Rookie Watch: Lots to like about Blount
LeGarrette Blount is already on his second NFL team, but he looks to have found a home in Tampa Bay.
He is a very big runner. That size is what endears him to coach Raheem Morris as a complement to QB Josh Freeman and Tampa Bay's downfield passing game. But even though Blount is a huge running back, he needs to learn to run with more power and pop on a consistent basis.
If you only watched his highlight reel, you would never think that was a problem. But he doesn't unload his hips on contact every time, will sometimes stop his feet and can also get his pads too high.
Blount also offers very little in the passing game, but there is still a lot to like here. He is one of the only backs who can single-handedly wear down a defense and handle the workload to do so. And Blount does have very good feet for a big man. He is a work in progress, but Blount was certainly an excellent find for the Buccaneers.
Ranking Player, position (draft position) Last week 1 Sam Bradford, Rams QB (first round, No. 1)
Before the season began, did you think it was more likely that St. Louis would pick first overall again or go to the playoffs? Their success is because of Bradford.
1 2 Ndamukong Suh, Lions DT (first round, No. 2)
Suh & Co. really got after Jay Cutler last week, but the run defense remains a problem. You all should listen to my Tuesday interview with Suh on the Football Today podcast.
2 3 Mike Williams, Buccaneers WR (fourth round, No. 101)
Williams had a tough day two weeks ago in Baltimore, but rebounded strongly against Atlanta. He threatens the field at every level.
4 4 Devin McCourty, Patriots CB (first round, No. 27)
The Jets were completely overwhelmed Monday night and had zero passing game to speak of. McCourty got himself another interception and is playing great.
5 5 Joe Haden, Browns CB (first round, No. 7)
Haden now has four consecutive games with an interception and should be in Cleveland's starting lineup for good. He is living up to his high draft position.
NR 6 Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants DE (first round, No. 15)
Pierre-Paul gets on this list for the first time, as he is really hitting his stride during his rookie campaign. Still a part-time player, JPP has four sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery over the past two games.
NR 7 Koa Misi, Dolphins OLB (second round, No. 40)
Misi was excellent against the Bears and Raiders in recent weeks. He looks like a fixture on the opposite side of Cameron Wake.
NR 8 Mike Iupati, 49ers G (first round, No. 17);
Playing in Green Bay against a very tough opponent this past week, Iupati didn't have his best game, but he didn't embarrass himself, either.
10 9 Jacoby Ford, Raiders WR (fourth round, No. 108)
Ford came back to earth a bit last week, but he did score a touchdown. Oakland dominated San Diego on the ground, so his deep-ball services weren't really needed.
6 10 Dez Bryant, Cowboys WR (first round, No. 24)
Bryant broke his ankle and his rookie season is over. This will be his final time on the list. But I couldn't be higher on his future.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
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