2011 NFL Preseason: 18 Most Disappointing Rookies of the Exhibition Season

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2011 NFL Preseason: 18 Most Disappointing Rookies of the Exhibition Season
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Cam Newton isn't the only preseason disappointment of the 2011 Draft class.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

This slideshow isn't entitled "18 Sure-to-be Busts of 2011 Draft Class" for a reason. Making mention and condemnation aren't the same.

In fact, I've got pretty lofty hopes for guys like Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers, the mild disappointments of mid-Florida; for A.J. Green, kept mum by opposing secondaries; for Patrick Peterson, not exactly performing like otherworldly prospects do.

Overall: I'm sure I won't be let down—in the long haul.

But for now, I'm not sold. For all it is—a four-round bout of meaningless exhibition football; some 10 percent of all turnstile revenue; as much a chance to shine as to end up in surgery; marred by the lockout-shortened offseason—the preseason is a chance for rookies to impress by showing glimpses of their potential. It can be raw yet blemished, equal parts brilliance and gaffe.

But they've got to give me something. 

What I've got so far?

Two that scream "Draft Day reach," in Corey Liuget and Muhammad Wilkerson.

Others, like Jonathan Baldwin, that bellow "bust."

Others still—like Cam Newton, whose performance shimmers with both "lifelong winner" intangibles and visceral physicality, and shoddy accuracy—remain to be seen.

Overall: Let's keep reactions curbed. Far from the last word on these players' careers, these analyses are only what we've got to work with thus far. Let's see what we've got when that mold hardens.

For now, though, this is all we've got: three weeks of preseason football in the books, two games of which are the most meaningful.

And with that, we offer the 18 biggest disappointments of the preseason.

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