Thursday, November 15, 2012

Buccaneers' Martin leads new NFL rookie rankings

When my initial rookie rankings debuted a couple of weeks ago, Doug Martin came in at #7. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and Martin has emerged as a front runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and has slid up six spots to take the previous top spot from Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. For the rest of the rookie rankings, read below.
1.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin
Statistics: 862 rush yards, 7 TD; 296 receiving yards, 1 TD
Martin is fourth in the NFL in rush yards, and has 605 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns the past three games. "Muscle Hamster" has had a huge hand in transforming a putrid Bucs offense last season, and has Tampa in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Previous Ranking: 7th

2.  Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III
Statistics: 65.6% completions, 1,993 pass yards, 8 TD, 3 INT; 529 rush yards, 6 TD
A relatively quiet last two weeks has caused some to forget about the Heisman winner, but Griffin is the top-rated rookie passer, as well as the #3 rusher among all rookie players. His numbers could also be much better if his receivers could consistently catch the ball, and has a worse supporting cast than the next player on my list.
Previous Ranking: 2nd

3.  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck
Statistics: 57.5% completions, 2,631 pass yards, 10 TD, 9 INT; 159 rush yards, 5 TD
Luck has put up ridiculous numbers through the air, and has given Reggie Wayne's career a second wind, as Wayne leads the league in receiving yards. While he hasn't been as accurate passing as many thought he'd be (see his completion percentage), there's little doubt that the Colts have another real franchise quarterback.
Previous Ranking: 4th

4.  Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris
Statistics: 793 rush yards, 5 TD; 35 receiving yards
The sixth round pick beat out Roy Helu Jr and Evan Royster for the starting gig in Washington during the preseason, and has done little to make those question that decision. Whether Morris is just another running back benefiting from Shanahan's blocking schemes, the Florida Atlantic product has made a bigger impact than anyone could have realistically projected.
Previous Ranking: 2nd

5.  Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
Statistics: 62.1% completions, 1,827 passing yards, 15 TD, 8 INT; 189 rush yards
Wilson has been lights out the past three games, totaling 8 touchdowns and just 1 interception as the Seahawks are firmly in contention for a playoff berth. Wilson's been the best quarterback in the NFL at home, posting a ridiculous 122.0 quarterback rating, with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field, where the Seahawks are 5-0.
Previous Ranking: 10th

6.  New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones
Statistics: 34 tackles, 6.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
Big performances in recent weeks by some of his competitors have caused Jones to slip, but his impact against both the run and pass have him remaining the highest ranked defender in my rankings.
Previous Ranking: 3rd

7. Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin
Statistics: 10 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Irvin is having a similar impact as 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith did last year, getting after the quarterback as almost purely a situational pass-rusher.
Previous Ranking: 8th

8.  Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson
Statistics: 575 rush yards, 5 TD; 240 receiving yards, 1 TD
Despite having back-to-back 100 yard games, Richardson hasn't been able to produce the big plays he became recognized for at Alabama.
Previous Ranking: 5th

9.  Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward
Statistics: 32 tackles, 4 interceptions, 9 passes defended, 1 forced fumble
Breakout performances by Doug Martin and Russell Wilson have more to do with Hayward's slide than his performance on the field does.
Previous Ranking: 6th

10. Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright
Statistics: 43 receptions, 390 yards, 4 TD
Wright has jumped Kenny Britt and Nate Washington as the team's best receiver, and has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable season for Tennessee, as he leads all rookies in receptions and is tied for first in receiving touchdowns.
Previous Ranking: unranked

In the Hunt: Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, Patriots safety Tavon Wilson, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh

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