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Mailbag: Ever A Rookie Class Like This?

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I'm amazed at this rookie class. Have you ever seen this before? – Ron Alton/Cinnaminson, NJ

Nick: Well, depends on what you're asking. Have we seen a class with this many contributors? Yes, we have. Last year, the class might not have been as deep, but it included Micah Parsons, who had one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history. And as far as depth goes, the 2016 class obviously was a little deeper, because it had a franchise quarterback and running back, along with a slot corner in Anthony Brown. But, your point is valid, if you're impressed with this class. You should be. Tyler Smith, Sam Williams, Jake Ferguson, DaRon Bland and definitely Damone Clark have all exceeded my expectations. We're still waiting on some others to come around. But this class will probably go as far as Tyler Smith goes and for now, he's been awful impressive.

Mickey: Well, not to be trite, but last year wasn't too bad, right, if you consider first-round draft choice Micah Parsons was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and actually received votes for Defensive Player of the Year; third round pick Osa Odighizuwa started 12 of 16 games and all the guys made the team, or at least retained their rights for the third straight year. But this is indeed pretty impressive since all nine draft choices made the team, and six of the first seven have contributed already, the exception being Matt Waletzko ending up on injured reserve, now Devin Harper, too, and John Ridgeway was claimed when waived trying to get him on the practice squad. But 1989 wasn't too shabby, drafting in order Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston, Mark Stepnoski and Tony Tolbert. And then there was 1991 with Russell Maryland, Alvin harper, Dixon Edwards, Godfrey Myles, Erik Williams, Leon Lett and Larry Brown, all but Myles turning into eventual starters. But then the Cowboys had 17 picks that year. So you have a point for 2022. I see six future starters in this class: Tyler Smith, Sam Williams, Jalen Tolbert, Jake Ferguson, DaRon Bland and Damone Clark, with the jury still out on Waletzko. Pretty darn impressive.

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