Younger NFL Stars -- 2011 Season

Below is a list of offensive players, except linemen,
and some players on defence other than linebackers who in my opinion,
as drafted or signed from 2009 to 2011,
already have shown themselves statistically and with enough consistency
to have the most potential to be at least feature NFL players for quite some time if not also stars.

Most are starters though a few are 2nd or 3rd down regulars at minimum.

I cut this list off at 2009 because the number of stars already out of 2007 or 2008 has grown immensely, but those are also very young players under 26 in most cases with often even more potential if not stars already.

It's early in these careers and I would call very few of these "locks" at this point, considering statistically that also some will be lost to injury, but the early achievement on some consistent basis is exceptional especially against the extreme level of competition to even make a team let alone win the starting job.

Feel free to add any names from 2009 to 2011 that I missed but also specify why you would add them if you can. I list them in order of my ranking for potential too. Let's see how many more rookies make the list by the end of the year too.

Most telling of all from this short list is that any team expecting short-term returns in the first three seasons from any given draft pick has high odds against them.

QB
Matthew Stafford
Josh Freeman
Andy Dalton
Cam Newton

RB
LeSean McCoy
Beanie Wells
Ryan Mathews
LeGarrette Blount

TE
Jimmy Graham
Rob Gronkowski
Aaron Hernandez
Brandon Pettigrew

WR
Mike Wallace
Hakeem Nicks
Jeremy Maclin
AJ Green
Julio Jones

DL
Ndamukong Suh
Jason Pierre-Paul

DB
Morgan Burnett
Sherrod Martin
Sam Shields
Jason McCourty
Devin McCourty

Add OLB/DE Brian Orakpo and put him ahead of Suh for potential.

Stafford and Blount are hurt for awhile now though.

Going from my guess list below ...

Amazingly Matt Stafford came back to play the very next week and threw well even off his back foot! All the same the Lions mauled only the awful Broncos.

Julio Jones is injured too now.

Cam Newton is the best rookie QB since ...anyone want to go back in time and offer an answer?

QB Josh Freeman is ailing in his performance, but check out the overlooked second-rounder Dalton performing beyond par as a rookie!

Victor Cruz can be added to the WRs and goes down, like Sam Shields and LeGarrett Blount, as yet another undrafted free agent steal.

Add Ben Tate to the list of running backs above Mathews, for he is performing well and having to split carries with Arian Foster.

Remove QB Josh Freeman at this point, for but for the game at home versus the Saints, he is not big game material.

Julio Jones at WR is definitely back from injury and then some, and add Antonio Brown of the Steelers to the list as well.

RB: Add a new star in rookie DeMarco Murray (DAL) above Blount, and mark off Beanie Wells.

WR: Victor Cruz above Jeremy Maclin, and add Dez Bryant last

DB: A whole host of names, with many unknown, to add in no particular order to include

AJ Jefferson (AZ),Kam Chancellor (SEA),Brandon Browner (SEA),Darian Stewart (STL),Patrick Peterson (AZ),Patrick Robinson (NO)