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The Rookie Report

Welcome everyone to the fifth preseason installment of the Rookie Report. Each week during the preseason and regular season, the report will cover trends and a game by game analysis of notable performances by the NFL’s 2007 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship gold.

  

In this week’s edition of the rookie report, we will analyze players that appear ready to contribute to their respective teams. This 2007 Preseason All-Rookie Team will be formatted around a standard fantasy football lineup requirement of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, and 1 TE. So kick back, and let’s get started…

QB Brady Quinn –

Cleveland Browns

If it were not for Quinn’s holdout, he would likely have beaten out Charlie Frye out for the starting spot in Week 1; however, Frye is unlikely to hold the starting position for long as it appears the Browns are in for a rough season in 2007. Quinn has looked good in preseason play, but these performances are against the backup defensive players on opposing teams.

Given that no other rookie quarterback appears ready to start out of the gate, Brady Quinn gets the nod as the starter on our All-Rookie team by default. Quinn should see the field by midseason.

RB Adrian Peterson –

Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson has looked impressive in preseason action, and appears ready to make his mark on the NFL. He finished the preseason with 30 carries for 146 yards and a TD. It is likely that Peterson will start the season splitting time equally with Chester Taylor; however, as the season presses on Peterson will gradually gain more of the rushing load. Fantasy owners should not count on Peterson as anything more than a RB3 in redrafts this year; however, his upside is a top 15 running back this year. My prediction for AD is 1,200 total yards and 10 touchdowns.

RB Marshawn Lynch –

Buffalo Bills

Before the preseason games, Marshawn Lynch was being touted as an instant impact starter for the Buffalo Bills who would be able to take over for Willis McGahee without skipping a beat. Lynch strung together four sub-par preseason performances, which have brought doubt into the minds of Lynch dynasty owners who took him early in rookie drafts this year. The

Buffalo offensive line that was supposed to be improved struggled mightily in the preseason, and is the one of two main reasons Lynch struggled to find running lanes. The other reason for Lynch’s struggles was conservative play calling.

Given Lynch’s natural talent and vision, I still believe he will shine through as a solid starting RB in the NFL this season. New personnel on offensive lines typically take time to mesh as a unit, and I think Lynch will respond to these doubters by showing off the reason why

Buffalo allowed McGahee to leave to

Baltimore in the offseason when the regular season starts. Reports out of Bills’ practices have indicated that Lynch was impressive, and based on observations from the fourth preseason game Lynch appears to be gaining familiarity and confidence on the field. It may take a couple games for Lynch to take off, but watch out when he does because the guy is still going to be a beast. My prediction for Marshawn Lynch in 2007 is 1,250 total yards and 6 touchdowns.

WR Calvin Johnson –

Detroit Lions

During the preseason and training camp, Calvin Johnson showed flashes of his greatness. With Roy Williams and Kitna missing most of the preseason due to nagging injuries, Calvin Johnson received double teams for most of every preseason game. Whenever both veteran players return to the field, teams are going to have the impossible task of covering both Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson in the open field, and Calvin Johnson is going to shine.

 

Johnson’s athleticism combined with Mike Martz’s pass friendly offense is going to translate into a monster rookie season. My prediction is that Calvin Johnson catches 70 passes for 1,050 yards and 10 TDs.

WR Jacoby Jones –

Houston Texans

Jacoby Jones has been one of the biggest surprises out of the preseason as he showcased his talent in both the receiving and the return games. Jacoby returned punts for touchdowns in back to back games, and caught passes for touchdowns in back to back games. Head coach Gary Kubiak still remains adamant that WR Kevin Walter is his starting wide receiver on the other side of Andre Johnson to start the regular season; however, Jacoby’s speed, ability to separate, and explosiveness will vault him into the starting lineup early in the regular season. My prediction for Jacoby Jones is 40 catches, 700 receiving yards, 100 rushing yards, 4 return touchdowns, and 4 receiving touchdowns.

