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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Gholston NFL's biggest rookie disappointment

Posted by's Tim Graham

Pro Football Weekly has compiled its hits and misses from the 2008 rookie class, and the AFC East has representation on both sides.

Not surprisingly, PFW named New York Jets outside linebacker Vernon Gholston its No. 1 disappointment, but not a certified bust -- not yet anyway.

"Fifteen games into his pro career, Gholston's disaster of a rookie season is nearing a merciful conclusion," writes PFW's Matt Sohn wrote of the sixth overall draft pick from Ohio State. "Optimists can point to his special-teams work, pessimists will say he's already a bust, realists will say he's just utterly lost."

The only other AFC East player in PFW's top 10 rookie disappointments was Buffalo Bills receiver James Hardy at No. 6. The Bills drafted Hardy in the second round, but he has only nine receptions.

PFW found newcomers they liked within the division.

New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo was listed at No. 5, which may sound low for the likely defensive rookie of the year, but the players ahead of him (Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson) deserve their rankings.

Dolphins tackle Jake Long appeared with Dolphins receiver Dave Bess on PFW's "On the Verge" list, a second set of 10 players it names alphabetically.

Bess, who was Colt Brennan's top receiver at Hawaii, is the only undrafted player out of the 20 roookies PFW sent to the head of the class.