abilities, but some of them have landed on teams or in team situations that will hamper their impact.
10. Aaron Hernandez, New England.
Sometimes you just have to go with your hunch--Aaron Hernandez is my hunch.
He is not your traditional TE or WR - he is that guy who can be used to create a good match up with a great QB like Tom Brady you can be sure that he knows how to make good use of Hernandez, who has good hands and excellent route running.
Look for Belichick to deploy this playmaker all over the field, as he will make big plays as defenses put their focus elsewhere.
Hernandez has the potential to be a playmaker because defenses will have struggle to predict where he will line up on the field.
9. Arrelious Benn, Tampa Bay.
I think Arrelious Benn is a perfect match in the Buccaneers offense, as he is just what a young quarterback needs over the middle.
He will not be the primary weapon-and that is why he will excel on YAC (yards after catch).
8. Mike Iupati, San Francisco.
I needed a playmaker on the O-line, and I thought of the scariest guy to line up in front of-and I just couldn't get around Mike Iupati.
I think he is perfect for Singletary's smash mouth 49ers offense, as we are going to see a lot of running plays behind this big, bad fellow.
I know he has issues-but I can see him helping the 49ers running game for years to come.
7. Jordan Shipley, Cincinnati.
Im looking for Shipley to have a Wes Welker like impact on the Bengals.
Defenses will be focusing on so many other players when playing the Bengals that Shipley will easily be able to get open to make a big play.
I think Shipley is the perfect fit for Palmer's abilities.
6. Ryan Matthews, San Diego.
Ryan Matthews' biggest contribution might be the potential threat that he poses as a playmaker - because if anything, he will open up the field for all the big time receivers the Chargers have on offense.
Ryan Matthews makes my list over C.J. Spiller because I think Matthews has landed on a team that is more than ready for him.
He's not being asked to carry the team, but to be a threat as a playmaker. He won't get as many carries as he did in college, but im expecting big things for him.
5. Kyle Wilson, New York Jets.
Personally I cannot believe that the other teams let Kyle Wilson slip to the Jets to pair up with Darrelle Revis and compete with Antonio Cromartie.
It looks like its going to be a nightmare to throw against the Jets - with all those "islands" Its going to be like the Great Barrier Reef.
Quarterbacks will struggle against the Jets' defense, as quarterbacks will want to throw to Wilson, who will be there to make the interception.
4. Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay.
With Brian Price to plug the holes - the Buccaneers are paving the way for McCoy as the second coming of Warren Sapp.
Yes, I know he has a long way to go until you can even compare the two, but quarterbacks will likely fear him once he steps on the field.
On top of that, I think McCoy really stands out as a leader that naturally commands attention. This is a big reason as to why I think he will be a better player than Suh.
3. Dexter McCluster, Kansas City.
Dexter McCluster will be a playmaker where ever he is lined up on the field.
I think the trick with DMC is to find the right situation where his abilities can be used to fullest. When the Chiefs asked him what postion he favors to play, he replied with "offensive weapon."
Does it get any better than that?
The Chiefs drafted him high, so it seems they have high intentions to use him in their offense. Kansas City has a great power-running back tandem, and that will help create holes for DMC in screen plays and as a slot receiver.
My only concern here is whether or not the Chiefs will be able to strech the field to create space for DMC.
I think the return game will be a story in itself with rookies McCluster and Arenas as a dual threat.
2. Eric Berry, Kansas City.
Eric Berry might seem too easy here, but I feel as though he may be asked to do too much on the Chiefs' defense.
But then again, I don't think you can hold back the talent that Berry possesses from making big plays on a defense that quarterbacks aren't afraid to pass against - not yet, that is.
1. Sean Weatherspoon, Atlanta.
Even though I really like Roland McClain in Oakland, I think he will be more of a field general.
In my opinion, Sean Weatherspoon has all the trades to succeed as a playmaker in the Tampa 2 system in Atlanta.
The Falcons brought him in as a playmaker, and with his speed, versatility and attitude - he is going to make big plays week-in and week-out,
Playmakers in tough spots
I think there are a number of rookies that have landed in tough spots that will struggle to produce their playmaking performance in 2010.
Those players include:
With questions at quarterback and a mediocre offensive line, I think it will be hard for Spiller to unleash his true potential.
There are already troubles at receiver position in Dallas, as there is much talent at this position.
There are huge expectations for Bryant, as he and the team have enourmous pressure to reach the Super Bowl. I can't see this as a good environment for a player like Dez Bryant, who is dealing with many character issues.
Again, there is no question about his talent, but with all the weapons the Seahawks have, it's hard to predict how many balls will be thrown his way in 2010.
He is still dealing with injuries and has a lot to learn until he unleashes his potential as a playmaker.
I don't think the Denver's offensive scheme suites his deep plamaking abilities.