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Published: May 10, 2017 at 12:59 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2017 at 02:17 p.m.

2017 All-Rookie Team predictions

After months of projecting prospects and wading through scouting reports, we're getting closer to seeing how the NFL's latest crop of rookies will actually perform on the field for their new teams. As rookie minicamps get underway across the league, let's take a look at which players will prove to be the best rookies at their respective positions by the end of the season. Below, I've assembled my predicted 2017 All-Rookie Team.

25 Photos Total

  • The ultimate big-game quarterback steps into a perfect situation with a strong supporting cast and championship-caliber defense behind him. Watson's experience and winning pedigree at Clemson will help him shine as a rookie starter for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. 25

    Logan Bowles/NFL

    Quarterback: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

    The ultimate big-game quarterback steps into a perfect situation with a strong supporting cast and championship-caliber defense behind him. Watson's experience and winning pedigree at Clemson will help him shine as a rookie starter for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

  • There's always a place in the league for old-school runners with size, strength and power. Fournette's freight-train running style will set the tone for the Jaguars and help them get back on track in the AFC South. 24

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Running back: Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

    There's always a place in the league for old-school runners with size, strength and power. Fournette's freight-train running style will set the tone for the Jaguars and help them get back on track in the AFC South.

  • The electric runner will add plenty of juice to the Vikings' offense as a dynamic weapon in the backfield. Cook's combination of skills could make him a 1,000-yard rusher and 50-catch receiver in Minnesota's redesigned offensive attack. 23

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Running back: Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

    The electric runner will add plenty of juice to the Vikings' offense as a dynamic weapon in the backfield. Cook's combination of skills could make him a 1,000-yard rusher and 50-catch receiver in Minnesota's redesigned offensive attack.

  • Philip Rivers has helped plenty of big-bodied pass catchers earn all-star status (see: Keenan Allen and Vincent Jackson) by feeding them relentlessly on the perimeter. Williams could be the next "alley-oop" specialist to take the league by storm with the Bolts. 22

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Wide receiver: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

    Philip Rivers has helped plenty of big-bodied pass catchers earn all-star status (see: Keenan Allen and Vincent Jackson) by feeding them relentlessly on the perimeter. Williams could be the next "alley-oop" specialist to take the league by storm with the Bolts.

  • Jones has all of the tools to emerge as a 1,000-yard receiver opposite Sammy Watkins in Buffalo. As a polished route runner with exceptional hands and ball skills, the WR2 could become QB Tyrod Taylor's favorite target in critical situations. 21

    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    Wide receiver: Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills

    Jones has all of the tools to emerge as a 1,000-yard receiver opposite Sammy Watkins in Buffalo. As a polished route runner with exceptional hands and ball skills, the WR2 could become QB Tyrod Taylor's favorite target in critical situations.

  • The Giants' new TE1 will terrorize opponents as the featured mismatch playmaker in the team's quick-rhythm passing game. With defenses intent on slowing down receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard, Engram could post big numbers as a first-year starter. 20

    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    Tight end: Evan Engram, New York Giants

    The Giants' new TE1 will terrorize opponents as the featured mismatch playmaker in the team's quick-rhythm passing game. With defenses intent on slowing down receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard, Engram could post big numbers as a first-year starter.

  • The ultra-athletic Bolles possesses all of the tools to quickly develop into an elite blindside blocker for the Broncos. 19

    Russell Isabella/USA TODAY Sports

    Offensive tackle: Garett Bolles, Denver Broncos

    The ultra-athletic Bolles possesses all of the tools to quickly develop into an elite blindside blocker for the Broncos.

  • Robinson's ability to move defenders off the ball will help the Jaguars transform into more of a smash-mouth squad under Doug Marrone. 18

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Offensive tackle: Cam Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Robinson's ability to move defenders off the ball will help the Jaguars transform into more of a smash-mouth squad under Doug Marrone.

