The ten players listed here are not going to be the ten best players in the AFC, but they should all be worth watching this year, for better or for worse.
10. Colt McCoy. The moment I saw him throw that touchdown pass to Josh Cribbs after marching right down the field against the Packers I knew McCoy would be worth watching this year. Okay, okay, it’s the preseason, but it was against a first team defense that won a Super Bowl last year. He’s accurate enough to make even Merril Hoge happy, and if Peyton Hillis has another good year it could open things up for Colt.
9. Ernie Sims. Not just because he’s a Colt. He’s a Colt who fits the system well and once LED THE NFC in tackles. He’s fast and a sure tackler. Watch him to fly around and make MJD, Arian Foster, and Chris Johnson all look fairly human.
8. J.J. Watt. The Wisconsin-Madison grad has reportedly been unblockable in practice. After terrorizing the Big Ten it looks like he’s ready to cause trouble in the AFC South. I picked Von Miller to be Defensive ROY, but don’t count this Texan out.
7. Terrelle Pryor. The only problem with watching Terrelle Pryor is actually that: watching him. I’m not sure he’ll play much at all, but it’s worth keeping track of him. He could become the best wildcat quarterback out there, as we all know he can run, but he has a cannon-arm that should not be counted out.
6. Tim Tebow. Speaking of Merril Hoge and wildcat quarterbacks, Tim Tebow has been the subject of more headlines this summer than Barack Obama. I believe that in a year or two he can be a successful starting quarterback. That touchdown he threw yesterday was beautiful. For now, he could prove to be a versatile weapon that will give opposing defensive coordinators headaches.
5. Bob Sanders. I just have this terrible feeling that the former Colt might avoid injury and have a monster year with the Chargers.
4. Knowshon Moreno. John Fox will want to run the ball in Denver. He likes to run a committee backfield, but I don’t see McGahee taking too many carries away. Moreno improved a lot last year and could have a big year.
3. Anquan Boldin. He’s ready to return to Pro Bowl form. With speedy Lee Evans opposite of him he could find himself wide open a lot more than he did last year.
2. Plaxico Burress. Obvious one here. It took Vick a year to get back to where he was (and beyond), so will it take Burress that long? I think he could be very good right away. Sanchez needs a red zone target like him, too.
1. Albert Haynewsorth. Does everyone understand who this guy is? He was only a few years ago the BEST defensive player in the league. The Washington situation was all wrong for him. Shanahan (who has really lost my respect since going there) was against him the entire time. If he wants to play and stays in shape he will be Suh times 2. He looked like a force of nature in that last preseason game. Look out for Albert Haynesworth.