Welcome everyone to the Week 10 installment to the 2008 Rookie Report. Each week during the regular season, the report will cover trends, news items and analysis of notable performances by the NFL’s 2008 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship gold.
Last week we profiled the mid-season all-rookie team for the offensive side of the ball. This week it is the defensive players turn to have the spotlight. So sit back and let’s begin….
S Chris Horton, Washington Redskins
Chris Horton emerged as the starting strong safety for the Washington Redskins defense early this season after Reed Doughty’s season ending injury. Horton is a playmaker with a nose for the ball in run defense although he has a tendency to over-pursue in pass coverage. Through eight games in 2008, Horton has recorded 42 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions and 5 passes defended. Horton looks to be a fantasy stud for the present and future as he looks on course to have a huge second half of 2008.
CB Brandon Flowers, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs’ youth movement this year resulted in Brandon Flowers starting at cornerback beginning in Week 1 of the 2008 season. Flowers is physical corner well suited for the Chiefs’ Cover 2 defensive schemes as he is excellent in run support. Despite suffering from the usual rookie mistakes as a cornerback, Flowers has been a decent IDP option this year ranking within the top 20 at cornerback in most scoring formats. Through 8 games, Flowers has 37 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown, and 6 passes defended.
LB Jarod Mayo, New England Patriots
Jarod Mayo’s talent has overcome the usual less than potent defensive schemes the Patriots play and has emerged as a solid IDP option in 2008. Through the first 8 games, Mayo has recorded 59 tackles and 2 passes defended. Mayo has a nose for the ball and sheds opposing blockers with ease. Though it is early in his career, Mayo is already becoming a solid LB2/LB3 option in IDP leagues with tackle heavy scoring systems.
LB Curtis Lofton, Atlanta Falcons
Curtis Lofton has been somewhat of a disappointment after the preseason hype for a lot of fantasy owners; however, he has quietly show flashes of potential. Through the first half of 2008, Curtis ranks in the top 50 at LB with 47 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Curtis still has a lot to work on such as overpursuing in the middle of the field; however, he looks like he has the potential to be a good professional once he gets some experience under his belt. If Keith Rivers was not out for the season already, he likely would have earned this spot, but Curtis is definitely a solid IDP option for the future.
DE Chris Long, St. Louis Rams
Chris Long has shown in the first half of 2008 that he can do it all as a defensive lineman. Long has recorded 4 sacks to go along with 28 tackles. He has showcased his size, quickness off the ball and motor so far this season and is already developing into a solid IDP option at defensive end. As a rookie he ranks within the top 20 at the defensive end position and will likely improve in the second half of 2008 with Jim Haslett’s aggressive defensive coaching schemes unleash Long on opposing quarterbacks.
Well that wraps up this week’s edition of the Rookie Report. If you have any comments on this week’s article, please see the Article Discussions forum in the Shark Tank.