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Rookies

July 25, 2005
July 25, 2005

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July 25, 2005

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Rookies

While three running backs were taken among the top five picks in April's draft, and all three--Ronnie Brown (Dolphins), Cedric Benson (Bears) and Cadillac Williams (Bucs)--should get heavy workloads, a total of nine ball carriers stack the top 14 on our fantasy rookie list. But don't overlook the six receivers who were chosen in Round 1 of the draft. Here are 30 rookies worth considering when filling out your roster.

This is an article from the July 25, 2005 issue

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  POS.COLLEGENFL TEAM
1.Cadillac Williams
Featured back shows signs of being better receiver than was thought
RBAuburnBucs
2.J.J. ArringtonRBCalCardinals
3.Cedric BensonRBTexasBears
4.Ronnie Brown
Excellent receiver will get his carries, but will Ricky Williams cut into playing time?
RBAuburnDolphins
5.Mike WilliamsWRSouthern CalLions
6.Mark ClaytonWROklahomaRavens
7.Frank GoreRBMiami49ers
8.Braylon EdwardsWRMichiganBrowns
9.Marion Barber III
Expected to replace Richie Anderson as third-down back
RBMinnesotaCowboys
10.Troy WilliamsonWRS. CarolinaVikings
11.Darren SprolesRBKansas StateChargers
12.Roscoe Parrish
Backup to oft-injured Michael Bennett could crack lineup
WRMiamiBills
13.Ciatrick FasonRBFloridaVikings
14.Brandon JacobsRBS. IllinoisGiants
15.Matt JonesWRArkansasJaguars
16.Roddy WhiteWRUABFalcons
17.Maurice ClarettRBOhio StateBroncos
18.Alex Smith
The future of the franchise; already penciled in to start
QBUtah49ers
19.Brandon JonesWROklahomaTitans
20.Reggie BrownWRGeorgiaEagles
21.Heath MillerTEVirginiaSteelers
22.Alex SmithTEStanfordBucs
23.Mike Nugent
Second-round draft pick hit seven of eight field-goal tries from 50 yards and beyond over last two seasons
KOhio StateJets
24.Eric SheltonRBLouisvillePanthers
25.Vernand MorencyRBOklahoma St.Texans
26.Ryan MoatsRBLouisiana TechEagles
27.Mark BradleyWROklahomaBears
28.Adrian McPhersonQBFlorida StateSaints
29.Jason CampbellQBAuburnRedskins
30.David Greene
Third-stringer for now; will be groomed as Matt Hasselbeck's successor
QBGeorgiaSeahawks

SPOTLIGHT

J.J. Arrington

The slippery halfback from Cal attracted little Heisman buzz despite a 2,000-yard senior season, and he was similarly overlooked on draft day when he fell to the second round. Yet Arrington could generate some serious heat in the desert for a potentially explosive offense that features young wide receiver standouts Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, plus quarterback Kurt Warner, a two-time league MVP who is looking to rediscover his old magic. Expected to split time with holdover Marcel Shipp, a swift yet injury-prone veteran, Arrington wowed coaches and players in minicamps with his pass-catching skills and running instincts. If things break right for Arrington, he could emerge as coach Denny Green's most productive runner since the late '90s, when he had Robert Smith in Minnesota.

COLOR PHOTOJASON WISE/SPORTPICS