5. Christian Ponder, QB, Vikings
Ponder’s situation reminds me of the same type of situation Ben Roethilisberger fell into when he was selected by the Steelers. The Vikings are a very talented team that just had an off year. This is the perfect situation for a young quarterback as the Vikings are loaded with talented players on offense. I don’t think Ponder was the best quarterback in the draft, but with the likes of Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice (if he stays), Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe, and Kyle Rudolph all at his disposal, it’s hard not to like Ponder going into the 2011 season. This, of course, is assuming they don’t bring in a vet like Donovon McNabb.
4. Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions
Leshoure will provide as a great complement to the speedy Javid Best. Best and Leshoure should see the amount of carries during the year, but Best will get all the third down opportunities as he’s a much better receiver out of the back field. Leshoure, with his size, will be the goal line back which is great news for fantasy owners that draft him. I like the upside of Leshoure more than Best due to the injury concerns that come with Best.
3. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
Ingram joins a very crowded backfield which includes Pierre Thomes, Reggie Bush, and Chris Ivory. It appears as if Reggie Bush will be released unless he renegotiates his contract. The Saints didn’t trade back into the first round for this guy to be their number two running back, and with the the injuries suffered by Pierre Thomas, this is Ingram’s job to lose. The former Heisman Trophy winner should shine in black and gold.
2. Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins
Like with the Saints and Ingram, the Dolphins didn’t trade up for Thomas so he can be their number two back. With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams both being free agents and out of their prime, this is Thomas’ job to lose. Thomas’ value will only increase if the Dolphins acquire a better quarterback to give them a more versatile passing attack.
1. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
How can Julio Jones not be number one on the list? He fell into the perfect situation in Atlanta. He’ll be catching passes from an elite quarterback, yes I referred to Matt Ryan as elite, opposite from an elite receiver, with and elite running game.. See where I’m going with this? There’s no reason why Jones won’t be the most productive rookie in this draft class.
Just missing the cut:
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
Titus Young, WR, Lions
Andy Daulton, QB, Bengals
Alex Henery, K, Eagles
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Redskins