December 6, 2011 6 Comments
The 2011 season has been one full of key injuries to top veteran players.
Kenny Britt went down early in the season giving room for Nate Washington and Damian Williams to step in and make an impact.
Peyton Manning hasnt played a snap all season giving Curtis Painter a chance to….go win less.
Andre Johnson has missed a chunk of the season along with Arian Foster and Matt Shaub. Matt Forte just went down last week with a knee injury, and Miles Austin has missed a majority of the season with a hamstring injury.
I can probably go on and on with this list, but lets discuss the more impressive part of the season, the rookies.
This is who I believe are the top rookies of 2011:
In the 2011 draft, the Atlanta Falcons traded away multiple draft picks for an early first round pick to grab Julio Jones.
His Performance in the combine was simply amazing, and he did it all with a broken bone in his foot. He has been one of Matt Ryan’s most reliable receivers catching 30 passes for nearly 500 yards and is Atlanta’s main deep ball threat.
I am sure you all remember the show he put on against the Colts a couple of weeks ago.
Remember what Torrey Smith did to the St. Louis Rams in week 3?
In the first quarter he caught 3 passes, all for touchdowns and a total of 130 yards. These were his FIRST three catches of his career. Talk about a confidence booster.
This rookie has topped 150 yards TWICE this season. He made himself into one of the most feared deep ball threats in the league, and i am sure Mr. Flacco loves having him on the squad.
4. RB Demarco Murray: Dallas Cowboys
Demarco Murray made his first appearance when Felix Jones went down in the middle of the season. He seems to break a 50 plus yard run every game he’s played.
He is very fast and agile which makes him extremely tough to wrap up. He hits the holes better than any rookie running back that I have seen in a while. He’s rushed for over 100 yards in three games, and in his first start as a running back, he surpassed 250 yards rushing.
Not to mention Murray broke Emmitt Smiths Total rushing yards in a single game record.
3. LB Von Miller: Denver Broncos
VON MILLER IS NASTY!
The rookie linebacker in Denver can easily win defensive player of the year. He along with Champ Bailey make up an extremely dangerous defense. With 11 sacks and 58 tackles, Von Miller is becoming the Ray Lewis of the Denver Broncos defense.
Its simple, Von Miller is a huge part of Tim Tebow’s success.
2. WR AJ Green: Cincinnati Bengals
AJ Green is the top receiver on the Bengals, pairing up with another amazing rookie QB that I haven’t mentioned yet.
He has 745 yards and 6 touchdowns, leading all rookies in both categories. You can easily mix those stats up with that of an 8 year vet. He has developed very strong and early chemistry with his quarterback.
Can you say Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison?
(b) Thanks to Carson Palmer and his stubbornness, Andy Dalton has himself a starting position as the Bengals quarterback.
He lead the team to a 7-4 record, and has played some very impressive games. Like I mentioned before, He has an amazing relationship with wide-receiver AJ Green and it seems like they will be tearing the NFL up for the next 10+ years.
Dalton is so dangerously accurate and has been doing it consistently. With Green and Dalton being so consistent, all NFL fans should be excited to watch the next best duo.
Congrats to Dalton on becoming the future of the Bengals organization.
CAM NEWTON SHOCKED THE FOOTBALL WORLD:
Who would have thought that the College style quarterback would be 7th in the league in passing yards. Last week he broke the record for most rushing touchdowns for a quarterback in a single season in NFL HISTORY. When you make history as a rookie, you should be recognized.
He does have more interceptions than touchdowns and turns the ball over a lot, but so did Peyton Manning in his rookie year. His ability to tear up defenses as a rookie is just boosting his confidence.
I would bet any amount of money that in the near future Cam Newton will be making a run towards the Superbowl, possibly seeing Andy Dalton on the other sideline. I have a good feeling they will be seeing each other in a couple of big games.
My only problem with Cam Newton is that he does run a lot and he tends to lower his shoulder at linebackers. If he doesn’t change this habit, he eventually will run into one of the leagues bad ass linebackers and lose his head.
Just slide dude!
As a colt fan this season has obviously been a huge disappointment, but I do enjoy watching the future class of the NFL tear it up in their rookie year.