Handicapping the 2010 ROY Possibilities

With each new rookie class, a new opportunity arises for them to become NFL superstars. They could end up like Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, widely considered to be the best at their position in the league, or they could end up washed out like failure Jamarcus Russel. Although there is definitely a middle ground, the rookie year production for most of the 2010 class will boost or destroy their card values. The biggest value indicator at the beginning of the year is draft position, college, and team, but later on, its production and potential. So, for 2010, who has the best shot of ending up as 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Sam Bradford

I have said before that Bradford has practically no shot of winning unless he ends up falling into a vat of toxic waste and gaining super powers. The Rams are SO terrible that he may end up having a rookie season worse than any other number one pick in history. If you thought the 0-16 Lions were bad, this year’s Rams are on that level. Bradford has a good skill set, but he wont have the Ravens to surround him like Flacco did in 2008. The reason Flacco and Ryan had so much success was because of the pieces those teams had in place. The Rams do not have any of that, and there will be no way for Bradford to learn when he is getting knocked around the way he will.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

CJ Spiller

Spiller showed that he has chops while he was rumbling through at Clemson, but Im not sure he was drafted to a team that has a good enough foundation for him to be initially impactful. He will play with Lynch, who has had his share of problems, and the carries he will get are not going to be the quality ones off the bat. He is going to have to create his own production, and I am not sure the offensive line of Buffalo can help him live up to potential at this point. Spiller will end up well short of where McCoy and Moreno ended last year, and a lot of collectors are going to be mad that they invested in him.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

Ryan Mathews

If I had one person to throw all my support behind, it would be Ryan Mathews. The Chargers are a great team and they have the pieces that a middle round drafting team doesn’t usually possess. Because they traded up to get Mathews, he is going to be put in a situation where he will be given a lot more opportunities to shine. Plus, with Vincent Jackson angry, the running game is going to be very important, and I will guarantee you that Mathews is the one to benefit from that. I met Spiller, McCluster, and Best, but Mathews was the guy who dwarfed them in size. He is going to be a beast in San Diego, and he is the one I would buy.

Likelihood of ROY: Strong

Tim Tebow

I cheer against Tim Tebow every chance I get. Everything about him makes me want to see him lose. His skill set was not worthy of a first round selection, and when Denver traded away Brandon Marshall, it put him at even more of a disadvantage. People seem to think character wins you football games, but really its your ability to avoid Dwight Freeney coming off the end at 100 mph. Tebow doesn’t have the accuracy, the arm, or the experience in a pro-style offense to do well in this league. Tebow will be a bust, and I wouldn’t spend a dollar on him unless you were a gator fan in the days he was there.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

Demaryius Thomas

I thought Thomas was a huge reach at where he was drafted, especially over some of the receivers that were still on the board. Dez Bryant should have been the pick, but the Broncos decided that for 2010, their future was not important thanks to the people they drafted. Thomas will be the next Darrius Heyward Bey in his rookie season, and the Broncos should end up being a team that drafts very low in the first round next year. When you add in the injury bug that has been floating around Denver, they could be drafting lower still.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

Dez Bryant

I think that Bryant is going to have a pretty big impact in the hobby, mainly because of who he plays for. However, because of an injury, he probably isnt going to be at 100% for opening day. Bryant is probably going to have a season very much like Michael Crabtree did when he came back, and I expect him to have a pretty productive career in general. He should be a contender for ROY with Mathews, and is maybe even a front runner if he comes back strong.

Likelihood of ROY: Strong

Jimmy Clausen

In Carolina, Moore is not the answer, and never really was. Clausen is the future of the team, but needs Moore to fall on his face to get on the field. That possibility is pretty limited at this point, so Clausen may end up riding the bench for the first year or two. If Moore goes down or has problems, I would think Jimmy is going to do pretty well in his absence because of how good of a team the Panthers can be. Otherwise, any money collectors invest in Clausen will have to be for the long term.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

Golden Tate

This guy has an interesting situation in Seattle because of the Quarterback that throws to him. We never really know which Hasselbeck is going to show up, and that will drastically effect Tate’s production. Because Seattle STILL has no running game to speak of, the Passing game becomes it. However, with Housh underperforming and there not being a definite rock at QB, Seattle is a terrible place to be for an offensive rookie. Tate looks good enough to be a factor either way, just not one that is probably going to make headlines. Think Mohammed Massaquoi from last year.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

Arrelious Benn

A lot of people had Benn going higher than he did in the draft, and much like the other WRs in the 2010 class, his production is going to depend completely on how Josh Freeman adjusts to the NFL game. If Freeman struggles like he did at points in 2009, Benn is going to have a nightmarish rookie campaign. If Freeman plays like he did against the Packers, you can bet that Benn is going to do great due to lack of other options. Benn is a REALLY tall and big guy when I met him in person, and it looks like he is going to be pretty tough to cover in the red zone. That alone could get him some face time in the hobby. There has been a lot of talk about him performing well so far in camp, so maybe it’s a sign from the gods to look his direction.

Likelihood of ROY: Possible

Ben Tate

The latter Tate in the draft is in a pretty good situation in Houston. Slaton has problems as of last year and confidence in him is slipping. That leaves the door wide open for Tate to shine, but it is still unclear how well he will be able to work in the NFL. Houston has become a playoff caliber team in the last few years, and because of that fact, the tools at Tate’s disposal will be better than Spiller and company in Buffalo. He should have a year with some production, but nothing like what is needed for ROY. As with any running back on a good team, the potential is there, so it will be up to him to make it work.

Likelihood of ROY: Possible

Jahvid Best

I thought Best would be drafted higher than he was, and I think he is a pretty good player from what I saw living in California the last few years. The problem is that the Lions are horrible, again, and that doesn’t bode well for him. With Kevin Smith coming off a debilitating injury, Best is going to get reps, and reps usually do wonders for rookie stock. I would think he has potential to put up a season as good as Spiller, but will get more attention in Detroit because it isnt Buffalo.

Likelihood of ROY: Possible

Montario Hardesty

I like what Hardesty brings to the table, but like Buffalo and Detroit, Cleveland is a black hole for offensive players. Delhomme is the QB right now and he has terrible rates of success over the last few years. Whe
n that happens on any team, its the running game that gets effected too, because defenses never have to worry about the pass. With Edwards gone and the best options being receivers with very little ability to make things happen, it could be a dire situation very quickly in Ohio. Hardesty is good, just not THAT good.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

Jermaine Gresham

Gresham was billed as a prototypical Tight End, which is a lot to live up to. However, Tight End rookies have rarely performed at a high level over the last few years. The focus on the tight ends in the league has dropped, unless you are playing with a guy like Peyton Manning. He should do much better than the terrible season Pettigrew had last year, but its not going to be anything special.

Likelihood of ROY: Limited

Im sure there are other rookies from the later rounds that will shine, a la Julian Edelman from last year, but none are worth discussing at this point. Regardless, its these guys who are the front runners in my mind. They also have the higher values of the class, and that means that they have the most to lose in terms of hobby value. Argue all you want about my ratings for these guys, but I think that more of them are probably going to drop drastically in value than climb.

My Pick for the 2010 Rookie of the Year: Ryan Mathews

One thought on “Handicapping the 2010 ROY Possibilities

  1. Great blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the information are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which ought to do the trick! Have a nice day!

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