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Frddy Keiaho has been mentioned. Isee a big year for him, and the Colts always seem to be able to produce pretty good linebackers. I was on the JP Losman bandwagon before this past year, and I'm still on it. He's going to become a heck of a player. Ryan Fowler will have a great year if he wins the MLB job in Tennessee. I also see Manny Lawson becoming the focal point of the SF defense. Jerious Norwood will become a great RB because I think we all know that Dunn is getting very close to being done with.
(in no particular order other than off the top of my head)
1. Mario Williams - He has all the talent in the world, his problem is lacking the experience to utilize his gifts. Young defensive lineman rarely come into the league right away and dominate. The position takes time to learn technique necessary to succeed in the trenches. What will also help him is he now has a dedicated position, rather than being moved around like last year. He will also be healthy, which was an ongoing problem as a rookie. I expect a dominant year as a run stuffer and around double digit sacks as a pass rusher.
2. Vernon Davis - Vernon Davis' is just a scary thought. He has the tool set that inspires fear into opposing NFL defensive coordinators. He struggled mightily in the first three games of the year, culminating in a broken leg against the Eagles. When he returned though he brought along with him more knowledge of the offense and he quickly dissipated the notion that he was 'just a workout warrior' as some claim. In the month of December he had 217 yards, 2 touchdowns on a 15.5 YPC basis. Those are fantastic numbers for the TE position. All of those stats despite Alex Smith overthrowing him deep, twice while open. You could almost add another 100 yards and two more touchdowns had Smith been accurate. He drew praise from Mike Nolan regarding his blocking, which was a weakness of his in college. Another year under his belt and with Alex Smith, and he may out do every other TE not named Antonio Gates.
3. Freddie Keiaho - As Geo has pointed out, he could be excellent. The Colts didn't let Cato June just walk away for no good reason. They see something in this guy. He is the typical Tampa 2 WLB. The Colts have done an excellent job of allowing established players leave (Mike Peterson, Edgerrin James, etc) while inserting a young player to fill his role.
4. Jason Peters - The mammoth Left Tackle from Arkansas, Jason Peters was excellent in the last half of the '06 campaign. The converted tight end has the athleticism and pure size (6'4" 340-lbs) to be a dominant player. He flashed his abilities last year and I expect him to make a pro bowl this year.
5. Cedric Benson - Benson is a prototype sledgehammer. The "old school" running back as it were. What he lacks in home run speed, elusiveness and impact on the passing game, he makes up for with down hill running down the throat of the defense. Once the Bears started to give him more and more carries, he improved. He is the kind of player who only runs harder as the game goes on. Without Thomas Jones in the picture, I anticipate a 300-carry season for Benson. I would not be surprised if he ended up with numbers you'd expect from say Rudi Johnson.
6. Mark Clayton - The biggest mistake the Jacksonville Jaguars made was when they took Matt Jones, a converted QB/workout warrior, over Mark Clayton. I expect that they will regret that move for some time. Clayton has had stretches of dominance. Now with McNair being more acclimated to the offense and him being in the golden third year for the WR position, I think he will be a 1,100+ receiver in '07.
7. Sean Taylor - He's reportedly slimmed down to allow him more flexibility. The Redskins added a competent safety besides him. He is the most talented safety in the NFL. All of those three elements should contribute to a breakout campaign. Sean Taylor should be the best safety in the NFL. Thus far he's been a major disappointment. I think this year he will finally become the player we all thought he would be back before the '04 draft.
8. DJ Williams - The Al Wilson era is over in Denver. Now it's time for DJ Williams to ascend. He's been stuck in the black hole that is typically the SLB position. There is a reason that IDP fantasy leagues typically avoid SLB like the plague. Now he moves inside. The addition of Jim Bates helps, as he is known for allowing his Middle Linebackers to make plays sideline to sideline.
9. Jason Campbell - Al Saunders' offense is infamous for it's girth and difficulty to master. Jason Campbell was decent last year, but word is he has been lighting up mini-camps. For the first time he's been able to actually progress in an offensive system. As a Redskin and a Auburn Tiger he hasn't had that luxury until just now.
10. (homer alert) Michael Boley - With all I've been through, I should get to brag about what little is going right with my team. Michael Boley will be a stud. He has everything you look for in one of those late round gems, talent that can be molded. Every once in a while those types pan out. Boley excels because of his versatility. He is a 6'3" 236-lbs athlete who can play Safety, SLB and RE. In fact, he did so last year due to injuries. He's strong, fast and can fly. Best of all is he's shown a great work ethic and has been molded by Keith Brooking to turn his talent into on the field productivity. Last year he showed a nose for the ball, being involved with three sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.
I agree with most everything but, Sean Taylor just made the pro bowl, he still has more to prove, but he hasnt been a complete disapointment
QB: Alex Smith, JP Losman, Jason Campbell and David Carr. Possibly Charlie Frye.
HB: DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson, Caddilac Williams, if he gets good blocking. Homer Pick: Vernand Morency
WR: Vincent Jackson, Greg Jennings, Reggie Williams, and Braylon Edwards.
TE: Vernon Davis
OL: Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz, and Jason Peters.
DL: Mario Williams and Mark Anderson
LB: DJ Williams and Freddie Keiaho (I'll jump on the bandwagon)
DB: Nick Collins
I see no reason why Sandidge would breakout. The Chiefs picked him up for a short time last year and with how thin our depth was at DT and considering we still have no proven stars if we thought he was going to be any good I would think we would have kept him around. Perhaps the Rams see something the Chiefs don't though.
my scent?...like making love to a lumberjack
<TACKLE> i will ngata give you a bj raji
<+BOE> Scott, with Burfict's character concerns (whether legit or not) you think Pioli would draft him. :D
<+ScottWright> Why not. Baldwin does need a sparring partner...
Originally posted by Hermstheman83
What's with the hate on Ricky Stanzi? Those youtube clips of him with the hulk hogan theme music instantly make him better than Luck.
Barrett Ruud, MLB - In his first season as starter, taking over for Shelton Quarles, he enters a position which is relatively important in Tampa's defense. Filling Shelton's shoes is no easy task but I think Ruud is up to it.
Alex Smith, TE - If Gruden involves him in the game on a more frequent level we could see a guy getting 50-60 catches with 4-5 TD's.
Cadillac Williams, RB - I know he had a good rookie campaign, but last year he suffered with injuries, a poor O-Line and being targeted by opposing defenses due to a lack of a passing game. This is his chance to prove doubters wrong.