NFL Predictions: 10 ‘Who-to-Hoot’ Candidates in 2012

As countless rookies pile into training camps across the NFL, several veterans—and even those just entering their sophomore campaign—become forgotten men.

I call them the "who's" of the NFL.

And each season, a number of those "who's" blossom into household names. Celebrated figures. Think Miles Austin in 2009, Arian Foster in 2010 and Navorro Bowman in 2011.

It's the classic who-to-hoot journey, and here are 10 candidates to make the trip in 2012. 


LB Paul Kruger, Baltimore Ravens

Fans in Baltimore are familiar with Kruger, a second-round draft pick in 2009, but only as a pass-rush specialist. They’ll see the whole package this year, as he is expected to replace an injured Terrell Suggs at outside linebacker.

Fresh off a season with a career-high 5.5 sacks—again, in limited duty—Kruger should see an increase in stats as his playing time increases.


CB Tarell Brown, San Francisco 49ers

Currently a No. 2 corner for his team, Brown is gunning to be the No. 1 corner—in the entire NFL.

There’s this bold prediction, that friendly wager with teammate Carlos Rogers, and the way he ended last season—four interceptions in the final five games—that have me thinking he has a real chance. It may be tough, though, as quarterbacks exercise caution when throwing his direction.  



WR Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders

Moore was a pleasant surprise—collecting 33 receptions for 618 yards and five touchdowns—as a rookie in 2011. The numbers will only inflate as his chemistry with quarterback Carson Palmer grows.

Don’t get me wrong—the Raiders still rely on the ground game, but Moore provides plenty of big-play potential. He has top-end speed, reliable hands and runs crisp routes.

A 1,000-yard...

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