After intensely studying all of the top prospects leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, I'll admit to having a little football withdrawal at the moment. The draft has been in the books for almost two weeks, but it's never too early to project which players will emerge as stars on their new teams. While everyone expects first-round picks to make an immediate impact based on their exceptional talent, there are plenty of players drafted outside of the first round who also make their mark as rookies.
With that in mind, here's an early look at my All-Rookie Team for the 2018 season:
Running back: Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos (Round 3, No. 71). Just because Freeman enters the league as a third-round pick, that doesn't mean he's not positioned to be an immediate impact player. The ex-Oregon standout spits out 100-yard games like an ATM machine as the perfect companion to Case Keenum in the Broncos' backfield.
Wide receiver: Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (Round 2, No. 47). The Cardinals' new WR2 should pile up big numbers opposite Larry Fitzgerald as the designated "chain mover" in the team's new scheme. Kirk shows the skeptics that he is more than a slot receiver by ringing up yards and scores as a perimeter playmaker.
Offensive guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts (Round 1, No. 6). GM Chris Ballard quickly changed the tone of the offensive line by plugging the ultra-rugged interior blocker into the starting lineup. The Colts not only improve the pass protection around Andrew Luck, but they show more grit and grime as a running squad.
Defensive tackle: Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Round 1, No. 12). Vea gives the Bucs a destructive 1-2 punch on the defensive interior. He doesn't impact the game as a pass rusher, but his ability to clog holes on early downs sets the table for Gerald McCoy's pass-rush exploits in obvious passing situations.