Today was the first look that a lot of people were getting at some of the NFL rookies on a national stage. Being that impact rookies starting on week one has become the norm, its only fitting that so many had a huge effect on the outcomes of the games they played. Obviously this was both a good effect and a bad effect.
Robert Griffin III (QB Redskins) – GREAT GAME
Being that Griffin was one of the most hyped QBs to come out of Texas since Vince Young, it goes without saying that he had a lot of expectations to fulfill this week. He delivered in spades, throwing 2 long touchdown passes and leading his team to victory over a contender in the Saints. I dont think there could be a better debut for him, and his cards have been going nuts since the first TD to Garcon crossed the goal line. This is only one game, small sample size, but the talent and production definitely came together today.
Prices speak for themselves:
Alfred Morris (RB Redskins) – GREAT GAME
Another rookie getting the start in Washington was a surprise one in Alfred Morris, a name I hadnt heard until Adam Schefter mentioned he was starting over Royster and Helu today. Morris had 98 rushing yards and 2 TDs in Griffin’s coming out party, and that says something against a stout rush defense in New Orleans. I am never sold on guys like Morris until they can put together a few games back to back, but he looked sharp.
His cards are like an IPO right now – hot start:
Blair Walsh (Kicker Vikings) – GREAT GAME
I rarely care about kickers, and even less about rookie kickers, but this guy put on a clinic today, including a ridiculous game tying 55 yarder with time running out. He also kicked the game winner to steal a win away from Jacksonville and Blaine Gabbert’s return to the NFL grid. Walsh had his moments during the pre-season, but its crazy to believe that he would perform like this.
Stephen Hill (WR Jets) – GREAT GAME
Coming out of a spread offense at GA Tech, he was a risk to take so high in the draft with barely any catches in college. However, Hill proved he was worth the investment, catching two TD passes from Sanchez as the Jets steamrolled the Bills. The catches were quite acrobatic and athletic, which only solidified what the scouts were saying coming out of the combine.
Here are some of the recent sales:
Andrew Luck (QB Colts) – BAD GAME
To start the year against a defense like Chicago is difficult for any QB, let alone a rookie. Luck had three picks and a rough go of it, losing in a bad way to the Bears in Chicago. It wasnt really AWFUL the way that some of the other games were, but he definitely didnt play as well as expectations would have dictated. The hype coming into the season should sustain value through the first few starts, and a game throwing for three bills isnt as bad as it could have been.
Ryan Tannehill (QB Dolphins) – BAD GAME
Another rookie starting off against a hard nosed defense, Tannehill never looked comfortable in his start. Like Luck, he threw three interceptions, and fumbled once during the blowout loss to the Texans. Being that Houston is expected to go deep into the post season, Tannehill was probably not expected to come out on top, but he could have played a lot better. His cards werent THAT high to begin with, and this doesnt help.
Brandon Weeden (QB Browns) – BAD, BAD, HORRIBLE GAME
When the off season workouts started and Weeden was named the starter early on, I was pretty shocked. Playing the opener against Philly’s defense isnt a good situation either. However, to come out, barely break 100 yards and throw 4 picks is horrid. Weeden was never a top value QB from this draft to begin with, as even Russell Wilson was more valuable. This should put him at the bottom of the list.
With the late games also featuring some of the top rookies, im sure there are still some fireworks to be had.