Yeah, it’s that time again. Now that the NBA has gone back into the closet and baseball is going through the throes of the summer, the NFL is ready to gets prime time position back. That means all eyes will be on the young bucks coming into the league.
Some rookies will shine. Others will not make the cut of making the transition from college to the pros. But here are five players ready to step on the football stage and prove to be “sudden impact” players this season.
1. Jamies Winston, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winston likes to do it big. Well, playing in the NFL as the starting quarterback as a rookie is doing it big. The NFC South won’t be the same again. Winston has the arm strength, the moxie, football IQ and leadership capabilities to lead the Buccaneers back to respectability.
Expect Winston to let it rip. Don’t be surprised that Winston may even surpass what Carolina’s Cam Newton and Indianapolis signal-caller Andrew Luck did in their rookie campaigns.
2. Melvin Gordon, running back, San Diego Chargers
The Chargers needed a running back. After the meltdown by Ryan Mathews’ inability to stay healthy, the Chargers moved on from that period to go after one of the coveted running backs in the country. The Chargers went out and got a stud at the 2015 NFL Draft.
What Mathews lacked in explosion and gitty-up speed, Gordon makes up for. In the year of reviving the running back position with Gordon, Todd Gurley and others, figure to tear it up this season. Gordon is big, fast and productive. He is the perfect compliment to quarterback Philip Rivers, which could spell trouble for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
3. Leonard Williams, defensive lineman, New York Jets
The rich continues to get richer. The New York Jets didn’t really need to go after a defensive player with its first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. But they did. That is just not fair to the rest of the league. That’s because By selecting Williams, the Jets just made made a Top 10 defense and instantly turned them into a Top 3 unit. Williams, the former USC giant, will give Tom Brady and the rest of the AFC East fits for years to come.
4. Jaelen Strong, wide receiver, Houston Texans
The dominant one. Strong is going to be something special a few years from now. As for now, Strong is a younger version of future Hall of Famer Andre Johnson. At 6-foot-6, Strong can jump as high as any receiver, run through a defender and make plays when it counts. Just ask the USC Trojans. In a dominating performance against the Trojans last season, Strong caught 10 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns, including catching the winning toss to give Arizona State a stunning win.
5. Nelson Agholor, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
This is a perfect fit for Agholor. A glider with speed, Agholor is a legit playmaker. The former USC star the will basically supplant the void left in the dust following the departure of LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Macklin.