Originally Posted by Lucky
The last 2 games were the divisional playoff and the conference championship. Prior to the AFC championship game, Ben R. was undefeated as a starting QB. Among some of the other "decent performances":
* Michael Clayton had one of the better rookie seasons for a WR ever (80-1193-7)
* Lee Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, & Roy Williams had very good years for rookie WRs
* Kevin Jones rushed for over 1000 yards, Julius Jones was 5th in league in rushing yards/game, Steven Jackson led all RBs (with over 100 rushes) in yards/carry.
* Dunta Robinson, Jonathan Vilma, Sean Taylor, Michael Boulware, & DJ Williams developed into impact defenders & future Pro Bowlers.
* Robert Gallery, Tommie Harris, Kenechi Udeze, Jason Babin, & Chris Gamble emerged as solid starters.
* Alex Stepanovich, Nathan Vasher, Mewelde Moore, Glenn Earl, Gibril Wilson, Jacob Bell, & Erik Coleman were among the gems found in the draft's 2nd day.
And don't forget that Kellen Winslow II & Shawn Andrews were opening day starters whose seasons were cut short due to injury. This was a great draft already, and could be one of the best in years if young QBs Eli Manning & Philip Rivers develop. I'm not as down on this draft as some are, but it won't be in the class of last years crop.
add to Lucky's list: Will Smith really developed down the home stretch for the Saints as a future defensive star. Don't forget about Jason Babin who started in every game 5th on the Texans in tackles & 2nd in sacks. Daryl Smith LB was solid @ MLB for the Jaguars, Bob Sanders when healthy really flew around the secondary for the Colts, Michael Boulware changed positions in the NFL to FS & had a outstanding rookie season, Matt Ware gives the Superbowl Eagles depth in the secondary as does Vince Wilfork for the other Superbowl team the Patriots.
in regards to the top 10 picks, Eli Manning didn't begin to start until late in the season but really impressed me with his arm, decision making & poise. When the Raiders came to Relient to play the Texans I watched Gallery almost the whole game from the Bull Pen and if not the biggest player on the field the nastiest and will dominate at some point in the right situation. Fitz is in the same class as AJ, although more finesse, his hands are amazingly reactive to the ball & reminds me alot of Lynn Swann. Rivers, see Drew Brees. Sean Taylor, though a head case will mature into the most dominate safety in the NFL, if he doesn't self destruct maybe the best ever. Besides Winlsow having a year to recover from his broken leg, Romeo Crennel is coming to Cleveland, I expect BIG things from both (I think the Texans get to play them again next year). Roy Williams can be dominating. Hall also suffered a major injury, but after returning to the Falcons showed alot of potential to become the type of playmaker they expected when they drafted him. Out of the top 10 players only Reggie Williams dissapointed.