Darryl Sharpton: Hidden Rookie Gem

Darryl Sharpton, LB (4th round), Texans

Can Al Sharpton's nephew keep playoff hope alive for the Texans. Yes, we're mixing Reverend references, but even Jesse Jackson would agree that there's a gaping hole in the Texans' defense left by 2009 Defensive Rookie Of The Year Brian Cushing's four-game suspension to start the year.

No one's crazy about starting a pair of rookies defensively for a team that fancies itself a playoff contender (first-round CB Kareem Jackson is the other), but the former Miami Hurricane has stepped in and impressed, making the most of an unlikely opportunity. Also, presumed backups Xavier Adibi and Danny Clark have been fighting injuries through camp.

Sharpton has responded by impressing during the offseason and making big plays in the Texans' first preseason game, before an uneven effort in the second. He's got the eye of coaches, though, no doubt.

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