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29 Dec 2006

Too Deep Zone 2006 All-Rookie Team

by Mike Tanier

If this year's All-Rookie Team actually took the field, it would kick some butt.

That isn't the case every year. The typical rookie all-star team consists of a great running back or two, some solid linebackers, a hotshot pass rusher, and maybe a deep threat wide receiver and an ace return man. The offensive linemen usually earn their honors by default: they cracked the starting lineup for their teams, and their quarterbacks survived. The all-star rookie cornerbacks are the guys who got burnt the least. The kicker is sometimes the only kicker to keep his job all year. If the typical All-Rookie Team were forced to suit up, it would go 4-12, and the backup quarterbacks would see some action.

But this year's edition would compete for a wild card berth, at least in the NFC. The offensive line is solid, left-to-right, with real starters on playoff or near-playoff teams. The cornerbacks can hold their own. This year's team features an ace blocking tight end, a receiver who can work the middle and move the sticks, a kicker who booms his kickoffs, and the usual assortment of exciting young running backs and speedy edge rushers.

The Too Deep Zone All-Rookie Team is selected by yours truly, with input from the Football Outsiders staff and others. Statistical tools like DVOA are used to aid the selections, but players are not chosen exclusively for their stats: scouting notes and newspaper accounts are also a big part of the picture.

Offense

Quarterback: Vince Young, Titans

Five years from now, Young might be another Michael Vick, a superior athlete who never evolved into a complete player. Or he may be something else entirely: a true quarterback and leader who uses both his arm and his legs to win games. The next 12 months are crucial to Young's development: he could work on his reads and fundamentals, or he could keep relying on his running ability to bail him out when things go wrong. But All-Rookie Teams are designed to celebrate what the player did this year, not what he will do in the future. Young gave us several breathtaking runs and a fair share of excellent passes. He also brought hope back to the Titans, a truly impressive feat.

Running Back: Joseph Addai, Colts

The Offensive Rookie of the Year. According to DVOA, Addai was the fourth-best running back in the NFL this year, in part because of a league-best 65 percent Success Rate. Yes, Edgerrin James posted similar DVOA figures in the Colts offense over the past few seasons, meaning that Peyton Manning and the system make Addai look better than he really is. But if you draw comparisons to Edgerrin James, you are probably a pretty safe Rookie of the Year choice.

Running Back: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars

Jones-Drew beat Laurence Maroney for this selection by rushing for 166, 98, and 131 yards in the past three weeks while Maroney was battling injuries. Jones-Drew is a unique runner: he's so short that his center of gravity is four feet underground, making him incredibly maneuverable and hard to tackle. His rushing, receiving, and return abilities made him a huge part of the Jaguars offense this season.

Fullback: Ahmard Hall, Titans

A former Marine and an undrafted free agent, Hall rose from camp fodder to the Titans starting lineup. He's a punishing blocker who has become a solid safety valve receiver for Vince Young.

Wide Receiver: Marques Colston, Saints

He played college football at Hofstra, then dropped some passes at the Combine, so Colston was easy to overlook in the draft. Give Sean Payton and the Saints credit, not just for selecting him, but for giving him a role in a crowded receiving corps. And give Colston credit for making the most of his opportunities. He's big, he's physical, and he works the middle of the field like a five-year veteran. Colston's 51 first down receptions rank 10th in the NFL, ahead of players like Hines Ward, Terry Glenn, Steve Smith, and Derrick Mason.

Wide Receiver: Santonio Holmes, Steelers

Holmes had a hard time holding onto the ball as a punt returner early in the year, and he wasn't a big part of the offense when the Steelers were losing games early in the season. He has come on of late, and 38 of his 45 catches this season netted first downs.

Tight End: Anthony Fasano, Cowboys

Owen Daniels of the Texans was far more productive as a receiver, and Denver's Tony Scheffler has made an impact down the stretch. But Fasano has done a tremendous job as a blocker and all-purpose player. Watch a Cowboys game, and you'll see Fasano lined up all over the formation as a tight end, fullback, and H-back. Sure, the catch total is low, but how many balls were there to go around in Dallas?

Tackle: Marcus McNeill, Chargers

McNeill took over for injured Roman Oben in training camp and never looked back. McNeill has never been flagged for holding this season. That might be because he played much of the year with two broken hands.

Tackle: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets

Andrew Whitworth of the Bengals had Ferguson beat until two weeks ago. Then Whitworth started getting beat by Colts and Broncos pass rushers. Ferguson is a little long and lean and has had trouble keeping his weight up this season, but he has held his own, and he is starting to emerge as a leader on a young Jets team. "I really like the way he is becoming more vocal, and not just on the field, but also in the meeting rooms," coach Eric Mangini said. "That happens with playing with the same guys and feeling more comfortable and really understanding what's happening."

Guard: Daryn Colledge, Packers

How good is Colledge? So good that the Packers actually put him at left tackle against the Dolphins. Jason Taylor schooled him for two sacks in that game, but Colledge didn't give up a sack all season at left guard.

Guard: Jason Spitz, Packers

Spitz wasn't as effective as Colledge, but he was far better than the novices and journeymen who played right guard for the Packers last year (Will Whitticker, Grey Ruegamer, and Matt O'Dwyer). "I don't really look at one as being more effective than the other,'' center Scott Wells said of the youngsters flanking him. "I look at it like they're both solid players and both are improving in different areas. I'm happy with them in there." Seahawks guard Ron Sims earned honorable mention this season with 14 quality starts on an otherwise disappointing line.

Center: Nick Mangold, Jets

Mangold was good enough this season to merit serious Rookie of the Year consideration. He's tough, he's mobile, and he knows the game. To see him at his best, watch him during a play action pass. He snaps the ball, then fires out like he's run blocking, drawing linebackers to the line of scrimmage while making sure that Chad Pennington is protected. Mangold and Ferguson are just what the Jets wanted: anchors who should spend the next decade in New York.

Defense

Defensive End: Tamba Hali, Chiefs

In early December, Hali admitted to a Missouri newspaper that he had hit the rookie wall. "Mentally, I'm drained," he told the Jackson County Examiner. Since then, he picked up a sack and an interception against the Chargers and had a five-tackle performance against the Raiders. He has 6.5 sacks and 42 solo tackles (excellent for a rookie defensive end) on the season. We don't want to meet up with him when he's fresh.

Defensive End: Elvis Dumervil, Broncos

Entering the draft, Dumervil was best known as the guy who got stomped on by Marcus Vick in a Virginia Tech-Louisville game. But the 5'11" Dumervil has made a name for himself as an unlikely pass rushing star. Dumervil has seven sacks and three fumble recoveries, a testament both to his relentlessness and the power of good leverage.

