Hello again, MCM! Today we'll be discussing the impact and what will be in store for the 2012 rookie class. It's been an interesting mix of positives and negatives for our current crop of rookies. Hopefully I didn't screw up too bad considering all the coffee drunk trying to stay up watching the epic 12 hour WSOP final table marathon. I'll do another one of these at the end of the season looking back on this post. Anyways, enough about me blabbering on about inconsequential things. Let's begin at the top with the second most shocking pick in the Titans class with Kendall Wright.
1.20 Kendall Wright WR Baylor
Analysis - Wright has been a pleasant surprise for us so far this year in the extended "absence" of Kenny Britt. He's slid right in the #2 and #3 WR role smoothly behind Nate Washington and Britt. The "rookie" moments have been few and far between for this guy. He's had a few drops and mental mistakes for sure but for the most part, has taken to the pro game very well. Mr. Webster definitely gets a high mark for surprising a vast majority of us with this one. Pick Grade: A to B+
Projection: I believe that Wright has the potential to be a faster version of Jeremy Maclin but without the injury issues (knocks on wood). They both have similar body types and much more heralded teammates opposite them.
2.52 Zach Brown LB UNC
Analysis - Ah, we get to the pick that caused much consternation, chagrin, and entertainment (for me at least) on MCM way back in March/April lol but I digress. Brown has been relatively solid so far in this campaign, given his sometimes spotty playing time. There's nary a peep about his "alleged" lack of work ethic and attitude issues that cropped up during the draft process as well. He's shown up ready to play as a consummate professional. And oh, Mr. Mayock, Brown has proven that he ISN'T allergic to contact with several bone jarring hits. Pick Grade: B
Projection: A newer model of Lance Briggs, perhaps? Both have solid MLBs next to them (I'm in no way shape or form, comparing CM to a potential HOFer in Brian Urlacher, though) that allows each to make plays sideline to sideline. Brown will likely cement his starting spot on the outside soon. The specter of the infection that is the poor coaching from Frank Bush looms, though.
3.82 Mike Martin DT Meeechiigan
Analysis - Another home run hit in the third round by the front office. Last year it was rookie sensation Jurrell Casey that got us all hot and heavy about the potential. Martin has surpassed even the most jaded homers' expectations and then some. The kid is a baller, no doubt. He and Casey will anchor the DL for years to come at this pace. Pick grade: A
Projection: A duet with Casey like the Williams brothers in Minnesota of yesteryear maybe? I'll take it even if they're half as good as those two beasts.
4.115 Coty Sensabaugh CB Clemson
Analysis - An interesting pick but given his limited playing time so far, not much can be made of his story just yet. He's definitely has the potential to be a good one with his bloodlines (Gerald S is his cousin, I think), athletic ability and pure speed. Pick Grade: C for now.
Projection: See above
5.145 Taylor Thompson TE SMU
Analysis - The most shocking pick in this year's class. No one saw this coming. TT has shown some promise as a TE but has had moments where he's proved to be rusty from not playing TE since high school. A really good potential sleeper pick down the road to adequately sorrund Locker with serious weapons if Britt gets his act together. Pick Grade: B
6.190 Markelle Martin S Oklahoma State
Analysis - A bit of an unknown quantity at this point but have read good reviews during the offseason so there is that. I really liked this player coming out of college. He was a pretty good one at OSU, garnering hype as the 2nd best safety in the class next to Mark Barron. I expect him to start contributing at some point later this year and come back strong next year. Pick Grade: C+, due to injury and subsequent lack of playing time.
7.211 Scott Solomon DE Rice
Analysis - Well it's only a 7th round pick so nothing wasted if he doesn't play up to expectations. He hasn't contributed much but hey he made the 53 man roster so I give him credit for that (due to little competition on the roster but that's a debate for another day). Pick Grade: B
Overview- The front office hit on 5 of 7 picks this year, which is a remarkable number all things considered. Webster having nailed the first three picks was critical to the team. Wright, Brown, Martin, Mike, Thompson really help boost the grade. We also have two major unknowns in Martin and Sensabaugh. Remember that this is only the midpoint of the year so there's still time for them to improve. Overall Grade: B+