By TPR Staff

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With the two big fish out of the way in defensive player of the year and the league’s most valuable player, it’s 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, let’s 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 wasn’t the only one making story lines. Rookie Alfred Morris, the 173rd player taken in the 2012 NFL Draft, was a perfect fit for Mike Shanahan’s 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.

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Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

The hype leading up to Luck in the NFL was deafening for almost two years. The “Suck for Luck” campaign’s 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 isn’t even considering the 472 yards receiving he had. However, he wasn’t as consistent as Morris was this season and he’s 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 Luck’s 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.

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Who Should Win?

This is a very tough call. I don’t 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, I’m 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?

I’ve 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.

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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 it’s not like I’m 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.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. avatar Peter

    I think Wilson should win, because the colts had a good wide receiver and a good quarter back it was time for Payton to leave. hello the broncs are 13-3 Payton still is good. RG3 he also had good Wide Receiver I am not saying Sidney, Golden, and Baldwin aren’t good Wide Receivers they are good. Wilson doesn’t play for the money he plays for the game. there is one thing RG3 and Luck have in common a BIG SALARY!! SO PLEASE VOTE WILSON!

     
    • avatar Joey

      Wilson is very good but he doesn’t deserve Rookie of the Year Honors. If you look at his first seven or eight games, his numbers were mediocre at best. In a two game stretch he had multiple interception games. Three againts the Rams and two againts the Panthers. Hardly defensive dynamose. From game 1 to game 16 Griffin was the most consistent and leat error prone rookie QB. Additionally, Wilson was blessed with a fantastic defense before he was there. Griffin’s defense ranked twenty-seventh. Wilson’s game was predicated off the Seattle defense. Opposing defenses didn’t game plan for Wilson. Opposite of Wilson, the Redskins had no one other than Griffin for opposing defenses to game plan for. Both are young and exciting QBs that have proven they can win. But Robert Griffin is most deserving for Rookie of the Year.

       
  2. avatar Edward

    RW deserves to win roty by far…He had the toughest schedule to play against. Skins played a much easier schedual,Colts played nobody! First half of the season Seattle coaching staff held back RW till they new what they had. Which tells me RW had the most amazing season of any rookie in history…He got robbed in the pro bowl aswell. RW earned it,deserves it!

     
    • avatar Joey

      You said it yourself Edward, the Seattle coaching staff held back RW til they knew what they had. That’s just it! They weren’t even sure of his ability to run the offense. Your own words, exactly.
      Griffin was handed the starting position because the Redskins knew exactly what they gad.
      A proven QB with the ability to lead an offense. You are seriously mistaken if you think Wilson had the best rookie QB season in history.
      What N.F.L. records did he set this season? Where on the other hand RG3 set many. Highest QB rating (102.) of any rookie in history, least amount of interceptions thrown (5) by a rookie QB, one of two QBs in history to pass for over 3000 yards and run for over 800. These are just a few. But it’s all irrelevant now, Robert Griffin won the Associated Press Rookie of the Year. Russell Wilson a distant third behind Luck. Not even the experts felt he was deserving enough to finish second. Instead he finishes third to another rookie QB in Indy who threw numerous interceptions but still managed to finish ahead of your choice for rookie of the year. Wow! How do you look now?

       

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