Commentary

FBO: Ready for their close-up

While we haven't been paying attention, these guys have turned into stars

Originally Published: July 6, 2009
By Bill Barnwell | Football Outsiders

Want to know a big secret about Santonio Holmes? You don't need to wait for him to become a star. He already is one.

Indeed, Holmes has been one of the best receivers in football since entering the league. He ranked 17th among qualifying wide receivers in receiving DVOA (minimum: 50 targets) as a rookie in 2006, and bumped his ranking up to 11th a year later. He was 60th last year, but even great players have off seasons. The drop came thanks to an uncharacteristically low catch rate; Holmes caught 48 percent of the passes thrown to him in 2008 after catching 59 percent of the passes thrown to him over his first two seasons. That's a fluke, and there's every reason to think that Holmes will return to -- if not improve upon -- his previously established level of superb performance.

There are players like Holmes all across the league -- guys whose hype hasn't caught up to their excellent level of play. (Of course, being Super Bowl MVP has a way of helping that hype catch up.) We've picked 10 guys whose bandwagons deserve to be buckling, starting in Texas, where only Houston knows the score -- so far.

Want to know who else aside from Matt Schaub makes this list? You must be an ESPN Insider. Insider
Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) is a staff writer for Grantland.