Rookie Battle Royale: Week 17 – Rumble for the Belt

Well, the NFL season is officially over, and the rookie campaigns are finished for many of the top rookies this year. There hasn’t been as many surprises as there were last year with two rookie QBs in the playoffs among others, but many of the years top rookies played far beyond expectations. This was really the year of the later round picks taking the spotlight, and hopefully next year will have just as many stars.

Percy Harvin

Harvin had a pretty good game against the Giants, even though he didn’t score. Hell, the entire team did well. He did have a long TD that was called back due to some unseen interference, but at that point the game was already over. Harvin should be the ROY when the results are released, though it is much closer now. Harvin has had a great year for a wide receiver and I can see that he will continue to do well into the playoffs. Since the voters value playoffs as well as performance, and he definitely gets that edge over Moreno and others, whose teams have stumbled and fell as the season closed.

Knowshon Moreno

Two TDs and almost 100 total yards didn’t help much against Kansas City, and I am thouroughly shocked that Denver did not make the playoffs after that start. Moreno hasn’t really been the reason they are playing golf next weekend, but that wont matter much in the end. He will have a great career in Denver, even if the Broncos keep playing the way they did after week 7, but I am not sure he will have the juice to end up with the hardware this year.

Beanie Wells

Wells did nothing on six carries, but the team wasn’t really playing either. When it comes to second halves, Beanie blew up and was probably at the top for all rookies in terms of production. The Cardinals will need him to do well if they hope to beat a streaking Packers team, and now that their defense is banged up, it may be too much for him to carry. He has been great this year, and will no doubt be the top guy for Arizona next year.

Mark Sanchez

Sanchez had a horrible year, but his start combined with a playoff berth is going to get him considerable consideration for some reason. The Jets will go out next week, but it’s the win yesterday that counts. I expect him to bone up and be much better as he learns how to play in the NFL, however this season is one to take an eraser to. He had only 69 yards passing and a TD in the big win, which was a result of the Jets only throwing 16 times.

Mike Wallace

Its odd that the Steelers are only using him for deep routes, but a blown coverage netted him a long TD in a squeaked out win. He only caught one other pass, but the overall numbers will get him consideration, behind the others at the top. He has had a season way above expectations, but I am not too convinced that he has what it takes to get it done as a top guy week after week.

Austin Collie

Collie did nothing this week, but had a ridiculous season for a player I hadnt heard of coming out of college. The Colts are playoff bound as a number one seed, and Im guessing that his role will be very reduced in the playoffs. Not because of lack of talent, but because teams tend to use the parts of the offense they trust much more than the newer parts. With Wayne, Addai, and company paving the way, it will take a lot for Collie to go off.

Arian Foster

What a job by this nobody, 119 yards and two TDs at least gave the Texans a shot at the post season. Another guy I had never heard of that just exploded, even though the Patriots should have rested their guys. Add him to the list of late rounders with great weeks, something that I missed most of last year. Great to see everyone getting in on the action.

Final NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year Rankings

1. Percy Harvin (LW #1)
2. Knowshon Moreno (LW #2)
3. Beanie Wells (LW #2)
4. Mark Sanchez (LW NR)
5. Mike Wallace (LW #5)
5. Austin Collie (LW #5)

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