T.J. Ward—S—Cleveland Browns It hasn’t taken long for Ward to make a name for himself. In what is proving to be a great class of rookie safeties (and Eric Berry hasn’t even got going yet), the 2nd round pick from Oregon, for better or worse, has earned the “Enforcer” label already. This week versus Atlanta, Ward again stood out with 7 tackles and a big blocked field goal. In five games Ward has already compiled 43 tackles, and along with fellow rookie Joe Haden, is forming the beginning of a great young secondary for Cleveland.
Max Hall—QB—Arizona Cardinals I would bet big money that nobody predicted after the draft that Max Hall would start a game as a rookie this year. But when you’re in the Arizona Cardinals quarterback merry-go-round post-Kurt Warner, anything can happen. And what happened was NFL history. Hall became the first undrafted rookie free agent Keep Reading…
Sam Bradford—QB—St. Louis Rams And the Offensive Rookie of the Year is…..Sam Bradford. While I’m sure that Bradford will inevitably have a bad game or two, the rookie first round pick from Oklahoma is as unflappable as any rookie quarterback I’ve seen in a long time. The Seattle Seahawks came at Bradford from all angles on Sunday, and all Bradford did was torch them to the tune of 23-41 passing for 289 yards and 2 td’s. The one mistake being an interception thrown in the endzone to fellow rookie Earl Thomas of Seattle, but otherwise a rock solid performance for Bradford. I’ll go ahead and set aside a spot in next week’s column, as Bradford looks like the real deal so far this year. Taylor Mays—S—San Francisco 49ers Mays made the most of his first career start versus the Atlanta Falcons. While the 11 tackles was impressive enough and worthy Keep Reading…
Earl Thomas—S—Seattle Seahawks The rookie safety from Texas had 6 tackles and 2 interceptions versus San Diego, including the game clincher with time winding down and the Chargers threatening to score. Inconsistency has plagued the first round pick from Texas so far this season, but his playmaking ability has been on display. Look for Thomas to have a solid rookie campaign moving forward. C.J. Spiller—RB/KR—Buffalo Bills Will someone please explain to Chan Gailey that this kid can play? 12 carries through 3 games is an abomination for a team lacking playmakers on offense. This past week against New England, the first round pick from Clemson electrified with a 95 yard kickoff return for touchdown, as well as a receiving touchdown. Overall, he had 4 carries for 29 yards, and 3 receptions for 10 yards. Hopefully we get to see more of Spiller in the games to come. Dexter McCluster—WR/KR—Kansas City Keep Reading…