The NFL draft is usually a 50-50 proposition when it comes to prospects. There are only a handful of rookies that will be able to make an immediate impact on their new teams. Positions that can have the most immediate impact on an NFL team on defense are cornerbacks, safeties, linebackers and defensive line. On offense it is a little more difficult to establish an offensive lineman but running back is a position that can hit the ground running in the NFL.
Ndamukong Suh defensive lineman for Detroit Lions.
Ndamukong Suh was the best athlete in the 2010 NFL Draft and expectations will be high for the game changing defensive end. Suh will be matched up against NFL talent now and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain his motor for 60 minutes of play in the NFL.
Reasonable expectations for Suh in his first NFL season will be five sacks and a lot of double teams from the opposing offenses around the NFL. For Ndamukong Suh to win the 2010 NFL Rookie of the Year he will have to rack up 9-10 sacks and become a driving force on the Detroit defense. We should know within five weeks if Suh is the real deal or over hyped.
Eric Berry safety Kansas City Chiefs.
The Kansas City Chiefs found an all purpose secondary addition in Eric Berry. Scott Pioli, the general manager of the Chiefs has always been solid in the NFL Draft and Eric Berry was the best secondary player available in the 2010 NFL Draft. Kansas City will have the option of moving Berry from safety to the cornerback position and Berry will perform well in either position.
Berry will start in Kansas City’s first game and he will have every opportunity to be the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2010. Berry will be tested early and often in his first season, so look for him to have plenty of opportunities for interceptions and he will also have his share of tackles since he is not afraid to help on tackling against the run.
CJ Spiller running back Buffalo Bills.
CJ Spiller could win the NFL Rookie of the Year going away if he is installed into the Buffalo special teams. Spiller is explosive in the return game and has exceptional instincts when returning the ball. One negative of using Spiller in the return game could be making a top ten NFL Draft pick susceptible to injury.
Spiller will be an immediate impact player coming out of the back field for Buffalo and is expected to gain over 1000 yards on the ground in his rookie season. CJ Spiller was by far the best rushing back and he is also the best running back catching the ball out of the back field.
Joe Haden cornerback Cleveland Browns.
Joe Haden is by far the best cornerback heading to the NFL in 2010. Cleveland will have a solid combination with Eric Wright on one side of the field and Joe Haden across the way. Haden will be tested by NFL quarterbacks immediately and depending on how he responds, will be a candidate for NFL Rookie of the Year.
Haden will come into his first year and make an immediate impact on the Cleveland Browns and the NFL. If anything happens to Cleveland’s return man extraordinaire, Joshua Cribbs, Haden will step right in and be a suitable fill in.
Mardy Gilyard wide receiver Saint Louis Rams.
Mardy Gilyard is the steal of the 2010 NFL Draft. Saint Louis snatched up Gilyard with the first pick of the fourth round and Gilyard will start from day one. Gilyard will develop into rookie Sam Bradford’s favorite target a few games into the 2010 NFL season. Gilyard has the instincts of a great receiver and knows how to come back and help a quarterback in trouble, as he did that on several occasions in Cincinnati last season.
Gilyard is also a breakaway return man that change a game with one electrifying return. Gilyard was one of the main reasons for Cincinnati’s undefeated regular season, as he literally took over the game against Pittsburgh. Gilyard will be on the final ballot for NFL Rookie of the Year.
Keys to becoming NFL Rookie of the Year.
The key to becoming an NFL Rookie of the Year is versatility. Four of the five players listed can fill in as a return man in the NFL starting tomorrow. Gilyard and Spiller will be returning kicks and punts on opening weekend and Berry and Haden will be ready to go if needed early in the season.
Before being drafted, football was a game for these college players. Now football will be a 12-15 hour a day job. Those that take it seriously will succeed in the NFL. Those that don’t, will fall by the wayside quickly. It is still a 50-50 proposition from this point forward.
NFL Draft Scout player profiles.
NFL.com player profiles.
Lindy’s Pro Football Draft Volume 4.