Last 10 Offensive/Defensive rookies of the year.
2002: Clinton Portis & Julius Peppers.
2003: Anquan Boldin & Terrell Suggs.
2004: Ben Roethlisberger & Jonathan Vilma.
2005: "Cadillac" Williams & Shawne Merriman.
2006: Vince Young & DeMeco Ryans.
2007: Adrian Peterson & Patrick Willis.
2008: Matt Ryan & Jerod Mayo.
2009: Percy Harvin & Brian Cushing.
2010: Sam Bradford & Ndamukong Suh
2011: Cam Newton & Von Miller.
Most of these previous rookie of the year winners have developed into 'the truth'. Which year instantly stands out to me? I'd have to say 2007 with Adrian Peterson and Patrick Willis. Roethlisberger and Vilma have also led their units (offense and defense) to Super Bowl championships. I'd have to rank Cadillac Williams and Merriman of 2005 as the weakest group of rookie of the year winners. Ryan and Mayo of 2008 aren't all that impressive either. Got a little side tracked for a second there, now it's time for the meat and potatoes of this topic of discussion.
5 QB's, 3 RB's and 2 WR's have taken home the award over the past 10 seasons. What's that tell me? That offensive lineman, tight ends and fullbacks aren't likely to win this award. QB's have the advantage while both RB's and WR's are fair game. 8 of these 10 winners were first round draft picks. Portis and Boldin were both 2nd round draft picks. What's this tell me? I'm looking inside the 1st round for my up coming ROY.
5 MLB's, 3 OLB's, 1 DE and 1 DT have taken home this award over the past 10 seasons. What's this show me? That secondary players (unless your a Charles Woodson type of prospect) aren't going to make enough impact plays to take home this award. Freaks of nature DE's such as Peppers and monster types of DT's such as Suh stand a fighting chance. This award has been dominated by MLB's and OLB's over the past 10 years with MLB holding a 50/30 advantage over OLB's due to the amount of tackles they're able to wrack up. 9 of these 10 winners were first round draft picks. Ryans was the only 2nd round draft pick, but went very high as the 1st pick of the 2nd round. Whats this telling me? I'm going with a first round selection this up coming season.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: RB, Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns.
Why would I go with a RB over the likes of top rated QB's such as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III? To me, it's a combination of things. Trent Richardson is the closest thing I've seen to AP coming out of college since Adrian Peterson himself. He has the overall size, strength and speed to go along with a physical 227-pound frame, and also rushes the football with lots of impact power. He's my lock to take it home for the Cleveland Browns.
We all know that Andrew Luck has been ranked as the highest rated QB coming out since Elway. If you were to ask me, he's a lock to develop into a very good to great player, but he's not in a Sanchez type of situation situation (great defense, ground and pound offense, top of the line offensive line etc, etc). He's in more of a Ryan Leaf type of situation. That Colts defense is a shell of what it once was, they may not protect their QB by keeping points off the board, and he's walking into a 2-14 type of situation. I can envision/picture Luck having a 1998 Peyton Manning type of rookie season. May develop him into a stronger QB as time goes on, he may put up numbers; but it won't be pretty. As far as RG3? NFC East. He'll have to face those Giants, Cowboys and Eagles defense 6 times. The weather in NJ and Philly won't be pretty either. He'll also have to go up against D's such as the Steelers in Pittsburgh, Ravens, Bengals and even Saints. I don't like this kids chances of future success here in 2012.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: DE, Quinton Coples, New York Jets.
Why would I go with Quinton Coples over LB's such as Luke Kuechly and Dont'a Hightower or opposing DE's such as Melvin Ingram? To me it's simple. Jet fans may feel I'm only going with Coples because he's a Jet, but if that were the case I would have went with Stephen Hill over Richardson and everyone else. I'm going with Coples because I feel he's in best possible position to succeed 'right away' under a Rex Ryan/Darrelle Revis led defense. Coples is playing alongside a stacked defensive front with Pouha at NT and Wilkerson as the opposite DE. He'll be playing in front of veteran LB's such as Scott, Harris and Thomas. Will have an extra .5 to 1 second in regards to rushing the quarterback due to our trio of CB's in Revis, Cromartie and Wilson locking up opposing WR's. Not only that, but he's experienced in both the 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes during the years that he played with NC. Can line up as a 4-3 speed rushing DE, can play the run while getting into the backfield as a 3-4 DE etc, etc.
At 6'6/285 pounds, look for Rex to line this kid up all over the defensive front. This is what Mayock had to say about Coples: "I've been highly critical of him. However, he showed up at the Senior Bowl and showed he could play like Julius Peppers". As being one of the highest rated DE's coming out of this years draft class, Coples is my pick. Another reason why I'm going with Coples, is because I trust Rex in regards to talent evaluation on the defensive line. When Rex seen Coples during his pro day? He promised Coples man to man, that if he were still on the board when the Jets were selecting 16th overall? That he'll become a Jet. Come draft day? Rex was a man of his word, and selected Quinton Coples. I truly believe Rex sees something in this kid.