5 NFL Rookies Who Could Emerge in Week 2
NFL: 5 Rookies Who Could Emerge In Week 2
The 2013 NFL rookie class is very interesting. The first seven, for an 11 total, of the first 14 picks back in April's Draft were either offensive or defensive lineman. There was only one quarterback selected in the first round. For the first time in the history of the draft, there was not a running back taken in the first round. This draft class is full of elite prospects up front on both sides of the ball, but severely lacks play makers at the skill positions.
Because of the lack of elite skill-position talent, I think it will be very hard to judge the progress of this rookie class as a whole. It is much tougher to judge how an offensive lineman is performing compared to a wide receiver. There really are not stats for offensive lineman so it is hard for the general public to judge the position. Because of this, I think this draft class will be unfairly thought of as a bust. There will surely be some stars in this class, they just probably will not come from the most exciting positions.
There were some rookie skill-position players who had nice starts to their NFL career in Week 1. E.J. Manuel, who was the QB taken in the first round, played well, as did running back Eddie Lacy, who had trouble finding running room but did a nice job picking up tough yards and scored on a nice touchdown run. Both players showed promise and hope to expand on that performance in Week 2.
These rookies need to prove themselves at this level. Most of these guys had very productive college careers, but that means nothing now. The teams that drafted them are expecting production and it is time to perform. Here are five rookies who could emerge in Week 2.
5. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions
Ezekiel Ansah was the fifth overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2013 NFL Draft. Ansah is a freak athlete that possess impressive pass rushing skills. He is a raw prospect, but he has the talent to go far in the NFL. In Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, Ansah recorded three tackles and half of a sack. He looked very good against the Vikings, but I am expecting a breakout performance this week. In Week 2, the Lions take on the Arizona Cardinals who have one of the worst offensive lines in the game. I think Ansah will be able to break loose and come up with a sack or two on quarterback Carson Palmer.
4. Marlon Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Brown went undrafted and was signed as a free agent by the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are very thin in the receiving core, and it got even worse last week when Jacoby Jones went down with an injury. Brown stepped in admirably for the Ravens as he hauled in four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Brown has nice size at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and runs well. I think he will continue to produce this week in the absence of Jones.
3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
The explosive DeAndre Hopkins was selected in the first round (27th overall) by the Houston Texans. Last week, Hopkins caught five passes for 66 yards. This week, the Texans play the Tennessee Titans who do have a tendency to struggle against the pass. I think Tennessee will look to lock-down Andre Johnson, leaving plenty of room for the rookie Hopkins to operate.
2. Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
As I said earlier, Lacy was effective, yet unspectacular for the Green Bay Packers last week. He carried the ball 14 times for 41 yards and a touchdown against one of the best rushing defenses in the league, the San Francisco 49ers. Lacy is a powerful runner that has underrated speed. This week, the Packers take on the Washington Redskins. The Redskins' defense is decent, but they are by no means the 49ers. I think that Lacy has a nice game here and gives the Packers the running game that they have desperately needed.
1. Quinton Patton, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Quinton Patton did not get much playing time for the 49ers last week. That being said, Patton killed it all preseason and the 49ers are in desperate need of another receiver opposite of Anquan Boldin. I think Patton can be that guy. He is a little on the small side, but he has good speed, runs great rounds and has fantastic hands. The 49ers take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football this week and I think that star corner back Richard Sherman will be matched up on Boldin all night. The 49ers will need production from another receiver this week and I think Patton should get a shot to make his mark.