Rookie Watch: Liuget suits Chargers
When the Chargers drafted Corey Liuget in the first round, it raised some eyebrows.
Liuget is a penetrating and explosive 3-technique type of defensive tackle who few saw as a fit in the 3-4 as an end. But the Chargers' version of the 3-4 is much more penetrating and active than most. Instead of asking their ends to hold the point, they want to get these players in the backfield.
Liuget is perfect for such duty. His statistics were not remarkable in his first game (two tackles), but Liuget and his teammates held Vikings QB Donovan McNabb to a measly 39 yards passing. As Liuget learns his new trade, he can be a force as an interior pass-rusher on throwing downs.
|Ranking||Player, position (draft position)||Last week|
|Von Miller, Broncos LB (first round, No. 2)
Miller had a strong showing Monday night but didn't light up the box score. The Broncos lost this game because of their inability to stop the run, which might be a problem all season. The issue there with Miller is that he needs the opponent to get into passing situations so he can use his amazing pass-rush skills.
|Cam Newton, Panthers QB (first round, No. 1)
Newton had a fantastic debut in Arizona. Fantastic. The Cardinals' terrible pass defense had a lot to do with it, but Newton rose to the occasion in a big way in his first NFL start. Oh, and it looks like Steve Smith is just fine, which is tremendous news for Newton going forward.
|Julio Jones, Falcons WR (first round, No. 6)
Atlanta had a very long day in Chicago, where the Bears' defensive line ruled the day. Jones still put up some numbers, but most of his stats occurred once the game was pretty much out of reach.
|Mark Ingram, Saints RB (first round, No. 28)
His numbers were not tremendous, but on the big stage Thursday night, Ingram did not disappoint. He is a tough runner who could see even more responsibility with Marques Colston (collarbone) out for at least the next month.
|Randall Cobb, Packers WR (second round, No. 64)
To say that Cobb burst onto the scene in his first NFL game would be a massive understatement. His kickoff return for a touchdown was as nice of a return that you will ever see. And he was an obvious factor with the offense. It might not be long before Cobb passes Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson to become Green Bay's No. 2 wide receiver. Cobb needs to be on the field.
|Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins LB (first round, No. 16)
Kerrigan made a huge play to help Washington ensure a critical divisional victory. There are many big plays in his future.
|Marcell Dareus, Bills DE (first round, No. 3)
To the surprise of many, the Bills simply dismantled the Chiefs in Kansas City. It was utter domination. And Dareus was a key component to the opening-week victory.
|A.J. Green, Bengals WR (first round, No. 4)
The Browns were confused pre-snap -- and Green made them pay in a big way with his first NFL touchdown. But for the most part, Green was taken out of the game by a stalwart in this column a year ago, Joe Haden.
|J.J. Watt, Texans DE (first round, No. 11)
Watt, like the rest of the Texans in Week 1, had his way with whatever Colts player got in his way. He recovered a fumble and was generally disruptive the entire game. Houston has a keeper here.
|Corey Liuget, Chargers DE (first round, No. 18)
Not the prototypical 3-4 end, Liuget brings a new dimension to an already-good Chargers defense.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
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