Five NFL rookies to watch this season

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills

Manuel was the first quarterback drafted this year – and the only one taken in the first round. Even after minor knee surgery about three weeks ago, the Bills named him the Week 1 starter. The first week of the season won’t be one of the easier ones either as Buffalo hosts the New England Patriots. However, many fans are excited to see what Manuel can do.

Early key cards
2013 Ultimate Rookie Collection Autographs
2013 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs
2013 Elite Rookie Inscriptions

Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets

Being on the New York Jets will generate headlines simply for being on the team. Reporters have closely watched Smith’s performances in practice, preseason and then how he looked on the sidelines nursing an injury. Now, they will get to see him as the starter. New York officially announced Smith would be its starter this weekend when the Jets host Tampa Bay.

Early key cards
2013 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs Refractors
2013 Upper Deck Rookie Letterman Autographs
2013 Score Rookie Signatures

Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

Austin was the best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft. With him and Chris Givens, the St. Louis receiving corps has the makings of being one of the best in the league this year. While Austin maybe undersized (5-foot-8, 174 pounds), he has explosive speed that can separate him from defenders.

Early key cards
2013 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs Refractors
2013 Topps Inception Jumbo Patch Autographs
2013 SPx Rookie Patch Autographs

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Patterson played just one season of college football at Tennessee. He has potential to be a star in Minnesota. While at Tennessee, he made big plays, and that’s something the Vikings want to see again. With the loss of Percy Harvin to Seattle, Patterson could bolster the receiving corps.

Early key cards
2013 SPx Rookie Patch Autographs
2013 Topps Archives Rookie Autographs
2013 Score Rookie Signatures parallels

Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

The Packers have been a pass-heavy offense the last several years, so it will be interesting to see where Lacy will fit into Green Bay’s scheme. Lacy is considered to be the starter in the backfield.

Early key cards
2013 Topps Inception Rookie Autographs
2013 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs Refractors
2013 Leaf Trinity Pure Autographs

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor at Beckett Media. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. BobbyO
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Oh Susah – DuJuann Harris is out for the season with a right knee injury.

  2. Susan Lulgjuraj
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I updated the story. Thanks. I actually wrote this about a month ago for the current Beckett Football magazine (although Lacy didn’t make the cut in the mag) and forgot to edit that part out.

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