Rookie Watch: Best to be tested
Originally Published: September 15, 2010By Matt Williamson | Scouts Inc.
Matthew Stafford out of the lineup. When opposing defenses prepare for the Lions' offense with Shaun Hill behind center, they simply will not have to defend as much of the field because of the vast difference in arm strength. That will put more of the defensive focus on Best. He could be a great dump-off option for Hill, or he might not be able to handle the added attention. We shall see. The Lions will host the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2, which should provide Best a stiffer test than he faced last week.
C.J. Spiller, Bills RB (first round, No. 9);
Rolando McClain, Raiders ILB (first round, No. 8);
Jermaine Gresham, Bengals TE (first round, No. 21); Dexter McCluster, Chiefs WR/RB (second round, No. 36); Nate Allen, Eagles S (second round, No. 37); Rob Gronkowski, Patriots TE (second round, No. 42); Aaron Hernandez, Patriots TE (fourth round, No. 113)
|Ranking||Player, position (draft position)||Last week|
|Ryan Mathews, Chargers RB (first round, No. 12)
Mathews' NFL debut occurred on a sloppy field in Kansas City. He fumbled, but I won't downgrade him from the top spot. Even on an off night, Mathews rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries.
|Ndamukong Suh, Lions DT (first round, No. 2)
The Lions' defensive line was solid against the Bears. Suh's efforts are not always easy to notice, but he is for real.
|Jahvid Best, Lions RB (first round, No. 30)
Best will be tested with Matthew Stafford out of the lineup. Is Best physically able to handle that stress? The Eagles will be a great test.
|Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers C (first round, No. 18)
The Steelers won a heavyweight fight over Atlanta in overtime. The interior protection for Dennis Dixon was quite strong, and there were holes for Rashard Mendenhall to exploit. For his first start, it was a very good performance.
|Brandon Graham, Eagles DE (first round, No. 13)
In the loss to the Green Bay Packers, Eagles lineman Trent Cole had a big game on the opposite side of Graham. That's an indication of what Graham obviously adds to this defense.
|Mike Williams, Buccaneers WR (fourth round, No. 101)
His numbers were not terrific, but Williams was very impressive against the Browns' talented secondary. He has a flair for the spectacular.
|Dez Bryant, Cowboys WR (first round, No. 24)
Cowboys QB Tony Romo's trust in the rookie grew against the Washington Redskins. There were some miscommunications, but Bryant's talent is undeniable.
|Sam Bradford, Rams QB (first round, No. 1);
It looks as though it is time to put the first overall pick into my top 10. He attempted more passes (55) than anyone would like and his stats were not out-of-this-world, but the Rams trust him.
|Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers DT (first round, No. 3)
McCoy didn't jump off the screen in his pro debut, but he did force a fumble and was instrumental in helping the Bucs to a win.
|Eric Berry, Chiefs S (first round, No. 5)
Berry allowed the Chargers' Legedu Naanee to catch a long touchdown on what seemed like his blown coverage.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Source: Manziel on Bucs' short list at No. 7
- Mara: Expanded NFL playoffs likely out for '14
- Woodley: Raiders 'definitely' a playoff team
- NFL to release schedule Wednesday night
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NFL WEEK 2 PREVIEW
MNF: SAINTS AT 49ERS
NFL BLOG NETWORK
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
- Nike Women's Home Game Jersey San Diego Chargers Ryan Mathews #24