It’s that time of year again where we break down the nominations for the Rookie of the Year awards. I personally feel that this was a very unique rookie class this season. Here are my “Who should win”, “Who will win”, and “Honorable mention” votes for this year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Who should win:
Andrew Luck – QB – Indianapolis Colts
Having the number one draft pick as a nomination almost seems too easy, but Luck deserves it. Last season former Colts’ legendary quarterback Peyton Manning missed the entire year after having three neck surgeries, and in March the team decided to let him go after having a losing season. The Colts’ drafted Luck number one overall to start a rebuilding process. Rather than looking like they’re rebuilding, it’s as if the Colts are picking it back up as if Manning never left. The Colts have gone from winning two games last season to having eight so far this season and a shot for the playoffs. Luck has led the team from come from behind victories, most recently against the Detroit Lions last Sunday when he took his team down the field in the final minute and threw the winning touchdown pass with four seconds left. What may keep Luck from winning the award is his turnovers. He’s thrown 16 interceptions and has fumbled nine times, losing five of them. He has, however, thrown for 3,956 yards and 17 touchdowns. It won’t matter to him if he doesn’t win this award. Super Bowls are in his future.
Who will win:
Robert Griffin III – QB – Washington Redskins
Everyone around the NFL can’t get enough of RGIII. He’s the entire package. He’s a respected leader, is very mature, and is insanely talented. RGIII has led the Washington Redskins to an NFC East title race with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. The NFC East title will wind up coming down to the Redskins and Giants, with the great possibility of a tie. If there is a tie, the tie breaker would go to the Redskins. In all of my years as a Giants fan, I can’t remember the last time the Redskins were relevant. RGIII is a fantastic football player with a bright future as long as he stays healthy. He’s not a huge guy and he’s been taking a beating all season. I don’t know how long that toughness will last. What makes RGIII so likable is his speed. He’s rushed 112 times for 748 yards and has scored six touchdowns. He is also the second highest behind Peyton Manning in completion percentage with 66.4, but I think it’s more to do with that he throws less and runs more than most quarterbacks. Votes are generally a popularity contest, and RGIII has certainly flashed across the hearts of the media. He has a bright future, also with Super Bowls.
Russell Wilson – QB – Seattle Seahawks
Wilson could be the dark horse in the Rookie of the Year voting. He, a lot like RGIII, has taken an irrelevant team and has led them to a winning record and a possible playoff berth. With the insanity and attention on the guys listed above, Wilson will likely not win the award, but I won’t be shocked if he gets at least one first place vote. The Seahawks have eight wins, and some of those wins came against teams that no one thought they would be; teams like the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bears. I can’t wait to see what this kid does in his future years in the NFL. He’s reawakened a struggling franchise.
Check back tomorrow for my Defensive Rookie of the Year predictions
You can follow Kelsey O’Donnell on Twitter @KelsODonnell