TE Zach Miller –

Oakland Raiders

Before Greg Olsen’s injury in the final preseason game, I originally wanted to slate Olsen in this position; however, given the uncertainty of his knee Zach Miller will get the nod here. Zach Miller has been impressive in practices and solid in limited time in preseason games thus far. His size, route running ability, and hands make him an ideal threat for both the red zone and open field situations. With the Raiders’ offensive line still in development, Zach Miller should be his starting quarterback’s best friend as a bail out option when under pressure. The Raiders offense should also be improved under Lane Kiffin giving Miller more opportunities to make plays. My prediction for Zach Miller is 350 yards and 4 touchdowns.

 

K Nick Folk –

Dallas Cowboys

Nick Folk officially won the Cowboys kicking job when Martin Gramatica was put on the Injured Reserve list. The Cowboys offense should give Folk plenty of scoring chances, and Folk should be able to capitalize on them.

The following section of the rookie report will recap performances by rookies each week for each game.

Buffalo Bills vs.

Detroit Lions

Bills’ QB Trent Edwards had a solid performance with 18/24 passing for 182 yards. RB Marshawn Lynch looked more confident on the field despite not finding any running room in his 6 rushes for 9 yards and 1 catch for 14 yards. Other notable Bills’ rookie performances include RB Dewayne Wright’s 12 rushes for 51 yards and WR Scott Mayle’s 4 catches for 35 yards.

Detroit WR Calvin Johnson caught one pass for 9 yards.

Washington Redskins vs.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Washington QB Jesse Palmer had 2/8 passing for 10 yards and an interception. RB Marcus Mason rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries.

Jaguars’ WR John Broussard caught 4 passes for 30 yards and WR Mike Walker had 1 catch for 3 yards.

Miami Dolphins vs.

New Orleans Saints

Dolphins QB John Beck had a mistake riddled performance with 8 for 15 passing for 63 yards and 2 interceptions. RB Lorenzo Booker had 7 carries for 11 yards and 1 catch for 5 yards.

Saints’ RB Pierre Thomas had another impressive performance with 16 carries for 81 yards; 2 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. RB Antonio Pittman rushed 21 times for 77 yards and caught 3 passes for 1 yard. Other notable Saints’ rookie performances include WR Robert Meachem’s 1 catch for 8 yards and QB Tyler Palko’s 6 for 11 passing for 27 yards and an interception.

New York Giants vs.

New England Patriots

RB Ahmad Bradshaw had 6 rushes for 46 yards and 1 catch for 9 yards. WR. Steve Smith had 2 catches for 21 yards. TE Kevin Boss had 3 catches for 17 yards.

New England QB Matt Gutierrez went 7 for 9 for 48 yards and a touchdown. RB Quinton Smith rushed 14 times for 46 yards; caught 2 passes for 10 yards; and scored a touchdown.

Houston Texans vs.

Tampa

Bay Buccaneers

Houston Texans’ WR Jacoby Jones only played the first drive in this final preseason game, but he put on another impressive show with 3 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. QB Jared Zabransky went 12 for 22 passing for 117 yards while turning the ball over twice. RB Darius Walker looked impressive with 5 carries for 34 rushing yards.

Tampa Bay RB Kenneth Darby had 6 carries for 19 rushing yards and 2 catches for 15 yards.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs.

Carolina Panthers

Steelers’ RB Gary Russell carried the ball 21 times for 62 rushing yards and 1 catch for 5 yards.

Carolina QB Dalton Bell went 9 for 17 passing for 117 yards and an interception. WR Dwayne Jarrett had 1 catch for 46 yards.

St. Louis Rams vs.

Kansas City Chiefs

Rams’ RB Brian Leonard had 7 carries for 20 yards and 2 catches for 15 yards.

Chiefs’ QB Jeff Terrell went 15/25 for 117 passing yards and an interception. RB Kolby Smith had 7 carries for 64 yards. PK Justin Medlock went 1 for 2 on field goals connecting on a 40 yarder.

Denver Broncos vs.

Arizona Cardinals

Denver RB Selvin Young turned in a solid performance with 12 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Cardinals’ notable rookie performances include: RB Steve Baylark’s 11 carries for 56 yards; WR Steve Breaston’s 4 catches for 33 yards and 1 rush for 4 yards; and TE Ben Patrick’s 1 catch for 5 yards.

