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Miami Dolphins Beat writer - Matt Ryan #1 pick in a "re-do"


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Miami Herald Article - Matt Ryan and rest of 2008 Rookies - ranked

PFW showing Miami's Jake Long no love

This week's edition of Pro Football Weekly has an interesting ranking of the biggest rookie duds and the biggest rookie studs. It is interesting stuff so go here if you want to see the full article. On the other hand, if you want analysis stick right here and read on.

The article rightly picks New York Jets linebacker Vernon Gholston as the rookie leading the charge toward that terrible four-letter word: Bust.

That list includes Darren McFadden, Glenn Dorsey and others.

But it's the list of studs that puzzles me. PFW picks Denver offensive left tackle Ryan Clady as the best rookie player so far this year. And while I agree Clady has been outstanding and is the best rookie tackle today, there is no way in the world if the 2008 NFL draft was done over again, Clady would be the first overall pick.

Fact is Clady is a more polished and complete offensive tackle than Miami's Jake Long. But for the Dolphins offense, one based on a power running attack, Long is the better fit. Moreover, if the Dolphins didn't take Long first in the hypothetical re-draft, they would probably take quarterback Matt Ryan.

Let me rephrase that: If the Dolphins didn't take Long, they would be stupid not to take Ryan, who has been amazing. Forget that his stats are darn good for any QB, much less a rookie. But his leadership in taking an Atlanta team from the garbage heap to the playoffs and possibly a division title is amazing. That guy has the make-up, as the Dolphins like to say, to be a dominant NFL player some day.

Enough Ryan gushing . As you go further down the list of top 10 rookie studs, I look to see what PFW has to say about Long ... scrolling ... scrolling ... still scrolling. He's not in the top 10!

Chicago's Matt Forte is on the list, Tennessee's Chris Johnson is on the list, even New England's Jerod Mayo is on the list. But no Long.

Long is found in the publication's 'On the verge" list along with Davone Bess and others. I don't really understand it, frankly. There's no way Jeff Otah is a better tackle today than Jake Long, and yet Otah is in PFW's top 10.

You'll hear a lot about this week about the Dolphins getting no respect. Much of that talk will come from the Dolphins locker room. And this list kind of feeds that thinking.

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PFW ranks the rooks

here is the PFW article and link:

Stud to dud

Ranking the 10 biggest rookie disappointments

By Matt Sohn

Dec. 23, 2008

Jets OLB Vernon Gholston

Everyone was in awe of him. His body was downright Herculean and his first step was whiplash-quick. There was more than a fleeting notion that Bill Parcells was going to tab Vernon Gholston with the Dolphins’ No. 1 pick last April. In the Tuna’s ongoing quest to unearth his next Lawrence Taylor, Gholston, just maybe, had the physical tools to become the NFL’s latest revolutionary pass rusher.

When the Raiders bypassed him at No. 4 and he fell to the Jets at the sixth slot, Gang Green rejoiced. Sure, there was bound to be an adjustment period going from 4-3 college end to 3-4 NFL outside linebacker, but those were details — chipped paint on a Maserati’s bumper.

Or so they thought.

Fifteen games into his pro career, Gholston’s disaster of a rookie season is nearing a merciful conclusion. Optimists can point to his special-teams work, pessimists will say he’s already a bust, realists will say he’s just utterly lost. With some more seasoning, could he develop into the edge demon he was billed as being? Absolutely. In fact, it’s rash to call almost any player a bust after just one season’s work.

But because no NFL player is privy to a free pass, the 10 biggest rookie disappointments — based on expectation level heading in and on-field results — better round into shape quickly or in a couple years “bust” will be an applicable label.

1. Jets OLB Vernon Gholston (first round, sixth overall) — So much for Bryan Thomas fretting about his starting job.

2. Jaguars DE Derrick Harvey (1-8) — Looked foolish when the Jags traded away an arsenal of picks to get him in April, looks horrendous now.

3. 49ers DT Kentwan Balmer (1-29) — Now we know why few heard of him on the college landscape.

4. Raiders RB Darren McFadden (1-4) — Glimpses of potential far too infrequent.

5. Chiefs DT Glenn Dorsey (1-5) — What happened to that gap speed?

6. Bills WR James Hardy (2-41) — Buffalo needed a No. 2 receiver and didn’t expect it to be Josh Reed.

7. Seahawks DE Lawrence Jackson (1-28) — For a supposedly “polished” product, still looks raw.

8. Jaguars DE Quentin Groves (2-52) — Some anticipated him providing a better pass rush than Harvey.

9. Cowboys CB Mike Jenkins (1-25) — Playing behind fifth-rounder Orlando Scandrick.

10. Eagles DT Trevor Laws (2-47) — Hasn’t filled out Philly’s DT rotation as hoped.

On to the head of this year's rookie class:

1. Broncos OT Ryan Clady (first round, 12th overall)

Last week’s ranking: 1

Even as his club sinks, he flourishes. Clady and his offensive line cohorts did their part Sunday vs. the Bills, and sat around helplessly as their defense went belly up. No reason to think that the AFC West finale will be anything less than an offensive explosion under San Diego’s prime-time lights.