Defensive End: Mark Anderson, Bears

If we actually fielded this All-Rookie Team, Hali would move inside so Anderson could play. With three multi-sack performances on the year, he's a major force on the league's best defense.

Defensive Tackle: Barry Cofield, Giants

Cofield has been a bright spot on a dismal Giants defense. His numbers aren't that impressive (42 tackles, 1.5 sacks), but it's hard for interior linemen to rack up stats even in the best of circumstances. If you don't like the fact that we chose three ends and one tackle, feel free to sub Domata Peko of the Bengals in for one of the ends, at least on rushing downs.

Linebacker: DeMeco Ryans, Texans

The Defensive Rookie of the Year. Ryans leads the league in tackles with 119, but good defenders on bad teams often rack up huge tackle totals. Ryans' other stats are just as impressive: 3.5 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, an interception, 12 passes defensed. "You try to tell me a linebacker in our division that's played better than him," teammate Dunta Robinson said of Ryans. Well, Keith Bulluck is pretty darn good, but we'd take Ryans over the rest of them.

Linebacker: A.J. Hawk, Packers

The light came on for Hawk in Week 10, when he had 1.5 sacks against the Vikings, then came back with impressive performances against the Patriots and Seahawks. Hawk still gets mixed up in zone coverage and sucked in by play fakes, but there is no denying his talent.

Linebacker: Thomas Howard, Raiders

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asked eight NFL personnel executives to rank the league's best rookie linebackers a week ago. Ryans ranked first, followed by Hawk, followed by Ernie Sims, then Howard. We like Howard slightly better than Sims, but we'd be happy with either of them. Here's what one of the execs had to say about Howard: "He is physical. You never saw him do that at El Paso. Everybody was wrong on that. He's just a natural."

Cornerback: Johnathan Joseph, Bengals

Joseph ranks among the league leaders with 18 passes defensed, a dubious stat because hometown scorers all have different rules for what constitutes a "pass defensed." Some of Joseph's deflections are actually dropped interceptions, but a dropped pick is still better than a blown assignment. Joseph entered the starting lineup for good in Week 11. Since then, he broke up four passes against the Ravens and forced a fumble against the Raiders.

Cornerback: Richard Marshall, Panthers

Marshall earned a reputation as a cocky player by saying that he "wasn't going to take a back seat" after the draft. He backed up his words by taking over Ken Lucas's starting job and proving himself both as a pass defender and run stopper at cornerback. He registered four tackles for losses against the Steelers, showing that he's a sure tackler as well as a smooth cover corner. Marshall told the Fresno Bee two weeks ago that he isn't worried about getting a reputation as a big talker."I always want to own up to my words. Cocky? I have a lot of confidence in my abilities. Once my number is called, can't nobody beat me. But I'm still learning and getting the feel of things day by day." Marshall also has excellent numbers in our early game charting data on cornerbacks.

Safety: Donte Whitner, Bills

We chuckled when the Bills took Whitner with the eighth overall selection, not because we thought Whitner was a bad player, but because the Bills had so many other needs. Whitner has lived up to his draft status by recording 95 total tackles and playing penalty-free football. Fellow rookie Ko Simpson has also played well for the Bills and deserves honorable mention.

Safety: Danieal Manning, Bears

Manning earns a slim nod over Oakland's Michael Huff because he has recorded more big plays, including two forced fumbles against the Patriots and an interception to help sink the Vikings in Week 13. Manning has made his share of rookie blunders (see the second half against the Bucs), but there's no such thing as a mistake-free rookie defensive back.

Special Teams

Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots

The Patriots are better off with Gostkowski than they were with Adam Vinatieri. You read that right. And it has nothing to do with Vinatieri's injury problems. Gostkowski has made his share of long field goals this year, including a 52-yarder against the Bears and a 48-yarder against the Jaguars. But his most significant contribution has been on kickoffs: Gostkowski averages 66.6 yards per kickoff and has recorded 12 touchbacks.

Punter: Sam Koch, Ravens

It has been another banner year for rookie punters, with Ryan Plackemeyer, Jon Ryan, and Steve Weatherford all worthy of All-Rookie attention. Koch's net average is lower that all of theirs, but he has booted 27 punts inside the 20 against just three touchbacks. None of the others can match that ratio.

Punt Returner: Devin Hester, Bears

The Special Teams Rookie of the Year, and so much more. Hester's returns are breathtaking, and his quick-strike touchdowns were a necessity for a Bears team that couldn't count on its offense this season. Hester's performance had Chicago writers grasping for superlatives this season. "Call him unfriggin'believable. Call him the freak of freaks. Call him Gale Sayers, Deion Sanders, a miracle in stick-on eye black," Jay Mariotti wrote in the Sun-Times. Hester was a serious contender for Rookie of the Year, and we would have given it to him if he did more on offense or defense.

Kickoff Returner: Laurence Maroney, Patriots

We couldn't leave him off the team. Maroney isn't a jitterbug like Hester; he makes one cut, then bowls people over on kickoff returns. If we actually fielded this team, he would be our short-yardage back.

Gunner: Ethan Kilmer, Bengals

Nine solo tackles on special teams may not seem like a lot, but Kilmer earned high marks as a wedge buster, and his muff recovery against the Ravens helped the Bengals ice an important game.

You can read about last year's All-Rookie Team here.

(Note: Football Outsiders' sack and tackle totals may differ slightly from other sources because of after-the-fact stat changes.)

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 29 Dec 2006

96 comments, Last at 05 Jan 2007, 10:16pm by Chris

Comments

1
by The Big Lebowski (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:13pm

Alright, Dominic Rhodes was crap, but I remain heavily unconvinced about Addai being offensive ROTY. I think virtually any of the rookie RBs in contention would put up similar DVOA while facing defences terrified of Manning and company. I'd rather the award went to Colston, McNeill or Mangold.

2
by SGT Ben (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:14pm

First!

3
by SGT Ben (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:15pm

Bah, So close

4
by walter l (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:15pm

Why is Dumervil considered a surprise? he was an elite pass rusher in college and an expected first rounder in his draft before injury...similar to Adewale Ogunleye?

5
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:16pm

I think it is perfectly fair to put Addai and MJD over Maroney. Maroney is excellent in space, but as far as I can tell, he still has issues with dancing into the hole. I suppose it could be that defenses play the run more when he is in there, but there is a clear difference between the decisiveness of Dillon and Maroney.

If Maroney can fill in that gap, I think he has all the tools to be a top 5 back as early as next year.

