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« : February 09, 2014, 03:17:28 AM »

NFL All-Rookie Team: Lacy, Allen Among Best of 2013 Class
By Cooper Allen

February 07, 2014  8:43 pm

Back in August I wrote a similar article, predicting who the best rookies would be for this past year. Six months later the season has come to a close and while some of those predictions did come true, the landscape has changed a bit and some corrections need to be made.

Most of the players on the preseason all-rookie team were drafted early in 2013 and did not include the late-round surprises that we came across throughout the year. A couple of players, like Jonathan Cooper, went down early due to injuries.

With the season now concluded and draft talk ruling the football world; it is time to acknowledge the best of this past class. Here is your 2013 NFL All-Rookie Team

Quarterback: Mike Glennon

The majority of draftniks knew heading into the 2013 Draft that this quarterback class was a weak one. Nearly a year later and that is looking like a huge understatement.

There were a lot of awful performances among rookie signal-callers this season, so choosing someone from this position is pretty much just picking the best from the worst.

With that being said, Mike Glennon was the best rookie quarterback in 2013. He played surprisingly well after replacing Josh Freeman in Week 4 and did a fairly good job of limiting turnovers.

In 13 starts he had to face Carolina twice as well as the entire NFC West. These are very strong defenses that most quarterbacks had a hard time competing against.

Glennon still has a ton of room for improvement, but had a pretty solid showing this season.

Running Backs: Eddie Lacy & Giovani Bernard

Not one running back was drafted in the first round of the 2013 Draft, but if we were to do it over again, there would be several of them off the board on Day One.

Six backs had over 500 rushing yards on the year and several of them contributed in the passing game as well.

The leaders of the pack this season were Eddie Lacy and Giovani Bernard. Lacy won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, rushing for over 1,100 yards on the year and finding the end zone 11 times.

Bernard split carries with BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Cincinnati, but was a dual threat, with 56 catches and three receiving touchdowns in addition to his 695 yards and five scores on the ground.

Both of these men looked very promising and should have solid careers ahead of them. They are the two best rookie running backs this season.

Wide Receivers: Keenan Allen & Cordarrelle Patterson
Philip Rivers was in desperate need of someone to throw to other than Antonio Gates in San Diego. The Chargers found the right man for him, by drafting Keenan Allen in the third round back in April.

Allen was easily the best receiver of this draft class. He led all rookies in receptions, yards and touchdowns, while establishing himself as the No. 1 receiver out in San Diego.

He had 19 more catches than any other rookie receiver in this class and really made a name for himself in 2013.

Picking a No. 2 wideout was a little bit tougher as there were a few players who played fairly well throughout the year, but were nothing spectacular.

Guys like Terrance Williams, Marlon Brown and DeAndre Hopkins all contributed to their team’s success.

I ended up going with Cordarrelle Patterson, because he not only improved as a receiver, but made big plays out of the backfield and on special teams.

He has game changing abilities that were put on display this past season.

Tight End: Timothy Wright
Had Jordan Reed played in a few more games and not battled with injuries, then he would easily be the best tight end here. He was a big target for Robert Griffin III, catching an average of five passes per game.

He only played in nine games throughout the year, though, opening the door for Timothy Wright.

Wright came out of nowhere as an undrafted wide receiver that the Buccaneers converted to a tight end and was one of Mike Glennon’s main targets in Tampa Bay.

Despite starting in just eight games, he caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns.

Reed and Tyler Eifert, among others, may have something to say about this in the future, but for now, Wright is the best tight end from the 2013 Draft class.

Tackles: Terron Armstead and Justin Pugh
With Luke Joeckel sustaining a season-ending injury in Week 5 and David Bakhtiari struggling in Green Bay, the only other rookie left tackle that started at all in 2013 was Terron Armstead in New Orleans.

He had two regular season starts and then two more in the playoffs and improved with each appearance. After giving up two sacks in his first start, he rebounded, allowing only two sacks and three quarterback hurries over the final three games.

He is a solid, young left tackle prospect that can further solidify the Saints' offensive line if he continues to improve.

On the right side we had several to choose from, including a few that were taken in the first round of the draft. No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher struggled and while Lane Johnson improved as the season went on, he was outplayed by Justin Pugh.
The New York Giants right tackle was one of the team’s lone bright spots this season as he allowed only five sacks in 1,042 snaps. He is the best rookie tackle from the 2013 Draft class thus far.

Guards: Michael Bowie and Larry Warford
Jonathan Cooper was the only rookie that was supposed to play left guard this season. Every other guard drafted that started, did so on the right side.

Cooper broke his leg in the preseason and there were no rookie left guards remaining. That was until the Seattle Seahawks moved Michael Bowie to that spot for their playoff game against New Orleans.

Bowie rotated the line in 2013, playing a game at left tackle, one at right guard and seven at right tackle before being put at left guard.

Regardless of how he played, he would have been on the all-rookie team just because there were no other left guards. He did fairly well, though, allowing just two quarterback hurries in 60 snaps.

There was more competition at the other guard position, but it was an easy choice to make. Not only was Larry Warford the best offensive lineman in this draft class, you could argue that he was the best overall rookie in 2013.

In my eyes he is the offensive rookie of the year, playing in every single offensive snap for Detroit this season and not allowing a single sack. He dominated in both run and pass blocking and was one of the better offensive linemen in the NFL this past year.

Center: Travis Frederick
A lot of people laughed when the Dallas Cowboys took Travis Frederick in the first round as he was projected to go near the top of the third round at best.

The pick turned out to be alright for the team, though, as Frederick provided some stability in the middle of their offensive line.

His pass blocking leaves a bit to desire, but he was absolutely stellar while run blocking. It is not a coincidence that DeMarco Murray had his best season as a pro once changes were made to the interior line.

