Grading a draft class take years and grading the players may take even longer. Drafting is not a science and even the best college players can turn out to be complete busts.
Still in the middle of the draft, it is far too early to look into the future and see where these young men will be at the end of the year.
But anyway here is a far too early look into how this incomplete rookie class will turn out this year.
Drafted 4th Overall, AJ Green should have an immediate impact
My Pick—AJ Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
If Carson Palmer plays for the Bengals this year then AJ Green should comfortably win Offensive Rookie of the Year. With T.O. and Chad Johnson expected to be out, Green will start from Day 1 and takeover as the Bengals No. 1 wide receiver.
Blessed with terrific size and speed as well great hands, Green is in line for a 1000+ yard season along with double digit touchdowns. Playing alongside Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Cedric Benson will allow Green space to do what he does best.
Other candidates include—
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints—With injuries all over the Saints running back corps, Ingram has the opportunity to entrench himself as the starter next to Drew Brees. Should Ingram win the starting job, expect him to rush for over 1000 yards.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons—Playing alongside Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez will give Jones plenty of one on one chances against opposing teams weaker corners. With a good quarterback in Matt Ryan feeding him the ball, Jones can challenge Green for top rookie receiver.
My Pick—Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis Rams
In my opinion the drafts best pass rusher, Quinn joins a defensive coordinated by Steve Spagnuolo, a coach who will get the best out of him. The Rams defense made significant strides last year improving in every category.
With one of the best young defensive ends in Chris Long on one side, Quinn can get after the quarterback while opposing offensive lines key on Long. Able to rush the quarterback both standing up and with his hand in the dirt, expect Spagnuolo to move Quinn all over the Rams front seven. With such an innovative coordinator Robert Quinn may end up with double digit sacks.
Other candidates include—
Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos—Miller would have been my pick had he been drafted by a 3-4 team that played him at his best position as 3-4 OLB. At Denver, Miller will most likely stand up on early downs before playing with his hand in the dirt on third down. With Elvis Dumervil likely to attract double teams on the other side, Miller has a chance to create a great impact for the Broncos.
Nick Fairley, DT, Detroit Lions—After striking gold with last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year in Ndamukong Suh, the Lions get another stud DT to play next to him. Fairley who wreaked havoc throughout the SEC last year will continue to do so in the NFL. Jim Schwartz is one of the best defensive line coaches in the league and will get Fairley to play to his max potential. Playing next to Suh will makes thing a lot easier.
Drafted 8th Overall, Locker will lead the Titans to a winning season
Quarterback—Jake Locker, Titans
It was between Cam Newton and Jake Locker here and I chose Locker because unlike Newton, Locker has the pieces around him. Locker will have one of the league best running backs in Chris Johnson, a great offensive line as well as some good targets in Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. The Titans figure to have a good defense this year as well.
Running back—Mark Ingram, Saints
As mentioned before Ingram has the chance to go for over 1000 yards on a winning team
Wide Receiver—AJ Green, Bengals and Julio Jones, Falcons
Both have a chance at 1000+ yards and double digit touchdowns.
Tight End—Lance Kendricks, Rams
I went with Kendricks over Kyle Rudolph here for the following reasons. Kendricks will have a good quarterback in Sam Bradford while Rudolph figures to have Christian Ponder throwing to him. Rudolph also has Visathe Shiancoe on top of him in the depth chart.
Like his brother, Pouncey will turn into a star
Offensive Tackle—Tyron Smith, Cowboys and Gabe Carimi, Bears
Unlike other selections like Nate Solder and Anthony Castonzo, both Smith and Carimi look to be Day 1 starters. Smith possesses all the athletic ability and will thrive playing in the Cowboys high powered offense. Carimi should be Jay Cutler's blindside protector from the get go and under offensive line coach Mike Tice, develop into a solid left tackle.
Offensive Guard—Danny Watkins, Eagles and John Moffitt, Seahawks
At 27 years old Watkins is already in great shape to take on defensive tackles in the NFL. Playing under a great offensive mind in Andy Reid, Watkins should develop in a Pro Bowler blocking for Michael Vick. Moffitt, drafted in the third round by the Seahawks is as pro ready a guard as possible. Slipping into a young but extremely talented Seahawks line, Moffitt should flourish
Center—Mike Pouncey, Dolphins
Like his brother before him Pouncey should succeed as center from Day 1. Along with Jake Long, Pouncey should anchor the Dolphins line for the next decade. Already a great run blocker, expect Pouncey to develop into a fine all around center like brother Maurkice.
Opposing QB's beware, Von Miller is coming
Defensive End—Robert Quinn, Rams and JJ Watt, Texans
As mentioned before Quinn is my pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year. JJ Watt drafted 11th overall by the Houston Texans projects to be a great defensive end. Much like Steelers DE Aaron Smith, Watt is the prototypical 3-4 end able to anchor against the run as well as provide an interior pass rush. In a defense that features two former defensive rookies of the year in Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans, expect a big year from Watt.
Defensive Tackle—Marcell Dareus, Bills and Nick Fairley, Lions
Perhaps the best player in the draft, Dareus will help bring the Bills defense back to respectability. Playing up front with Pro Bowler Kyle Williams, Dareus can play DE in the 3-4 and DT in the 4-3, and help stuff the run while providing a great interior pass rush.
Middle Linebacker—Mason Foster, Buccaneers
Large tackle numbers will get you recognition and large tackle numbers is what Mason Foster figures to get. Playing behind a much improved defense line, Foster will have many opportunities to go one on one with running backs all season long.
Outside Linebacker—Von Miller, Broncos and Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins
As discussed before Miller looks to go for double digit sacks this year playing opposite a stud rusher in Elvis Dumervil. Just like Miller, Kerrigan will play alongside another stud rusher in Brian Orakpo. A defensive end in college, Kerrigan projects as a stand up 3-4 OLB. With a relentless motor and great productivity in college, Kerrigan can be a huge playmaker for the Redskins.
Primetime 2.0 ?
Safety—Rahim Moore, Broncos and Jaiquawn Jarrett, Eagles
In an extremely weak safety class expect these two second-round picks to standout. Picked by Denver, Moore has the benefit of being mentored by one of the greats at the position in Brian Dawkins. Jarrett was one of the most productive players in college over the last three years and figures to carry that production into the NFL. Alongside last year's second rounder Nate Allen, the Eagles look to have their safety tandem set for the foreseeable future.
Cornerback—Patrick Peterson, Cardinals and Prince Amukamara, Giants
Perhaps a no brainer here. Both are legit top-10 talents who have been drafted into terrific situations. Neither will be expected to be the No. 1 corner from Day 1 and will have terrific players surrounding them. Peterson, the number one player on many teams' boards, will line up opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, giving the Cardinals one of the best corner tandems in the league. Amukamara will join a Giants secondary overflowing with talent with players such as Antrel Rolle and Kenny Philips. Both guys should develop into No. 1 corners eventually.