For every new arrival to an NFL roster, especially from the early rounds of the draft, there are existing members who are impacted.
In some cases, incumbents go from starters to backups or first-stringers who see a significant reduction in playing time.
In other cases, they find themselves off the roster.
What follows is an alphabetical list of teams whose drafted players are expected to have the greatest impact on those already on the squad:
Willie Anderson is going to be pushed hard at right offensive tackle by Michael Oher, the Ravens' first-round draft pick from Mississippi. Oher is an exceptional athlete, with the strength and quick feet that Anderson no longer has at this late stage of his career. The expectation is that Oher, who was credited with allowing only three quarterback pressures and 7.5 sacks on 637 pass plays, will start and perhaps alternate with Anderson at least in the early part of his rookie season.
|David Duprey / Associated Press|
|Aaron Maybin will likely see plenty of action in pass-rush situations.|
» Draft Tracker: All the picks
Some of the ineffectiveness with the pass rush last season could be blamed on Pro Bowl end Aaron Schobel missing most of the season with a foot injury, but there also were concerns about a lack of spark from his highly paid counterpart, Chris Kelsay. Enter Aaron Maybin, the No. 11 overall choice from Penn State. Early on, he'll rotate with Kelsay and Schobel, seeing the bulk of his action in pass-rush situations, but look for him to make a hard push for a starting job. The team's second first-round pick, Eric Wood, played center at Louisville, but is expected to start at right guard and allow Brad Butler to move to right tackle while Langston Walker switches from right to left tackle to replace Jason Peters. Former Oregon cornerback Jairus Byrd, a second-round pick, was a ballhawk in college and should apply heavy pressure on Ko Simpson for the starting job at free safety.
The Panthers insist they'll figure out a way to retain defensive end Julius Peppers, even though he wants to be traded, won't sign his franchise tender offer and was a no-show at their recent minicamp. Still, by using their first overall pick (in the second round) on Florida State defensive end Everette Brown, the team clearly is prepared for life without Peppers.
Offensive tackle Levi Jones is expected to be released as a result of the first-round selection of Andre Smith from Alabama. Smith is widely seen as a dominant force who is ready to start in the NFL. Second-rounder Rey Maualuga, from USC, is likely to eventually unseat Dhani Jones as a starter at middle linebacker. Maualuga brings greater intensity and is more of a game-changing force.
Center Hank Fraley is likely out as a starter thanks to the arrival of first-rounder Alex Mack from California. There is speculation that Fraley, who is not the drive-blocking force that the Browns believe they have in Mack, could be off the team by the start of training camp. Donte' Stallworth's pending arraignment on DUI manslaughter charges in Miami creates enough doubt about his future to provide an opening for second-round choice Brian Robiskie from Ohio State.
After being signed as free agents, Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan figured to compete for the role of feature running back. Now, all of that changes. First-rounder Knowshon Moreno from Georgia immediately takes over the starting job and Buckhalter and Jordan will battle to be the primary alternate.
Green Bay Packers:
Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett can count on sharing playing time with first-round pick B.J. Raji of Boston College. If Raji doesn't win the job at the start of the season, he's going to still see plenty of action rotating with Pickett on early downs and assuming a regular spot as an inside pass rusher. Raji has the necessary strength and quickness to give him the edge over Pickett. Brady Poppinga and Brandon Chillar will have a hard time keeping the Packers' other first-rounder, former Trojan Clay Matthews, from winning the starting outside linebacker spot opposite Aaron Kampman.
Zac Diles, whose 2008 season was cut short by a broken leg, is expected to be replaced at strong-side linebacker by first-rounder Brian Cushing. The former USC star provides greater playmaking skills. Free-agent newcomer Cato June is seen as the probable replacement for Xavier Adibi on the weak side, but Adibi and Diles should still see their fair share of snaps.
If nothing else, Joseph Addai gets a wake-up call from the arrival of first-round pick Donald Brown from Connecticut. Addai struggled enough last season to convince the Colts that, even if they didn't necessarily have a great need for a running back, it made sense to take a dynamic one who was available for them.
Before the draft, the Jaguars seemed relatively set with Tra Thomas and Tony Pashos as their starting tackles. But all that has changed now. After using first- and second-round picks on Eugene Monroe of Virginia and Eben Britton of Arizona, respectively, the Jaguars have dramatically changed their tackle situation, perhaps as much for the short term as for the long term. Monroe and Britton suddenly place enormous pressure on Thomas and Pashos, and could unseat one or both of them as early as this season.
The Dolphins clearly didn't think they had an answer on the team to fill the starting cornerback spot opposite Will Allen. At the most, first-round choice Vontae Davis, from Illinois, and second-rounder Sean Smith, from Utah, will make a strong push for the job against veterans Jason Allen, Eric Green, Nate Jones, and Joey Thomas. Even Will Allen shouldn't feel all that secure. At the least, Davis and Smith should see a great deal of playing time at left or right corner, and certainly in nickel situations.
Bobby Wade and Sidney Rice can no longer count on being the primary second and third receivers behind Bernard Berrian. First-rounder Percy Harvin, from Florida, has the speed and game-breaking skills to immediately move into the No. 2 spot. Second-round pick Phil Loadholt, from Oklahoma, will compete hard with Artis Hicks and Ryan Cook for the starting job at right offensive tackle.
New England Patriots:
The selection of Patrick Chung should seal the expected retirement of strong safety Rodney Harrison. Chung should carry on Harrison's hard-hitting tradition.
New York Giants:
Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, and other incumbents have no cause to rest easy now that the Giants have presumably ended their pursuit of the Browns' Braylon Edwards to fill the No. 1 receiving role formerly held by Plaxico Burress. The Giants have presented a new challenge in the form of first-rounder Hakeem Nicks, from North Carolina. Having played in a variety of receiving roles for the Tar Heels, Nicks has the versatility and is believed to be as ready as any rookie receiver can be to contribute immediately.
New York Jets:
So Thomas Jones wants more money to be the starting running back on a team that is going to rely heavily on his legs to move the ball? Leon Washington supposedly feels the same way, too? The Jets' answer: "Fine. We'll just get someone else." And that's what the third-round selection of Shonn Greene, from Iowa, is all about. The 235-pound Greene is a powerful force that reminds many league talent-evaluators of another running back in New York, the Giants' Brandon Jacobs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
So, was the Bucs' signing of Byron Leftwich to address their ultra-shaky quarterback situation really a "smokescreen" to mask their interest in drafting Josh Freeman? That's how the former Kansas State standout described it in a chat with NFL.com, and perhaps that's true. Even if that isn't the case, the Bucs' first-round selection of Freeman made it imminently clear that they didn't feel the answer was already on the roster. Freeman might not start as a rookie, but he ultimately is expected to win the job.
Phillip Daniels insists he's comfortable with the likelihood of being demoted to a backup after the first-round selection of defensive end Brian Orakpo from Texas. In fact, Daniels encouraged the Redskins to draft Orakpo if he was available because he felt his addition would enhance their chances of being a Super Bowl contender.