In the NFL, rookies are the meat and potatoes of every release, mainly because of collectors wanting to get on board early with the next big superstar. Due to this tendency in football card collecting, ill take a few moments every Monday to reflect on the previous day’s rookie action, as well as look forward to upcoming matchups.
Yesterday was a big day for the NFL, as many of the teams got underway for the 2010 campaign. There were not many huge Rookie headlines, but there definitely were a lot of other headlines. Regardless of headline quality, this year’s rookie class started off on a good foot, despite being a weak offensive bunch, in my opinion. For a lot of the guys, it was nice to see how they were going to fit into their roles with the teams, but also see how they performed once the games meant something.
One of the darlings of the 2010 Rookie Class made his debut yesterday, and it was interesting to see how many times the coach wanted him to throw. He completed 33 of 55, which was impressive for a rookie, but did manage 3 interceptions. Interestingly enough, Bradford did almost manage a victory against a playoff team from last year, so that is worth mentioning, no doubt. Bradford is going to have a tough time from the get go because of how bad the Rams are, but it was good to see him do reasonable. I dont see much effect this performance would have on sales like this.
The top value rookie of the whole class actually did make it on to the field yesterday, but was only able to walk on water for 2 yards on 2 carries. I kid. He didn’t really have a chance to play, as expected, and probably wont for a long time. Im guessing that wont stop people from paying top dollar for him though. Suit yourselves, people.
Bryant is widely regarded as a top contender for ROY, and played pretty well last night on national TV. He led all rookies with 8 catches and ended up with 56 yards. He had some nice plays during the final two drives of the game and looks to be on the verge of becoming one of Romo’s favorite targets. His cards are already selling quite high, and that will no doubt continue for as long as he continues to produce, even marginally.
Collectors and the Lions had VERY high hopes for the rookie out of Cal, and he lived up to some expectations for week one, but fell short on others. Best had 14 carries for a measley 20 yards, but did manage to score the first TD of the 2010 Rookie Class. He followed it up with another short run on the way to a controversial loss. His cards should see a bump because of the TDs, but Im guessing this will be the norm until the O-line gets their shit together.
Spiller has generated buzz after being named the starter in Buffalo, but he did little on the field, as predicted. The Bills are a TERRIBLE team, both in terms of quality players and quality linemen. When that happens, it’s the running backs that usually have the biggest problem. No one on the team had more than 20 yards rushing, and im surprised that it even got that far.
The Bengals rookies have always been the stuff of legend around the hobby, especially with Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell mucking up your Exquisite cases back in 2008. Every time there is a Bengals receiver at the premiere, I have a feeling they are going to be given the “sigh of disappointment” when pulled until production lives up. Shipley had a good week with 5 for 82, including a nice 51 yard catch, but the jury is still out when it comes to long term production. “OH MAN! YOU GOT SHIPLEY’ED!”
The Bengals are pretty high on his size and ability, and Gresham did catch a TD pass along with 5 others out of the gate. With how many problems Pettigrew had last year, its good to see that first round Tight Ends can play if given the chance. I think he may turn into a great player, but isnt one I would sink money into unless you are one of the two Bengals fans out there. Tight Ends typically have ZERO collectability in this league, almost as much as third string WRs that get cut during the preseason.
Another rookie TE, another TD catch, only this time, it was just one catch for one yard. I mentioned above that a score is a score, but you gotta expect more from someone like Gronk playing on a Pats team.
If I told you Mike Williams got a TD yesterday, you would automatically ask which Mike Williams I was talking about. He caught a suprising 5 passes for 30 yards, out doing some of the teammates that are expected to have big years. This is probably going to end up as a fluke, but a score is a score.
The Rookie Graveyard
This spot will be reserved for the rookies that have high hopes but consistently underperform. Once we get a few games going, there will definitely be a few fringe busts to fill this space nicely.
Ryan Mathews versus the Chiefs – Big game for Mathews, especially against a defense like the Chiefs have. Should do pretty well.
Jimmy Clausen hits the field in week 2? – Moore had a turrrrable game this week, and ended up with a concussion. We will maybe get a look at the golden domer next week.
Sam Bradford gets a break – The Raiders are next for Bradford, something that could be a big help for his numbers.