6
by irishfan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:23pm

As a rams fan I would take our rookie guard Setterstrom over either of those guards and Tye Hill over either of those corners. Cant disagree with the team as Setterstrom/Hill are developing but I foresee both as future probowlers and would not say the same about the corners and guards above.

7
by PackMan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:29pm

Collegde played Tackle in college, so that may be another reason they were comfortable putting him there, if only temporarily.

8
by Jay (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:46pm

So no Mario Williams? Getting drafted first overall and starting every game, he's not even able to crack this lineup? That's got to be pretty disappointing...

9
by justanothersteve (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:46pm

More on Colledge - Jason Taylor schooled him for two sacks in that game. It should be pointed out that Taylor had an excellent first half, but was practically invisible in the second half. Colledge got much better as the game went on. Not bad for his first shot at LT.

10
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:48pm

I agree with pretty much all these selections and your RotY picks, but it was especially nice to see some love for Santonio Holmes there. People remember the ST fumbles, but he's really come on in his first year in Pittsburgh. I think he may be even better than Colston, but the comparison is almost impossible - they've only played one year, Colston was playing in an offense featuring Drew Brees having a career year and a pass-happy style whereas Holmes was having the ball thrown to him by Roethlisberger in his worst season so far and in general the Steelers would rather run the ball. What's not up for dispute is that both are great prospects.

I would also like to complain that the Raiders took a WR as Mr. Irrelevant, because otherwise we'd be talking about the first and last recievers picked in the draft.

11
by Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:54pm

I know the Browns are bad, but how come Wimbley doesn't even get mentioned in this article? While he needs to work on stopping the run, he's probably the best pass rusher in the draft class (10 sacks) on a team with no other threats to attack the QB.

12
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:56pm

#8 - The second pick is also noticeably absent from this list.

13
by MFurtek (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 1:57pm

I'll fess up to one who underestimated Thomas Howard. When draft day came along it looked like the 'Skins didn't want him, which is why they traded up and took McIntosh (or they may have wanted D'qwell Jackson).

The Raiders D should dominate over the next couple of seasons.

14
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:07pm

I'm a little surprised not to see Jahri Evans on this list. However, the two Packers who made it were also deserving.

15
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:10pm

There were a couple questions about Dumervil. The primary one was position-he was widely considered not big enough to play DE in the NFL, which would mean OLB. And he hadn't played much, if any, OLB at Louisville, and so nobody knew if he could cover or not. The other concern I, at least, had was productivity-he was incredibly productive early last year, but wasn't as productive at the end of the year. This would suggest he could be game-planned against in the NFL, and wouldn't be the sort of dominant pass rusher he would need to be to justify his liability v. the run as an undersized DE. The key man to contrast him with was Terrell Suggs, who was also a sort of DE/OLB tweener, but IIRC didn't show the same drop in production and tested out physically a little more impressive than Dumervil did, so he was a higher pick and has been a very good 3-4 OLB.

I like MikeT's picks. Addai has been even better than I thought he'd be, and I thought he was a perfect pick for the Colts offense. I was really down on Colledge after seeing Jason Taylor eat him alive, but he probably was a good guard. Howard looked pretty bad early, I thought, but he's really come on as the year has gone on.

16
by bowman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:10pm

Jones-Drew is the 3rd best rushing DVOA, while Addai has the 5th best DVOA. Receiving, Addai is 8th in receiving by running backs, while Jones-Drew is 9th. I'm not sure that merely pointing to DVOA conclusively shows Addai is better than Jones-Drew.

Objectively, I would think that Jones-Drew is more impressive, as defenses aren't exactly scared of the Jaguar passing attack.

17
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:10pm

Williams is more than a full year younger than the youngest of the ends selected (Dumervil), and was considered from the get-go to be raw but with staggering potential. Moreover, he is a genuine two way end who is seriously disruptive to the opposition running game (look at the Texans defensive ALY for runs listed as left tackle, compared to runs anywhere else). Factor in the fact that he plays for a worse team than any of the others selected, and so faces fewer pass attempts, and the lower sack total does not seem so damning. That's not to say Williams should be on this team, just that his absence from it need not preclude him from turning out to have been worth the pick. Michael Strahan only had one sack as a rookie. If he's still recording 5-odd sacks a season in two years' time, then it will be entirely fair to criticize the pick. Right now, I think it's entirely possible - even likely - he will be more valuable to his team over the course of his career than Reggie Bush.

18
by TomG (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:13pm

Not having watched enough other games to truly be able to evaluate the other rookies, I won't definitively claim that that Haloti Ngata (DT) and Dwan Landry (safety) of the Ravens should be on the list. I'll simply say that they started and played well on the #1 defense in the league, so I'm surprised they are not mentioned

19
by scott (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:20pm

I'm more impressed with Reggie Bush than Addai. It's true that Bush isn't a great between-the-tackles runner, but he's show improvement lately and is a much more dangerous threat out of the backfield.

20
by Basilicus (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:33pm

I have to agree about not being as crazy about Addai as Mike is. He's good, and he's a very complete back, but no moreso than Maroney. He's also not as good a pure rusher as Jones-Drew. Rookie running back of the year I can agree with, but he doesn't deserve offensive rookie of the year over McNeill or Colston.

21
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:39pm

Re #17
I broke down every Titans offensive play v. the Texans a couple weeks ago (see link), and was flabbergasted at just how many times the Titans blocked Princess Toadstool Mario with someone other than an offensive lineman. The #1 overall pick just isn't supposed to be rendered ineffectual on a play by an undrafted rookie FB or a TE just elevated from the practice squad, but it happened far too often.

22
by Waverly (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:39pm

No honorable mentions list?

23
by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:41pm

4:
I agree. Nobody should be surprised that the guy who led the nation in sacks in his senior year of college turned out to be a good pass rusher in the NFL. If anything, I would have been surprised if he didn't. I think one reason he wasn't picked in the first round is that people didn't think he would be much good against the run.

24
by Sam! (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:41pm

16 brings up a great point. How many 8 man fronts do you think Addai sees? Teams have been playing run against the Jaguars for a large part of the season, daring them to throw, which has worked fairly well lately.

Interestingly, the Redskins did that early and shut down the Jags' running game (32 yards the whole game, including 14 yards by Leftwich, who I was led to believe did not possess the physical ability to run). Leftwich, however, put up pretty decent numbers (275 yards passing, 3 TDs and 1 INT) although not so good on third down (team was only 2-13 on the day, which tends to happen when you keep running and not picking up any yards early). He put up 30 points.

