With the 2012 NFL draft coming up this week (Starting Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m) I thought a good topic to blog about this week is the Players in the past who have been picked high and had a great rookie season, then their stats fell sharply in their second season in the NFL. There is a history of first year players having such a great first season and through their second season they tend to be targeted much harder by opposing teams who have a full year of film to study with him entering his second season and develop packages to prevent that second year rookie from continuing their success. This is a trend that has been happening for quite some time in the NFL. There are a few names I am going to mention.
The first is Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. In the adventure of his first season in 2012 he had a top notch season (Although missing the playoffs) with the help of a veteran wide receiver in Steve Smith. Not only did Cam have a great rookie season throwing the ball, but in building those rookie passing stats he was able to keep the secondary defense on their toes running the ball very well as a quarterback due to the pass being covered so much. One player he reminds me of is Michael Vick who started his career with the Atlanta Falcons and currently resides with the Philadelphia Eagles. In this coming season, the defensive coordinators preparing for Cam will adapt their teams playbook with the fact that the opposing teams now have video to prepare off defenses and know more of what to expect. A prepared defense and more pressure, will Cam Newton be able to perform?
Another quarterback in question is Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals. But this is a bit of a different story as a rookie quarterback than Cam Newton. Andy had a great first season throwing the ball to someone who was also a rookie in wide receiver A.J. Green. Green may also be in the same predicament. Another difference is the offensive ways of relying on passing more than Andy running the ball. This situation depends not only on Andy passing, but on how many great catches A.J. Green can make that Andy throws his way.The Bengals also have a great backfield in Running Back Cedrick Benson who finished the 2011 season with 1,067 rushing yards. Also now they know their upcoming teams and schedule and prepare Andy for what is to come in 2012.
There are quite a few more to mention but those I mentioned are more current. There are many popular early first round picks before the draft that got picked very early and didn't amount to much at all. One big name to mention is Ryan Leaf, who I will not talk much about. But as popularity of the upcoming draft builds, what does that mean?