25 Rookies That Will Shine in 2013
25 Rookies That Will Shine in 2013
The way the NFL works is you build through the Draft and then try and fill needs through free agency. Most franchise players stay with the team that drafts them for a majority of their career. It is impossible to guarantee the way a player can transition from the college game to the NFL game, but their is always a group that comes out that makes an immediate impact.
Most teams expect their first and second-round picks to be starters right away. They would like their third and fourth-round picks to at least play a rotational role throughout the season and they depend on those late-round picks to make some sort of impact on Special Teams. The jobs of the General Manager and Coach usually depend on how they draft and develop young talent throughout the season.
If you look at the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, they drafted Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and almost every other contributor on the team. The runner-up San Francisco 49ers drafted Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Navarro Bowman and the majority of their contributors.
Teams that usually spend the most money in the offseason on free agents usually don't make it to the playoffs and end up putting their team in financial trouble while finishing 8-8 and having a pick in the middle of the round. The teams that collect draft picks and draft correctly end up winning Super Bowls. These 25 rookies will have an immediate impact on their team and be a major contributor in the future success of their organization.
25. Roberts Woods
Woods will start opposite Stevie Johnson and become the possession receiver in Buffalo. If he can develop chemistry with fellow rookie E.J. Manuel, he can easily have a 60-70 catch season.
24. Sheldon Richardson
Richardson is the final piece of a young and talented New York Jets Defensive Line. Unfortunately, the stats a 3-4 Defensive End puts up usually doesn't match the effect he has on the game.
23. Chance Warmack
Chance Warmack will be relied on to get Chris Johnson back up to the 1,500-yard mark and help protect young quarterback Jake Locker.
22. Tyrann Mathieu
Mathieu probably won't have a big impact on defense for the Arizona Cardinals, but "The Honey Badger" will be able to affect the game on Special Teams.
21. Keenan Allen
With the injury to Danario Alexander and cutting Robert Meachem, Allen will be depended on early to make plays for Philip Rivers.
20. Luke Joeckel
Joeckel will play Right Tackle this season on one of the worst teams in the NFL. Jacksonville won't win many games but their quarterback will be able to stay in the pocket much longer.
19. E.J. Manuel
The first QB taken in the draft, E.J. Manuel will start from Day 1 and experience plenty of growing pains for the Buffalo Bills. He will end the season strong when he adjusts to the speed of the NFL game.
18. Kenbrell Thompkins
Tom Brady has the ability to make average players look like superstars. Thompkins would not be on this list if he played for any team other than the New England Patriots.
17. Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson is very raw and hasn't proven he can be a great route runner. He has the ability to take the top off of a defense and will strike for a few long plays this year for the Minnesota Vikings.
16. Eric Fisher
The No. 1 overall pick will protect Alex Smith on a team that could make a push for the postseason. With Brandon Albert playing on the other side, the Kansas City Chiefs have one of the best Tackle duos in the league.
15. Star Lotulelei
Early in 2012, Lotulelei was on a lot of mock drafts as the No. 1 overall pick. A health concern scared some teams away, but he still has the talent to be a dominant Defensive Tackle.
14. Dion Jordan
Jordan was drafted into the perfect situation with the Miami Dolphins. He will start off as a role player on pass rushing situations where he is most comfortable. He also will lineup opposite Cameron Wake who is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
13. Giovani Bernard
Bernard would be much higher on this list if he wasn't the backup to a bigger back. He won't lead the team in carries but he might lead them in rushing yards. He also will not see very many goal line carries so the TD numbers could be low in Year 1.
12. Barkevious Mingo
Mingo will be their best pass rusher the first day he steps on the field for the Cleveland Browns. If he can stay healthy, he has a chance to put up double-digit sack numbers.
11. Jarvis Jones
He will replace James Harrison as the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to hoard young and athletic Linebackers.
10. Matt Elam
Elam will take over the Ed Reed role in Baltimore early in the season. He is a better tackler than Reed but doesn't have the same playmaking ability.
9. DeAndre Hopkins
With Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Owen Daniels on the team, Hopkins will often face one-on-one coverage with no safety help.
8. Dee Milliner
He is taking over for Darrelle Revis, but will be covering the other teams No. 2 receiver. He will have an easy transition into the league by playing for Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.
7. Manti Te'o
Te'o will be one of the leading tacklers in the NFL and will show everyone that the National Championship Game was just an off-night for him.
6. Montee Ball
Ball will be part of a platoon in Denver, but will be the goal-line back and eventually take over the bulk of the carries.
5. Eric Reid
Reid plays on one of the most talented defenses in the league and will be free to gamble and make plays in the secondary.
4. Jon Bostic
"Mr. Boom-Bostic" is already helping Chicago Bears fans forget about Brian Urlacher and look forward to their future.
3. Le'Veon Bell
With the departures of Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer, Bell will be the starting Running Back for a physical Pittsburgh Steelers team.
2. Eddie Lacy
Lacy follows the footsteps of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson as a big physical back from the University of Alabama. He will be the No. 1 back for the Green Bay Packers and will take the goal-line carries from John Kuhn.
1. Tavon Austin
Austin was the first receiver taken in the NFL Draft because of his playmaking ability and speed. He will bring the St. Louis Rams a step closer to being the greatest show on turf again.