When the Pats dared the Jags to throw, the coaches still didn't trust Garrard to do it. And when he did, he wasn't exactly spectacular until late in the game. Leftwich is the better passer and I think he always will be. Garrard is a great backup (just as Jay Fiedler and Rob Johnson were in Jacksonville) and I don't think he'll ever be more than that (just like Jay Fiedler and Rob Johnson were outside of Jacksonville). '

The local media here in Jax seem to think its a foregone conclusion that Leftwich is gone next season, despite the team repeating that line that Leftwich is their guy. I think I believe the team, who has watched the tape over and over, rather than the media on this one. I'd much rather ship off Garrard for a draft pick than Leftwich.

25
by Gabrosin (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:45pm

I'm a little surprised to see Haloti Ngata's name missing. I know it's easy to overlook defensive tackles, and that their stat lines have little to do with their true impact. But you can see the effect that Kelly Gregg and Ngata have had every time you watch a Ravens game. Ngata anchors the middle of one of the top two run defenses in the game, and contributes to one of the best pass rushes. His presence is a big part of the success of the Ravens LB corps this year. And he has shown no signs of slowing down as the year progresses. I would think he deserves to be on this team.

Dawan Landry has also played well as a rookie safety, but there are several other solid rookie safeties, including the ones you mentioned on the team. So I'm not surprised by his omission.

26
by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:51pm

"If this year’s All-Rookie Team actually took the field, it would kick some butt."

Yeah, but who would coach them? I think we should have a coach on the team as well, at least when possible. Maybe Sean Payton or Eric Mangini. They're both in their first year as Head Coaches, right?

27
by Josh (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 2:56pm

I give Addai best rookie RB in part because he's the #1 RB on his team, unlike MJD and Maroney where the veteran RBs Taylor and Dillon have more carries.

But I vote for Colston for OROY

28
by Marble (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 3:08pm

Seeing as how this year's rookie class is so strong, if the NFL played an All-Rookie vs. All-Sophomore game, like the NBA, who would win? Assuming it wasn't treated as a joke, like the NBA version.

29
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 3:15pm

8

Being able to crack the starting lineup of the Texans "Defense" is hardly impressive.

30
by paytonrules (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 3:24pm

"With three multi-sack performances on the year, he’s a major force on the league’s best defense."

Mark Anderson plays for Baltimore?

31
by BB (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 3:30pm

30: The Bears were the best until the injuries finally caught up with them, they've obviously not been the best the last few games.

32
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 3:43pm

Regarding the Addai/Jones-Drew/Maroney/Reggie debate, I will say this as a Saints fan:

If I were told that I could only vote for a running back as OROY, my vote would go to Maurice Jones-Drew. He's put up the numbers, shown durability, and has been the focal part of his offense. Addai and Maroney have missed time and shared carries with veterans. Reggie has done some incredible things out there, but in the end, the Saints have a few more offensive options than Jacksonville. While it's true that much of Reggie's contribution has come on plays where he is not the primary ball carrier, and that has to be taken into account, it's not as if the guy who IS getting the ball is a slouch, either. Teams know that MJD is getting the ball and they can't stop him. That's pretty impressive.

On a side note, he's a fellow 5'7" guy, so he gets props for that, too.

33
by Tighthead (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 3:54pm

What has been the verdict on Vernon Davis' rookie campaign? He was pretty hyped coming into the draft. I have only seen one Niners game, and he struck me as being one of those TEs who generally splits out and is really more of a WR.

34
by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:00pm

33:

There are houses built by kids in kindergarten with more blocks than Vernon Davis has had in his career.

34
by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:00pm

33:

There are houses built by kids in kindergarten with more blocks than Vernon Davis has had in his career.

36
by Ch V Kalyan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:19pm

Ngata? Wimbley and all of 10 sacks cannot find a place ...

a serious suggestion: for each category, please do add a "honorable mention" so that we can recognize the efforts of some of the other rookies ..

anyone willing to come up with a second all-rookie team: Lienart, Bush, Maroney, FB?, Ryan O'callaghan, LT?, G?, C?, Ngata, Mario Williams (he has 4.5 sacks!), DTs?, Kimbley, OLB?, D'quell Jackson (ILB), CB?, SS?, SG (kicker). Not too bad (wont embarass themselves against in the NFC playoffs)

37
by Sims (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:29pm

Ernie Sims got majorly snubbed. Not only was he better than Thomas, he was better than Hawk too. Sims was by far the best defensive Lion (even if that's not saying much) and his energy and ability to shed blockers made him a force from the WLB position.

38
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:34pm

Yeah, I'd have to say I'm more impressed by MJD than Maroney, for the reasons mentioned by others. The Jags have no passing game, so they know MJD is coming and he knocks people over anyway. Maroney has missed time, shared carries, and still dances in the hole.

If you just take Addai on his numbers (DVOA), he's been hugely productive, so I have no problem taking him just on that basis. I really don't have the data or time to sort out how much of it is because of fear of the Colts passing game though. DVOA wins in the absence of better information to the contrary.

And although it'd be more work for MikeT, on top of a job already well done, it would be a lot of fun for those of us that don't have time to follow the entire league to have some "honorable mentions" listed.

39
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:36pm

Oh, and I forgot to say, thanks to other posters for filling in the "honorable mention" candidates from their favorite (and other) teams.

40
by Alaska Jack (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:42pm

#13: "The Raiders D should dominate over the next couple of seasons."

I don't think so, not unless they add one or two Washington/Adams-style "big pigs" who can dominate the middle and let those fast linebackers do their thing. (Interestingly, they have another phenomenally athletic LB, Darnell Bing, who was injured and didn't play this year). They do have one similar player, Terdell Sands, but he's not that good.

- Alaska Jack

41
by The Big Lebowski (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 4:50pm

34 (and indeed, 35): So close to being funny, except that Davis' blocking has been the most striking thing about his rookie campaign, not only downfield against DBs but at the LOS against D-lineman who are 40lbs heavier than him. He's freakishly strong, and he clearly hasn't neglected that part of his training as so many receiving TE's do.

To give a more general verdict on him, he's still very raw as a receiver. He doesn't run good routes, or even the correct route sometimes, and he's been caught numerous times trying to make one-handed catches or trying to make YAC before he has the ball secured. Having said that, he's such a freak that he's still made some big plays (see TDs against Arizona and GB, DBs seem to be scared of him once he gets running), and he's showing constant improvement from game to game. So yeah, I'd say Nolan is still happy that he drafted him. He needs to shut up though, we could do without a Shockey/Winslow Jr. character.

42
by Jordy (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 5:02pm

"The Patriots are better off with Gostkowski than they were with Adam Vinatieri."

Did I read that right?

"You read that right."