  • The versatile Lamp is poised to fill a variety of roles for the Chargers, but he could really thrive as an athletic "people mover" on the inside. 17

    Hans Pennink/Associated Press

    Offensive guard: Forrest Lamp, Los Angeles Chargers

    The versatile Lamp is poised to fill a variety of roles for the Chargers, but he could really thrive as an athletic "people mover" on the inside.

  • The Panthers could use Moton <a href="http://pantherswire.usatoday.com/2017/05/06/panthers-plan-for-taylor-moton-to-play-both-ot-positions/" target="_blank">on the edges</a> in place of Michael Oher or plug him into the lineup as a starter on the inside. Regardless, he is one of the pivotal players who should help QB Cam Newton return to form in 2017. 16

    Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

    Offensive guard: Taylor Moton, Carolina Panthers

    The Panthers could use Moton on the edges in place of Michael Oher or plug him into the lineup as a starter on the inside. Regardless, he is one of the pivotal players who should help QB Cam Newton return to form in 2017.

  • The rock-solid interior blocker should shore up the Vikings' weakness at the point of attack as a first-year starter. 15

    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Center: Pat Elflein, Minnesota Vikings

    The rock-solid interior blocker should shore up the Vikings' weakness at the point of attack as a first-year starter.

  • The freak athlete should terrorize AFC foes with his combination of size, strength and explosive quickness as the designated playmaker in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme. 14

    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    Defensive end: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns

    The freak athlete should terrorize AFC foes with his combination of size, strength and explosive quickness as the designated playmaker in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme.

  • The crafty pass rusher falls into a "Wide-9" scheme that is a perfect fit for his skills. Barnett could lead all rookies in sacks as an exceptional hand-to-hand combat specialist. 13

    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Defensive end: Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles

    The crafty pass rusher falls into a "Wide-9" scheme that is a perfect fit for his skills. Barnett could lead all rookies in sacks as an exceptional hand-to-hand combat specialist.

  • Thomas is an energetic inside-outside pass rusher with exceptional first-step quickness and burst. He has 10-sack potential as a polished rusher with violent hand skills and a nonstop motor. 12

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Defensive tackle: Solomon Thomas, San Francisco 49ers

    Thomas is an energetic inside-outside pass rusher with exceptional first-step quickness and burst. He has 10-sack potential as a polished rusher with violent hand skills and a nonstop motor.

  • Allen is a rugged blue-collar defender with a power-based game. He should thrive as a 5-technique in the Redskins' scheme and create more big-play opportunities for Ryan Kerrigan off the edge. 11

    John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

    Defensive tackle: Jonathan Allen, Washington Redskins

    Allen is a rugged blue-collar defender with a power-based game. He should thrive as a 5-technique in the Redskins' scheme and create more big-play opportunities for Ryan Kerrigan off the edge.

  • Fueled by a draft-day snub, McMillan -- drafted in Round 2 with the 54th overall pick -- could blossom into a punishing tackling machine in the middle of a Dolphins defense that features several playmakers along the front seven. 10

    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Linebacker: Raekwon McMillan, Miami Dolphins

    Fueled by a draft-day snub, McMillan -- drafted in Round 2 with the 54th overall pick -- could blossom into a punishing tackling machine in the middle of a Dolphins defense that features several playmakers along the front seven.

  • The hard-hitting defender from Florida possesses a combination of speed, quickness and instincts that could make him the most dominant linebacker to play for the Lions since Chris Spielman manned the position in the Motor City. 9

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Linebacker: Jarrad Davis, Detroit Lions

    The hard-hitting defender from Florida possesses a combination of speed, quickness and instincts that could make him the most dominant linebacker to play for the Lions since Chris Spielman manned the position in the Motor City.

