This week's edition of Pro Football Weekly has an interesting ranking of the biggest rookie duds and the biggest rookie studs. It is interesting stuff so go here if you want to see the full article. On the other hand, if you want analysis stick right here and read on.
The article rightly picks New York Jets linebacker Vernon Gholston as the rookie leading the charge toward that terrible four-letter word: Bust.
That list includes Darren McFadden, Glenn Dorsey and others.
But it's the list of studs that puzzles me. PFW picks Denver offensive left tackle Ryan Clady as the best rookie player so far this year. And while I agree Clady has been outstanding and is the best rookie tackle today, there is no way in the world if the 2008 NFL draft was done over again, Clady would be the first overall pick.
Fact is Clady is a more polished and complete offensive tackle than Miami's Jake Long. But for the Dolphins offense, one based on a power running attack, Long is the better fit. Moreover, if the Dolphins didn't take Long first in the hypothetical re-draft, they would probably take quarterback Matt Ryan.
Let me rephrase that: If the Dolphins didn't take Long, they would be stupid not to take Ryan, who has been amazing. Forget that his stats are darn good for any QB, much less a rookie. But his leadership in taking an Atlanta team from the garbage heap to the playoffs and possibly a division title is amazing. That guy has the make-up, as the Dolphins like to say, to be a dominant NFL player some day.
Enough Ryan gushing. As you go further down the list of top 10 rookie studs, I look to see what PFW has to say about Long ... scrolling ... scrolling ... still scrolling. He's not in the top 10!
Chicago's Matt Forte is on the list, Tennessee's Chris Johnson is on the list, even New England's Jerod Mayo is on the list. But no Long.
Long is found in the publication's 'On the verge" list along with Davone Bess and others. I don't really understand it, frankly. There's no way Jeff Otah is a better tackle today than Jake Long, and yet Otah is in PFW's top 10.
You'll hear a lot about this week about the Dolphins getting no respect. Much of that talk will come from the Dolphins locker room. And this list kind of feeds that thinking.
[BLOG NOTE: I'm filing multiple posts each day so check back later for more stuff.]