San Francisco 49ers vs.

San Diego Chargers

49ers’ rookie RB Thomas Clayton rushed 14 times for 83 yards and had 1 catch for 8 yards. RB Arkee Whitlock had 9 carries for 54 yards and 1 catch for 4 yards. WR Jason Hill had 1 catch for 11 yards.

Chargers’ WR Craig Davis caught 2 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. Other notable rookie performances for the Chargers were: RB Eldra Buckley’s 18 carries for 56 yards and 1 catch for 10 yards; RB Germaine Race’s 2 rushes for 14 yards; and WR Legedu Naanee’s 2 catches for 16 yards.

New York Jets vs.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jets’ WR Chansi Stuckey caught 4 passes for 47 yards. RB Danny Ware had 12 carries for 33 rushing yards and 2 catches for 6 receiving yards.

Eagles’ QB Kevin Kolb turned in another impressive preseason performance with 22/33 passing for 220 yards and a touchdown. RB Tony Hunt also looked good with 12 carries for 49 rushing yards and 2 catches for 16 receiving yards. WR Zac Collie caught 4 balls for 49 yards and a touchdown. TE Brent Celek caught 4 passes for 26 yards.

Green Bay Packers vs.

Tennessee Titans

Packers RB Deshawn Wynn rushed 21 times for 54 yards but struggled with blitz/pass protection. QB Paul Thompson went 6/9 passing for 37 yards. PK Mason Crosby missed his only field goal attempt and went 2 for 2 on extra points. It is still unclear whether

Crosby did enough this preseason to secure a roster spot.

Titans RB Chris Henry had 7 carries for 22 yards and 2 catches for 22 yards.

Minnesota Vikings vs.

Dallas Cowboys

WR Sidney Rice caught 2 passes for 17 yards and a touchdown. WR Aundrae Allison had 1 catch for 10 yards. RB Adrian Peterson 1 carry for 2 yards.

Cowboys’ QB Matt Moore went 14/19 passing for 94 yards and a touchdown. PK Nick Folk went 2 for 2 on extra point attempts. TE Rodney Hannah had 4 catches for 24 yards. WR Isaiah Stanback caught 1 pass for 4 yards.

Cleveland Browns vs.

Chicago Bears

Browns QB Brady Quinn completed 9 of 14 passes for 64 yards and an interception.

Bears RB Garrett Wolfe rushed 11 times for 20 yards and caught 6 passes for 53 yards. QB Chris Leak completed 11/16 passes for 88 yards, a touchdown and an interception. TE Greg Olsen caught 3 passes for 7 yards before leaving the game with a knee injury. RB Josh Allen rushed 13 times for 43 yards and caught 2 balls for 11 yards. WR David Ball caught 4 passes for 40 yards. WR Drisen James caught 2 passes for 21 yards.

Seattle Seahawks vs.

Oakland Raiders

Oakland WR Johnnie Lee Higgins returned a punt 90 yards and a touchdown on an impressive run.

Seattle TE Joe Newtown caught 1 ball for 32 yards. WR Courtney Taylor had one catch for 28 yards.

Baltimore Ravens vs.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta RB Jason Snelling finished the game with 11 carries for 50 yards and 1 catch for 2 yards. WR Vincent Marshall had 3 catches for 73 yards. WR Eric Weems had 3 catches for 19 yards.

Ravens QB Troy Smith finished the game with 11/18 passing for 86 yards and an interception. WR Matt Willis had 5 catches for 40 yards. WR Damien Linson had 2 catches for 21 yards.

Indianapolis Colts vs.

Cincinnati Bengals

Colts TE Jonny Harline caught 2 passes for 43 yards. WR Roy Hall had 3 catches for 35 yards.

Bengals QB Jeff Rowe completed 7/14 passes for 54 yards and an interception. RB Curtis Brown rushed 10 times for 43 yards and caught 1 pass for 3 yards. TE Daniel Coats caught 2 passes for 15 yards.

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