  • After enduring a surprising draft-day slide due to concerns about <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000806370/article/whats-the-worst-scenario-for-fosters-shoulder-injury">a surgically repaired shoulder</a>, Foster could wreak havoc on the league as the designated playmaker in the middle of the 49ers' defense. The ex-Alabama standout will team with NaVorro Bowman to give the 49ers a nasty 1-2 punch inside. 8

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Linebacker: Reuben Foster, San Francisco 49ers

    After enduring a surprising draft-day slide due to concerns about a surgically repaired shoulder, Foster could wreak havoc on the league as the designated playmaker in the middle of the 49ers' defense. The ex-Alabama standout will team with NaVorro Bowman to give the 49ers a nasty 1-2 punch inside.

  • Sean McDermott's No. 1 pick has a blue-collar game that's ideally suited for the Bills' zone-based scheme. White's combination of athleticism, instincts and intelligence could make the rookie corner one of the best first-year ball-hawks in the game. 7

    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Cornerback: Tre'Davious White, Buffalo Bills

    Sean McDermott's No. 1 pick has a blue-collar game that's ideally suited for the Bills' zone-based scheme. White's combination of athleticism, instincts and intelligence could make the rookie corner one of the best first-year ball-hawks in the game.

  • This rock-solid cover corner should thrive as the CB2 opposite Jimmy Smith. Humphrey not only possesses the length and athleticism to challenge receivers at the line, but he is a tough tackler willing to thump runners on the perimeter. 6

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Cornerback: Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens

    This rock-solid cover corner should thrive as the CB2 opposite Jimmy Smith. Humphrey not only possesses the length and athleticism to challenge receivers at the line, but he is a tough tackler willing to thump runners on the perimeter.

  • The feisty slot defender is a multi-faceted playmaker poised to thrive in the Cardinals' attack-style scheme as an explosive "hit, run and cover" guy. Baker's combination of skills and versatility should lead to plenty of splash plays. 5

    Otto Kitsinger/Associated Press

    Nickelback: Budda Baker, Arizona Cardinals

    The feisty slot defender is a multi-faceted playmaker poised to thrive in the Cardinals' attack-style scheme as an explosive "hit, run and cover" guy. Baker's combination of skills and versatility should lead to plenty of splash plays.

  • As a natural center fielder with exceptional instincts and ball skills, Hooker should terrorize quarterbacks as the post safety in the Colts' single-high safety scheme. If the Colts can generate a little pressure up front, Hooker could feast on tips and overthrows between the hashes. 4

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Safety: Malik Hooker, Indianapolis Colts

    As a natural center fielder with exceptional instincts and ball skills, Hooker should terrorize quarterbacks as the post safety in the Colts' single-high safety scheme. If the Colts can generate a little pressure up front, Hooker could feast on tips and overthrows between the hashes.

  • The Jets' new defensive leader will deliver plenty of splash plays as a roving center fielder or rugged box defender for Gang Green. Adams' underrated versatility could help him make a run at the Defensive Rookie of the Year award as a stat-stuffer with big-time production and impact. 3

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Safety: Jamal Adams, New York Jets

    The Jets' new defensive leader will deliver plenty of splash plays as a roving center fielder or rugged box defender for Gang Green. Adams' underrated versatility could help him make a run at the Defensive Rookie of the Year award as a stat-stuffer with big-time production and impact.

  • The dangerous return man has speed to burn and a knack for finding creases with the ball in his hands. Opponents will quickly discover that Logan is a big play waiting to happen when he brings the ball out of his own end zone. 2

    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Kick returner: T.J. Logan, Arizona Cardinals

    The dangerous return man has speed to burn and a knack for finding creases with the ball in his hands. Opponents will quickly discover that Logan is a big play waiting to happen when he brings the ball out of his own end zone.

  • The electric returner with world-class athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability should put the ball in the paint a few times as the Titans' designated home-run hitter in the kicking game. 1

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Punt returner: Adoree' Jackson, Tennessee Titans

    The electric returner with world-class athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability should put the ball in the paint a few times as the Titans' designated home-run hitter in the kicking game.

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