Frederick was the second best rookie lineman behind only Larry Warford.

Defensive Ends: Sheldon Richardson & Ziggy Ansah
A lot of defensive line prospects did not live up to the hype in their first year, but these two definitely did.

Sheldon Richardson was an absolute beast for the New York Jets. He graded out as the fifth best 3-4 defensive end in football and won the NFL defensive rookie of the year award. Only JJ Watt, Calais Campbell, Kyle Williams and Cameron Jordan were ahead of him.

The second best performance came from Ziggy Ansah. Transitioning to the NFL was not going to be an easy task for him as he had just started playing football in 2010.

He is a rare type of athlete, though, that can occasionally beat you on raw talent alone. As he continues to learn the game and develop new moves, the 24-year-old continues to shine. Ansah was first among all rookies with eight sacks in 2013.

Defensive Tackle: Star Lotulelei
The Carolina Panthers were in need of a big, run stuffing player in the middle of their defensive line and that is exactly what they got with Star Lotulelei.

The 14th overall pick did a fairly good job of getting to the quarterback and was great defending the run.

If not for health concerns then the defensive tackle likely would have been taken in the top 10, but he fell right into the Panthers' lap. There are probably some teams who are now wishing they would have taken a chance on the Utah product.

Lotulelei was a key piece in one of the better defenses in football this past season and is the best rookie interior defensive lineman, with Sheldon Richardson at

Outside Linebackers: Alec Ogletree & Joplo Bartu
The St. Louis Rams where able to land a very talented linebacker when they drafted Alec Ogletree near the end of the first round.

He had a solid year for the team, posting great numbers across the board, including 117 tackles, six forced fumbles and an interception return touchdown.

Joplo Bartu was one of the bigger surprises of the season. He and teammate Paul Worrilow were two undrafted free agents that played very well for the Atlanta Falcons. In just 13 starts, Bartu was able to record 85 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

Like most rookies, these two have some room to improve. Both of them, however, made great contributions to their team and are the best outside linebackers of this draft class to date

Inside Linebackers: Kiko Alonso & Paul Worrilow
If I were to ask draft analysts a year ago who the best middle linebackers in the 2013 class were, then common answers would have been Arthur Brown and Manti Te’o.

Although Kiko Alonso’s name was thrown around some, he is still a player that was overlooked.

In addition to putting up very high tackle numbers, Alonso did well in pass coverage, did fairly well getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and was only penalized once throughout the season.

He is currently your best rookie inside linebacker.

Another player that was overlooked in Paul Worrilow. As mentioned in the previous slide, he was picked up by Atlanta after going undrafted.

Passing on this man seven times is a mistake that have many front offices shaking their heads. He recorded 127 tackles and two sacks in 12 starts and was all over the field for the Falcons.

Both Worrilow and Alonso played with a chip on their shoulders, which led to them being the two best inside linebackers of the 2013 Draft class.

Cornerbacks: Desmond Trufant & Logan Ryan
Several corners were drafted early in 2013, however very few of them were able to have success in their rookie year.

Players like Dee Milliner and Xavier Rhodes both struggled, while others were not able to make it on the field much at all.

Two players who stood out from the pack were Desmond Trufant of Atlanta and Logan Ryan of New England.

Despite the Falcons defensive troubles, their first-round pick played very well and has the potential to be one of the better corners in the league.

Logan Ryan was a pleasant surprise for the Patriots as he picked off five passes in just seven starts.

The third-round pick out of Rutgers also defended 10 passes and opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of just 53.3 when throwing his way.

Both of these men were huge upgrades for their respective teams and performed well against veteran receivers. If I were starting a team, I would take either of them in a heartbeat.

Safeties: Tyrann Mathieu and Kenny Vaccaro
The two men I predicted to make the all-rookie team at the beginning of the year at safety are the same two men that have outperformed those at their respective positions and deserve to be in this spot.

Despite both players having their season come to an early end due to injuries, they were both dominant in the games they did play.

Mathieu spent time rotating between nickel corner and free safety and graded out as the third best corner in football. His score would have put him at No. 3 among all safeties as well.

Vaccaro started 14 games at strong safety for New Orleans, recording 79 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

He did very well stopping the run throughout the year and allowed only two touchdowns passes. His play is a small step above that of DJ Swearinger.



Pro Bowler

Posts : 1930
« #1 : February 09, 2014, 09:05:29 AM »

I'm telling yall now Tim wright is our te yall. We got the te coach to turn him into a stud dude is young and was just learning the position wait until he's actually coached and knows what he's doing. Hell gain some weight this season and be able to block better. He reminds me of a young k2 minus the whole jerking thing.


Hall of Famer

Posts : 5999
« #2 : February 09, 2014, 09:15:47 AM »

I'm surprised that Kuechly didn't make the list...

Yeah, I know he wasn't a rookie.  But, that shouldn't stop him from getting undeserved accolades... right?

We will be Carolina ready when we are Carolina ready.


Hall of Famer
Posts : 19653
« #3 : February 09, 2014, 10:11:20 AM »

Not sure about wright. I think he put up stats because 'someone' has to get targets when'd vjax is covered. Nice depth, but no stardom. Hoping I'm wrong!

\"Lets put the O back in Country\"


Second String

Posts : 127
« #4 : February 09, 2014, 09:55:00 PM »

hmm thats interesting.  2 players from rutgers on this list...  haha.

Dolorous Jason

Hall of Famer

Posts : 17887
« #5 : February 10, 2014, 08:41:37 AM »

I'm surprised that Kuechly didn't make the list...

Yeah, I know he wasn't a rookie.  But, that shouldn't stop him from getting undeserved accolades... right?

LOL , it's never stopped him before.

What is your point? I was wrong? Ok. You win. I was wrong.

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