Rookie Reviews: Week 8

Written by Will Spencer on November 3, 2009

The final scores are in the books and Draft Breakdown is here to update you on how some of the top rookies in the 2009 draft performed in week 8 of the NFL season.

Michael Oher – OT – Ravens
The subject of the book and new movie “The Blind Side” is quietly having a great season. In fact, Peter King recently commented via Twitter that his two top choices for OROY are Minnesota’s Percy Harvin and Michael Oher. This week, Oher went face to face with current NFL sack leader, Elvis Dumervil, and allowed no sacks. This isn’t the first game of the season Oher has faced tremendous pass rushers. Two weeks ago he faced the Vikings Jared Allen while filling it at left tackle for the injured Jared Gaither. Oher has also faced off against Bengals DE Antwan Odom and Cleveland OLB Kamerion Wimbley. Later in the season, the Ravens face big pass rushers like James Harrison, Dwight Freeney and Greg Ellis. While it’s hard for an offensive lineman to win the award, Oher has done a tremendous job playing both right and left tackle this season, and is certainly making teams kick themselves for passing on him as he fell on draft day.

Lardarius Webb – CB – Ravens
Webb, a third round pick out of Nichols State was brought into Baltimore to be a potential nickelback. During training camp, Webb showed that he has some kick return abilities and was used during the preseason. However, the Ravens opted for the more experienced Chris Carr and Webb sat and watched. This week, Webb exploded. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Webb returned the ball 95 yards for a touchdown, basically putting the game away for Baltimore. Webb also got time at nickelback this week, recording three tackles in the victory.

Jairus Byrd – S – Bills
All I can say is, WOW. Three straight weeks, the rookie out of Oregon has recorded 2 interceptions for the Bills. Byrd is now leading the entire NFL with 7 interceptions and making a great case for DROY. Byrd also recorded 5 tackles this week in the loss to Houston.

Brian Cushing – LB – Texans
The other front runner (in my opinion) for DROY has to be former Trojan Brian Cushing. Cushing has been all over the field for the Texans and this week was no exception. The linebacker recorded 10 total tackles, 1 interception and 1 sack in the victory over Buffalo. With total tackles for the season, he is now 5th in the NFL and first among rookies.

Mark Sanchez – QB – Jets
Even though the Jets couldn’t pull out a last second victory this week against Miami, it certainly wasn’t the fault of rookie QB Mark Sanchez. Mark looked solid in the loss, completing 20 of 35 passes for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns while also rushing for a touchdown. Sanchez did also fumble once, but the Jets appeared to lose the game by allowing two kickoff return touchdowns by Ted Ginn, and not at the hands of the rookie signal caller.

LeSean McCoy – RB – Eagles
McCoy saw action as a starter this week in place of the injured Brian Westbrook for Philadelphia. It’s safe to say that he took advantage of the situation. McCoy rushed all over the Giants, carrying the ball 11 times for 82 yards and a touchdown in the big win. “Shady” also added 2 catches for 10 yards to his stat totals for the game.

Jeremy Maclin – WR – Eagles
McCoy wasn’t the only standout rookie for the Eagles this week. First round pick Jeremy Maclin helped blow away the Giants secondary. Maclin finished the game with 4 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown in the lopsided victory.

Percy Harvin – WR – Vikings
What has to be the leading candidate for rookie of the year, Percy Harvin had another solid outing in Green Bay. Harvin, showing he’s a threat whenever he touches the ball, ran the ball, caught the ball, and returned kicks once again. The former Florida Gator finished with 5 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown and averaged 35 yards on 5 kick returns in the division win.

Sherrod Martin – CB – Panthers
The Panthers have been hard to predict this year as have the performances of their rookie class. This week, the second round pick came to play. Martin was outstanding against the Cardinals, grabbing 2 interceptions and recording 4 tackles in the road win. Martin’s interceptions were the first of his career and part of the 5 total for Carolina in the game.

Will Spencer

Will is the founder and President of Draft Breakdown & has been scouting draft prospects since 2002. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including the USA Today Draft Preview Magazine, the official website of the Baltimore Ravens, Ravens Insider and The Orange and Brown Report. Will has previous playing experience as a defensive end in the AFA, is currently a member of the Football Writers Association of America and graduated from the SMWW Football Scouting course in 2009.

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