At the end of each season, the NFL names an Offensive Rookie Of The Year and a Defensive Rookie Of The Year. Because those discussions involve a number of players you will likely become aware of in future seasons, we put together a Round Table to form our list and some perspective on it.

NFL Rookie Of The Year Candidates – Offense

15. Alshon Jeffery (WR – Bears Picked 45)

Jim Carrier – He’s Brandon Marshall Jr in Chicago. Marshall will get the first look and I really like Jeffery, but Cutler-to-Marshall will be dominant in the Midway this year, even though AJ is going to be a monster in the upcoming years.;

Rob – Unfortunately for Alshon, there’s already a Brandon Marshall in Chicago, and there’s also a Matt Forte and an Earl Bennett. His looks are going to be limited.

15. Isaiah Pead (RB – Rams Picked 50)

Jim Carrier – He will be the starter, but not this year. Will Jax having another good 2-3 years left, Pead will have a solid role this year, a bigger role next year & maybe the #1 in year 3. I could be off a year and it happen a year earlier than that, but we’ll see.;

Rob – I wouldn’t be surprised if Steven Jackson is injured before the year is over. The rest of the offense is too limited for him to get the stats he would need to surpass the other offensive weapons.

15. Mohamed Sanu (WR – Bengals Picked 83)

Jim Carrier – Here is my sleeper. This guy could be a beast this year & no one is talking about him at all. With all of the attention being drawn to AJ Green, Sanu will get single coverage and he will have the chance to make big plays. If he does something big as a rookie, you heard it here first.;

Rob – My fantasy football team needs Sanu to be a sleeper pick. Unfortunately he’s the third look in the offense at best, especially with the talented Jermaine Gresham at tight end.

14. Brandon Weeden (QB – Browns Picked 22)

Rob – If Weeden had better offensive weapons at his disposal, he’d be higher on this list simply because he’s the guaranteed starter with no significant backup biting at his heels.

12. Michael Floyd (WR – Cardinals Picked 13)

Jim Carrier – I almost put him as #10 and I might be wrong in not putting him there because he might have a better rookie season than Wright or Quick, but I believe in Jake Locker more than I do Skelton/Kolb in Arizona. He will be the #2 WR in the desert opposite Fitz and should have a good season. ;

Rob – He’s certainly an interesting player, as Fitzgerald still gets all the consideration in Arizona, so that will give Floyd the chance to have a great season similar to what Boldin did in seasons past. With a full off-season to grow in the offense, John Skelton should do just fine in getting him the ball.

12. Brian Quick (WR – Rams Picked 33)

Jim Carrier – He is a welcome site in StL. Since “Big Game” Torry Holt has left the Arched City, the Rams haven’t had a tall, speedy deep threat to stretch the field. The Rams had hoped to draft AJ Green, Julio Jones or Justin Blackmon to take that spot, but they fell to another team. Brandon Lloyd was a good pick-up last year and I liked Greg Salas as a slot receiver especially after the Rams lost Danny Amendola, but both of them have jumped ship. They added Steve Smith…the ex-Giant not the speedy Panther, along with the aforementioned Amendola coming off injury, Quick gives them a good red zone WR to throw the fade to. He’s got a nice, long, strong body to be able to handle the press, shed it or hold off a WR to get a jump ball. Sam Bradford & Stephen Jackson have been wanting a receiving corp to really stretch the field for Sam to throw to and Jax to be able to gobble up in the ground game. Quick will have add that extra dimension that Danario Alexander couldn’t and will have a good rookie season.;

Rob – If he’s able to help Sam Bradford take this offense to the next level, he’ll surely get some consideration. He’s not likely to get the stats of some of the guys ahead of him on this list, so he shouldn’t be hopeful of bringing home the award.

