There are only six more games left in the 2010 NFL regular season and a few rookies have made it clear that they are worthy of the recognition of Offensive Rookie of the Year. Each player has done a spectacular job of contributing to their team’s success and has made their presence felt. Here are my top five players who I feel would be deserving of receiving this recognition.
Dez Bryant, Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys
When the Cowboys drafted him with the 24th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, Bryant made it clear that he would make the rest of the NFL regret not using one of the previous 23 picks on him. So far this season, he has done that and more. After only 10 games, he has scored more touchdowns than Cowboy receiver great Michael Irvin did in his first two seasons in the NFL. He has been a sensational player who puts the defense on edge when he lines up on the other side of the ball. With plenty of touchdowns, both on offense and special teams, Bryant has been one of the few bright spots on a Cowboys team that has struggled to impress anybody this season. Teams were worried about the hype and character issues before the draft. Now they’re more worried about how many touchdowns he’ll put up on their defense.
Sam Bradford, Quarterback, St. Louis Rams
Bradford came into the NFL with plenty of questions after being drafted number one overall despite injury concerns. Since taking the helm for the Rams, he has been anything but a disappointment. This season, he has nearly matched the amount of wins that the team has totaled in the past three years. Even with no standout receiving threat on offense to throw to, he has found a way to make plays and put points on the board. He takes advantage of the players that the Rams have surrounded him with and has shown excellent poise and composure while being under constant pressure. The Rams took a gamble in drafting Bradford and making him the future face of the franchise and as of right now, it has paid off.
LeGarrette Blount, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Just the fact that he has vastly exceeded everyone’s expectations earns him a spot on this list. Blount has become the key to the Buccaneers ground game, unseating Cadillac Williams in the process. There have been multiple games that Blount has been one of the main components to a Buccaneer win, including a close game against the Arizona Cardinals in which he ran for 120 yards on 22 carries, scoring two touchdowns in the process. I bet at least half the teams in the NFL, especially the Tennessee Titans, regret not giving Blount the opportunity that he was so desperately looking for. His character has undergone a big improvement since his days as an Oregon Duck, and if he can stay on track with the Buccaneers, could turn out to be one of the biggest surprises of the 2010 draft class.
Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Another player with character issues that the Buccaneers decided to roll the dice with has paid off in much bigger ways than the team could have ever imagined. Williams was thought to be a first-round talent, but dropped to the fourth after concerns about him being kicked off the team at Syracuse. Well, Raheem Morris must be doing something right with his bad seeds because Williams has become one of the biggest deep threats in the NFL this year and is the leading receiver for the resurgent Buccaneers. Although he has never won, he has been nominated almost every week for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award. He has been the main reason for Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman’s sophomore success, and if they make the playoffs in 2010, Williams will be one of the players that should be to thank.
Maurkice Pouncey, Center, Pittsburgh Steelers
There hasn’t been an offensive lineman to come into the league in recent years who has made as big of an impact in their rookie season as Pouncey has for the Steelers. He has played like a seasoned veteran throughout the season and has shown a rare understanding of such a complex position for a rookie. Just the fact that he is on this list with a bunch of skill position players demonstrates that amount of success that he has had this season. He has been dealing with injuries for the past two weeks, so he might not be able to finish out the season. With the way he was playing prior to the injuries, he could have definitely made a run for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Aaron Hernandez, Tight End, New England Patriots
Jahvid Best, Running Back, Detroit Lions
Colt McCoy, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns