Rookie Review #3

I’ve done this twice before, after the first week and around the middle of the season, so it’s only fitting that I review all the first round picks from the past draft after the season. Check to see how your team’s rookie stacks up.

Jake Long – OT – MIA – Rookie starting tackle on a playoff team that went from 1-15 to 11-5. Nice pick, Miami.

Chris Long – DE – STL – The Rams played so well, they’ll get another crack at the #2 spot in the 09 draft. Long played pretty well, considering how bad his team was totaling 40 tackles and four sacks. His 40 tackles ranked him first among rookie DEs and the four sacks placed him among the rookie leaders. I’ll take that for a rookie season.

Matt Ryan – QB – ATL – Offensive Rookie of the Year. Currently quarterbacking the Falcons against the Cardinals in the playoffs. 3,440 yards, 16 TDs, 11 INTs. Not really a whole lot more Matt Ryan could have done for the Falcons.

Darren McFadden – RB – OAK – McFadden rushed for 499 yards on 113 carries and caught 29 passes for 285 yards in 13 games. That’s about 60.3 yards of offense per game. I don’t think that’s exactly what Raider fans had in mind when they drafted the Arkansas Razorback, but he’s dealt with a crowded backfield and a poor team.

Glenn Dorsey – DT – KC – Glenn Dorsey played in every Chief games this year, recording 32 solo tackles, 14 assists, and a sack. He also forced a fumble. If I was a Chiefs fan, I’d just be happy that he played every game of the year. His numbers weren’t eye-popping, but they will get better.

Vernon Gholston – LB – NYJ – Gholston played very little and is struggling with the transition to linebacker from defensive end. He recorded 13 total tackles. If I were to pick a bust of the first round, Gholston would be it.

Sedrick Ellis – DT – NO – Ellis had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 3 and has missed three games. He played in the other 13 games, recording 30 total tackles and four sacks. Some pretty good numbers for the defensive tackle.

Derrick Harvey – DE – JAX – Harvey recorded two sacks in the final game of the season to bring his season total to 3.5. That’s a respectable number, but all those sacks came in just two games. Harvey was a disappointment on the whole, especially after what the Jags gave up to get him.

Keith Rivers – LB – CIN – Rivers had 24 solo tackles and 13 assists before he landed on IR courtesy of this block by Hines Ward. The jury is out on this one.

Jerod Mayo – LB – NE – Mayo is Weller’s pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year and I can’t really argue. Mayo had 128 total tackles and helped the Patriots to an 11-5 record. Hard to argue with that.

Leodis McKelvin – CB – BUF – McKelvin came on toward the end of the year. He ended with 32 total tackles and two INTs, including one that one went for a touchdown. He started the final five games at corner for the Bills.

Ryan Clady – OT – DEN – Clady finished 3rd in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. He was the only lineman to receive votes. Clady started every game this year for the Broncos.

Jonathan Stewart – RB – CAR -Stewart racked up 836 yards and 10 TDs while splitting carries with DeAngelo Williams. Panthers fans can look forward to this pairing in the backfield for many years.

Chris Williams – OT – CHI – Williams had back surgery before the season and missed 7 games and all the preseason. He saw game action on field goals for two weeks before getting into the game in Week 10. Williams is now listed as the Bears backup left tackle.

Branden Albert – OT – KC – As far as I know, Albert started all but one game for KC. He separated his elbow and missed a game. I’ll assume he did well then.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – CB – ARI – Rodgers-Cromartie started slowly but came on very strong near the end of the year. He crazy in the month of December and ended the season with 43 total tackles and 4 INTs. Not bad for someone who was nonexistent for the first six weeks…and he just picked off Matt Ryan. That might seal this game.

Gosder Cherilous – OT – DET – Cherilous won the battle with veteran George Foster and finished the season as the starting left tackle. I’ll let you decide of that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Joe Flacco – QB – BAL – Flacco proved me wrong, throwing for 2971 yards and 14 TDs with 12 INTs. Not phenomenal numbers, but the Ravens are in the playoffs, so it’s tough to complain.

Jeff Otah – OT – CAR – Otah is still listed as the starter with no backup. I know he missed some time earlier, but didn’t miss enough to warrant a backup, I guess.

Aqib Talib – CB – TB – Talib finished with 23 tackles and four interceptions, but only one INT came after Week 7. Compare him with Antoine Cason and its clear who is the better corner.

Sam Baker – OT – ATL – Baker has played in all 16 games and now the playoffs for the Falcons. I think he’s been better than advertised for Atlanta and he should get a little credit for Matt Ryan’s O-RoY.

Felix Jones – RB – DAL – Jones played six games and had 244 yards rushing. He tore his left hamstring in Week 6 against the Cardinals and that injury would put him out for the rest of the year.

Rashard Mendenhall – RB – PIT – Like Jones, Mendenhall suffered a season ending injury, but this one was in Week 4 against the Ravens. He had 58 yards rushing before breaking his collar bone.

Chris Johnson – RB – TEN – Johnson feels he was snubbed for the Rookie of the Year award after rushing for 1228 yards and 9 TDs. One could make a very strong case for Johnson, but I’d have still voted for Ryan.

Mike Jenkins – CB – DAL – Jenkins had 19 tackles in 14 games for the Cowboys, all from the backup role. He did have one interception, which he returned for a TD. Not great.

Duane Brown – OT – HOU – Brown didn’t miss a start and played fairly well in his rookie campaign for the Texans.

Antoine Cason – CB – SD – Cason finished with 74 total tackles and 2 INTs from the corner position. Quite a total from the rookie. He’s going to be very good in the coming years.

Lawrence Jackson – DE – SEA – Jackson finished with 29 total tackles, but didn’t add to his two sacks after getting them in Week 2. He struggled in the middle of the season but did a little better toward the end.

Kentwan Balmer – DE – SF – Balmer played in all 16 games for the 49ers and ha 7 totalo tackles. He also returned at least four kickoffs for 35 yards. Odd. Balmer would also get a vote for bust of the first round.

Dustin Keller – TE – NYJ – Keller turned it on in the second half of the season, finishing with 48 catches for 535 yards and three TDs. Keller is going to be a menace in the red zone in the future.

No pick – NE – They cheated.

Kenny Phillips – S – NYG –Phillips ended the year with 67 total tackles and an INT. Not bad at all for the Super Bowl Champs.

Now, I’ll do this one again, like I did after the first Rookie Review.

Donnie Avery – 53 catches for 674 yards, 3 TDs. I’ll admit, that’s much better than I expected. He only runs deeps routes, but he’s fast enough to make that work.

and on to the player I wanted:

DeSean Jackson – 62 catches for 912 yards and 2 TDs. 50 punt returns for 440 yards and a TD. I realize that if Jackson played on a terrible team like the Rams, the stats may be reversed. Still, that’s why I wanted DeSean Jackson.

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