11. Coby Fleenor (TE – Colts Picked 34)

Jim Carrier – Indy drafting Andrew Luck’s favorite college target to help him feel comfortable in the NFL was brilliant. Here’s the other thing, though, he’s going to be a good TE in the NFL. It’s not like they got Linus his security blanket that really is good for nothing, they drafted 15 years of QB excellence and probably/possibly another 10-13 years of excellence from a smart stud TE. TY Hilton will be a better version of Pierre Garcon, maybe not immediately, Reggie will get his catches and Luck will find him all over the field, but Fleener will be that guy that can read Luck’s eyes from the huddle, the line, the middle of the field and know what he needs to do and will put up very good numbers this year.;

Rob – He’s almost guaranteed to be the #2 option in the pass attack, given his talent and familiarity with Andrew Luck. But for him to win the award, he’d have to get the full majority of work from Luck, and some work from a backup, otherwise it would be Luck who would win the award.

10. Ryan Tannehill (QB – Dolphins Picked 8)

Jim Carrier – You can hate on me if you want (for leaving him out of my top 10), but he’s on a team where his All-Pro LT has nagging injury, his best WR is a third or fourth option on 90% of other teams and he’s got to play NE twice (who will demolish them), Buffalo twice (whose defense should have him frustrated and looking up at the sky from his back most of the time) and the Jets twice (who defensively will cause him problems and set him up for picks). He could be good, but expect him to have a similar type of rookie year as Blaine Gabbert. ;

Rob – If Tannehill wins Rookie Of The Year, then somehow Miami found some weapons I’m not familiar with. Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas aren’t likely to be enough.

9. LaMichael James (RB – 49ers Picked 61)

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – What? thats right James is the kind of playmaker San Fran begged for last year. Elite speed this guy has the ability to make every touch go the distance. Whether Gore stays healthy all year or not an offense that is in desperate need of pop will find a way to get him the ball. Harbaugh knew from his stanford days what he was getting in James, he will use him.

Rob – They are one of the best running attacks in the league, so provided the opportunity, his talents could well shine.

8. Kendall Wright (WR – Titans Picked 20)

Josh Taylor – If Jake Locker is going to have any success this year, he’ll need to get the ball to Wright. Kenny Britt is coming off major knee injuries and Wright has the ability to step in and fill the void should Britt fail to return to his pre injury form;

Jim Carrier – He could be higher because he has the speed and body to be the deep threat in Nashville, but with Nate Washington & Jared Cook having a great year last year & Kenny Britt coming back from injury, Wright will not get a ton of catches. He’ll have over 35, but under 60. The only way that doesn’t happen is if the Titans WR corp gets injured or, in Britt’s case, suspended. He’s good and will be good in a few years, but since he’s closer to Mario Manningham than Randy Moss right now, he’ll be the #3 or 4 option. He’ll still have a good season, though.

7. Russell Wilson (QB – Seahawks Picked 75)

Jon – it certainly appears this cat is for real and Seattle is going to let him loose;

Jim Carrier – Am I putting him too low…am I putting him too high? The fact is this, I liked him in college and knew he would make a solid QB if given the chance. I think he brings the equality of being able to throw the football in the pocket and on the run that Pete wants in Seattle. He’s got two good RBs and a corp of WRs that will be able to make the catches to move the chains. The only thing I’m concerned about is…yes, his height. When you got guys like Aldon Smith, Chris Long, Ray McDonald, Calais Campbell & Justin Smith hunting him down 6 times a year with those longs arms it’s going to be difficult for him to get passes off over those. I think Wilson had a great pre-season, but REMEMBER teams don’t bring everything they got in the pre-season. I think Wilson is going to be better than Tarvaris and Whitehurst and the jury is still out on how good Flynn can be, but he does have some TALL obstacles to get around this year, but I still think he plays well and is top 10.

6. David Wilson (RB – Giants Picked 32)

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – The giants got a steal at the end of the first round. The defending champs added a proven playmaker who has elite speed and athleticism. I’ve been following this guy all the way from high school and trust me he is the real deal. The job will be his by week 4 and he will play on a good team. All that adds up to a good shot at the ROY.;

Jim Carrier – With Brandon Jacobs and DJ Ware gone, Ahmad gets banged up too often, David Wilson will have a great season. I think he’s a bigger version of “Beast Mode” or a smaller version of Jaxon in StL. He’ll end up being a combination of Jacobs and Bradshaw. If he will be what I think he can be, he’ll be the feature back by week 9.

