Now that the first week of the pre season is over, we are finally getting a good look of what the rookies can do when they are up against a full defensive front in the NFL. A few of the rookies shined in showing their skills early on, while others didn’t come out as strong. I want to stress that this is pre-season, so there is zero reason to believe that this type of situation will replicate itself come week one of the regular season.
The reason I am writing this centers around the fact that this is such a weak class on paper that collectors are almost grasping at straws to find reason to get excited. I don’t think that is at all a bad thing, but we need to level set some expectations.
Of all the rookies, Smith got the most attention during the offseason, first because of how many teams passed him over, and then because of the general state of the Jets’ organization. During the first game, he failed to get anything going against most of the second team defense, and left the game with a sprained ankle. Considering that he was the best chance to achieve the highest value for collectors among the class, its disheartening to see him start this way.
According to many of the people who were close to the game, Manuel had a good showing and proved why he was a first round pick. Although as mentioned above this is just a pre-season game, it easily could have gone much worse. Because he was such a reach in the draft, the value of his cards hasn’t been what it could have been, but after displaying his raw skills, that might change a bit.
Although he has a terrible autograph, and didn’t see much action on the field against the first teamers, Hopkins finished with over 50 yards receiving and a touchdown against the Vikings. Hopkins has flown under the radar a bit, but many people think he could end up being the better WR of any of the rookies in this class. His cards are dirt cheap right now, and it might be a good time to look into picking some up.
Here is my main thought on Patterson. He will show he has ridiculous speed, and make a bunch of plays solely based on this. Other than that, I think his raw status coming off only 1 year of college will prevent a fundamentally sound game, but he will definitely get better over the next few years. The kickoff return and a few catches definitely got some nice reviews, lets hope he keeps it up.
After a very unflattering picture surfaced a few weeks ago, there was a lot of speculation that Lacy wasn’t in shape to handle the starting job. An injury forced him out of the first game, which is a shame, but maybe his next couple of games will show that he is ready to go as the starter from day one.
I liked Montee Ball coming out of Wisconsin, but the pre-season isn’t a place for these guys to truly shine. His game will be a power running attack with some finesse, but during games that don’t count, its stupid to run like that. Collectors like the fact that he is part of one of the better teams in the league, which will give him a major leg up. Speaking of legs, lets hope he stays healthy.
Im one of the people that believe there is an Alfred Morris in every class, but for the sake of our products, lets hope there are a few people in this one.