YOU HEARD it all
summer: First-rounder Anthony Gonzalez was going to slip right into the Colts'
slot receiver position, which had been vacated by Brandon Stokley, and have a
great rookie season. O.K., so he started slowly. But when Marvin Harrison went
out and Gonzalez got to start—well, now he really was going to break out. But
Gonzalez, who had one catch for 16 yards on Sunday in the Colts' 31--7 romp
over Carolina, still hasn't lived up to expectations, perhaps because people
forgot just how steep the learning curve for receivers can be.
True, among the
first-rounders reviewed on this page, Calvin Johnson and Dwayne Bowe have shown
flashes, but they're just beginning to bud. Except for that pair and
third-rounder James Jones, none of the other 32 receivers drafted in '07 have
made noise. By contrast, rookie runners Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch have
outshone many vets. Next draft, when it comes to WRs, remember that many are on
the three-year plan. Last year Lee Evans, Jerricho Cotchery and Bernard Berrian
broke out, each in his third season. This year it's Braylon Edwards. Can you
guess how long he's been in the league?
SUNDAY'S GAME in
Chicago typified his stop-and-start progress. After powering a second-quarter
TD drive with two long catches and an end around, he didn't touch the ball
LIKE JOHNSON, the
LSU alum has gotten by on size and playground-style plays—such as when he stole
a TD from teammate Tony Gonzalez in Week 2.
Ted Ginn Jr.
bustlike games he caught his first TD pass on Sunday. But it's hard to be
called an impact player when you start and attract only two throws, as he did
against the Giants.
need to know about the other LSU alum's progress can be gleaned from the fact
that his team, San Diego, traded next year's second-round pick for Miami's