In the NFL, 2012 was the year of the rookie. Many first year players stepped up to become contributors for their teams. However, only a few separated themselves enough to gain recognition as the best rookies on the offensive side of the ball this past season.
Andrew Luck was chosen first overall in the draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Thanks to his leadership, the Colts finished the season 11-5 and qualified for the playoffs after missing them last season. Luck passed for a NFL rookie record 4374 yards. His 23 touchdown passes were seventh in the AFC.
Robert Griffin III:
RGIII was chosen second overall by the Washington Redskins. Washington has won seven straight games thanks to his arm and his ability to run the ball. Griffin rushed for over 800 yards while throwing for 3200 more. He finished the year with 27 combined rushing and passing touchdowns while only throwing five interceptions.
Wilson was picked in the third round of the draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He rushed for 489 yards in 2012 which set a new franchise record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Wilson added to those totals by throwing for over 3000 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Morris rushed for over 1600 yards in his first season for the Washington Redskins. Taken in the sixth round, he is considered by many as the steal of the draft. His running ability is a big reason why the Redskins are having success this season.
When Doug Martin was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round, it was thought that it may have been a bad pick. However, he proved how dynamic he could be once he got his opportunity. After rushing for over 1400 yards, no one is going to overlook him next season.
David Wilson's rookie season was in danger of being known only for his fumble in the first game of the regular season. However, he regained the confidence of Giants coach Tom Coughlin late in the season. In the final four games of the season, he averaged 5.7 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns.
Blackmon was taken fifth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite a slow start, he managed to finish the season with 865 yards and five touchdowns. In the final two games of the regular season, he gained 158 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns.
Taken in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts, T.Y. Hilton showed that smaller players can be productive in the NFL. He finished the year with 861 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Hilton also added a punt return for a touchdown.
Overall, there were many rookies who were able to prove themselves as worthy of playing in the NFL. The production of these players could make it easier for rookies to see more playing time in the future. It will also increase the pressure on front office executives to select players in the draft who can contribute quickly at the next level.