Well OK, then. They won't be better off with Gostkowski in January. But an excellent choice for the rookie team nonetheless. He ran unopposed.

43
by Jordy (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 5:10pm

Another suggestion, as well as another reason this team would kick butt if it took the field:

Who's coaching the All-Rookie Team? It's a 2-horse race, but it's a tight one!

44
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 5:11pm

I just think it's amazing that players as good as Leinart, Huff, Wimbley, Ngata, Cromartie, and more can be legitimately left off of this year's All-Rookie Team.

45
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 5:26pm

42.

"Well OK, then. They won’t be better off with Gostkowski in January."

Why? Go back and watch those superbowls. Vinateri missed a LOT of kicks during those playoff runs. He just hit a couple at the end of games. (If he hadnt missed 2 in the carolina game, it wouldnt have been close). Vintateri is probably the most heralded, undeserving player I have ever seen. Even more so then 2005 Favre.

Gostkowski has a much better leg, and since they've fixed the field in NE, hes been better than vinateri ever was.

46
by morganja (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 5:51pm

RE: 42
I thought Gostkowski had some competition but just realized Koenan was a second year player.

47
by 52decleetzu (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 6:02pm

How in the world Dawan Landry isnt on that list I will nbever know.His stats and lack of mistakes all year put him in a class all by him self.

5 Int
1 defensive TD (1 yd away from TWO)
63 tackles(44 solo)
10 passes defended.
1 sack.

Pleaase explain to me how Daniel Manning gets the nod over Landry.Even in the comments it references his key mistakes,Landry hasnt blown a coverage or made ANY mistakes that I can think of all year.I dont even think he has had a penalty called on him.

48
by Vince (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 6:14pm

No discussion of rookie RBs would be complete without Jerious Norwood. He probably hasn't played enough to be the top rookie RB, but he is second in the league in DVOA.

49
by ABW (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 6:18pm

Re: 45

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm really happy with Gostkowski, and I think anyone who watches the Patriots thinks that it was a good use of a 4th rounder and is optimistic about having Gostkowski as the kicker for the foreseeable future. But he's not "better than Vinatieri ever was". In 2002, NE led the league in FG/XP, and had positive value on kickoffs, and in 2004 they again led the league in FG/XP, and had slightly negative value on kickoffs. There were some not-so-hot years in there too - 2003 notably, was not a very good year for Adam V. But while Gostkowski has been good and very good for a rookie, Vinatieri was an excellent kicker for a long time and Gostkowski hasn't approached Vinatieri's peak yet.

50
by Joe Schmo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 6:20pm

I can't believe that Antoine Bethea is not even considered. Most of you pundits probably don't even know who he is. Whitner is overrated, and up until Bethea got injured, Bethea was having a much better year AND he was a 6th rounder from Howard. Go Figure. Stupid Pundits!!

51
by Tighthead (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 6:29pm

I ask the question I ask of all teams such as this - why two RBs?

52
by Marko (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 6:31pm

"Pleaase explain to me how Daniel Manning gets the nod over Landry."

It's because of his last name. If Landry's last name were Brady, he might have made it. Of course, that also would have led to many irrational discussion threads.

53
by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 7:28pm

50 Joe Schmo, way to go giving a Colt D player some spotlight. And he was having a VG year for a kid, replacing the injured, recent 2nd rounder Mike Doss, but he IS playing on the Colts--their passing D is only decent because their run D is so awful. So the stink of their D clings to him, rightfully or not. He is a good hitter, though.

I think if they can keep their safeties healthy, it will be a strength in the future. How tall is Bethea? Does he tower over Doss and Sanders?

54
by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 10:08pm

I'm very impressed that you selected Brick and Nick and that it has caused no controversy. I remember reading that if the draft were revisited that the Jets should have selected a QB. He would have spent the year on his back. Since rookie coach Mangini wisely went against this advice, he should coach the All-Rookie team.

55
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 11:21pm

#21 - Fair enough. I did watch that game, but on an internet stream on a tiny screen in poor resolution. Combine the fact that I wasn't specifically watching for line play with the fact that jersey numbers were largely indistinguishable to me and I'm happy to take your word for it. I did, however, watch the Colts game some hours after it took place, with knowledge of the half-time score but not the full-time. I couldn't fast-forward - still the Gamepass stream, but on a better connection in a much higher resolution - so I decided to spend the first half watching Ryans and Williams whenever the Texans were on defense. Ryans is, as pretty much everyone seems to agree, a flat-out beast, with phenomenal instincts both against the run and in coverage, good acceleration and excellent tackling technique. Williams certainly has plenty of flaws (twice he pulled a Freeney, running himself out of a play trying to make an outside rush on a run) but he also repeatedly gave Ryan Diem fits, simply overpowering him on several bull rushes (for this game, Williams played most downs at left end, with Peek and Babin rotating on the right. I presume the idea was to create additional pressure on Manning, at the expense of stopping the run).

56
by usedbread (not verified) :: Fri, 12/29/2006 - 11:52pm

this is offtopic as all hell, but...
follow the link, and youll see why i think David Carr is going to San Fran next year to be Smith's backup

57
by Rick (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 12:26am

re: 45, 49

Gostkowski isn't "better than Vinatieri ever was". But he is better than Vinatieri is now. AV doesn't have quite the leg strength he did five years ago, while Gostkowski is one of the strongest kickers in the league. The only unanswered question is whether he can make long, clutch kicks. But he has made a lot of long field goals this season, and his future looks bright.

58
by D (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 12:50am

Leinart has been better than Young so he should have been the QB, but otherwise a very good team.

59
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 1:11am

I thought of this a little while ago, but this seems like as good a place as any to suggest it: does anyone else like the idea of voting for an All-Suck team, consisting of the worst players to start a minimum of say 8 games this season, as part of the FO end-of-season awards?

