Premature Prediction Time:
NFL Rookie of the Year
Since we haven't had one of these in awhile and I'm desperate to find a way to talk about football through these slow summer months, I want to propose the following premature prediction topic:
Who will win the NFL's 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year?
The obvious debate is between the top two picks (Luck & Griffin), though some would make a case for the number three overall (Richardson) to steal the title from both rookie QBs. My original gut was to pick Griffin on this one because I think he may have the highest upside of them all playing for a vastly improved Washington team, but I've backtracked since and decided to go with Luck for a few reasons. For starters, the Colts have an ostensibly favorable schedule over the Redskins—all three NFC East rivals have tremendous pass rushing defenses likely to cause more problems for Griffin than Luck will face in the AFC South (especially with Mario Williams now gone) even though the Skins would appear to have a better overall O-line. Even more importantly, I anticipate that the 2-TE set the Colts plan to run will vastly inflate Luck's numbers similarly to how Bradford's conservative play style helped him win the award two years ago. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are tremendous TE prospects who provide big targets with soft hands, and the return of Reggie Wayne provides a veteran presence to ease Luck's transition into the big leagues.
I'd also have to argue that if the two QBs had literally identical stats with the exact same record and no other player (like Richardson) were deserving of the award of either QB, I give it to Luck in that scenario due to how awful the Colts are compared to the Skins as an overall team. Both have made significant moves this off-season, but the overall roster talent would appear to favor the Redskins, and anything is an improvement from the 2-win season that Indy is coming off of.
So with all that being said, what's your take?
Greetings from Providence! Matt you make some excellent points regarding the franchise QBs in the running; no denying those points at all.
However, the ROY is going to be Trent Richardson. Maybe this is because I spent so much time letting Kanye in "his zone" today or maybe it is because the Browns provide an amazing opportunity for this young man. Consider the spectacular season of Peyton Hillis. Hard nosed player excels in run-first-because-we-have-substandard-quarterback offense. TR is a similar back with a love of causing collisions with defensive backs. It cannot be far-fetched to see a comparative season occur, especially since he is bound to have a decent captain of the ship (McCoy is experienced, even if limited in skills. Wheedon is already mature and stands to be a game manager at worst).
Moreover I do not see Luck or Griffin having a dramatic effect concerning team wins. Houston and Tennessee remain better complete teams in the AFC South while calling any team of the NFC East as a cupcake is worthy of a stoning (the Old Testament kind). Indy is rebuilding - do not be fooled. The Deadskins are an expensive disappointment, much like Congress, and there shouldn't be any thought of this team contending for the division title. Whereas the Browns are in the midst of an AFC North that has been ruled by teams who can dominate the ground game. Steelers are on a slow decline, Ravens have a severe lack of confidence despite their superior talent, and the Bungals are just that - Bungals! I really believe the Browns have a shot at the postseason and that Richardson is the BAMF who gets them to it; at the very least he puts his team into contention while the league as a whole has become dismissive of the tailback.
What's that? You want me to make a prediction based off of what is no better than educated generalizations about events that will happen six months from now? Who told you my favorite hobby?
Without a doubt, no question in my mind, the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year will be... RYAN TANNEHILL!!!
Okay, I can't keep a straight face.
All sarcastic, making-fun-of-Jason aside, Matt and Woody both make excellent cases, but let me rep my boy RG3! Like the reigning ROY, Cam Newton, Griffin is of course a threat through the air and on the ground. While Newton may have an athletic advantage over Griffin, RG3 has superior maturity and intelligence (see: Masters degree) and was basically mistake-free in college (17 INTs in his entire career, yes please). Yes, Griffin is in the worst position of the three players we have named thus far, but as Newton's award proves, wins don't matter all that much. If the Skins can put up a fight against their division foes and get at least a handful of quality wins outside of the division, it will be because of Griffin, and that is what the voters will award. Or should, at least.
There's also the excitement factor, which you could absolutely argue was a major benefit to Griffin's Heisman win. While watching Luck call audibles and read defenses is impressive, watching Griffin turn a sack into a 15-yard run is so much more fun, and so who gets the top headline Monday morning between those two?
Now let's all sit back and wait for John Scott to argue why Matt Kalil is the clear favorite.
Alright fuckheads, and by fuckheads I mean Mike. My computer is alive again, there's a cold beer in hand and of course I've got some opinions. Always got opinions.
First off, way to go out on a limb here guys. Luck, RGII? Sure, lets pick the top 2 choices. *cough*easy*cough* I can understand your point, but where's the weapons for these guys? Luck has his safety blanket in Fleener (who's got a learning curve of his own to deal with) and an aging Reggie Wayne. RGIII has a few more veteran weapons in Cooley, Moss and Garson. Also like me some Lenoard Hankerson & Roy Helu. And yes, I will say RGIII has the "Newton Factor" but lets see this guy take a hit or two. Didn't take many hits at Baylor. You've also got to factor in the Shanny syndrom. He's got a history of not getting along with his QBs and trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Will RGII run into this or can Shanny adapt and ride RGIII's coat tails to coaching another few seasons? I think that's going to be III's biggest challenge.
