Thursday, August 15, 2013
Four Rookies To Keep An Eye On
1) Montee Ball, RB Broncos
Ball is probably the most over-looked player in college football during the past five years, throughout his tenure at Wisconsin. He set the NCAA Division I record for rushing touchdowns with 77, and total touchdowns with 83. We all know about Ron Dayne, the Heisman winner in 1999 who had unlimited potential, but unfortunately for us Giants fans, never panned out in the NFL. Montee has a much different style than Dayne, so don’t let that cloud your vision.
Ball is extremely quick, strong, and has great vision and agility. He ran behind an excellent Badgers offensive line fulled with current and future NFL linemen, dominating teams at the line of scrimmage. Ball portrayed the classic Big 10 ground and pound style but also became dangerous as the check down receiver. He could not have been drafted into a more ideal situation than the one he is in with the Broncos, with Peyton Manning keeping opposing defenses on their toes. If Ball can stay healthy, I wouldn't be surprised to see 1,200 yards and 8 touchdowns.
2) Tyler Eifert, TE Bengals
At 6’6, 250lbs Eifert effortlessly gets up in the air and makes the tough catches. Tyler had a great career at Notre Dame and being drafted with the 21st pick overall is expected to immediately step in and contribute for the Bengals. His size is his strongest asset, and he is almost unstoppable against smaller corners, simply because he can out jump pretty much anyone. Eifert is currently 2nd string behind Jermaine Gresham, but don't expect things to stay that way for long. This duo could become the new Hernandez & Gronk. As the season progresses his playing time will increase, and although he’s a rookie, expect to see some great catches from the bruiser from Notre Dame.
3) Knile Davis, RB Chiefs
One of my favorite players in the SEC over the past few years, this kid has crazy speed and agility, but unfortunately is prone to injuries. He was hurt most of last year but during the 2010 campaign when he played with Ryan Mallet he had almost 1300 yards and 14 touchdowns. Davis was drafted 34th overall to the Chiefs and is currently behind Jamaal Charles, another injury prone back, on the depth chart. As Andy Reid takes over the reigns in KC with his high octane, pass first west coast offense, Davis should be getting some solid playing time. And we all know how Reid likes to use his RBs, a la Shady McCoy and Brian Westbrook. If Knile can stay healthy and catch the rock in the flat, he'll do a lot of damage in the up and coming AFC west.
4) Aaron Dobson, WR Patriots
We all know about the problems the Patriots are facing as they enter the season with Gronk sidelined, Hernandez in jail, and most recently, Brady's injury. Their two starting receivers are Danny Amendola and Mike Jenkins, nothing special. Look for Dobson, whom Belichick drafted 59th overall from Marshall, to emerge as a pure playmaker who excels in the open field and has the potential to become Brady’s favorite new deep threat.