2010 NFL Rookie Grades

By Chris Ransom

1. St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma Got a 6 year 78 million dollar 50 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Sam Bradford looks to have a promising future in the NFL throwing 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as a rookie with no playmakers except rookie left tackle Rodger Saffold and veteran running back Steven Jackson. Bradford threw 17 of his 18 touchdowns in his first 11 starts and his offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is now the Cleveland Browns head coach. Bradford may regress and become a bust, but right now Bradford has pro bowl potential and a very bright prosperous future in the NFL. At Oklahoma Sam Bradford performed like a pro bowl quarterback when he was healthy. The Rams finished 21st out of 32 teams in passing yards and this may be an area St. Louis focuses on next season. Predicted Sam Bradford would be a superstar, but said he would struggle as a rookie. I’ll count this as 1/1 since I said Bradford would pan out.

2. Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska Got a 5 year 68 million dollar 40 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Suh recorded 66 tackles and 10 sacks in his rookie season with Detroit. Suh got voted to the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl. During his last two seasons at Nebraska Suh recorded a combined total of 19.5 sacks. Detroit may have finished 24th out of 32 teams in run defense, but you cannot blame Ndamukong Suh for that. Before Suh arrived Detroit was last in the NFL in run defense three years running. I said Suh would be a player that would pan out so right now I’m 2/2.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma Got a 5 year 63 million dollar 35 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Gerald McCoy started 13 games and recorded 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles and turned a Buccaneers run defense that was 30th in the NFL to 28th in the NFL. McCoy may have commanded double teams, but his stats look terrible and McCoy may appear as a bust until Tampa Bay secures a legit sack artist at the right end position. I still believe it is too early to tell with McCoy, but he has to step his game up next season if he wants to avoid the bust label. I was calling McCoy a bust while many draft pundits believed McCoy would be better than Suh. 3/3 so far.

4. Washington Redskins Trent Williams LT Oklahoma Got a 6 year 60 million dollar 36.75 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Trent Williams looks like a bust. Williams is an excellent zone blocker, but Trent Williams surrendered 13 sacks as a left tackle and the Redskins ranked 30th in rushing yards this season. When your a top 5 pick at left tackle you have to pass block and run block effectively. Williams has to step up next year with a new quarterback in Washington. It was Williams poor pass blocking at left tackle at Oklahoma that caused Sam Bradford’s shoulder injuries. It seems pretty obvious that Williams is a bust. I said Washington made a mistake on draft night taking Williams 4/4.

5. Kansas City Chiefs Eric Berry SS Tennessee Got a 6 year 60 million dollar 34 million dollar guaranteed money deal
Eric Berry posted very similar numbers to Troy Polamalu when Troy Polamalu started his first season at strong safety. Eric Berry recorded 4 interceptions, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 92 tackles, and took a Chiefs pass defense that was ranked 27th overall in pass defense and made that pass defense 17th in the NFL by Season’s end. Eric Berry was worth the money. I said Berry would be a superstar, but Kansas City would regret taking Berry. 5/5 so far.

6. Seattle Seahawks Russell Okung LT Oklahoma State Got a 6 year 46.5 million dollar 29.5 million dollar guaranteed money deal
Okung can pass block, run block, and zone block. If Okung did not get injured early in the year along with his holdout Russell Okung would be in the pro bowl. You have to give the credit to Seahawks offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. Gibbs is the best offensive line coach in the NFL. He makes 2nd team and 3rd team lineman look like pro bowlers. With Okung at left tackle Gibbs has tons of ways to confuse the defense with blocking schemes buying Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst time in the pocket as long as they do not hold on to the football too long. Russell Okung will be a top 5 left tackle in the NFL by the end of next season. I said Okung would be a pro bowl caliber left tackle I’m 6/6 calling these players.

7. Cleveland Browns Joe Haden CB Florida Got a 5 year 50 million dollar 26 million dollar guaranteed money deal
I have been making a point about how it is pointless to scout a cornerback at the combine because the only thing you get is their speed and vertical leap. Corners need to cover because most corners are undersized. Joe Haden had a poor 40 time and vertical jump and took a Browns pass defense that was ranked 30th in the NFL this season and made it the 18th best pass defense in the NFL in one season. Imagine what Cleveland’s pass defense can do once the rest of the secondary develops. Haden recored a sack and 6 interceptions. Look for Haden to continue to have success, but if his numbers decline it is because Rob Ryan has left Cleveland as the defensive coordinator to go to Dallas and because Cleveland switched their defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3. Cleveland has Haden, but the quarterback will not throw to Haden as much. Haden could be the next Revis big name corner. I thought Haden would be a big name corner even though some people would thought Haden would bust. I’m now 7/7 on the day.

