What Have You Done For Us Lately?

In today's "What Have You..." article, Randy Taylor looks at some high-profile rookies. Catch up with some big-name draft picks to see how they're doing in the big bad world of the NFL...

What Have You Done for us Lately?... or the phrase coined by the former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Jerry Glanville, who said and I'm paraphrasing here: the NFL stands for "Not For Long." This clearly describes the patience of the owners and fans of the National Football League.

So each week I'll look into, "what have you done for us lately, since you were a high draft pick?"

Tomorrow I'll check on the free agents and look at who should be looking for their baseball cap to wear on the sidelines. Then finally each week I'll let you know who won the battle of the Eastern Illinois University coaches. There are three eligible from this new coaches cradle: Mike Shanahan, Brad Childress and Sean Payton.

What have you done for us lately since you were a high draft pick?

#1 Marcus McNeill (Left Tackle, 6-7 337, San Diego Chargers, selected in the 2nd round with the 50th pick)

Marcus is starting at left tackle, which is the glamour position on the offensive line if there is such a thing. He helped the Chargers gain 476 total yards, with no sacks, 3 rushing TDs and a 6.5 yard average rushing in the game.

He's a huge guy that uses his hands well and can move his feet, when he gets his long arms extended it's difficult for the defensive player to get around him. For the most part he is fundamentally sound but he can be a little top heavy and gets off balance, he'll struggle against a good bull rusher or a guy with more than one move when this happens.

McNeill does a nice job zone blocking with the guard and adjusts to the defender crossing his face. He also has a quick first step which helps him reach block on plays going away, which seems to be a regular for the Chargers. When he bends his knees more along with his size and athleticism he could be a long time fixture at his position in San Diego.

#2 DeAngelo Williams (Running Back, 5-9 213, Carolina Panthers, selected in the 1st round with the 27th pick)

Williams is a quick back that can change direction very well and doesn't need a big hole to get yards. Deangelo also has good vision and can make the defender miss in space. He played with a little fire and looked hungry for playing time, he provides Carolina with a good change up to DeShaun Foster, who is more of a slasher and an upright runner. He also catches the ball well out of the backfield. His 5.7 yards per carry, five catches and a touchdown were a needed contribution to help keep the Panthers in the game.


#3 Vince Young
(Quarterback, 6-4 233, Tennessee Titans, selected in the 1st round with the 3rd pick)

It's time to let Vince do his thing, he may be nervous and look unsure of his reads, alignments, etc. but the sooner he settles down on the field the sooner the Titans will again be a contender. Yes, he looked tentative and I'm sure his confidence was being tested but, it will come and when it does he will be special just as he was in college.

Young's arm strength and athleticism are obvious and his touch got better after he got some reps and settled down some. He can make plays with his feet and avoid the rush and with the offensive line still developing will need to.  The running game is still a work in progress but there's hope with Chris Brown and LenDale White…the outlook is good.


#4 Manny Lawson
(Linebacker, 6-5 240, San Francisco 49ers, selected in the 1st round with the 22nd pick)

Manny is the kind of guy the 3-4 defense was created for. Back in the day, Coach Bill Arnsparger, of the Miami Dolphins started using this alignment due to injuries. Being short of big bodies he had to adjust his scheme out of necessity. He took advantage of a more athletic defensive end that could stand up and play in space. This player could play the run and drop into coverage-thus the birth of the 3-4.  

Lawson uses his athleticism and long arms to play big and his quickness and burst to come off the edge or get into coverage. He's still a little raw and isn't using his hands well enough, but when he gets more reps and work in practice, he could be an all star. Manny had two sacks in his second game as a pro. I expect many more sacks and big plays for this kid.


#5 Joseph Addai
(Running Back, 5-11 214, Indianapolis Colts, selected in the 1st round with the 30th pick)

I'm expecting Joseph to take over the load at tailback more in the weeks ahead. He is much more productive than Rhodes so far and he has all the tools to be the featured back. He's not Edgerrin James yet but has similar skills.

Addai is fast and quick with good acceleration and is a factor in both the passing and running game, as he's shown so far this season. In week two, he rushed for 82 yards, a 5.1 yard per carry average, had 2 catches for 22 yards and one touchdown. He has good hands and runs good routes. He's a guy that Peyton Manning and the Colts will rely on in all phases of the game. His best days are ahead of him and Indy shouldn't miss a beat.


Week #2 is complete; we've learned more about the players and teams in the league I hope. I'll be back next week to see who's been doing what for us lately.

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