Monday, July 23, 2012
Top Offensive NFC Rookie Prospects for 2012
1. Robert Griffin III, Redskins QB
There were no surprises here, as Washington gave up a king's ransom to move up to number two and draft either RG3 or Andrew Luck. With Luck off the board, the Redskins were more than happy to take RG3 and make him their QB of the future. In an organization that has ran through a laundry list of quarterbacks in recent years, Redskins fans are confident that their team has finally solved that part of the equation.
As far as ability goes, there are few questions about what Griffin can do. The Heisman winner has an NFL arm and pairs that with the mobility to evade nearly any NFL defender. He will have to adjust to playing in an NFL-style offense, but many recognize that Griffin is an intelligent player who should be able to adapt over time.
2. A.J. Jenkins, 49ers WR
The next AFC rookie with a chance to make an immediate impact on his team's offense is A.J. Jenkins. Jenkins was drafted 30th overall by the 49ers, joining an offense that was just a play or two away from making it to the Super Bowl last year. The Illinois wide receiver had an impressive college career, capping it off with 90 receptions and 8 touchdowns last year. The desire in San Francisco is for him to take some of the defensive attention off of Michael Crabtree and develop into a solid number two option. He'll be learning from Crabtree and newly signed veteran Randy Moss, and his rookie campaign could be the driving force behind whether the 49ers improve on offense in 2012.
3. Michael Floyd, Cardinals WR
Ever since the departure of Anquan Boldin to the Ravens, the Cardinals have lacked a true second option at receiver. This, combined with the team's revolving door at the quarterback position, have caused the Cardinals to go from being one of the league's most explosive passing attacks to one of the most mediocre.
With the 13th pick in this year's draft, the Cardinals were finally able to address that issue and select Michael Floyd. The Notre Dame wide receiver serves as the perfect complement to Larry Fitzgerald: While Fitzgerald has the speed to get down the field for deep gabs, Floyd has the talent and the strength to go over the middle and make difficult catches. Safeties are going to have to keep an eye on Floyd, meaning they won't be able to cheat towards Fitzgerald. With this one pick, the Cardinals' receiving corps is leaps and bounds better than it was before.
Overall, this was a draft that saw teams make major improvements to their offenses by filling key needs. Washington already had a lot of offensive tools, it was just convenient that their biggest need also had an A+ prospect ready to be picked. The same truth applies to the picks by the 49ers and Cardinals. Unlike the 49ers, the Cardinals are not going to become overnight contenders, but their rookies can do a lot to improve what they want to do on the field.
Don't miss my take on impact AFC rookies in 2012.
Posted by Don Phan at 10:45 AM