8. Oakland Raiders Rolando McClain MLB Alabama Got a 5 year 40 million dollar 23 million guaranteed money deal.
Roland McClain is an excellent tackler and run stuffer and has really boosted Oakland’s run defense. Kirk Morrison led Oakland in tackles for 5 seasons, but Oakland decided to trade Morrison after drafting McClain because the Raiders thought McClain was that good as a middle linebacker. So far Oakland has made a smart decision by drafting McClain. With Nnamdi Asomugha being released. Oakland will count on McClain to be the face of the Raiders defense. I did not think Oakland would draft McClain, but I thought McClain was an immediate impact player 8/8.

9. Buffalo Bills CJ Spiller RB Clemson Got a 5 year 37 million dollar 20.8 million guaranteed money deal.
Spiller saw limited action as a rookie only gaining 283 rushing yards on 74 carries averaging only 3.8 yards a carry. CJ Spiller fumbled the ball 5 times and did not score one rushing touchdown. Buffalo’s offensive line might stink, but Fred Jackson rushed for over 100 rushing yards in each of Buffalo’s wins so I would say Spiller looks like a bust right now, but it is too early to tell. I said CJ Spiller would be an immediate impact player regardless of who drafts him Spiller has been a bust for Buffalo so far. 8/9 on predicting the success of NFL players.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars Tyson Alualu DT California Got a 5 year 28 million 17.5 million guaranteed money deal. Jacksonville went from 26th in rushing yards allowed without Tyson Alualu to 22nd in rushing yards allowed. Alualu performed better than Gerald McCoy and put up an average number of tackles that the defensive tackle records. Alualu also recorded 3.5 sacks. Alualu and McCoy played well in college, but remember in the pros it usually takes 2 to 3 years before a defensive tackle becomes a pro bowler unless their an impact player like Suh. I said Alualu would bust and that the Jaguars reached for him because he was a 2nd round prospect. I could be wrong later, but right now I’ll give myself the benefit for calling Alualu a bust now I’m 9/10 on the day with draft predictions.

11. San Francisco 49ers Anthony Davis RT Rutgers Got a 5 year 26.5 million 16 million guaranteed money deal.
Anthony Davis allowed 7 sacks, but did a solid job as a run blocker opening up the lanes for San Francisco’s running game. Davis finished in the bottom half when it came to sacks allowed, but people were high on Davis this year. It is too early to tell if Davis will pan out. He looks like a bust as a pass blocker, but Davis is a decent run blocker. I said Davis would bust as a left tackle, but become a solid right tackle in time. Its too early to tell with Davis. Right now I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt. Davis played left tackle at Rutgers, but Joe Staley was a left tackle that the 49ers drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Next year if Staley gets injured again next seaosn the 49ers need to move Davis to left tackle and see what he can do. You do not draft right tackles in the first round. You draft left tackles in the first round.

12. San Diego Chargers Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State Got a 5 year 25.65 million 15 million guaranteed money deal.
Ryan Matthews missed half of the season with injuries and did not get over 100 rushing yards until the final week of the season. It is too early to tell what Matthews will become at running back. Matthews may be a sleeper in fantasy leagues if he is healthy. I said Ryan Mathews would be a major bust. Right now I’m giving myself the benefit, but I could wrong later. Right now I’m 11/12.

13. Philadelphia Eagles Brandon Graham LE Michigan Got a 5 year 22 million 14 million guaranteed money deal.
Graham recorded 29 sacks in his 3 years starting at Michigan. Brandon Graham started the first four games and recorded 2 sacks, but was benched because the team had other defensive ends and the Eagles did not think Graham was ready. Graham got to play again as a starter in 2 games, but got placed on injured reserve after week 14. The Eagles need a left end to play across from pro bowl right end Trent Cole. Graham could be the man in Philadelphia, but right now it looks like he will continue to develop. It really is kind of too early to tell with Graham. I said Graham would be a superstar. Right now I’m 12/13 when calling players when I evaluate them.

