Wide receivers, DBs dominate top rookie list


It was a good year for rookies in the AFL and here are ESPN.com's top 10 from this season.

1. Donovan Morgan, WR, Chicago
He was the AFL Rookie of the Year and the honor was well deserved. He led all rookies with 113 receptions and 1,300 yards and also had 24 touchdowns. He bounced around the NFL and AF2, but has found a home in Chicago.

2. Tiger Jones, WR, Georgia
He had a sensational season with 97 receptions for 1,217 yards and 30 touchdowns in only 12 games. He was not signed until Week 5 and instantly added explosiveness to a pass offense that lacked depth. He had limited experience in the NFL, CFL, and AF2 before breaking out in the AFL this season.

3. Chad Owens, WR, Colorado
He became a dynamic player for an offense that needed a boost. A knee injury cut his season to just nine games, but he finished with 66 receptions, 674 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 1,670 all-purpose yards and is an excellent kick returner. He has a bright AFL future.

4. Levy Brown, DB, New York
After being named the Defensive Player of the Year in AF2 in 2007, Brown had a great 2008 season for the Dragons, leading all rookies with 95.5 tackles, six interceptions and 13 passes defended. He was an integral part of one of the best defenses in the league.

5. Chris Martin, DB, Grand Rapids
He is a versatile player who made major contributions as a defensive back and kick returner for the Rampage. As a defensive back he had 85 tackles, two interceptions, five passes broken up and four fumble recoveries. As a KR he had 82 returns for 1,663 yards and six TDs.

6. Connor Hughes, PK, Philadelphia
After a couple of training camp stints in the NFL with New Orleans and Pittsburgh, Hughes landed with Philadelphia and is a big part of the highest scoring offense in the AFL. He made 123 of 136 extra points and converted five FGs in 14 tries for 138 points.

7. Beau Elliott, C, Chicago
He started 15 games for the Rush and was a big part of solidifying an offensive line that played very well. He is big, physical and has a bright future.

8. Norman LeJune, LB, New Orleans
After spending two years with the Miami Dolphins, he returned to his native Louisiana and had a dominating season. He was a key member of a surprisingly good VooDoo defense and finished the season with 60 tackles and six interceptions, three of which were returned for TDs as a Jack LB.

9. Odie Armstrong, FB, Orlando
After gaining experience on the AF2 level, he made the successful jump to the AFL. Armstrong was very productive as a FB, not only rushing but also catching the ball. He had 138 rushing yards and two TDs on the ground and also caught 20 passes for 258 yards and seven TDs.

10. Atlas Herrion, OL, Arizona
He started 14 games for the Rattlers and helped improve an offensive line that really struggled early in the season. He has good size and athleticism and came to Arizona after bouncing around the NFL for three years with the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans.

Gary Horton, a pro scout for Scouts Inc., has been a football talent evaluator for more than 30 years. He spent 10 years in the NFL and 10 years at the college level before launching a private scouting firm called The War Room.