Possible nominations:

QB
Andrew Walter
Bruce Gradkowski
Charlie Frye
Brad Johnson
Rex Grossman

RB
Dominic Rhodes
Wali Lundy
Jamal Lewis
Shaun Alexander
Maurice Morris

FB
Mack Strong
Jameel Cook (if the starts minimum were as low as 6)

WR
Chris Chambers
Randy Moss
Alvis Whitted
Rod Smith
Brandon Lloyd
Troy Williamson
Mike Clayton
Mike Jenkins
Ashley Lelie

TE
Bubba Franks
Jerramy Stevens

T
Robert Gallery
Langston Walker
Leonard Davis
Jeremy Trueblood
Ephraim Salaam
Sean Locklear
LJ Shelton
Bob Whitfield
Eric Winston

G
Kevin Boothe
Reggie Wells
Mike Gandy
Joe Andruzzi
Cosey Coleman

C
Alex Stepanovitch
Hank Fraley
Dominic Raiola
Jake Grove
Chris Spencer

DE
Phillip Daniels
Kalimba Edwards
Anthony Weaver
Chauncey Davis

DT
Anthony McFarland
Raheem Brock
Jimmy Kennedy
Larry Triplett
Cory Redding

LB
Shantee Orr
Morlon Greenwood
Lemar Marshall
Warrick Holdman
Keith Ellison
Paris Lenon
Kendrell Bell
Gilbert Gardner

CB
DeAngelo Hall
Allen Rossum
Stanley Wilson
Ike Taylor
DeShea Townsend
Kenny Wright
Carlos Rogers
Fakhir Brown
Darrent Williams

S
CC Brown
Glenn Earl
Adam Archuleta
Troy Vincent
Matt Giordano
Pat Watkins
Robert Griffith

K
Mike Vanderjagt
Morten Andersen

P
Chad Stanley
Chris Hanson

KR
DeAngelo Williams
Dexter Wynn
Willie Ponder
Vernand Morency

PR
Chris Gamble
Santonio Holmes

I'm sure that list is far from exhaustive - there are bound to be atrocious players that I've missed, and people may feel I'm being too harsh to some of those on there. I typically watch 4-6 games a week, but obviously there's still an awful lot I don't see, and my viewing tends to have an AFC, and especially AFC South, bias. I've used DVOA, ASR and ALY as aids wherever possible. If other people do think this would be fun, do pitch in.

60
by Jeff W (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 1:15am

1. Three RBs is cheating.

2. Leinart>Young

3. Antonio Cromartie should be in at CB according to the blog on DeAngelo Hall--he leads the league in Stop Rate (69%).

61
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 1:18am

Leinart has not necessarily been better than young.

I made an all-rookie team a few threads ago. Some differences between mine and Tanier's:

WR: Greg Jennings as the second WR
TE: Owen Daniels
G: Deuce Lutui, instead of Jason Spitz. Lutui's been helping repair the train wreck that is the Arizona line. Edge began to recover after he joined the lineup.

DT: Tanier totally snubbed Ngata. He has been great.

CB: I like Antonio Cromartie, but Marshall is a good pick.

S: Dawan Landry.

P: I took Plackemeier, but I understand the reasoning.

Basically, I agree nearly everywhere, but I think Ngata was uber-snubbed.

62
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 1:24am

58: I like this game.

Some more nominations for all-suck: DeMarcus Faggins, CB - HOU
Reuben Droughns, RB - CLE

63
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 2:10am

You say All-Rookie Team and I think of Kyle Orton.

Couldn't the All-Rookie QB last year have been Matt Cassel? Anyone but Orton. Or Smith. At least Smith was plaing better at the end of the year.

64
by Vince (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 2:50am

#58: Morten Andersen? What the hell?

If you're judging him by the Falcons' placekicking DPAR, well, stop it. Those numbers are mainly a reflection of Michael Koenen, who started the year as kicker. He tried eight kicks, missed half, and of the remaining half, two were blocked. Yes, he was blocked as often as he was successful.

65
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 3:23am

So who out of all the talented rookies this year is the ROY? I have Colston, McNeil, MJD, then VY, in that order. It seems as if the popular pick is VY, but seriously, his TEAM is playing great football and VY is getting a little too much credit for the Titan's success. Colston is having a great year for a WR, not just a rookie WR. If it wasn't for the three games he missed, he would deffinately be in the top 5 in all the WR stats. Its hard to quantify what McNeil has done for the Chargers, but the guy should have made the Pro Bowl at one the most permier positions in the league. MJD is also competing at a level of most veteran RB's. VY is having a good year, but not great when compared to other QB's at his postion. Who will most likely win the award...VY!

66
by smashmouth football (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 3:56am

Re: 58, 61

Although I hate to throw my own guy under the bus, as an honest observer, I'd have to say that Samari Rolle, Ravens CB, has had a pretty bad year. I think he's been playing with an injury, and he seems like a good team guy, but I also recall a recent FO column listing him as one of the worst starting CBs this season for stop rate and avg. yards per catch.

67
by smashmouth football (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 4:03am

Re: 21

The #1 overall pick just isn’t supposed to be rendered ineffectual on a play by an undrafted rookie FB or a TE just elevated from the practice squad, but it happened far too often.

You reminded me of a game I saw in week 3. The Ravens played at 4 PM that week so I was watching the Redskins at Texans, the 1 o'clock game. (Baltimore is, unfortunately, stuck under Washington's armpit.) Anyway, from 1st and goal from the 5, the Redskins ran a sweep left. They had a TE one-on-one against Mario Williams. The TE BLEW UP Williams and the RB (I think it was Portis, before he got hurt) scored an EASY touchdown.

68
by smashmouth football (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 4:07am

I agree with the posters who have listed Ngata and Dawan Landry as snubs on Mike Tanier's team. Ngata has been a BEAST in the middle of the line for the 2nd best run D in the NFL, and has been a major contributor to considerably improved performance from last year's version.

As far as Landry, the poster in #47 says it as well as you can say it.

69
by Jeff W (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 4:12am

McNeill is def the rookie of the year. Pro Bowl Alternate at the second most important position in football, 2 sacks allowed, no holding calls, Chargers were awesome at left side runs... One of the greatest rookie years in recent history.

70
by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 4:21am

Man, that all-suck team was brutal. Mr Shush, remind me to never let my dog pee on your lawn or I'll end up on the worst neighbor list.

I think McFarland is dong a fine job on the Indy D-line. In fact, he's more or less a savior in my eyes--scary, I know. And hard to bash Matt Giordano--he's a third stringer playing because of injuries. It's like bashing a 3rd string QB who is forced into the limelight, only Giordano's flaws are more visible because RBs have a 15 yard head of steam built up when they trample him. Hell, they're probably hoping to get tackled so they can have a breather. Sprinting 15 yards through arm tackles is thirsty work and they need the break. If they hit MG just right, they might trip and then get some well-deserved Gatorade on the sideline.

Can Vandy make the team if he's not in football any more? And isn't Rossum really a kick returner who has to have a regular position attached to his name on the roster? Has he played much as a DB? Also seems wrong to pick any Raiders WR. I mean, look who they had throwing to them and who they had protecting that QB. Even if they have a lot of drops, it's probably because the ball was chucked wildly in their general direction out of desperate self-preservation by the QB and the WR managed to get a few fingers on the ball.

71
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 4:42am

I think the most deserving of all-suck honors are Walter, Chambers, Gallery, and Stepanovich. Honestly, I believe Stepanovich sucks more than all of the first three put together.

