STACK NFL Rookie Midseason Rankings | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

STACK NFL Rookie Midseason Rankings

November 1, 2012

The end of October marked six months since the NFL Draft and the midpoint of the NFL season. What better time to weigh in on the top performing first-year players, some of whom we covered as they prepared for the 2012 NFL Combine? (Check out STACK's "Path to the Pros" series.)

Here, we rank the top 10 rookies based on the impact they’ve had in the first half of the season.

10. Mark Barron, SS, and Lavonte David, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It would be unfair to choose one over the other in terms of which one has had more impact. Both Barron and David have started since Week 1, and both have been key contributors to a Bucs defense that ranks among the top five in rushing yards allowed, a remarkable turnaround for a defense that ranked dead last in stopping the run last season.

9. Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

Wright is outperforming fellow rookie receivers Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd, both of whom were selected ahead of him. If fact, at the midway point, he has more catches and receiving yards than Blackmon and Floyd combined. Not surprising, considering Wright has been the most targeted receiver on the Titans.

8. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson won the QB competition in Seattle and has the job on lock after leading the Seahawks to improbable wins over Dallas, Green Bay and New England. Not bad for a fourth-round pick whom many had written off as too small to be an NFL quarterback.

7. Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers

This is a guy who averaged 177 tackles as a three-year starter at Boston College. Before the draft, some pundits claimed those numbers were inflated, because a large percentage of Kuechly's tackles occurred downfield after the opponent had already made a big play. That’s not the case this year, as Kuechly leads the Panthers in tackles and tackles for loss through the first half of the season. A quick search around the league shows that his seven tackles for loss currently ranks fourth among NFC teams.

Cleveland Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson is the franchise running back the Cleveland Browns have long coveted.

6. Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns

Richardson carried Cleveland to a 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers on a rainy and windy Sunday afternoon in Week 8, which is exactly what the Browns envisioned when they traded up in the Draft to pick the Alabama running back. After battling injuries early in the season, Richardson appears to be returning to full health and adjusting to the pro style with each game. (Check out the training that has powered some of Richardson's greatest performances.)

5. Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

Morris leads all rookie running backs in rushing yards and attempts at the midway point of the season. Talk about draft value: Morris was selected in the sixth round (173rd overall), the 14th running back chosen in the 2012 Draft.

4. Chandler Jones, DE, New England Patriots

Through their first seven games, the Patriots have started as many as four rookies on defense; but none has had more of an impact than Jones, who leads all rookies in sacks and forced fumbles. Jones has been a dynamo, playing in 92 percent of the Pats’ defensive snaps.

3. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The second running back picked in the draft has been solid all season, but it was his breakout performance against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8 that catapulted the Boise State product to number three on this list. A humble, hard-working player, Martin has the potential to develop into an elite back in the NFL.

2. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

The first overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft has been steady if unspectacular through the first half of the season. He ranks in the top 10 in pass attempts, passing yards and yards per completion. One of the more interesting stats for Luck is his three rushing touchdowns. That’s nearly half as many rushing touchdowns as he scored during his three years at Stanford. (Watch video of Luck's pre-draft training at Athletes' Performance.)

1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

Very few folks had the audacity to project RGIII ahead of Luck as the No. 1 pick in the draft. Sure, Luck was selected first, but knowing what you know now, would you be surprised if RGIII ends the season as the more successful QB? We sure wouldn’t.

The sky is the limit for RGIII. There is no question that he has had the most profound impact of any rookie in 2012. (Watch RGIII on the practice field as he provides 1-on-1 instruction for becoming a better QB.)

Photo: Jim Prisching

Topics: FOOTBALL | NEWS
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Nike Elite Collection: Wear It Like a Badge of Honor

New Year's Resolutions Top Pro Athletes Need to Make

The Best Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals for Athletes

Nike Unveils Uniforms for First College Football Playoff

WATCH: Never-Before-Seen J.J. Watt High School Highlight Reel

I Ran the 40-Yard Dash at the NFL Combine and Sucked at It

WATCH: 5-Foot-2 Guard Drops 41 Points

The Ol' Scottish Cement Bag Trick Is the Best

10 Totally Worthy Holiday Charity Efforts by Pro Athletes

The Saddest CrossFit Fail Ever

The 14 Most Beastly Plays of 2014

5 Superstars Who Spent Time on Awful Teams

The 10 Best Fitness Fails of 2014

Beating the Elements: The 6 Worst Weather Games of All Time

Here's Your First Look at the 2015 NBA All-Star Uniforms

Greene

The 5 Biggest Rule Changes in Sports History

Introducing the Football You Can Throw 100+ Yards

NHL All-Stars Drop In For a Game of Sledge Hockey

Score Some Fancy Footwear With Reebok's Black Friday Sale

Stephen Curry's Long-Range Game: Does Anyone Come Close?

Social Media Roundup: Jameis Winston on a Jetpack

Social Media Roundup: Don't Call J.J. Watt 'Bae'

Cold? Try the Columbia Diamond 890 Turbodown Hooded Down Jacket

Meet Ricky Johnson, Red Bull Frozen Rush Champion

Social Media Roundup: Adam Jones Channels His Inner Prince Akeem

The 5 Most Embarrassing Plays in Sports

Mythcrusher: Does a Fast 40-Yard Dash Predict NFL Success?