Rookie Review #2

I did this after the first week of the season and it was met with some interest and some criticism.  So, in the spirit of the interested ones, I haven’t changed a thing.  This time, there is a little more information to go from.  See how the rookie on your team stacks up with my incredibly informal rating system.

Jake Long – OT – MIA – Again, I don’t know how to quantify the offensive tackle position.  Someone mentioned that I could watch the game film on, which is a good idea, but I don’t have the time. He’s listed first on the Dolphins’ depth chart and has no back up, so I’ll assume that’s good.

Chris Long – DE – STL – I have been dogging on my Rams all year long.  The first four games, I appeared to be more than correct.  Then we fired Scott Linehan.  Now, I’m not so sure we’re all that bad, granted it’s only 2 games, but still.  Mr. Long has 17 tackles and two sacks.  Nothing stellar, but the transition from college to the pro game is tough for a DE, so I’m pretty happy with him.

Matt Ryan – QB – ATL – Matt Ryan has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Falcons.  He’s thrown for 1164 yards and 5 TDs with 3 INTs.  I expected him to be good, but not this good.  He really supports my argument starting rookie QBs immediately.  The Falcons have themselves a franchise QB and can now forget about that one dog fighting guy.

Darren McFadden – RB – OAK – DMac leads a crowded Oakland backfield with 341 yards.  He’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry, but has only found the  end zone once.  He’s also fumbled four times (two lost), two of those were from rushes, two from receptions.  In his career at Arkansas, McFadden fumbled a total of 23 times.  This is something he needs to work on.

Glenn Dorsey – DT – KC – Glenn Dorsey has played in all six Chief games this year, recording 14 solo tackles.  He’s also forced a fumble.  It’s good to see he hasn’t been hurt yet, as his durability was questioned leading up the draft.  He’ll get more tackles in time.  I’d be happy with his progress.

Vernon Gholston – DE – NYJ – Gholston is still listed as the backup LOLB.  He’s recorded four tackles and assisted on two others.  Not good.  I’ll admit, I don’t watch many Jets games, but I was expecting a little more than this from the Ohio State product.

Sedrick Ellis – DT – NO – Ellis had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 3 and has missed three straight games.  Prior to that, he recorded six solo tackles, three assists, and a sack.

Derrick Harvey – DE – JAX –Since Harvey’s debut where he had an interception and a pass defense, he’s recorded only six solo tackles.  He is listed as the backup to Reggie Hayward.  It’s starting to look like the Jags did overpay for Harvey, though it’s still early.

Keith Rivers – LB – CIN – Rivers had 24 solo tackles and 13 assists before he landed on IR courtesy of this block by Hines Ward.  I’m going to look for Rivers to become a tackling machine in the next few years.  He just seems to have a nose for the ball wherever it goes.  That’s what I like in a linebacker.  Of course, he’ll have to have his jaw put back together first.

Jerod Mayo – LB – NE – Mayo leads the Patriots with 37 solo tackles and five assists.  Can’t really argue with that.  New England knows how to get the most from its linebackers.

Leodis McKelvin – CB – BUF – McKelvin has 9 solo tackles and three assists.  He’s been much more effective in the return game, where he is averaging 24.6 yards per kick return.  He’s third on the Bills’ depth chart at corner.

Ryan Clady – OT – DEN – Clady is listed as Denver’s starter and has played in all 7 games.  Good enough for me.

Jonathan Stewart – RB – CAR -Stewart has split carries with DeAngelo Williams and has 88 rushes for 352 yards so far this year.  He’s got five touchdowns already as well.  He also averages 23.3 yards per kick return.  He may turn into a valuable weapon for the Panthers in the coming years.

Chris Williams – OT – CHI – Williams had back surgery before the season has has yet to play.  According to him, he’ll be making his debut sooner rather than later.

Branden Albert – OG – KC – Albert is listed as the starter at left tackle for the Chiefs, but has missed some time due to a separated elbow, which sounds very painful.  I’m not sure if he played last Sunday against the Titans because that game was boring.  Either way, he should return to full speed soon.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – CB – ARI – Rodgers-Cromartie has six solo tackles and an assist.  He’s the backup on the depth chart.  According to Yahoo’s News and Notes, Rodgers-Cromartie is struggling.  Keep an eye on this one to see if he can bounce back.

