Best rookie: This one might be a toss-up. The easy answer is running back Stevan Ridley, a third-round pick who was an on-time arrival. There’s no doubt the LSU product runs hard. He also catches the ball pretty well out of the backfield. The more you see, the more you like.
But the same can be said of tight end Lee Smith. The word on the fifth-round pick was he was a blocker extraordinaire. That part is true. What’s been just as impressive is his ability to catch the ball. So the heir to Alge Crumpler has got game.
Player making the biggest Year 2 leap (offense): Gronkowski was one of the best rookies in the league last season, so seeing him excel in camp with an added level of confidence isn’t exactly a surprise.
Now, if we’re talking about the player who has come out of nowhere, it’s wide receiver Taylor Price. Inactive for all but one game last year, Price finally is showcasing all the skills that made him a third-round pick in 2010. He’s flashed the speed that could make him a deep threat and has displayed some impressive ball skills. He’s pretty much caught everything thrown his way. Most importantly, it looks like he’s moved up a few rungs on quarterback Tom Brady [stats]’s ladder.