14. Seattle Seahawks Earl Thomas FS Texas Got a 5 year 21.1 million 12.32 million guaranteed money deal.
Earl Thomas made an immediate impact on a Seattle secondary that needed help at free safety. Thomas recorded 76 tackles and 5 interceptions as a rookie with Seattle. Good job by Earl Thomas as Thomas has a promising future. Thomas got 10 interceptions in his 2 years as a starter at Texas and to get 5 as a rookie is meeting team expectations in my mind. I told people Thomas would have an immediate impact and he did. 13/14 when evaluating players.

15. New York Giants Jason Pierre Paul LE South Florida Got a 5 year 20.05 million 11.629 million guaranteed money deal.
Jason Pierre Paul recorded 4.5 sacks as a rotational left end when Justin Tuck got fatigued and went to the bench. I said Pierre Paul was a one year wonder and a flop, but I’m going to admit that I may have been wrong here. I’m now 13/15 when evaluating prospect.

16. Tennessee Titans Derrick Morgan RE Georgia Tech Got a 5 year deal financial terms undisclosed meaning we don’t know the terms to the deal. I’m guessing Derrick Morgan got a 5 year 19 million 11 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Derrick Morgan got arrested, held out of training camp, and got arrested in week 6. I was high on Morgan heading into the draft, but Morgan has all the red flags you look for in a bust. Unless Morgan breaks out next year I’m 13/16 when evaluating prospect.

17. San Francisco 49ers Mike Iupati LG Idaho Got a 5 year 18.25 10.8 million guaranteed money deal.
I said Mike Iupati would bust because of his poor pass blocking skills. Iupati surrendered 13 sacks at left guard which was tied for 2nd most sacks allowed by a left guard in the NFL. As the year progressed Iupati improved as a run blocker opening up the running lanes. When you draft a guard or center in round 1 you expect him to be good at pass blocking, run blocking, and zone blocking. Iupati is only good at run blocking. Iupati looks like a bust so far so now I’m 14/17 when evaluating players in the 2010 NFL Draft.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers Maurkice Pouncey C Florida Got a 5 year deal terms are undisclosed. I’m guessing he got a 18 million 10.65 guaranteed money deal.
I said Pouncey would be a pro bowl player because he can play any position on the offensive line. Pouncey is also an elite pass blocker, run blocker, and zone blocker. Plus Pouncey is athletic and has excellent feet when moving past the line of scrimmage on pass blocking and run blocking plays. Pouncey only allowed 5 sacks and 4 of those sacks came on double teams when Max Starks and Flozell Adams were injured. So that is a legit reason why Pouncey struggled. It is hard for a lineman to contain two defenders at the same time when the other lineman are missing their assignments. Looks like I was right with Pouncey. I’m proud to say I am 15/18 when evaluating prospects in the 2010 NFL Draft.

19. Altanta Falcons Sean Weatherspoon LOLB Missouri Got a 5 year 17.5 million dollar 10.5 million dollar guaranteed deal.
Sean Weatherspoon had 42 tackles and 1 sack in 5 starts. Weatherspoon looks like the all pro prospect that many scouts made him out to be heading into the year. I’m now 16/19 when evaluating prospects.

20. Houston Texans Kareem Jackson CB Alabama Got a 5 year 16.3 million dollar 13.35 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Kareem Jackson had 71 tackles and 2 interceptions as a rookie on a abysmal secondary that was last in the NFL. I said Jackson would bust, I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt this year, but when I update this in a year I might change my mind depending on how Jackson has played. Right now I’m 17/20 when evaluating the top 20 picks in the 2010 NFL Draft meaning I correctly predicted the careers of 85 percent of the first twenty draft prospects.

21. Cincinnati Bengals Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma Got a 5 year 15.8 million dollar 9.6 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
I said Gresham would become a pro bowl caliber tight end and Gresham really looked good at the end of the season. I like Gresham in the long run and I’m giving myself the benefit of the doubt here. The Bengals make my predictions for good and I’m now 18/21 when evaluating prospects for the 2010 NFL Draft.

22. Denver Broncos DeMaryius Thomas WR Georgia Tech Got a 5 year 15.5 million dollar 9.35 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
I thought Thomas would bust because of his injury history, but Denver took him. Thomas only caught 22 receptions and played in 10 games while starting only 2 games. Thomas had 2 receiving touchdowns on the year. Now I’m 19/22.