Gosder Cherilous – OT – DET – First, any time the Lions are mentioned, this should be shown.  Now, Cherilous is locked in a positional battle with veteran George Foster.  They’ve been going back and forth all year and it is unknown who will start on Sunday.

Joe Flacco – QB – BAL – I wasn’t wild about the Joe Flacco pick, but I think he’ll turn into a decent Quarterback.  He’s thrown for 1076 yards but has seven interceptions compared to only two touchdowns.  That needs to improve, but he’s still a rookie on a mediocre team.  Flacco has just been named the starter for the rest of the season.

Jeff Otah – OT – CAR – Otah is the starter and has no backup.  That’s bad for the Panthers because he has missed the last three games with a sprained ankle.  Otah hopes to be back in the lineup this weekend, and I hope for the Panthers sake that he is.  It must be tough playing with no right tackle.

Aqib Talib – CB – TB – Talib has six tackles and two assists.  He does have three interceptions, but has been burned several times on touchdowns.  This is exactly what I expected from Talib, he’s an all or nothing type player.  He also fair caught a punt.

Sam Baker – OT – ATL – Baker has started five games this year and has only given up half a sack.  He also played through a concussion.  I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing, but it’s worth noting.  He’s aiding Matt Ryan’s great season nicely.

Felix Jones – RB – DAL – Jones has played six games and has 266 yards rushing.  He missed last week and will miss this week with a strained hamstring.  Jones has three rushing TDs and is averaging 27.1 yards on kickoff return, where he also had a 98 yard return TD.  All this has been done while backing up Marion Barber.

Rashard Mendenhall – RB – PIT – Mendenhall had 58 yards rushing in four games before being placed on IR with a broken collarbone.  Mendenhall was also returning kicks for the Steelers.  Apparently the Ravens had a bounty out on Mendenhall, according to Terrell Suggs.  This could get interesting.

Chris Johnson – RB – TEN – Johnson has been great for the 6-0 Titans this year.  He’s averaging 91 yards on the ground per game and has three rushing touchdowns and one touchdown reception.  He and LenDale White have created quite a one-two punch for the Titans.

Mike Jenkins – CB – DAL – Jenkins had 12 tackles in 7 games for the Cowboys, all from the backup role.  Now that Pac Man Jones has self-destructed (again), Jenkins will be moved into a starting position.

Duane Brown – OT – HOU – Brown has been the Texans starter this year and has been alright.  Joey Porter surprised him on Sunday and beat him for a sack and got lots of pressure on Texans’ QB Matt Schaub.

Antoine Cason – CB – SD – Cason has been very good for the Chargers this year with 29 solo tackles and an interception.  He could be the next in line of very good Chargers corners.

Lawrence Jackson – DE – SEA – Jackson has 10 solo tackles and five assists for the disappointing Seahawks.  He also has two sacks.  Jackson recently lost his starting job to Darryl Tapp after struggling in recent games.  He will still get his share of snaps.

Kentwan Balmer – DE – SF – Balmer has played in all seven games for the 49ers this year and has three solo tackles.  He’s also returned four kickoffs for 35 yards.  Odd.  Balmer should see more playing time with Ray McDonald’s injury so we’ll see if he can make a bigger impact.

Dustin Keller – TE – NYJ – Keller has 7 catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns.  He may turn into quite a target in the red zone for the Jets in the near future.

No pick – NE – They cheated.

Kenny Phillips – S – NYG –The Super Bowl Champs have seen the last pick of the first round have 23 solo tackles and four assists in six games.  Not bad.

So far this season, I’m giving the best pick to the Falcons and Matt Ryan.  He’s had to do so much to replace Mike Vick in Atlanta and he’s done more than enough.  Second place goes to Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans.  Jerod Mayo has been stellar for the Patriots, so he gets a mention here.

I’d do the worst picks, but I have to go to work.  Maybe later.

Also, Donnie Avery has been pretty good since he started playing.  I’m still not sold on the pick, but I’m going to order his jersey for myself for Christmas.

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