Crystal Ball Prediction – Offensive ROY
In the amount of time between the publication of this article and the presentation of the NFL 2012 Season Player Awards, ALOT will happen. Over 17 million fans will travel to NFL stadiums around the country to watch the gladiators of our day take to the gridiron for battle. That comes only after the spectators partake in 5 hours of drinking beers, charring meats, pounding more beers and downing any combination of deep fried goodies in the parking lot prior to going into the stadium early, to get two beers before kickoff of course. (I’m not sure this was the custom in the days of The Colosseum).
Let’s now take a look at which first time gladiators will prove to be the most prepared for battle, and which will ultimately get the thumbs up from voters at season’s end as the best new comer on offense.
2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year:
ANDREW LUCK, IND – Indy’s abhorrent 2011 season was not helped by the baggage that had come along with the Peyton Manning situation. However, some closure in the Manning situation has allowed the fan base to move on from their former leader and into the Luck era with some real excitement. Luck has a cannon that can make all the NFL throws, the demeanor of a vet, and a football IQ that has amazed scouts and coaches since his Stanford days. A weak division and no backup breathing down his neck will give Luck some real chances to shine for his new club, and he will do just that. A better record than Peyton in his 3-13 rookie campaign seems inevitable.
DOUG MARTIN, TB – While Martin has really impressed in training camp, the Bucs will be trailing a lot, meaning Martin will not get enough touches this year to win ROY.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III, WAS – While RG3 is a world class athlete, the Skins play in arguably the toughest division in football, and have an offense without much top tier talent at the skill positions. While he will surprise a lot of doubters with some flashes of stardom, ROY is just not in the cards for Bob Griffin.
TRENT RICHARDSON, CLE – Richardson is NFL-ready, however he already has injury issues, and the Browns play in a division with three of the most punishing defenses in football. Oh yea also, he’s on the Browns. Sorry “Roll Tide” fans, but it ain’t gonna happen.
ALSHON JEFFERY, CHI – With a gunslinging QB in Jay Cutler, and #1 wideout Brandon Marshall drawing constant double teams, Alshon Jeffery will reap big benefits in this Bears offense. The former Gamecock is 6’3″, fast, wiry, and always in attack mode. While Justin Blackmon was the first WR to awkwardly hug Roger Goodell at this years draft, it will be 2nd rounder Jeffery who will be the most productive pass catching rookie in 2012.
TOMORROW….. Defensive Rookie of the Year