If I had to go with one of these guys, i'm backing the Wood. Richardson is about to hit this league like a ton of bricks. Best back since Purple Jesus (that's Adrian Peterson. Slap yourself if you didn't know that) Even in Cleveland, he should beast mode like Ricky did, back when he was smokin'.
But for my choices, I'm going to dive a little farther down into the draft, focus on the defensive side of the ball, make up some shit. You know, the usual.
First off I love me some Whitney Mercilus. The DE out of Illinos got drafted by the Texans and couldn't ask for a better situation. He's got Connor Barwin for a live role model (I'll skip the customary Brian Cushing joke) and the Grand Wizard of Defense (too racist?) Wade Phillips that will use him to the best of his abilities from the very first snap. If you give him his sack total for the season at 8.5, I'm going to take the over. All day, every day. TWICE on Sunday. Nick Perry should thrive in Green Bays D playing along with Matthews & Co.
Depending on which Jay Cutler we get this season, or by week if you like, Alshon Jeffery could be another big target to go along with Brandon Marshall. Now of course he's not in the same class that Johnson & Johnson, Fitz, etc. were when they first came into the league, but if Cutler can wear his big boy pants all season Jeffery could post +850yds and +6tds. Rueben Randle out of LSU has the potential to quickly become one of Eli Mannings favor targets. He'll have to fight his way up the depth chart though.
Still, if I'm voting I'm going with Richardson. It'll be a runaway if Weedon is able to pull an Andy Dalton. Beast mode. Watch.
I'm pretty sure Richardson is an equally safe (if not safer) call than Luck or RGIII. QBs almost always struggle more than RBs in their rookie year, and Brown have the kind of o-line and offensive scheme that could easily pave Richardson's way for a 1000-yard 8-TD season, which could very well be enough to get Offensive Rookie of the Year over the QBs. In fact, I think Luck may be the riskiest because of how atrocious the o-line is over there and how high the expectations are. I also think that a defensive player will be the one to get the Rookie of the Year (like Suh should have his rookie season, though he still got the defensive rookie award) and that one of the people we've mentioned will simply win offensive rookie. But I'd argue Melvin Ingram or Luke Kuechly to get it over Whitney Mercilus. Alas, defensive players are a whole different type of argument. Perhaps we leave that for the next forum, although I'd rather argue why the Eagles will win the Superbowl.
Eagles! Are you high? With VY in the lineup now the Bills are the clear favorites.
Also, I'm 18 drinks deep at a wedding so suck on that.
For once in his life, Mike may have actually made a respectable decision (better late than never I guess). While Luck has the hype, and Richardson has an ideal situation, I gotta go with Griffin. Although the Redskins did give up quite a few prospects to get the 2nd pick, he’s still doesn’t have nearly the kind of pressure Luck has riding on him.
I mean really, Luck has to follow up the era of one of the best players to ever grace the game of football, Washington is coming off the captivating play of…. Rex Grossman? DC fans should be excited about the arrival of Griffin, but they know better than to say he’s the chosen one or anything. Just look at the previous up-and-comers to play at the Nation’s capital. John Wall has a nice career in hip hop ahead of him if he never gets out of DC, Steven Strasburg was cool that one month, and Bryce Harper just hit himself in the head with his own bat (although he was pretty badass with that blood on his face). Overall, Redskin nation is excited for Griffin, but won’t put too much pressure on him to win the Super Bowl his first year like in Indy. They’ll be happy with being just a few wins closer to .500 and with a young team with potential, that’s somewhat achievable.
Griffin also has the excitement that will reel in fans across the nation. His electrifying play and balanced attack will make up for a lack of “team wins” (Carolina only went 6-10 last year) and he will be the person people pay money to see, making him a prime candidate as the “face of the new NFL.”
Two words: MATT KALIL!
F you Mike for knowing me too well. Maybe it's the fact that I've just come home from square dancing on a farm in Nashville(true story) or that I've consumed too much keg beer and whiskey for my own good(definitely, true story), but I'm feeling brash tonight. Matt Kalil will be the first offensive lineman (okay, the first non-QB/RB/WR) to ever win NFL rookie of the year!
Let's face it. He's a stout dude. And considering his older bro, Ryan Kalil, has gone on to become the highest paid NFL center in history AND has a tremendous comedy acting career (as demonstrated by his screen time with Will Ferrell), it can only be assumed, Matt (unanimously believed to be a much better prospect than his bro) will step into a hall of fame, highlight grabbing, dominating career that will get started in 2012... I even hear he's cool with gays tying the knot. 2012 is the year of Matt Kalil!