-Quarterback Matt Ryan, 3rd overall pick, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan was brought in to revitalize an offense that was torn apart after former quarterback Michael Vick was arrested in the off season. The NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year played mistake free football while leading the Falcons into the playoffs with a 11-5 record. Ryan completed 61.1 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,440yards and 16 touchdowns.
-Linebacker Jerod Mayo, 10th overall pick, New England Patriots
The Patriots had an aging defense that was in need of a major youth movement. They drafted Mayo out of Tennessee to give them youth and energy. He made 128 tackles on the season in helping the New England defense return to dominating form. Mayo was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year after his strong season.
-Quarterback Joe Flacco, 18th overall pick, Baltimore Ravens
When Baltimore drafted Flacco they were hoping for him to be their quarterback of the future. Flacco, a little known quarterback from Division II Delaware, showed why the Ravens used a first round pick to draft him throwing for 2, 971 yards and 14 touchdowns while compiling 11-5 record and leading the team within one win of the Super Bowl.
-Running back Chris Johnson, 24th overall pick, Tennessee Titans
Johnson was the biggest surprise pick of last year's NFL Draft. The Titans have used him as their primary running back and it has paid off big. The first year Pro Bowler compiled 1, 488 totals yards and scored 10 total touchdowns for the team with the best record in the NFL this year at 13-3.
-Safety Kenny Phillips, 31st overall pick, New York Giants
Phillips was brought into New York to give the defense a big hitter in the secondary. He has made 67 tackles and one interception while helping the Giants’ defense prove deserving of last year’s Super Bowl ring and helping them return to playoffs once again.
-Wide receiver Eddie Royal, 42nd overall pick, Denver Broncos
The Broncos needed help on offense this season and got it in big way when they drafted Royal in the second round. He caught 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns.
-Running back Matt Forte, 44th overall pick, Chicago Bears
Forte was drafted in the second round to give the Bears a much needed running game. Chicago got more than they expected when they plugged him into the starting running back role. While the Bears have struggled, none of the problems should be attributed to Forte who lead the team in rushing and receiving amassing 1,715 total yards and 12 touchdowns.
-Running back Steve Slaton, 89th overall pick, Houston Texans
Having played in a high-powered offense in college, Slaton had big expectations in the NFL. Most teams looked past him in the early rounds because of his size but the Texans needed a running game to stabilize their weak offense. He proved to be the most valuable part of the Houston offense while accumulating 1,679 total yards and 10 touchdowns.
If these few players continue to work hard and play up to their potential we should all expect to see them around for a long time in the National Football League.
We always love your thoughts and comments here at The Jay-Stick. It is so simple, no subsciption is required.
http://www.thejaystick.blogspot.com/ General Sports Writer