2. Falcons QB Matt Ryan (1-3)

Week 16 stats: 13-of-24 for 134 yards, one touchdown

Season stats: 255-of-413 for 3,280 yards, 15 touchdowns, nine interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 2

With a most improbable playoff berth on the line, Ryan took it to the Vikings with calculated efficiency in a stirring victory on the road. Matty Ice, indeed.

3. Ravens QB Joe Flacco (1-18)

Week 16 stats: 17-of-25 for 149 yards, one touchdown

Season stats: 240-of-405 for 2,674 yards, 14 touchdowns, 12 interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 4

Even though the lasting impression of the Texas Stadium turf will be that of a mangled Flacco, no amount of body blows was going to result in a TKO. Got to love his toughness.

4. Titans RB Chris Johnson (1-24)

Week 16 stats: 16 carries for 69 yards, one touchdown; two receptions for one yard

Season stats: 251 carries for 1,228 yards and nine touchdowns; 43 receptions for 260 yards and one touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 3

With home-field advantage on the line, Johnson took to the teeth of the Steelers’ defense with impressive resolve. Unless Jeff Fisher decides to keep his rookie’s legs churning in a meaningless game in Indy, Johnson’s earned himself back-to-back weekends off to ready himself for the divisional playoff round.

5. Patriots ILB Jerod Mayo (1-10)

Week 16 stats: seven tackles, one forced fumble

Season stats: 121 tackles

Last week’s ranking: 6

Holding an opponent to 44 rushing yards is usually cause for celebration. Against the Cardinals, it’s just another day at the office.

6. Bears RB Matt Forté (2-44)

Week 16 stats: 23 carries for 73 yards and one touchdown; two receptions for 28 yards

Season stats: 303 carries for 1,188 yards and eight touchdowns; 60 receptions for 452 yards and four touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 7

Minus-10-degree wind chills faze most of us. Rookies who spend their entire pre-professional lives in Louisiana are apparently immune to such petty inconveniences.

7. Texans RB Steve Slaton (3-89)

Week 16 stats: 18 carries for 66 yards; five receptions for 36 yards

Season stats: 248 carries for 1,190 yards and eight touchdowns; 45 receptions for 341 yards and one touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 5

A week after reaching the century mark against the Titans, Slaton takes Route 66 in Oakland. Not exactly a shining moment.

8. Broncos WR Eddie Royal (2-42)

Week 16 stats: five receptions for 57 yards; one carry for 71 yards

Season stats: 80 receptions for 904 yards and five touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 9

Forget that he got dragged down before finding paydirt. Royal’s 71-yard reverse scamper was a clinic in open-field running.

9. Seahawks TE John Carlson (2-38)

Week 16 stats: two receptions for 12 yards and one touchdown

Season stats: 53 receptions for 613 yards and five touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 8

Neither Carlson nor Dustin Keller made much of a splash in the clash of the league’s premier rookie tight ends. But Carlson’s nifty grab in the corner of the endzone turned out to be all the Seahawks needed in an aesthetically unappealing 13-3 triumph in the Seattle snow.

10. Panthers OT Jeff Otah (1-19)

Last week’s ranking: On the verge

For the most part, Otah bodied up Giants DE Justin Tuck fairly well Sunday in the Meadowlands. Even though he has missed four games due to injury, Otah has been instrumental in the Panthers’ running prowess.

On the verge (listed alphabetically)

Dolphins WR Davone Bess (undrafted)

Saints DT Sedrick Ellis (1-7)

Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers (2-35)

Panthers S Charles Godfrey (3-67)

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (2-49)

Titans DE Jason Jones (2-54)

Falcons MLB Curtis Lofton (2-37)

Dolphins OT Jake Long (1-1)

Lions RB Kevin Smith (3-64)

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (1-13)

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Long is ridiculously overrated and g-dawg.... you need to update your siggy... we ain't picking 17th in the draft.

and Aaron Curry is now looking like the top rated linebacker ahead of both Maualuga and Lauranaitis - a probably "top 10" pick......I went the other way now to fix the defensive nose tackle position with a guy who will take over the Grady Jackson "hole plugging" defender.

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how could they have clady before ryan????

because they are not weighing who is most valuable to their team - clearly Matt Ryan would win that - and will win ROY going away.

what PFW is doing is strictly "grading the play" of each player. Ryan Clady has been "perfect" in not allowing a sack and being decent in run game - therefore ranking him #1 overall - I can understand that logic....

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because they are not weighing who is most valuable to their team - clearly Matt Ryan would win that - and will win ROY going away.

what PFW is doing is strictly "grading the play" of each player. Ryan Clady has been "perfect" in not allowing a sack and being decent in run game - therefore ranking him #1 overall - I can understand that logic....

Well it helps when he can constantly get away with choke holds on blockers and I'm not just talking about against the Falcons.

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