On The Spot: Heyward-Bey Tops 2009 First Round Picks Who Risk Bust Status List

The 2009 NFL rookie draft featured a pair of quarterbacks being taken in the first five picks with both performing well over the course of the season. Barring injury, the Lions and Jets appear set for years to come at quarterback with Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez leading their teams.

While the quarterbacks are always the headliners of any draft, the first round of the 2009 draft featured a number of players who either played well as rookies or who performed well enough that they are expected to earn bigger roles in 2010.

At wide receiver, Michael Crabtree played well for San Francisco despite a lengthy holdout and Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt displayed the ability to be top wideouts in the league.

Knowshon Moreno and Beanie Wells look like feature runners for the Broncos and Cardinals while Brian Cushing, Clay Mathews and Aaron Curry figure to be solid performers for years at outside linebacker.

After one year, it is safe to conclude that the first round of the 2009 NFL draft will produce a small number of busts. However, there are a number of players who, for various reasons, need to step up in 2009 or risk being labelled as a bust early in their NFL careers.

Tyson Jackson, DE, Kansas City – third overall

There was a collective gasp when the Chiefs unexpectedly took Jackson with the third pick in the draft. Most scouting reports questioned his ability to rush the passer at the next level and that proved prophetic when he failed to register a sack as a rookie.

Furthermore, teams that employ a 3-4  defense rarely take a defensive end so high in the draft since their main function is to fill two gaps and help stop the run by keeping offensive lineman off linebackers. Jackson has that ability but was considered a reach with the third pick and will struggle to shake that label.

Prospects for 2010 Turnaround – slim. Expect mor...

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