Commentary

Kiper: Early-impact rookies

Mathews and Spiller are obvious, but could Lamar Houston equal Gerald McCoy?

Updated: June 9, 2010, 6:12 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesWhat do Toby Gerhart and Jermaine Gresham have in common? Both should thrive in the red zone.

There's always a bunch of guys that you point to the moment they are drafted and think "Impact." They've landed in the proverbial perfect spot for them in terms of the system, like Clay Matthews with Green Bay last year, or in a glaring void on a team that has seemingly been filled with one pick, like Ryan Mathews going to San Diego this year.

For this week, as we start focusing more and more on the upcoming NFL season, I wanted to offer another look at what I would consider a group of impact rookies, but on multiple levels. I have to point out the shoo-ins, but I also want to add a few more sleepers to the mix, and as well point out that, at least on the offensive side of the ball, these are guys who you should be considering for their fantasy value, because in most cases, you'll be able to get them on the cheap.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst