2006 NFL Rookie Breakouts in '07
By Elliot Berkey
May 24, 2007
Vernon Davis was injured for seven weeks with a broken fibula in 2006. With Alex Smith heating up and going into his third season, Davis' production can only increase. Davis is just a plain freak of nature who has everything - speed, excellent hands, strength and blocking ability.
The loss of Corey Dillon will obviously beef up Laurence Maroney's numbers. Maroney showed last year he can break the big one and get the though yards. With the additions of Donte' Stallworth, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Kelley Washington, teams will have to play more cover-2 or cover-3 to respect New England's big play ability, which means there will be less men in the box to contain Maroney.
Chad Greenway tore his ACL playing special teams and missed the entire 2006 season. There was a reason he was selected in the first round last year. He has an explosive closing burst, athleticism, and the ability to effectively drop into coverage, especially against tight ends.
Most people saw Ashton Youboty as a late-first to early-second-round pick in the 2006 Draft, but he fell into the third round for some reason. Youboty missed most of training camp last year because his mother passed away, which prevented him from picking up Buffalo's scheme right away. With Nate Clements now a 49er, look for Youboty to claim the No. 2 cornerbacking spot in training camp. Youboty has a nice combination of size, strength and speed, which is rare for a cornerback.
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Kenny's Other Columns:
2007: Finding the Next Marques Colston
Top 40 2007 NFL Prospects
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