Top 5 Football Card Sleepers From the 2010 NFL Rookie Class
1. Joe Webb, Minnesota Vikings QB
The 6'3", 225 lbs Quarterback from UAB entered the 2010 NFL Draft believing his best shot at making the NFL was at WR. Unfortunately, he didn't receive an invite to the Rookie Combine in Indianapolis. During UAB's pro day, Webb recorded a 42.5" vertical, 11'5.5" long jump, and benched 21-reps of 225 lbs, all of which would have been combine bests for the WR position. In addition, he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash. Webb was drafted in the 6th round by the Vikings as WR, but the Vikings kept Webb at QB after he proved to be a better QB prospect than WR. During Webb's 2009 Senior Season at UAB, he passed for 2,774 yards and rushed for 1,427 yards, third most for a QB in NCAA history.
2. James Starks, Green Bay Packers HB
Many, including Packers coach Mike McCarthy felt that had Starks played his Senior season at the University of Buffalo, the electric back would have been drafted in the first two rounds in 2010. Two seperate injuries cost Starks his entire Senior year and then the first 6 games of the 2010 NFL Season. The Packers 6th Round Pick actually scored better on speed test than C.J. Spiller at the combine. With the Packers in desperate need of a RB, the trading deadline came and went last week without the Packers making a move. The interesting part is that James Starks is believed to be 1-3 games away from taking the field.
3. Taylor Price, New England Patriots WR
Price has yet to dress for a single game during the 2010 NFL Season, which is precisely why the price of his cards is perfect for prospecting. Many felt the Patriots took Price in the 3rd Round out of Ohio University as a contigency plan should Randy Moss walk in Free Agency after the season. Price recorded the 5th fastest 40-yard dash of any WR at the combine and posseses instinctive ball skills and ability to reset field. Now that the Patriots know they won't have Moss in 2011, Price is an intriguing player to prospect, as his cards go for next to nothing on eBay.
4. LaGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers HB
Blount could have been a 2nd round pick had it not been for an extremely poor choice he made while in college. In 2009, Blount entered the season as one of the nation's top players, then after a crushing loss to Boise State, Blount punched a Boise State player during the handshake, redirecting the course of his football career in the process. Then after being signed as undrafted free agent, Blount was cut from the Titans in part due to altercation he had with a teammate during practice. Blount was then picked up by Bucs and is slowly making his way up the pecking order with Kareem Huggins season ending injury and the age and injury issues that perpetually plague Earnest Graham and Cadillac Williams. Seeing as how the talent is there and his cards come at little cost, Blount makes for an interesting football card sleeper.
5. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos WR
Decker is the type of player football fans love to get behind, a hard worker, goes across the middle, and unmatched determination. The University of Minnesota WR fell to the 3rd Round of the NFL draft after a fairly major foot injury cost Decker the majority of his Senior season. The 6'3", 217 lbs WR has been described as a big WR with all the skills of a small WR. His work effort and intangibles suggest that Decker will break out at some point in the next few years. Currently his cards are going for next to nothing on eBay. Decker hasn't caught a pass yet this year and has primarily played on Special Teams, but for anyone who's seen Decker play, there's little reason to believe he won't break out at some point.