Friday, January 11, 2008

2007 NFL Rookie Year End Report

It's January. The month named after the two-headed Greek god Janus. One head looked back on the year, one head looked forward. As we look back on the rookies of the 2007 NFL season, this also marks the point where we will look ahead, and get the rookie scouting and mock drafts of the 2008 NFL season started. Below are the Top 10 Offensive and Defensive Rookies, a list of the three teams that fared the best in the 2007 draft, and the 2007 PHSports NFL All-Rookie Team.

Top 10 Offensive Rookies:

1. Adrian Peterson, RB – Minnesota Vikings
2. Joe Thomas, OT – Cleveland Browns
3. Marshawn Lynch, RB – Buffalo Bills
4. Dwayne Bowe, WR – Kansas City Chiefs
5. Tony Ugoh, OT – Indianapolis Colts
6. Selvin Young, RB – Denver Broncos
7. Mason Crosby, K – Green Bay Packers
8. Nick Folk, K – Dallas Cowboys
9. Calvin Johnson, WR Detroit Lions
10. James Jones, WR – Green Bay Packers

Top 10 Defensive Rookies:

1. Patrick Willis, LB – San Francisco 49ers
2. David Harris, LB – New York Jets
3. Jon Beason, LB – Carolina Panthers
4. Darrelle Revis, CB – New York Jets
5. LaRon Landry, S – Washington Redskins
6. Reggie Nelson, S – Jacksonville Jaguars
7. Gerald Alexander, S – Detroit Lions
8. Leon Hall, CB – Cincinnati Bengals
9. Tanard Jackson, S – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10. Gaines Adams, DE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top 3 Rookie Squads (By Team):

1) Minnesota Vikings: RB Adrian Peterson, WR Sidney Rice, CB Marcus McCauley, DE Brian Robison, WR/KR Aundrae Allison
2) Tampa Bay: DE Gaines Adams, G Arron Sears, S Tanard Jackson, DT Greg Peterson
3) New York Jets: CB Darrelle Revis, MLB David Harris

2007 PHSports NFL All-Rookie Team:

QB: Trent Edwards, Buffalo Bills – While he did not put up impressive numbers, Edwards played a lot more than any other rookie QB in the league. He completed 56% of his passes (151/269) for 1630 yards. He threw 7 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions. He did, however, lead the Bills to wins in weeks 13 and 14. He showed flashes during those games, playing nearly mistake free in one, and throwing four TD passes in the other. (Backup: Troy Smith, Baltimore Ravens)

RB: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings & Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills – Easily the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Adrian Peterson nearly turned the league upside down. By mid-season he was on pace to go over 2000 yards, but recovery from a sprained knee put those hopes to rest. He still ended up with 1341 yards and 12 touchdowns. He broke the single-game rushing record by racking up 296 yards against San Diego (his second 200+ yard 3 TD performance on the season). Marshawn Lynch racked up 1115 yards rushing with 7 TDs in 13 games. He also threw a TD pass in a dominant performance versus the Bengals. Drafted among questions about too many similarities between Lynch and his predecessor Willis McGahee, Lynch did more than enough as a rookie to fill those shoes. (Backup: Selvin Young, Denver Broncos)

WR: Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs & Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions – Bowe, by far the top rookie WR in the league, had 70 receptions for 995 yards and 5 TDs. He proved to be a big play threat that the Chiefs have sorely lacked to go along with Gonzo. Calvin Johnson somewhat proved that he is a big play threat for the Lions. While he didn’t have the most impressive season (47 catches, 756 yards, 4 TDs), he showed flashes. He also averaged ~16 yards per catch, which you don’t usually get from a receiver of his stature. (Backups: James Jones, Green Bay Packers; Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis Colts)

TE: Zach Miller, Oakland Raiders – Miller finished with a decent campaign in 2007. He had 44 catches for 444 yards and 3 TDs. The key to his performance came late in the season when JaMarcus Russell showed some comfort in throwing the ball Miller’s way. (Backup: Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears)

C: Samson Satele, Miami Dolphins – It didn’t take long for Satele to settle in at center and become the anchor of the line, making the pre-snap line calls. Satele started every game for the Fins, and looks like he could anchor the line for years.

G: Arron Sears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers & Ben Grubbs, Baltimore Ravens – Aaron Sears is another rookie lineman who started from the onset of the season. He was arguably Tampa’s best offensive lineman this season. When Grubbs got his shot, he was an integral part of paving the way for Willis McGahee to rush for 1200+ yards. (Backup: Justin Blalock, Atlanta Falcons)

T: Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns & Tony Ugoh, Indianapolis Colts – Thomas had a great year protecting Derek Anderson’s blindside, and opening holes for Jamal Lewis. He played every snap for an offense that had a coming out year. Derek Anderson was only sacked 14 times, while playing all 16 games. Tony Ugoh did something rare, by joining the Super Bowl champs, starting as a rookie and protecting the blind-side of their franchise QB all season. Some credit the scheme that has been in place for what seems like an eternity in Indy. However, Ugoh did more than earn his keep this season. (Backups: Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens; Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers; Levi Brown, Arizona Cardinals)

