What Have Rookies Done Lately?

Scout.com's Randy Taylor takes a look at what some of the top draft picks did for their teams in the first week of action, along with the success of the new coaching hotbed in the NFL coming out of Eastern Illinois, including Vikings coach Brad Childress.

What have you done for us lately… or the phrase coined by the former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Jerry Glanville, who said, and I'm paraphrasing here: the NFL stands for "Not For Long." This clearly describes the patience of the owners and fans of the National Football League.

I'm not saying it's a bad philosophy or saying it in a derogatory way because the players, coaches and GMs get paid to succeed. If they don't they'll be asked by us, "what have you done for us lately."

So each week I'll look into, "what have you done for us lately" since you were a high draft pick, were worth trading for or picking up as a free agent? I'm also going to suggest who should start looking for their baseball cap to wear while sitting on the bench. Yesterday, it was the free agents and baseball cappers. Today, it's the draft picks and I'll look at who's winning the battle of the Eastern Illinois University coaching competition (EIU is the new cradle of NFL head coaches). The three coaches in contention are Mike Shanahan, Brad Childress and Sean Payton. Week one results come later.

What have you done for us lately since you were a high draft pick?

1) Is it a surprise that Reggie Bush (Running Back, New Orleans Saints, 5-11 200, No. 2 overall) is proving his worth? No! Reggie carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards caught eight passes for 58 yards and returned three punts for 22 yards. That's a total of 141 all-purpose yards, the best back in the NFL, LaDainian Tomlinson, had 149 all purpose yards. The leading rusher for Houston had 32 yards on 11 carries, but the QB had 25 yards on four carries, so they've got that going for them.

This is a good time to say that Mario Williams (Defensive End, Houston Texans, 6-7 294, No. 1 overall) will be a very good player in the NFL. He's very talented and has a great D-line coach in Bob Karmelowicz. In fact, in time his value in this past draft could be greater than that of Reggie Bush, but in the "what have you done for us lately" times we live in, there's an argument to be made for taking Reggie as the first pick.

2) I love Laurence Maroney! (Running Back, New England Patriots, 6-0 216, No. 21 overall). He can run, is explosive and will make people miss. He should be a top back in the league soon. In his first game he carried the ball 17 times for 86 yards and returned three kicks for 59 yards. He's a very good complement to the veteran Corey Dillon. Maroney has the ability to make big plays from the tailback position that Dillon and Marshall Faulk used to make but are aging, so Maroney will get his chances.

3) Nick Mangold (Center, NY Jets, 6-4 299, No. 29 overall) and D'Brickashaw Ferguson (Left Tackle, NY Jets, 6-6 313, No. 4 overall) helped the Jets win their opener over the Titans, 23-16. Chad Pennington threw the ball 33 times for 319 yards with only two sacks. I'd say that these two rookies at the most important positions on the offensive line have done well lately.

4) Jerious Norwood (Running Back, Atlanta Falcons, 6-0 203, 3rd round pick, #79 overall) is what Atlanta needed to go along with Warrick Dunn, who's a smaller back. Norwood is a good replacement for T.J. Duckett, now with the Redskins, who was one-dimensional. Norwood brings both power and speed to the backfield. He ran for 66 yards on 10 carries which is a 6.6 yard average for all you math majors out there. This kid made his money in his first week.

5) Mike Bell (Running Back, Denver Broncos, 6-0 222, Undrafted rookie) is not a high draft pick or even a draft pick at all, but he had the most value for his team considering what the Broncos had to do to get him. Bell carried the ball 10 times for 58 yards, caught four passes for 30 yards and returned two kickoffs for 40 yards. That's 128 all-purpose yards, giving Denver the most bang for their bucks. I wonder if the system in the Mile High City has anything to do with this.

Battle of the Eastern Illinois University (the new cradle of NFL coaches) coaching competition:

1) Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings: He stuck with a veteran QB who is surprising some that he's still able to stand upright, let alone be productive at this level. A good kicker and a team that played hard and beat the Washington Redskins on the road in his first game as a head coach in the NFL. Pretty impressive!

2) Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints: Payton has Reggie Bush and used him very well while getting Deuce McAllister enough touches as well. Also, winning on the road is huge regardless of who you play, and in your first ever game as head coach in the NFL.

3) Mike Shanahan, Denver Broncos: Losing the first game hurt, but I'm predicting he'll make a comeback soon. I love his system and the organization, mental toughness and thoughtfulness he approaches the game with. He's also a good guy; it must be his Midwest upbringing.

We did it. We got through the first week and learned a lot watching some good football. So, I'll be back next week to see who's been doing what for us lately.

About the author: For the past five years, Randy Taylor has been the leading talent evaluator in California while running Taylor's Scouting Services (TSS). Many of the Top Division One colleges across the country have come to trust Taylor as "another set of eyes" to maximize their critical recruiting time and budgets. A former All-Big Ten center at Illinois, Taylor had been involved in the coaching and athletics department at his alma mater, then moved on to UNLV as an Assistant to the Athletics Director for Football from 1985 to 1987. Randy was named Assistant Athletics Director at San Jose State in 1988, In 1996, Taylor joined UCLA to oversee all facets of the Bruin football program, including the coordination of recruiting. In 2002, Taylor was named by ESPN as the No. 1 Director of Football Operations for recruiting success. While at UCLA, Taylor was also the primary Liaison to the NFL. Having been in the football business for close to 30 years, Taylor brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and unquestioned credentials and credibility to his new roles with Scout.com.

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