By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on May 15, 2014
The NFL Draft concluded this past week and plenty of teams benefited greatly from their selection. With the NFL Draft producing a large TV rating, some fans, casual or die-hards, will either have talked about these athletes ad nauseam or heard of them for the first time, but one thing is for certain, some of these rookies will become household names. Here are the 15 likeliest rookies who will become household names.
At the NFL Scouting Combine this February, Kent State's Dri Archer turned heads by running a 4.29 40-yard dash, the fastest of any draft prospect this year. Not only will Archer get attention from opposing defenses, but Archer could get some extra attention in terms of being perhaps the fastest man on the planet, which we all are interested in.
Wide receiver Bruce Ellington received plenty of attention from NFL scouts before the draft, leading some to believe that Ellington could be a first-round pick. What makes Ellington interesting is that he was a two-sport star at South Carolina and if enough people follow his story like some did with Antonio Gates in 2003, the scouts will be looking at basketball players in a different light.
There are couple of angles here for Lache Seastrunk. First, Seastrunk was a former college teammate of Robert Griffin III's, who is Washington's highly-publicized quarterback. Second, Seastrunk was a sixth-round pick, and with a fellow sixth-round pick in Alfred Morris in the Redskins' backfield, Seastrunk has a chance to follow Morris' career path.
One of the best names of any rookie in this year's draft, Storm Johnson will be joining the Jacksonville Jaguars after helping Central Florida win the Fiesta Bowl. Johnson will be looking to wreak "havoc" on opposing defenses while backing up Toby Gerhart this season. Johnson will be a household name who many won't forget.
The story of Sammy Watkins will make him become a household name. Watkins had a turbulent sophomore season in college where the former Clemson wide receiver was charged with marijuana possession, but bounced back the next year to become the best receiver in the country. Watkins' bounce back from an embarrassing episode will help inspire others with similar problems.
More than a decade ago, Derek Carr's brother, David, struggled as the No. 1 pick for the expansion Houston Texans and was branded with the "bust" label. Now, Derek has a chance to bring respectability to the Carr name after David's previous failures. The sibling dynamic here will make Derek Carr a household name.
Another player who was among the fastest in this year's class, Brandin Cooks will enjoy the advantages of not only the Superdome's fast track, but Sean Payton's creative offense as well. At 5-foot-10, Cooks also appeals to those who love rooting for the "small" guys to succeed in a big man's game. Cooks will not only be in the hunt for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but could become a household name before long.
Perhaps the most exciting player in college football not named Manziel, Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas was incredible to watch in college. Every time Thomas touched the ball, whether it was the running game, the passing game or the return game, Thomas could have gone the distance. Thomas could be the next Dante Hall and with a successful rookie season, Thomas will be a household name.
While offensive linemen are not normally associated with being household names, Jake Matthews may perhaps be the first. Coming from the famous Matthews family, Jake is now the seventh member to make the NFL. The Matthews' family dynamic could perhaps make Jake Matthews a household name.
Without a doubt the best name of this year's NFL Draft, Green Bay's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will not be forgotten any time soon. With a first name that immediately makes people want to laugh, Ha Ha will no doubt be a fixture among most households who could use a quick laugh.
The first quarterback taken off the board this year, new Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles will be a household name in Jacksonville because he is the new face of the franchise. However, Bortles will become a household name nationally soon. Bortles' girlfriend, Lindsey Duke, is one of the hottest women in the country, making Bortles the envy of men everywhere.
The Alabama Crimson Tide have produced many great NFL players, but none may be more publicized than A.J. McCarron. McCarron's career path is similar to Tom Brady's in that he was a low-round draft pick for a franchise that can't get over the hump. McCarron is already a household name for his relationship with Katherine Webb, but in no at all, he will be a household name in a football sense.
Everyone, sports fans or not, already has an opinion about Jadeveon Clowney. Some will say that Clowney is a once-in-a-decade-type of talent while others will claim that Clowney could be the laziest superstar in NFL history. Whatever happens to Clowney in his NFL career, the skepticism and constant criticism will make him a household name for years.
Without a doubt the most polarizing quarterback in NFL Draft history, Johnny Manziel has the competitive nature of a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning, but often acts like Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell. Whether he's hanging with Drake or partaking in other off-field escapades, Manziel has been constantly scrutinized by numerous pundits. Manziel's career will be discussed for ad nauseam for at least the next decade, and may exceed Tim Tebow's hype.
The most famous seventh-round draft pick in NFL history, defensive end Michael Sam already became a household name after he publicly announced he was gay prior to the NFL Scouting Combine. Sam already has agreed to a reality show discussing his journey to an NFL roster and with plenty of people still talking about Sam, the former Missouri Tiger will be in the public spotlight for a long time.
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