5. Trent Richardson (RB – Browns Picked 3)

Josh Taylor – Most talented pure runner in the draft. He has plenty of ability, but also plays in a division where it is difficult to run the ball.;

Jim Carrier – I know, I know, what in God’s name am I thinking putting Trent this low. It’s not because I don’t think he’s the best RB in the draft and one of the best RBs in the league, it’s because he has an unproven QB, a receiving corp that can’t catch a cold in Anarctica wearing a Speedo and he’s coming off a nagging injury that will probably hamper him off & on throughout the season. Plus, defenses will jam 8 in the box, overpower their O-line and not give TRich any room to move. Unless he has some Barry Sanders moves deep down inside that we’ve never seen, he’ll have a rough Rookie season.;

Rob – The defensive fronts for the Steelers and Ravens aren’t as good as they once were, and the Bengals aren’t a significant threat to his productivity. Great talents find ways to get their yardage, and although Richardson won’t be on a team as successful as the Giants or Buccaneers, he’ll still be a more significant part of their respective offenses.

4. Justin Blackmon (WR – Jaguars Picked 5)

Jon – expecting an impressive season with Gabbert feeding him constantly;

Jim Carrier – He’s the #1 target in Jacksonville by a mile & a half. He’s a very good WR right now and has the potential to be a perrenial Pro-Bowler. Gabbert looked horrible last year because he had to force passes to WRs who couldn’t make catches, they were always playing from behind & the O-line is suspect. Now, Gabbert might target Blackmon 20 times a game. With Jennings & MoJo Drew carrying the ball, it will help all around. Blackmon isn’t Julio or AJ, but he’s a much better version of Michael Crabtree. He will be good and will have a good rookie season.;

Rob – If he can limit his off-field problems and live up to his potential on the field, he’ll still be limited by the double-coverage he’s going to face, and Gabbert’s somewhat limited skillset. Still, he should be happy to see Jones-Drew back in town, as the defense has two weapons to cover.

3. Doug Martin (RB – Buccaneers Picked 31)

Josh Taylor – Martin has the skills and most importantly the opportunity to have a great year. The Bucs are sick of Blount and it’s evident they’re going to lean on Martin heavily this year. Martin’s ability to catch the ball and pass blocking skills should keep him atop the Bucs depth chart and allow him to have success;

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – I am not on the TB bandwagon with them being a young budding team. Martin is a solid all around back who can do a little of everything, that coupled with the workload he will see, should put up good enough numbers to keep himself relevant in this race. ;

Jon – should be the centerpiece of Tampa’s offense;

Jim Carrier – I’m a believer in this kid. I watched him playing top 10 teams and play great against them. He played great his whole college career. He went deeper in the Draft then I thought he should have. TB had to be moonwalking when he fell to them. He has speed, he can catch out of the backfield, he runs strong and stays healthy (*knock knock on wood). With Vincent Jackson coming down to TB to help Freeman out, Freeman will have a good season and Martin won’t have all the company in the box like TRich. He’ll have a good year and will make a name for himself.

NFL Rookie Of The Year on Offense could be Robert Griffin III

2. Robert Griffin III (QB – Redskins Picked 2)

Josh Taylor – Surrounded by a more balanced offense but will have plenty of opportunities to throw the ball. Has the athletic ability to be an absolutely electrifying QB.;

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – Playmaker. That is all that needs to be said about RG3, he has elite athleticism to go with a huge arm and a nice deep threat in Garçon that should lead to alot of big plays if anything. I think he benefits in rushing statistics from an awful offensive line. As long as Fred Davis stays healthy he has the potential to produce the kind of wow plays that will win an award like this. ; Jon – should have a nice season but supporting cast limits numbers;

