Nov 8, 2009
The following are players to look at for the future who have yet to break
out, but have value for future seasons.
Kevin Kolb/Philadelphia – Next year, he’ll be on the final year of his four-year
rookie deal. But the coaches remain very high on him and they were very pleased
with what they saw from him in his two starts. In fact, a team source said
there’s no reason why Kolb can’t be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL if he
gets to start next year. It will come down to how veteran QB Donovan McNabb
plays the rest of the season. If McNabb struggles and they miss the playoffs or
get knocked out early, Kolb will likely be the starter next year. He’s seen as a
more accurate passer than McNabb and with the frequency that they throw with,
Kolb could put up big numbers if he gets the job.
Chad Henne/Miami – Like with Kolb, I first saw Henne play during Senior Bowl
week and I was very impressed. In fact, I thought Henne threw the ball better
that week than Joe Flacco did. Henne has a strong arm and I like how he places
the ball away from the defender and on the correct shoulder for the receiver to
catch it. The problems that he has are two fold. He doesn’t always process
information quickly enough and his receivers are well below even average by NFL
standards. But over time, he’ll understand better what he’s being asked to do
the more he plays. The upper management knows they need major help at receiver
and down the road, in a few seasons, they’ll get it. So in years 2011-2012, he
should be a decent starter.
Chris Wells/Arizona – Don’t blame his rotational role on Wells. He
signed his rookie contract a few weeks too late and he got hurt on the first day
of practice in training camp. So he got way behind and gave Tim Hightower a huge
advantage. Keep in mind the Cardinals drafted Wells to be the main ball carrier
at some point and that should happen in year two and beyond.
LeSean McCoy/Philadelphia – His role is dependent upon what the team does with
veteran RB Brian Westbrook. If the injury prone Westbrook comes back for 2010,
that will almost certainly be his last season as an Eagle and probably his last
as an NFL player. If you’re willing to be patient, the talented McCoy could
payoff down the line. The coaches love his versatility and he’s proven to be a
Jonathan Stewart/Carolina – The Panthers have a dilemma. Do they re-sign RB
DeAngelo Williams after his contract expires in 2010 or do they let Stewart take
over? Or do they trade Williams after this season is over? Most likely, both
backs will share playing time again in 2010 with Williams being the main ball
carrier again. But long-term, Stewart makes more sense to take over because of
his solid build. Carolina uses a power running game and Stewart is the best fit
for that profile.
Donald Brown/Indianapolis – Unfortunately, he’s been dealing with a lingering
shoulder injury for several weeks, so his role hasn’t increased as we thought it
would. However, keep in mind the team drafted him in part to a lack of
confidence in RB Joseph Addai, who is signed through 2010. Look for a RBBC next
season, but Brown’s role should increase. The coaches believe he’s a more
decisive runner than Addai. If you’re willing to be patient, the versatile Brown
could really pay off in a few years for fantasy owners.
Shonn Greene/New York Jets – His role is dependent upon what the team does with
veteran RB Thomas Jones. Jones is signed through 2010, but it’s unlikely they
would re-sign him past then based on his age. So if you’re willing to be patient
with the younger back, Greene could pay off down the line. They want to use a
power running approach on offense to limit the amount of times QB Mark Sanchez
has to go back to pass. Greene is a great fit for what they’re looking for and
he could be pretty solid in 2011 and beyond.
Mike Bell/New Orleans – It’s rare that we’ll look at backs in RBBCs, but Bell
will always have a role because he brings something to the table that the other
two backs don’t have–that’s power. Because the Saints score like crazy and have
leads in the second half in many games, Bell has a chance to be the finishing
back in those games. That’s why they signed him and are expected to sign him
long-term. If you’re looking for a #3 RB for the future, he’s worth a shot.
Jamaal Charles/Kansas City – It’s believed that the coaches want to go to more
of a spread offense, but because of major offensive line issues, they haven’t
been able to do that this season. However, expect the Chiefs to address their
offensive line in the draft and in free agency. If the offensive line makes
major improvements, using a spread look probably will happen. Charles is a much
better fit for that scheme, so he would have increased value.
Kolby Smith/Kansas City – Smith is a more powerful runner than Charles and he’s
more decisive. His future role will depend on what the team does in free agency
next year along with the draft. But there’s a decent chance that Smith will be
involved in the running game no matter what they do.
Malcom Floyd/San Diego –
Michael Crabtree/San Francisco –
Jeremy Maclin/Philadelphia –
Laurent Robinson/St. Louis –
Pierre Garcon/Indianapolis –
Johnny Knox/Chicago –
Jordy Nelson/Green Bay –
Brandon Tate/New England –
Mohamed Massaquoi/Cleveland –
James Jones/Green Bay –
Robert Meachem/New Orleans –
Mike Wallace/Pittsburgh –
Kenny Britt/Tennessee –
Andre Caldwell/Cincinnati –
Brandon Gibson/St. Louis –
Deon Butler/Seattle –
Jermichael Finley/Green Bay – Unfortunately, he got hurt just as he
started to take off this season. Finley is one of those new wave flexed out
tight ends that have become a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. There’s
nothing not to like about him. It would be a surprise if he didn’t start next
years and for years to come. He’s in a good passing offense and he has a solid
quarterback to work with. He should be one of the NFL’s top-10 TEs starting next
Jared Cook/Tennessee – Our Greg Cosell called him a "Shannon Sharpe
type" of tight end. If you’ve heard Cosell speak, he usually doesn’t bestow
praise like that liberally. Cook is perhaps the most athletic tight end out of
this year’s draft class. He can run better than some receivers. He has a few
things going against him, however. The Titans are deep at the position with
veterans Alge Crumpler and Bo Scaife still on the roster. The other problem that
remains is uncertainty at the quarterback position. But eventually, Cook is
going to become a major factor, just how soon remains to be seen.
Chase Coffman/Cincinnati – He was one of this year’s top pass catching tight
ends coming out of the draft. However, Coffman is a poor blocker and also needs
to get stronger. The Bengals are a little down on him, so it will take him a
while to gain a significant role. But when he does, Coffman, like his father,
Paul, has a chance to be a solid pass catching tight end.
Travis Beckum/New York Giants – He’s yet another one of these athletic tight
ends that will be flex out quite a bit as a receiver. Beckum needs to get
stronger physically, but he really can run. Eventually, he could become one of
the Giants’ top passing options, but well down the road.