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Offensive Rookie of the Year: Who Should Win?........Who Will Win?

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NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Who Should Win?........Will Win?

 January 30, 2013   

By Mike Kerns

With the two big fish out of the way in defensive player of the year and the leagueís most valuable player, itís time to look to the future of the league and talk about some of the new blood. There were a lot of electrifying rookies to enter the league this year and four out of my five finalists for offensive rookie of the year helped their team earn a playoff spot in 2012. With it sounding a lot like the future is now, letís take a closer look at the nominees below.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
The early season favorite, Griffin came out on fire as the 2012 season opened and looked to take a underachieving Redskins franchise back to their previous glory. The biggest problem for rookie quarterbacks is usually their knack for being careless with the ball. Yet Griffin only tossed 5 interceptions in 15 games. All the while throwing for 20 touchdowns on 3,200 yards. Even though the leg injury he sustained in the playoffs are all anyone wants to talk about regarding Griffin, his claim to the offensive rookie of the year is very high.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins
Yes, it was certainly a youth movement in Washington as their quarterback wasnít the only one making story lines. Rookie Alfred Morris, the 173rd player taken in the 2012 NFL Draft, was a perfect fit for Mike Shanahanís zone blocking scheme and racked up 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns. You always hear people talk about Shanahan being able to plug anyone into his system and making them a 1,000 yard back. But if he plugs in a guy who is a fit; the sky is the limit and Morris was just that in 2012.

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
The hype leading up to Luck in the NFL was deafening for almost two years. The ďSuck for LuckĒ campaignís were almost annoying as any team that lost a game was accused of doing so intentionally just to get the top pick in the draft. But the hype was met as Indy continues an amazing fortune in going from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck. He only responded by setting the rookie record for passing with 4,374 yards. Some point to his mistakes and turnovers as a mark against him, but no rookie quarterback led his team to more comeback wins (seven) in 2012 than Luck.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For all of the talk about how Trent Richardson was the only prospect worthy of a first round pick, the Bucs took a shot on Doug Martin and it paid off big time. After a slow start, Martin finished 5th in the league with 1,454 yards; just 90 yards short of the franchise record in a single season. Remarkable, especially when this isnít even considering the 472 yards receiving he had. However, he wasnít as consistent as Morris was this season and heís unlikely to steal any votes from the other four guys.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Here we have a guy who is making fans of every team without a running quarterback accusing their team of not adapting to the times. Speed is enticing, no doubt, especially considering what Wilson was able to do as a rookie. His stats may not be as eye popping as Luckís and his draft positioning will likely hold him behind Griffin in this vote, he may have the best leadership out of any of this group and that is immeasurable at his position in this league.

Who Should Win?
This is a very tough call. I donít remember another time that there were ever three quarterbacks that came in the league and led their team to the playoffs. A part of me got caught up in the magic that seemed to be the Seahawks late season surge and watching Griffin lead a miraculous comeback in the NFC East was nails. However, Iím going to go with Andrew Luck here.
He may not have the flash those other two guys do, but you have to consider that the situation he came into was much less desirable. It was him, Reggie Wayne and just some guys out there and he was as solid as a five year starter. The other two guys had strong running games and better than average defenses. A nine win differential over last season has to account for something.

Who Will Win?
Iíve known since around week 6 this season that Robert Griffin III was going to win this award. With all of the Luck or RG3 hype surrounding the Combine, I knew it would be one of those two. Wilson arguably played better than either of them, especially down the stretch, but draft status does play a role in the voting, whether the panel likes to admit it or not.

As soon as the Redskins made their spectacular run to end the season and pull out the division with a long winning streak, Griffin pretty much nailed it down. Coming from a tougher conference will get him more credit, too. But itís not like Iím talking about a bum here. Griffin has a spectacular season and the questions and answers over his leg injury are certainly something we will await with anxiety.


The Anti-Java:
Dougie had a nice season, but he will never overcome the Luck/ RG II hype machines.

Luck was really overrated this season imo

Wilson should win it.

They're all legit options and all are worthy, I'd go with Luck though.

Uncle Stan:
Definitely, Luck.

He had much  less support on both sides of the ball than the other 2 QB.

Felt both Wilson and Griffin walked into much better than average opportunities for them to shine. Not too sure that Flynn in Seattle wouldn't have done as well as Wilson. Cousins played just as well as Griffin because he was surrounded with a lot of talent.

Didn't hurt all the hyped up media about Wilson and Griffin either.

Cousins is a baller.   He'd have done well on the Colts also.

Luck or Wilson should win. Doug did a DAMN fine job, but those two basically fixed sinking ships.

Wilson for me, but I think expectations and intangibles should be considered.


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