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Old 12-21-2012   #1
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Default Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

PFF Rookie Watch: Late Bloomers
Steve Palazzolo | 2012/12/21


Quote:
Perhaps more than ever, rookies are stepping right into the league and having immediate success. Our Race for Rookie of the Year is littered with first-year players who have earned starting roles from their first day of training camp. However, beyond those rookies who have received the majority of the hype, there are a number of under-the-radar players who waited their turn and started to see an increase in playing time here in the second half of the season.

For some teams, the late-developing rookie could act as an added bonus or perhaps just added depth for a playoff push. For the teams out of the race, these rookies could be players to build around for the future.

Whether they were forced into action due to injury, or earned their keep by sitting and watching, here are some of the rookies who have seen the field on a more regular basis in the second half of the season.

Playoff Contenders
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DeVier Posey, WR, Houston Texans

Have the Texans found their No. 2 wide receiver to play opposite Andre Johnson? WR Kevin Walter has been entrenched in the role, but heís never been a player who had instilled fear into opposing defenses. While Posey has taken snaps throughout the season, he had his first real chance to shine last week against the Indianapolis Colts. He hauled in all three passes thrown his way for 46 yards, including a 36 yarder on a deep post route into traffic. Posey saw a season-high 36 snaps, while Walter played a season-low 39, so this may be a sign of things to come as Houston prepares for the playoffs.

Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Houston Texans

The Texansí first-rounder was eased into the action this season, as he didnít play more than 17 snaps in a game until he played 71 in Week 12. Heís started the past four games, and despite the six sacks on the season, he has not been an effective pass rusher. Heís grading at -9.7 for the season with a Pass Rush Productivity (PRP) of 6.9 that ranks 24th out of the top 33 qualifiers among 3-4 outside linebackers. Heís fared better as a run defender, grading at +1.1 with six run stops. The Texans continue to search for an edge rusher to complement DE J.J. Watt.
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read more: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...-late-bloomer/
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