2012 NFL Rookie Rankings: Week 14′s Top NFL Rookies
Doug Martin is our top-ranked rookie for 2012.
That sounds stupid, but since we need to stop thinking of RG3, Andrew Luck and even Russell Wilson as rookies, we might as well start with Doug Martin. We can’t obviously do that, but after last weekend’s performances of the three QBs we certainly feel funny putting them on this list. They are showing veteran skills, poise and leadership. If Ryan Tannehill can work out the kinks, he may join them in long NFL careers. I might mention Brandon Weeden, but he’s like 3 years from NFL retirement age.
A special hat’s off (or shoe’s off as the case might be) to rookie kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein for ruining my desire to see what the odds were that two teams could tie twice in the same NFL season. I just KNOW Peter King would have had that number. Zuerlein!
Let’s see how all the top rooks stack up in our week 14 NFL Rookie Rankings:
1. Robert Griffin III – QB – Washington Redskins
Is it too early to talk about greatness? Or is this type of quarterback play hard to maintain (see Vick, Michael and even Newton, Cam).
2. Andrew Luck – QB – Indianapolis Colts
By the numbers – 22 turnovers to 17 TDs and a 76.1 passer rating – he’s not as good as, say Tony Romo, but nobody I know would take Romo over Luck. Luck’s got a winner’s mentality. Maybe there’s something in the water in Indiana that’s not found in Texas reservoirs.
3. Doug Martin – RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He and Alfred Morris have an identical 1,106 yards, with four remaining games. But he has more TDs (10 to 6) and 374 receiving yards, while Morris has just 42.
4. Russell Wilson – QB – Seattle Seahawks
He might be a “better” QB than Luck with a 95.2 passer rating to Luck’s 76.1, but Luck will always have better numbers because he simply passes more. Wilson has the fewest attempts, completions and yards than the other four rookies. He’s outrushed them all, except obviously RG3, as well.
5. Trent Richardson – RB – Cleveland Browns
The most targeted rookie back, even while missing time due to injury. He will surpass 1,000 yards easily (827 now). A healthy Richardson would be #3 on this list, at worst.
6. TY Hilton – WR – Indianapolis Colts
Remember Manning-to-Harrison? Get used to saying Luck-to-Hilton. He’s had four games at or above 100 receiving yards, yet he totaled 125 yards in all of October. Once that chemistry develops though, watch out.
7. Alfred Morris – RB – Washington Redskins
He and RG3 will combine for over 2,000 rushing yards; but we can’t be overly enthusiastic until he becomes a part of the passing game – just 6 catches on 10 targets and 42 yards.
8. Josh Gordon – WR – Cleveland Browns
Had a nice week, with 116 yards on 8 grabs and a touchdown. This is the kind of performance we expect to see every week, but he sometimes comes up with a dud. Like Hilton, we think it’s a timing/chemistry issue with a rookie hurler.
9. Justin Blackmon – WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
Are we going to see the 1-catch-for-9-yards Blackmon this week or the 7-catches-for-236-yards-and-a-score Blackmon? Forty two percent of his 557 yards came in that breakout game versus Houston, and he’s scored only 3 TDs. He draws Antonio Cromartie this weekend, so we think he’ll draw more flags from Cro than he will haul in catches. Anyone wanna bet?
10. Chris Givens – WR – St. Louis Rams
He has 33 receptions; 11 of them came last week; 20 over the last three weeks. He’s now the favorite and most targeted receiver under the arch, so ride him as he coasts up our list.
11. Kendall Wright – WR – Tennessee Titans
We can’t put our finger on it, but we just don’t love him. It probably has more to do with his QBs, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
12. Brandon Weeden – QB – Cleveland Browns
We’re less enthusiastic about Weeden than Wright, but we give him props for a 364-yard passing day. He threw a TD but 2 INTs as well (we point out with appropriate snark).
Also receiving votes: Vick Ballard, RB, IND; Daryl Richardson, RB, STL; Dwayne Allen, TE, IND; Rod Streater, WR, OAK, Mohammed Sanu WR, CIN; Michael Floyd, WR, ARI; Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI, Stephen Hill, WR, NYJ; Ryan Broyles, WR, DET.
Rookie kickers: This week its punters in order of their net average: Bryan Anger, JAC (41.7); Johnny Hekker, STL (40.3); Shaun Powell, BUF (38.0); Drew Butler, PIT (37.5) and Brad Nortman, CAR (36.2).