72
by Tim R (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 8:48am

I think its a bit harsh to bash players and place them on an all suck team when they're not even the primary backup on the team. Someone like Rossum who I thnk is the 5th string CB for the Falcons deserves to get a bit of slack.

73
by Seymour Cassell (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 10:15am

58:

It only took getting to Grossman to confirm my suspicion that this was a pointless exercise.

74
by Sam! (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 10:32am

How could the All-Suck Team leave off all of the Jaguars' receivers???

75
by Larry Blake (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 12:37pm

One thing that might have been kind of neat would have been the team with the best rookie class. In this case, I would have to go with the Broncos. To wit:

Elvis Dumervil - appropriately mentioned in this article.

Tony Scheffler - Also mentioned here. He is already extremely dangerous as a TE.

Brandon Marshall - Finally recovered from an injury, he has made a dramatic impact on the passing game since his return.

Mike Bell - This undrafted rookie has several times taken over for Tatum Bell and has run over, around, and through defenders. What a steal!

Chris Kuper - The only thing keeping him from starting at offensive guard has been Ben Hamilton, who some believe should have been selected for the Pro Bowl this year. Great quickness, terrific upper body strength. Look for him to start next year.

Erik Pears - Another undrafted rookie, who took over at offensive left tackle for the superlative Matt Lepsis after the latter's season-ending injury. Pears has held his own at this most difficult position.

Jay Cutler - A steal, even at #11 in the first round of the draft. This guy is a budding superstar.

That is a group of butt-kickers if I ever saw one.

76
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 1:44pm

Jennings justifiably should be left off. He's been on a carton of milk for two months, while Holmes has gotten better.

77
by Marko (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 2:30pm

72: I completely agree that it is unfair to list Grossman with the others on this list. Yes, he has had a few truly horrendous games, which have received lots of publicity, and many posters on this site love to bash him no matter what. But he also has had many outstanding games, and he has more games (7) with a QB rating over 100 than any other QB in the league. (Yes, I know he also has the most games (4) with a sub-40 QB rating.) Even though some of the posters here would say, "Yeah, but those good games were against terrible defenses," the true mark of suckiness is still being able to suck even when playing a terrible opponent. (As a Bears fan, believe me, I've seen QBs in the recent past who were fully capable of sucking even when facing an inferior opponent: Chad Hutchinson, Jonathan Quinn, Craig Krenzel, Kordell Stewart, Henry Burris, Cade McNown, etc.) What the above shows is that Grossman is inconsistent, not that he sucks. To truly suck, one must consistently suck.

74: It looks like the Broncos have received quality contributions from many rookies, but I don't see a lot of players who have made dramatic impacts thus far. (Admittedly, I don't follow the Broncos closely, but I have seen several of their games.) Other teams have had multiple rookies making huge impacts, such as the Bears (Hester, Anderson and Manning), Saints (Colston and Bush), Jets (Mangold and Ferguson), and Packers (Hawk, Colledge, Spitz and Jennings). I guess it boils down to a consideration of quality vs. quantity. Of course those other teams I mentioned also had other rookies making contributions (for example, LB Jamar Williams was playing well for the Bears before being injured and placed on IR), but none making a dramatic impact.

78
by Igor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 4:23pm

one more vote for Wimbley. Guy has been a beast in pass rush for a Cleveland defense that lacked any big play guys.

79
by admin :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 5:49pm

The incredible thing about the 2006 rookie class is that people can come up with all these names of people that Tanier snubbed -- Leinart, Ngata, Wimbley, Landry, Cromartie -- and they all make sense. And if Tanier had used those guys, someone else would have complained that he snubbed VY, Cofield, Marshall, etc. -- and we don't even include Roman Harper, who would be on this team had he played the whole year. And I was going to suggest Owen Daniels in a 2-TE set before Mike decided to add Ahmard Hall. It's been a great year for rookies who contribute as rookies.

As for the all-suck team, Scramble for the Ball does that every year, the All-Keep Choppin' Wood Team. Look for it some Wednesday in January.

80
by Dennis (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 6:03pm

Re 54: As a Jets fan, I agree completely. The Jets got two players who could anchor their o-line for 10 years. And we got a possible QB of the future in the second round.

81
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 7:58pm

Re 58:
Corey Redding sucks? He was probably one of the better Lions defenders and really came on strong after the Falcons game after being moved to the UT (of course this is a Lions defense that lost 3 starters on the DL by the time of the Falcons game...)

82
by Stiller Fan in Pittsburgh (not verified) :: Sat, 12/30/2006 - 11:05pm

I don't care how well Holmes has played lately, he's done enough to make me groan seeing him on any all-rookie list.

On an unrelated note, does anybody think all these contributing rookies are indicative of a larger trend of teams realizing rookies are often better than replacement level vets? Football always struck me as having a "paying your dues" attitude, and maybe reexamining that a bit.

Or it could just be a fluke year or be an effect of a different factor, such as college teams playing more pro-style offenses and at a higher level.

83
by joe (not verified) :: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 2:02am

If Rams Guard Mark Setterstrom played the whole year for the Rams, he would probably be have made this team, hes done a great job filling in for whoever the Rams guard was at the beginning of the season (Claude Terrell-Out for Season, Incognito replaces him, McCollum- center got injured, Incognito replaces him, Steussie plays guard, Pace gets injured at LT, Steussie replaces him, in comes Seterstrom).

84
by Gordon (not verified) :: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 6:23am

Despite not seeing him play at all this year, I have to say Marcus McNeill might actually be the most worthy of ROY honors. Addai definitely isn't, and I'm surprised to see him nominated on here. (I do think he's an acceptable pick for the All-Rookie team, just not ROY.) Mike did address the issues with Addai (ie, the Colts making their RB's look really good), and he has played well. I just don't think he's been that awesome.

Am I the only one who thinks Devin Hester is overrated? I'm pretty sure I've seen all his scores, and what I recall was seeing him field the ball, make one or two cuts, and run untouched to the end zone. He may be fast, and he may have the sense to make the right cut- but he's getting incredible blocking. I could be wrong about this, and maybe I need to look at the film again, but I'm not seeing what everyone else is.

Truthfully, I'm just mad that the Eagles didn't have anyone on the list. Not that I think anyone on the Eagles got snubbed, but that we simply haven't had that kind of play from any of our rookies. In fairness, though, some were hurt, and some were meant to back up quality veterans. We did draft 6 linemen and 3 LB's, so I understand. Although DeMeco Ryans probably would've been better than Brodrick Bunkley. Ok, yeah, definitely would have been better.

