NFL Predictions 2011: 20 Biggest Rookie Surprises

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NFL Predictions 2011: 20 Biggest Rookie Surprises
J. Meric/Getty Images
Who will be the 2011 version of Aaron Hernandez?

Every year there's an NFL rookie who makes a mark seemingly from out of the blue, with little or no warning.

It could be 2010's Marc Mariani, Aaron Hernandez, Emmanuel Sanders or Tony Moeaki.

Or it could be 2009's Arian Foster, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Knox or Mike Wallace.

Of course, I could throw up a list of the 20 rookies most likely to have a big 2011 season, but that would be picking and choosing from the first- and second-round draft picks, basically seeing who the starters are as of Week 1 and going from there.

Instead, this is about the unexpected guys, the genuine surprises.

Low-rounders.

Undrafted free agents.

Guys who caught my eye with strong preseason games or glowing reports in practices.

That inherently makes it a lot more hit or miss, but hopefully one or two or five of these guys will shine and prove me correct.

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