You often hear people say that it takes 3 years for a player to adjust to the NFL, whether that be from a physical perspective (catching up to the speed of the NFL), or the mental side (being able to “just play” without thinking so much). I agree to a degree, although I think some players can make that jump in their 2nd year as well. So who are the players from the 2009 and 2010 draft classes that could make the jump this year in the NFC East? Last week we looked at Dallas and Philly. Today we look at the Giants and Redskins:
2009 Draft Class – Hakeem Nicks, Clint Sintim, William Beatty, Ramses Barden, Travis Beckum, Andre Brown, Rhett Bomar, DeAndre Wright, Stoney Woodson.
Nicks is already a Pro Bowl caliber WR, but the rest of this class has been largely disappointing. The last four guys (Brown, Bomar, Wright, and Woodson), are no longer with the team, Beckum is still trying to find a role within the offense, Barden has more games inactive than career catches, and Sintim has been little more than a special teamer thus far on a team lacking good linebackers. The one player here that the Giants absolutely need to step up this season is Beatty. The Giants’ OL is extremely old and creaky, and Beatty is almost certain to get a chance to start more than just a few games this season.
2010 Draft Class – Jason Pierre-Paul, Linval Joseph, Phillip Dillard, Mitch Petrus, Adrian Tracy, Matt Dodge.
Pierre-Paul played on just 39.4% of the Giants’ defensive snaps last season and still registered 30 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 FF, and 2 recoveries. With Osi Umenyiora potentially crying his way out of town, Pierre-Paul could see his playing time increase drastically. Ditto that for Linval Joseph. Joseph only played 63 snaps last season, which has to be considered a bit of a disappointment for a 2nd round pick. With Barry Cofield likely not to be a Giant in 2011, Joseph can earn more playing time. Dillard got on the field with the defense against the Packers in garbage time last season – He’ll be fighting for a roster spot this year. Petrus filled in as a backup in two games last season, and should be a backup once again in 2011. Tracy dislocated his elbow and missed the entire season last year. And finally, the embattled Matt Dodge… I’m rooting for you, kid.
(Redskins after the jump)…
2009 Draft Class – Brian Orakpo, Kevin Barnes, Cody Glenn, Robert Henson, Eddie Williams, Marko Mitchell
In the 2009 draft, the Eagles got Jeremy Maclin in the first round. The Giants got Hakeem Nicks. The Redskins got Brian Orakpo. Maclin and Nicks are potential future Pro Bowlers, and Orakpo has already made it to two Pro Bowls. Pity the Cowboys here, whose 2009 first pick was… Roy Williams. Oops! Otherwise, this class has not been good. Barnes may have a chance to see his role expand in 2011, with the likely departure of starter Carlos Rogers. Glenn, Williams and Mitchell are no longer on the team, and Henson will battle to make the team.
2010 Draft Class – Trent Williams, Perry Riley, Dennis Morris, Terrence Austin, Eric Cook, Selvish Capers
Williams struggled his rookie season at times – He’ll start at LT once again in 2011. Perry Riley only played on 8 snaps last season – He could actually compete for a starting job with starter Rocky McIntosh being a free agent. Morris is a Charger, and both Cook and Capers didn’t play at all in 2010. Austin had three catches last season, and with the Redskins drafting 3 WR’s this offseason, he’ll have an uphill battle to make the team.