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Top 10 impact offensive rookies for 2014

XN Sports

We're more than a month removed from the NFL Draft, and we've had a chance to see a lot of the rookies make their debuts with their new teams. Based on OTA observations and reports from their head coaches, it should not come as a shock as to which rookies will have the biggest impact this coming season.

Here are the top 10 rookies on the offensive side of the ball for 2014:

1. Brandin Cooks - WR

Cooks is joining an already high-octane New Orleans Saints offense, and is expected to not only contribute as a receiver split wide but as a weapon out of the backfield as well. Cooks should fill a role comparable to that of Percy Harvin, helping alleviate the void left by Darren Sproles. Trust that Drew Brees knows how to make the most of Cooks' talents.

2. Mike Evans – WR

The Evans-Vincent Jackson tandem is drawing a lot of comparisons to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Evans appears to be a towering, physical wide receiver, one that is going to snatch up any balls thrown in his direction. If Josh McCown can continue where he left off last season with the Chicago Bears, Evans should be in top consideration for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

3. Teddy Bridgewater – QB

It wouldn't surprise me the least bit to see Bridgewater under center for the Minnesota Vikings as early as Week 4 or 5, especially considering how strong of an OTAs he has had. He's a cerebral player, and the faster he can grasp Norv Turner's offense the sooner he'll be needed to push the team in the right direction.

4. Eric Ebron – TE

Ebron was drafted by the Detroit Lions and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who comes from the Saints, found unique ways to use Jimmy Graham. Now alongside Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, Ebron should see plenty of open targets in a high-octane Detroit offense.

5. Jake Matthews - OT

Matt Ryan was on his backside more often than he was throwing touchdown passes a season ago, and that's why the Atlanta Falcons brought Matthews into town. Matthews should instantly improve Atlanta's pass protection, especially Ryan's blindside. His impact will be seen right away.

6. Terrance West - RB

Although the Cleveland Browns signed Ben Tate in free agency, West is the running back making the best case for playing time right away. The former Towson standout was very popular during pre-draft workouts, and in Cleveland has a chance to revive a running game that was non-existent a season ago. The team has a strong core of offensive linemen, which bodes well for West's chances of succeeding.

7. Johnny Manziel - QB

Similar to Bridgewater's situation, we expect Johnny Football to be the starter in Cleveland at some point this season. And when he is, he'll be a much-needed upgrade over the very bland Brian Hoyer. Manziel doesn't have the best wideouts to throw to with Josh Gordon out of the picture, but he'll be a more athletic presence better able to make plays out of nothing.

8. Jeremy Hill - RB

Finally, BenJarvus Green-Ellis won't be wasting carries in Cincy. It'll be a backfield tandem of Gio Bernard and Hill, which should be a strong mixture of thunder and lightning. Hill is a dynamic downhill runner and should be an excellent change-of-pace back for the more shifty Bernard.

9. Bishop Sankey - RB

With Chris Johnson now in New York, Sankey will have a strong chance at being the Tennessee Titans' starting running back almost by default. Sankey will likely be thrust right into action, and I imagine Ken Whisenhunt has a plan in place for the rookie.

10. Carlos Hyde - RB

We're always on the lookout for Frank Gore's decline, and Hyde may be the back to supplant him. Though he isn't the No. 2 back on the depth chart, he's a bigger back in the mold of Gore with probably the highest upside of any other back on the San Francisco 49ers roster. If Gore's workload is lessened, expect Hyde to take a large chunk of the available carries.


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For more sports coverage, please visit XNSports.com

Join the discussion

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onionson June 29 2014 at 1:32 PM

I'm surprised Johnny Manziel was not closer to the top. He is at the top of my list to watch. I want to see if I'm right that he will fail.

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1 reply
savannahswithgod onionson June 30 2014 at 6:52 AM

And if you fail then are you going to jump off a cliff to see if you can fly so you can be 1 to 1 in the failing department. I did not see that much out of Manzeil, he beat Alabama didn't he and that was it!

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pagebassman June 30 2014 at 1:50 AM

Dont bet the bank on Manziel. As soon as he gets dropped by a big lineman or d-back he will go crying to the bench. Cant wait to see a back sack him and stand over him and do the famous money move. ha ha ha

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Randy June 29 2014 at 4:22 PM

Nice to see Bridgewater getting some respect, because he is a heck of football player.... but its difficult to tell how he will perform against NFL defenses, since the "toughest" defense he ever went up against during his three cupcake schedule years at Louisville was the University of Kentucky.

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2 replies
savannahswithgod Randy June 30 2014 at 6:50 AM

Hey Ky got to the Final Four, don't knock that man on man or zone defense! And NFL defense smeefense, They can't do nothing but touch the QB and have to just hold the WR once he comes across the middle to catch the ball. Soon the scores will resemble the NBA!

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1 reply
Randy savannahswithgod June 30 2014 at 8:21 AM

I wasn't talking about Kentucky's BASKETBALL team... heck, they could give most NBA teams a run for their money... I was talking about KENTUCKY's football team - last in the SEC for decades - and yet they were still the toughest defensive team Bridgewater faced in the three years he was Louisville's QB and their cupcake schedule. When a QB doesn't have to worry about being hit or even chased - it makes it a lot easier to pass.

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savannahswithgod Randy June 30 2014 at 6:57 AM

Hey you also forgot Bridgewater has got Adrian back there and 10 of the defensive players have to target him, wasn't nothing as a Adrian in the college except when Adrian was in the college.

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larry June 29 2014 at 3:43 PM

I hope Hoyer comes out hot, like he did last season. Meanwhile Johnny football self-destructs. I do hope they make the call to start manzeil week 1 against the steelers, that should give him a bit of a reality check

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I LOVE YOU JENNY June 29 2014 at 8:32 PM

Trade Johnny boy, he talks too much!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
savannahswithgod I LOVE YOU JENNY June 30 2014 at 6:54 AM

Ah so you have done noticed that Jenny has her eye on the Manzeil and all that fame and all that cash? Well romances come and romances go. Try not to take it too hard, listen to some songs of Love gone wrong. 2nd Avenue by Tim Moore about the best!

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koea34 June 29 2014 at 6:13 PM

I would rate Manziel at the most a 20 where he should be ranked

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Go Lady Eagles June 29 2014 at 5:14 PM

Sammy is going to be top 10 watch. Top 10 without Sammy is another wrong list. Sammy will rise to top and Manziel will fall to bottom. Ex UCF will rise to the top of the rookie QBs. Manziel will be next Leaf.

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knightrang June 29 2014 at 6:47 PM

Do the words "Spit out his nuts" "Get off his jock" etc mean anything to you guys. Why do you think he's acting like a fool, trying to live his 5 minutes of fame. Hate praising anyone who hasn't played a down yet.

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John June 30 2014 at 10:04 AM

I disagree with the ranking. Manzell is the most offensive rookie...he's really rank.

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xizor678 June 30 2014 at 10:36 AM

Wheres Sammy Watkins? Bortles? Lee? Another disappointing list by XN Sports

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