DT: Amobi Okoye, Houston Texans & Ed Johnson, Indianapolis Colts – Okoye hit his stride early in the season, amassing 5.5 sacks, penetrating offensive backfields regularly. While many noticed that he hit the rookie wall in the second half of the season, many forget that he came into the NFL as a 19 year-old. Johnson, an undrafted rookie, was a season-long starter for the Colts. He’s the run-stuffing type who was the one massive body among an undersized defensive line, solidifying the Colts run defense. (Backups: Adam Carriker, St. Louis Rams; Clifton Ryan, St. Louis Rams)

DE: Gaines Adams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers & Tim Crowder, Denver Broncos – Gaines Adams proved, in a weak year for ends, why he was the top DE off the board. He led all rookie defensive ends with 6 sacks. For the Broncos, losing Jarvis Moss for the season was a letdown. However, Tim Crowder filled in and posted 4.5 sacks. (Backups: Jay Richardson, Oakland Raiders; Brian Robinson, Minnesota Vikings)

MLB: Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers – Willis led the NFL with 174 tackles. He also tallied four sacks and two forced fumbles. Against Tampa Bay he had 20 tackles, 2 sacks, and forced a fumble. (Backup: Jyles Tucker, San Diego Chargers)

OLB: David Harris, New York Jets & Jon Beason, Carolina Panthers – I couldn’t allow myself to make David Harris a backup, so I’m personally moving him to OLB for the purposes of this rookie team. Even though he didn’t get a bulk of his playing time until Jon Vilma went down for the season, Harris finished 8th in the NFL with 127 tackles (100+ in the last 8 games of the season). Harris also posted 5 sacks. Beason, finished 3rd in the NFL in tackles with 140. He shored up the weakside LB spot on the Panthers that they’ve been trying to address for a few years now. (Backup: LB Brandon Silar, San Diego)

CB: Darrelle Revis, New York Jets & Leon Hall, Cincinnati Bengals – Revis solidified a position that was in shambles on the Jets. He finished the season with 87 tackles and 3 interceptions. In an often overlooked, yet important stat for DBs, Revis also broke up 17 passes. He proved to be a starter for years to come in the NFL. Hall tied for the rookie lead with 5 interceptions. While he had his bumps as a rookie, he showed flashes that solidified his draft status. He also showed that he has no problem physically matching up with the bigger receivers. (Backups: Fred Bennett, Houston Texans; Aaron Ross, New York Giants)

S: LaRon Landry, Washington Redskins & Reggie Nelson, Jacksonville Jaguars – Landry lived up to his status of being a heavy hitter. While he didn’t record his first INT until the post season, he became an intimidating force. He was 4th among rookies with 95 tackles. Reggie Nelson had a nice year for one of the NFL’s most feared defenses. He had 62 tackles, 5 interceptions and broke up 11 passes. A big year for rookie safeties, all three of the backups here could have easily been starters on the PH Sports All-Rookie Team. (Backups: Gerald Alexander, Detroit Lions; Tanard Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Nedu Ndukwe, Cincinnati Bengals)

Special Teams: K Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers & Nick Folk, Dallas Cowboys – Two kickers?! They both deserve this spot. Crosby ended up leading the NFL in scoring with 141 points. He hit 31 of 39 field goal attempts. Meanwhile, Folk scored 131 points while hitting 26 of 31 field goals. Both played key roles on the top teams in the NFC.


Clement said...

I was interested to see where Tennessee safety Michael Griffen came into play.

While owning Phillip Rivers is one thing: I can't say I've dissected Griffen with the treatment I am sure you did.

I know he also was a comptent, but far from playmaking, return man on kickoffs.

Just curious, I suppose.

Armin said...

Griffen was close...but for some reason this ended up being the year for O-Linemen, Safeties and a few great Linebackers.

Griffen would have probably made it any other year.

I have to say I called it right on Tanard Jackson. I liked him coming into the draft.

Paymon said...

I'd have taken out the second kicker listed (Folk) and added punter Daniel Sepulveda from Pittsburgh. His average wasn't great, but 28 of his 68 punts landed inside the 20 and had only 2 touchbacks.

Possibly, Brandon Mebane should've received some love at the DT position. Also, Antwan Barnes.

Didn't you have Brandon Silar projected as a 3rd rounder? Another win.

Paymon said...

Clarification ... Barnes at the DE/OLB

Armin said...'re right....28 of 68 is a nice number. I was just so impressed with both kickers, that everything else paled in comparison on special teams.

Barnes was another I a pass rushing specialist. But, are you sure that's who you meant?

Actually...going back a year earlier, I like my Brandon "Baby T.O." Marshall pick. He's a beast.

But, I have to say, there are many that I don't get right (at least in their rookie year).

Watch Tampa's draft class, outside of those named here (especially Quincy Black). This could be one of the most productive drafts for a team in this draft.

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