But hey, I'd rather be in the playoffs than have the Rookie of the Year anyway. Although the Titans have a very long shot at doing both...

85
by Gordon (not verified) :: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 6:26am

And for Rookie Coach of the Year- why can't we have Payton on offense and Mangini on defense?

86
by justanothersteve (not verified) :: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 2:05pm

Colston should be listed at TE. I know he didn't play it, but he was probably played there on every Yahoo FFL on the planet.

87
by kal (not verified) :: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 5:49pm

This is really the best rookie class I can think of in years. Multiple QBs that look decent, great RBs, WRs that can contribute immediately (and quite surprisingly), and a slew of ridiculous defensive players that have made immediate impacts. Heck, even the offensive line has been great.

Really, last year's championship game may go down as the best matchup between two NFL-caliber teams ever.

88
by Richard (not verified) :: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 4:09am

I really think that McNeill is an obvious choice for Rookie of the Year. I haven't heard any argument that would suggest otherwise.

89
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 6:09am

At this point, McNeill is my pick as well.

90
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 10:47am

"It only took getting to Grossman to confirm my suspicion that this was a pointless exercise."

I think if your going to list nominees (for prospective voting) for something like this, you need to list anyone who anybody might conceivably want to vote for. Some people, I'm pretty sure, would want to vote for Grossman. You obviously think they would be wrong to do so, and I agree, but these are nominees, not the team.

"Morten Andersen? What the hell?"

You're right, I'd forgotten about Koenen's legendary early season performance. I was really struggling to think of kickers. That said, Andersen can't kick off and can't kick field goals of any real distance. He's not exactly a big asset. Vandy's in because while he was still playing he sucked so much worse than anyone else. I really couldn't think of a good alternative.

"I think its a bit harsh to bash players and place them on an all suck team when they’re not even the primary backup on the team. Someone like Rossum who I thnk is the 5th string CB for the Falcons deserves to get a bit of slack."

I know. Again, because I was listing nominees not a team, I felt anyone who fulfilled the stated criteria (started 8 games, been rubbish) had to be listed. That said, I don't really like the idea of the team having a load of people who started because of the injuries/suckitude of their team, or a load of day 2/undrafted rookies, even if they were bad. DeMarcus Faggins, suggested by Yaguar, kind of belongs in this category too: he's a perfectly decent nickel back, who happens to play for the team with the worst secondary in football, which means he finds himself asked to cover Marvin Harrison with "help" from CC Brown, the worst cover safety in football, and in my mind a lock for the FS spot on the actual team. Giordano, Lundy and probably some others really warrant this kind of exemption too. I left off Droughns and Fargas because I thought their struggles were down to their lines, and I probably should have applied the same reasoning to the Oakland WRs. Leaving of the JAX WRs was just a flat out oversight.

If I was picking the actual team, it would be:

QB Andrew Walter
RB Dominic Rhodes
FB Jameel Cook
TE Bubba Franks
WR1 Chris Chambers
WR2 Troy Williamson
OT Robert Gallery
OT LJ Shelton
G Reggie Wells
G Joe Andruzzi
C Alex Stepanovich

DE Chauncey Davis
DE Phillip Daniels
DT Raheem Brock
DT Jimmy Kennedy
OLB Shantee Orr
OLB Gilbert Gardner
MLB Paris Lenon
CB DeAngelo Hall
CB Ike Taylor
S Pat Watkins
S CC Brown

K Mike Vanderjagt
P Chad Stanley
KR Dexter Wynn
PR Santonio Holmes

Inevitably, there are probably too many Texans on that list (though Brown for one unquestionably deserves it).

91
by billvv (not verified) :: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 1:38pm

Re: #84 - If you're going in that direction, you should consider Brian Schottenheimer for your offensive ROY. Prior experience? Four years as a QB coach! He's given great joy to all Jets fans, regardless of outcome. The Jets no longer play "not to lose!"

92
by Nathan (not verified) :: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 3:12pm

I don't find arguments like, "Addai isn't as explosive", as very compelling.

He is a very, very, very consistant runner. He runs the stretch play like he should. He has good ability to get extra yards and escape.

The Colts offense is not really designed to break a large run in the traditional, open a big hole, have a full back hit the line backer, make one juke and run.

It's more of a, run out to the corner, make a few cuts, make a few people miss, get what you can.

And Addai does that better than anyone. That doesn't mean he will be the best player next year, or with a full load of carries. But he's this year's roy to me.

93
by dave whorton (not verified) :: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 8:23pm

re#9 listened to an interview with mccartney after the packer -fins game he said they gave colledge alot of help after the 2 sacks. not so much that colledge got better. i think he will be a fine pro though.

94
by Ben (not verified) :: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 11:59pm

The folks who say that Addai had the benefit of the Colts offense versus MJD and Jags offense is a legitimate point. However, the flip side of that argument is that MJD had two games against the Colts run Defense to pad his stats, while Addai had two against the Jags D.

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by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 10:10pm

What about Giants Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. He was 6th in the Team in tackles (53), 4 sacks, 2 interceptions and he started the year backing up Strahan and Osi. He is fast and athletic enough to drop back into zone pass coverage for the zone blitz, and he could run down the line and make plays on the opposite side of the line against the run.

Of course the average fan will only remember him NOT making the play on Vince Young, but his head was in his arm pit and he was actually trying to AVOID a penalty on the play.

I actually liked the Giants drafting him in the 1st round. The Giants understand that you can never have enough pass rush and Strahan isn't getting any younger.

They would ideally have Strahan and Osi starting, with Mathias and Justin Tuck rotating for a fierce 4 man rotation keeping everybody fresh.

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by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 10:16pm

I'd agree that Marcus Mcneil had the best rookie season. Only 2 sacks given up is insane.

If every NFL rookie became a free agent tommorow, Mcneil would be the highest paid player ( which tells you something). The fact that he would command the highest salary, tells you that he was the most valueable player THIS SEASON. Besides his individual achievements, his tailback had a record setting season and his team won a very competitive AFC.

I was one of the few junkies that watched the NFL combine instead of the Olympics and I will tell you that Marcus Mcneil really impressed me. D-Brick didn't try out, and Mcneil was the most athletic lineman by far. The second guy that really impressed me was Nick Mangold and I am pleased that he was mentioned in this article as well.

I'd agree that J. Addai is overrated because of his system.

Chad Jackson was the receiver that impressed me the most at the combine( he was head and shoulders more athletic than the rest of the lot). I know he had a quiet rookie year but after he learns that Patriots offense he will be the best receiver in the class.

Tony Scheffler in Denver really impressed me at the end of this year. He sort of reminded me of Tony Gonzalez.