Rookie Watch: Okung plays like a vet
Originally Published: October 27, 2010By Matt Williamson | Scouts Inc.
Julius Peppers in Week 6, as Seattle upset the host Chicago Bears. In Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle lost Okung early in the game with an ankle injury, and he didn't return. With Okung out of the lineup, protection was a huge problem for the Seahawks. Okung is an excellent all-around physical specimen. There are not many human beings with such a skill set. He has size, quickness, balance, power and the ability to change direction. Okung has the temperament you look for and the ability to pull or get to the second level and smother linebackers in the run game. If he can stay on the field for an extended stretch, it appears that not only has Seattle found its left tackle of the future but it has someone to carry on the lofty tradition that Walter Jones set for the Seahawks. We hope to see more of him. If so, he will find himself in our top 10.
Russell Okung, Seahawks, LT (first round, No. 6); Alterraun Verner, Titans CB (fourth round, No. 104); Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers C (first round, No. 18); Koa Misi, Dolphins OLB (second round, No. 40); T.J. Ward, Browns S (second round, No. 38); Brandon Spikes, Patriots ILB (second round, No. 62); Devin McCourty, Patriots CB (first round, No. 27); Tyson Alualu, Jaguars DT (first round, No. 10).
|Ranking||Player, position (draft position)||Last week|
|Sam Bradford, Rams QB (first round, No. 1)
The Rams and Bradford couldn't pull off a road victory in Week 7. Josh Freeman and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers stole the show. But Bradford's next step will be coming.
|Ndamukong Suh, Lions DT (first round, No. 2)
Run defense has been a problem, but he commands double teams. And he is a big-time interior pass-rusher and a difference-maker.
|Dez Bryant, Cowboys WR (first round, No. 24)
Against the Giants on "Monday Night Football," Bryant scored on a 93-yard punt return and added a pair of TD catches. He is still a puppy, and it was a sign of things to come.
|Mike Williams, Buccaneers WR (fourth round, No. 101)
Kellen Winslow is probably Josh Freeman's top target, but Williams is playing great, as evidenced by his 82 receiving yards in the Buccaneers' victory over the Rams.
|Earl Thomas, Seahawks FS (first round, No. 14)
Thomas keeps racking up interceptions, and the Seahawks seem to be the team to beat in the NFC West.
|Jahvid Best, Lions RB (first round, No. 30)
With the Lions' bye, Best got a much-needed week off. We hope he returns to action fresher, healthier and ready to make a ton of big plays. He is surely capable.
|Dexter McCluster, Chiefs WR/RB (second round, No. 36);
McCluster is a joy to watch, and his role as a runner and receiver is expanding almost weekly. There are few players in the league like this jitterbug.
|Aaron Hernandez, Patriots TE (fourth round, No. 113)
Brandon Tate isn't seeing a lot of playing time, which makes Hernandez the default top deep threat in New England's offense.
|Tony Moeaki, Chiefs TE (third round, No. 93)
His run-blocking now is improving. That adds to his impressive skill set for the passing game. Against Jacksonville, his receiving stat line was pedestrian, but Moeaki is now an all-around contributor.
|Nate Allen, Eagles S (second round, No. 37)
Allen didn't play great against Atlanta and looked like a rookie last week. Still an excellent prospect, he is coming back down to Earth.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
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