When I’m not out traveling to new destinations, I really like keeping up with football, especially because every NFL season has its own set of surprises. There’s always something I don’t expect. Last year, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott stole the show for the Dallas Cowboys. This year, Zeke is dealing with some suspension drama. In addition, there are new NFL rookies who have burst onto the scene to steal the show for themselves and the teams that they play for.
Last year’s college football season ended with Deshaun Watson leading the Clemson Tigers over Alabama. Alabama is such a powerhouse in the college football world that it seems like the whole world celebrates when they actually lose. Watson made that happen. Now he’s on the Houston Texans, and is one of the most exciting rookies to watch in 2017. There are a few other NFL rookies who are also making a big splash in their first season.
Just because he’s at QB, Watson has been one of the biggest surprises of this rookie class. It’s not because no one expected him to succeed, but because it’s so much harder to transition at the QB position than as a RB. Watson didn’t start his first week, but was moved in when the starter Tom Savage proved incompetent. Watson has been scoring touchdown after touchdown and hasn’t looked back since taking the starting role. He could very well lead his team to a division title this year.
Hunt was the one that no one saw coming. He was drafted in the third round at 86th overall in the 2017 draft. In fact, he was the sixth running back to be selected. Looking back, the only one that really makes sense is Fournette, who seems to be a generational player. Hunt has outperformed all the other NFL rookies, and even Fournette for the most part.
Taken at number 4 overall, Fournette doing this well isn’t exactly a surprise. But he is living up to his expectations, which were quite high. The one question mark surrounding the running back out of LSU was how his foot injury that ailed him in college was going to hold up in the NFL. So far he seems to be doing alright, as he’s had touchdowns of 75 yards or more this season.
They say it’s extremely difficult for tight ends to transition to the pro’s. Engram is more of a hybrid than a true TE, but he’s still technically listed as a TE on the depth chart. The Ole Miss product runs around a 4.4 40-yard dash. There are plenty of other metrics to consider when grading a player than just the 40, but being that fast at 6’3” is going to create mismatches against any defense.