Jim Carrier – I probably just lost some people, but hear me out before you start chucking the stones that you just picked up. RG3 is going to be good…maybe even great. You all have heard it, he played in a spread, shotgun offense in college against teams in the Big 12 whose defenses aren’t real good. Some guys have been able to step in and make an impact, but here’s the other reason why I don’t think he has a storybook year. He plays in the NFC East. Does he have good WRs: yes. Does he have a good O-line: yes. Does he have a good running game behind him: yes. Is his defense good: absolutely. He’s a rookie QB playing in the toughest division, tied with the NFC North, and has to play against NYG, Philly & Big D’s defense six times this year. Three teams that have amazing pass rushers and two of them will be playoff teams. He will be good and will have a heckuva highlight reel in his rookie season, but he won’t be the best QB or Offensive Rookie of the year.

1. Andrew Luck (QB – Colts Picked 1)

Josh Taylor – Most talented rookie QB, bad defense will cause his attempts to be higher, might lead to poor TD:INT ratio but overall good numbers. Unfortunately, Luck’s team still isn’t good enough for him to have much success, though I think he’ll be the best rookie QB this year;

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – Luck will prove a lot of people right this year. He is the total package arm/feet/head/vision. I for one am not someone who believes the cupboard is completely bare. The colts helped him out tremendously by resigning Wayne, a veteran with trusty hands who knows how to get open. Coby fleenor will provide alot of familiarity (10 td’s last yr for stanford) and a guy who I think will improve at Rb in Donald Brown should help Luck wrap up the ROY. ; Jon – I think he’ll run away with it;

Jim Carrier – Sorry, I didn’t go away from the press, but have you seen the kid play? It’s pretty freaking obvious that he’s the best rookie QB in the League. He’s smarter than 3-6 year vets, he’s in a system that’s not completely different than what he was use to in college and no one expects Indy to be .500. If he does, he’s the Messiah of the Midwest and everybody will be a believer. I just think he’s a top-tier talent that will be a Pro-Bowler & MVP in the future and will start showing it immediately.

NFL Rookie Of The Year Candidates – Defense

11. Courtney Upshaw (OLB – Ravens Picked 35)

Jim Carrier – I like this guy and think he can be an impact player in Baltimore, but just not this year. ;

Rob – He’s a young talent who gets to learn from Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs – two of the best at linebacker over the past decade, and Ed Reed to provide additional insight into how to play defense.

10. Quinton Coples (DE – Jets Picked 16)

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – He has looked good during the pre-season. The jets defense is always good, and I believe Rex will find a way to use him. Quinton has always been a gamer so people probably shouldve put more stock in his game tape rather than his lackadaisical effort at combines an workouts. Quinton has the kind of potential to lead the league in sacks as a rookie. ;

Rob – How can you not like a guy who’s moving into an otherwise great defense?

9. Whitney Mercilus (DE – Texans Picked 26)

Josh Taylor – Head Coach Gary Kubiak recently stated he believes Mercilus is more talented that he originally thought. His transition to the rush-OLB position has gone smoothly and he’ll have plenty of chances to rush the passer this year in Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme;

Jim Carrier – Who? I’m sorry, Whitney Mercilus is the guy that’s going to line up opposite JJ Watt and help dominate that line. This kid has been set up to make a huge impact this season and might be better than the sixth best Defensive Rookie, but I’m trying to gage everything and don’t know if he will do as well as the top 5.

8. Stephon Gilmore (CB – Bills Picked 10)

Jon – lockdown corner, should make plenty of plays;

Jim Carrier – This guy is good. If Buffalo’s D-line can rush the passer effectively, which I think they will, then this kid will have a possibility to make some big plays and prove that he was deserving of a top 10 pick.

