2012 NFL Rookie Rankings: Week 7
In many ways, it’s the year of the rookie. NFL Soup is tracking the hottest rookies so far this season. Here are our rankings after 6 weeks. (Note: These are rookies on offense only; after the list each week we’ll mention a trio of rookie defenders who are turning heads also).
So which rookies are making the early play for long careers after about a third of the season?
1. Robert Griffin III – WAS
He’s completing 70 percent of his passes; his passer rating is over 100. He’s on pace for 3,600 yards. He’s thrown 2 interceptions and 5 TD passes. Not a bad rookie season so far. Ok, NOW add that he’s on pace for a 1,000 yard rushing season and 16 rushing TDs. He’s already one of the best players in the game. (But didn’t we say that about Cam Newton after 6 games last year? And don’t forget he’s fumbled 5 times, but lost only 1.
2. Alfred Morris, RB – WAS
He might not be #2 on your list, but considering his rushing TDs (5) and yards per attempt (4.6) are second best on his own team, color us impressed. He’s targeting 1,400 yards rushing on his current clip. With only 3 receptions, he would look for that to improve, but posting those rushing stats behind RG3 really says something.
3. Trent Richardson, RB – CLE
Already the centerpiece of the Cleveland offense, Richardson statistically is not on pace for 1,000 yards rushing or 500 yards receiving. But the Browns have committed to increasing his workload and by the end of the season he will have more touches than Kristen Stewart. We’re a bit worried about his rib injury, but if he truly is ok, we don’t think he’ll drop from the top 3 all season.
4. Andrew Luck, QB – IND
This is less a statistical ranking and more of a “gut”/eyeball ranking. At 1488 passing yard, he is just 31 yards behind the top rookie passer (by yardage at least, and it’s Brandon Weeden), but he’s played one fewer game. He has appeared very ordinary at times, as evidenced by a 53 percent completion percentage and a 72 passer rating. He’s turned the ball over 9 times, including 7 picks. But this IS a rookie list, right? He’s gotten very little support from his backfield. He’s thrown 44 times a game, on average, and seems to have the poise to lead the franchise.
5. Josh Gordon, WR – CLE
He’s only hauled in 12 passes, but 10 of them have been for first downs and he’s averaging 23 yards per reception. He’s shown big play ability and we expect him to be an elite receiver sooner than later.
6. Ryan Tannehill, QB – MIA
Nobody gave him much of a chance at succeeding after he brought his talents to South Beach. But at 242 yards a game (with a no-name receiving corps), we’re impressed. He’s on pace for almost 3,900 yards and will easily get there if he improves his TD/INT ratio (currently 4/6). He’s shown more than we expected and we’re excited to monitor his progress.
7. Russell Wilson, QB – SEA
He’s averaging just 175 yards a game, but he leads rookie passers with 8 TDs (against 7 INT). He’s lost a couple of fumbles, but we trust him under center. He should continue to rely on Marshawn Lynch to shoulder the load on offense, and we’d like to see another dynamic WR next to Sidney Rice to help him out. Lynch is not much of a pass-catcher out of the backfield which doesn’t help. But Wilson’s been fairly accurate (near 60 percent). We’re just in love with him. Yet.
8. Kendall Wright, WR – TEN
He’s on pace for a nice 750 yard rookie season, though he hasn’t had a catch for over 40 yards yet. He can push 1,000 yards if he shows some explosiveness. Half his catches are for first downs, so we expect more targets. With a fluid QB situation in TEN so far we know his potential is greater than his output so far.
9. Doug Martin, RB – TB
His 3.8 yards a carry is solid, but finding the end zone only once so far his keeping him down on this list. He hasn’t coughed it up yet this year, and we’d like to see what kind of pass catcher he can be in this league – only 2 catches per game so far. More of an incomplete grade but we do like what we see between the end zones.
10. Coby Fleener, TE – IND
A reliable TE is a great tool for a rookie QB. The more Andrew Luck gets hit this year we expect him to look more frequently to Fleener. His 11 yards per catch on 17 receptions should allow him to get more involved in the offense. We think he’s coming.
11. Chris Givens, WR – STL
With only 7 receptions, we almost kept him off the list. But at an average of 28 yards per catch, and a greater role for him with the absence of Danny Amendola, we’re okay putting him here. Those 7 catches are good enough for 3rd in rookie receiving yards. Keep an eye on him; will he move up the list or drop off it?
12. Brandon Weeden, QB – CLE
Sure he has the most passing yards of any rookie; and he averages over 250 yards a game. But those have come from the most rookie attempts (231) and we’re leery of his 10 pics. He has a passer rating of 68.1. He just doesn’t make our heart thump.
Who we have our eye on: WR Stephen Hill NYJ, WR Alshon Jeffery CHI, WR Justin Blackmon JAC, WR T.Y. Hilton IND, RB Daryl Richardson STL, RB Brandon Bolden NE
Your trio of defenders:
- Chandler Jones, DE, NE – 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles. Watch him this weekend against a good Jets O Line.
- Bobby Wagner, MLB, SEA – 50 tackles. 1.5 sacks. Are you IDP players paying attention?
- Tavon Wilson, 2 INT and 2 recovered fumbles. Helping rebuild a once vaunted NE defense.
Okay, who did we leave out? What would you change about our rankings? Our skin is thick so comment below.