NFL Rookies are players too and need to be accounted for before it’s too late. It seems like every year the Bengals have at least one game where a rookie has a big game against them. Sometimes it’s part of a ROY campaign and sometimes it’s out of nowhere. Before they catch us sleeping, let’s take a look at 16 NFL rookies we will be facing this year from each team.
October 27, 2012; Stanford, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Marquess Wilson (86) catches a pass during the fourth quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal defeated the Cougars 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Week 1 – WR Marquess Wilson, Chicago Bears
Marquess Wilson was labeled a character risk coming out of Washington State and dropped to the 7th round. However, on the field, Wilson doesn’t resemble a longshot rookie. He abruptly finished his college career with 189 catches, 3207 yards, and 23 touchdowns. Had he finished his senior year, Wilson would have been a sure 2nd or 3rd round pick.
Week 2 – RB Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburg Steelers
When the Steelers grabbed Bell in the second round, I let out a groan because, in my opinion, he is going to fill the hole very well for the Steelers at RB. He isn’t the bruiser that Jerome Bettis was, but he is much quicker and led the nation in yards after contact with his 6’1, 230 pound frame. If he makes it to the second level, watch out.
Week 3 – RB Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Last year, we watched the Browns Trent Richardson put on a show in his first game against the Bengals. Here comes another Alabama battering ram in Lacy. During the NFL Draft, it came out that he had some medical concerns, therefore dropping him to the second round where the Packers gladly said “Thank you”. Lacy was the best all-around running back in the draft and found a perfect landing spot. Let’s hope that passing on him twice doesn’t come back to bite/run over us.
Nov 12, 2011; Fort Collins, CO, USA; San Diego State Aztecs cornerback Leon McFadden (2) breaks up a pass intended for Colorado State Rams wide receiver Thomas Coffman (2) during the fourth quarter at Hughes Stadium. The Aztecs beat the Rams 18-15. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
Week 4 – CB Leon McFadden, Cleveland Browns
CB Leon McFadden got lost in the shuffle of middle round talent and the Browns landed him in the third round. I think the Browns will look to get McFadden into the starting lineup as quick as possible. Many rookie corners struggle in the first year, but McFadden has natural ball hawking skills and if he jumps a route, he has the ability to take it the house. He returned 2 of his 3 interceptions this year for touchdowns.
Week 5 – TE Zach Sudfeld, New England Patriots
Here is a name many haven’t heard of, but the 6 foot 7, 255 pound tight end out of Nevada reportedly was impressive at OTA’s. Sudfeld’s college career was marred by injuries but he scored 8 touchdowns on 45 grabs his senior year and has an impressive size to skill ratio. With the current “situation” of the Patriots tight ends and, in my opinion, lack of pass catchers in general, Sudfeld could be a rookie to watch out for.