6. Dontari Poe (DT – Chiefs Picked 11)

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – time will tell if this pick was a mistake but if he hits at all then watch out. He has the kind of athleticism and potential that the league has never seen for his position. He has the tools to be a 10 sack guy in the middle of a good defense. Poe is shot in the dark, but crazier things have happened.;

Jim Carrier – He hasn’t impressed me in college and will probably carry that over to the NFL. Congrats on another defensive line Draft bust KC.

6. Fletcher Cox (DT – Eagles Picked 12)

Jon – good chance to be disruptive in the middle;

Jim Carrier – This guy is a future Pro-Bowler. If he can stop the run and get to the QB every once in a while, he will help make his team win the division. With a lot of attention being drawn to Trent Cole and Jason Babin on the outside, Cox will get to the QB more in the pocket and will be very good.

5. Morris Claiborne (CB – Cowboys Picked 6)

Josh Taylor – Claiborne hasn’t been able to do much this preseason due to injury but should contribute immensely in the regular season. With Brandon Carr manning the other corner spot, Claiborne should have plenty of balls thrown is way and thus plenty of opportunity to make plays. He is also a skilled returner and could contribute in that area as well.;

Jim Carrier – I think he’s amazingly athletic, but I don’t know if he has all the head knowledge that is needed to make the top 10. He will be very good, but I think needs some time.

4. Dont’a Hightower (ILB – Patriots Picked 25)

Jon – classic Belichick LB;

Jim Carrier – This guy came from the most dominating defense in college. He played for one of the smartest coaches to blow a whistle in college history. He played in a hybrid 4-3/3-4 defense and ran the show. Guess what… he goes to play for one of the smartest coaches to blow a whistle in NFL history. He goes to play in a hybrid 4-3/3-4 defense in the NFL. There was a reason why “The Hoodie” drafted him. He wanted a guy to run the defense in a system that his ILB is used to and was phenomenal in. Hightower will come into the League a step ahead of many others in a tough spot. He will help make this defense “New England good” again…and when I say “New England good”, I mean 2002-2006 good.

2. Mark Barron (SS – Buccaneers Picked 7)

Josh Taylor – Barron is easily the most talented safety of the draft class and enters a defensive scheme in which he will be able to contribute immediately. Barron is clearly the Bucs starting SS and should have numbers similar to what Eric Berry accumulated in his rookie season;

Jon – should get plenty of tackles;

Jim Carrier – This guy is smart, fast & will get picks and lay down hits all season. I thought Dallas was stupid in not taking him when they had the chance. This kid will be a Pro-Bowl Safety in the future and will leave his thumbprint when all is said and done.

2. Chandler Jones (DE – Patriots Picked 21)

Josh Taylor – Jones has freakish athleticism and Belichick’s creative defensive schemes should allow him to have success rushing the passer this season.;

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – He plays for the patriots, he will start on what will likely be a 12 win team. I believe he puts up double digit sacks for them and has an Aldon Smith type of year. ;

Jim Carrier – Here’s a guy that will be able to play every down, rush the QB, he could pick up a man in coverage if need be and help stop the run. He could rack up sacks, tackles and hits like a Mack truck meaning he could force fumbles. I know “The Hoodie” likes him and has spoke highly of him. This kid is going to make a bigger name for himself than his NFL brother.

NFL Rookie Of The Year on Defense could be Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers1. Luke Kuechly (ILB – Panthers Picked 9)

Josh Taylor – Like Barron, Kuechly will be able to contribute immediately. At Boston College, Kuechly was a tackling machine and posses an elite ability to find the ball.;

Kevin @Sully_Sparks – Have you watched pre-season? This guy was a huge hit for Carolina and I believe he will develop into an all pro, good athleticism coupled with instincts and this guy has the potential to lead the league in tackles this year. ;

Jon – starting at the weakside with Jon Beason calling the shots;

Jim Carrier – Some people thought I was crazy on the other side of the ball, and think I’m still insane after this choice, but this kid tackles his momma when she takes away his dinner plate. Anything around him, he will find and smash into submission. I love his intensity, he has great speed, great instincts and I think he could be a Pro-Bowler as a rookie and will be home the hardware.

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