NFL Draft 2011: The 10 Players Most Likely to Start from Day 1

April 4, 2011   ·     ·   Jump to comments

What makes a rookie an immediate starter in the NFL draft?
There are several factors actually, but none provide a singular, definitive answer.
If an NFL team doesn't have a reliable existing starter at a position, then certainly a rookie is more likely to be pressed into a starting role.
If the rookie exhibits tremendous initial skills, he is also extremely likely to crack the starting lineup.
Prior to the lockout and collective-bargaining mess, rookie contracts would also unfortunately have a bearing on which players start and which didn't. For example, you weren't going to pay Matthew Stafford or Sam Bradford $40-50 million dollars in guaranteed money and have him sit on the bench for very long.
However, since a rookie wage scale seems to be a virtual certainty with any new collective-bargaining agreement, teams should feel less pressure to start early draft picks.
Obviously, not all positions on a football team are weighted equally and it takes a lot mo...

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