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

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) is a staff writer for Grantland.