Thursday, November 4, 2010
Early success for Big 12 at next level
By David Ubben
The Big 12 had a record-breaking performance in the 2010 NFL Draft, landing nine first-round picks and five of the first six picks.
A few of those picks have spent the first half of the season proving they were worth the hefty first-round price tag.
Scouts Inc. has updated its top 10 rookies rankings, and three of the top four are from the Big 12.
Analyst Matt Williamson is particularly impressed with former Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh, who is already eighth in the league with 6.5 sacks for the Detroit Lions and scored his first career touchdown on a fumble return in last week's game.
"Rarely do defensive tackles enter the league and make such a big impact right away. It is seldom discussed, but this is one of the hardest positions to become accustomed to at this level. The men blocking are much stronger and far more technically sound. Everything happens much faster in very tight quarters and reading the blocking schemes is much more difficult to do so quickly. But none of that has slowed down this marvelous player," Williamson writes. "As a run defender right now, Suh is only average, but he still demands a lot of attention from opposing blocking schemes. As a pass-rusher, he is out of this world. ... He sure looks like the Defensive Rookie of the Year to me."
Suh ranks No. 2 on Williamson's rookie rankings, behind former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, who has the St. Louis Rams at 4-4 in his first season.
Former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant and current Dallas Cowboy ranks No. 4, after catching six passes for 84 yards against Jacksonville last week and scoring three touchdowns in a Monday night game against the New York Giants two weeks ago.
Former Texas safety Earl Thomas, ranks No. 7 as a rookie with the Seattle Seahawks.
Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston (Oakland Raiders) and Oklahoma State cornerback Perrish Cox (Denver Broncos) are also listed among the notables.