23. Green Bay Packers Bryan Bulaga RT Iowa Got a 5 year 14.75 million dollar 8.76 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Bryan Bulaga was an elite pass blocking and run blocking right tackle at Iowa. The top 10 prospect fell to Green Bay and the Packers made Bulaga a backup left tackle to Chad Clifton, but when Mark Tauscher got injured in week 5. Green Bay made Bulaga their starting right tackle and put Tauscher on injured reserve. Bulaga will become Green Bay’s left tackle at some point in the future, but for now he is the Packers right tackle. I said Bulaga would be a good player and he has done well as a pass blocker allowing only 5 sacks in 11 starts. Wohoo I’m 20/23 when evaluating prospects.

24. Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State Got a 5 year 11.8 million dollar 8.3 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Dez Bryant played well when healthy and despite being put on injured reserve as a rookie Dez Bryant would have been a top 10 pick if he did not get suspended. Bryant becomes the third Cowboys to wear the number 88 since Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin. I said Bryant would be a good player. Looks like I am 21/24 when evaluating NFL talent in the 2010 NFL Draft.

25. Denver Broncos Tim Tebow QB Florida Got a 5 year 11.25 million dollar 8.7 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Tim Tebow started the final 3 games and threw 5 passing touchdowns and rushed for 6 rushing touchdowns on the year. Tebow only threw 3 interceptions on the year. I thought Tebow would pan out and right now Tebow’s career looks bright, but it is too early to tell if he will succeed. Looks like I’m 22/25 when evaluating players in this really deep draft.

26. Arizona Cardinals Dan Williams NT Tennessee Got a 5 year 13.2 million dollar 8 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Dan Williams did not start any games this year, but recorded 38 tackles as a rotational nose tackle in the 3-4 defense. I said Williams had pro bowl talent and so far Williams has met expectations in Arizona. I’ve now called 23/26 of the 2010 NFL Draft first round prospects right.

27. New England Patriots Devin McCourty CB Rutgers Got a 5 year 13.2 million dollar 7.825 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
McCourty was excellent in man coverage at Rutgers. The three things he needed to work were zone coverage, press coverage, and recording interceptions. I said McCourty would be a bust because of this. McCourty improved his zone coverage in the NFL and recorded 7 picks as a rookie. McCourty is a first round talent and I was completely wrong about him. Now I’m 23/27 when evaluating 2010 NFL talent.

28. Miami Dolphins Jared Odrick 3-4 LE Miami Dolphins Got a 5 year 13.07 million dollar 7.13 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
I said Odrick would bust and he only recorded one tackle in 4 games before getting placed on injured reserve in October. Right now I’m 24/28 when evaluating talent, but that could change over time.

29. New York Jets Kyle Wilson CB Boise State Got a 5 year 13 million dollar 7 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Kyle Wilson has excellent coverage skills, and speed. He just needs to make interceptions. Kyle Wilson did not play much as a rookie and I believe he can become great. I’m now 25/29 when evaluating prospects, but that’s not that big of an accomplishment at this point.

30. Detroit Lions Jahvid Best RB California Got a 5 year 12.7 million dollar 7.1 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Jahvid Best has yet to rush for over 100 rushing yards this season. I thought Best would be a star player, but right now he looks like a bust. Right now I am 25/30 after breaking down the top 30 picks in the 2011 NFL Draft.

31. Indianapolis Colts Jerry Hughes LE TCU Got a 5 year 12.67 million dollar 7 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Jerry Hughes has NFL talent, but we have not seen him play yet because the Colts have 2 pass rushers in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Polian said passing on left tackle Rodger Saffold to draft Hughes was a mistake. I’m uncertain if that is true because I think Hughes could be a good player, but right now Hughes is a bust because of Polians comments meaning I’m 25/31 when evaluating prospects.

32. New Orleans Saints Patrick Robinson CB Florida State Got a 5 year 12.25 million dollar 7 million dollar guaranteed money deal.
Robinson has solid coverage skills and good speed, but Robinson misses too many key tackles. I think Robinson was a superstar caliber player, but he is playing like a bust so far. Right now I’d say predicted 25 of the 32 players in the draft and their careers right, but it is too early to tell. Right now I’d say 12 players are clear cut superstars, 16 players that it is too early to tell with, and 4 clear cut busts in terms of NFL Talent.

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