Race for Rookie of the Year: Sometimes No. 1 is No. 1 …

| November 5, 2010

It’s nothing that Alterraun Verner did wrong that lost him the top spot, but we’re seeing a pretty special rookie season developing in St Louis.

With nearly half a season of NFL experience under their colllective belts, it’s starting to get interesting in our race for rookie of the year.

1. Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis (+15.8, 592 snaps)

Possibly coming off his most assured performance, Bradford is up to 12th in our quarterback rankings. Completed a remarkable 90.8 percent of passes when given time against the Panthers.  Last week: 2nd

2. Alterraun Verner, CB, Tennessee (+6.3, 424 snaps)

Drops a place after a so-so game against the Chargers. Still ranked as seventh in our cornerback ratings and yet to give up a touchdown on the year. Last week: 1st

3. Devin McCourty, CB, New England (+6.3, 502 snaps)

The only thing that separates McCourty from Verner is the number of touchdowns he has allowed (three). McCourty had a big game against Brett Favre, breaking up two passes and intercepting another. Last week: Not ranked

4. Brandon Spikes, LB, New England (+13.6, 239 snaps)

A real joy to watch Spikes knife through opposing offensive lines. Just seems to do something on every drive to make him look like one of the draft’s steals. Only thing holding him back is he’s a two-down player. Last week: 5th

5. Tony Moeaki, TE, Kansas City (+5.8, 407 snaps)

Has come into the NFL and looked everything you’d want in a tight end. Has caught 80 percent of passes thrown his way but it’s perhaps as impressive to watch him run block. Our seventh-ranked tight end overall. Last week: 9th

6. Perrish Cox, CB, Denver (+5.5, 337 snaps)

Drops in the rankings after missing the trip to London. Even so, still third in the league for pass breakups with seven. Last week: 4th

7. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit (+4.4 pass rush, 441 total snaps)

We can’t ignore the impact Suh has made rushing the passer, even if his ill discipline in the running game is going to hurt his team. He sells out on every play to get to the quarterback and it shows with his DT-leading 10 hits of a quarterback. Last week: Not ranked

8. Mike Iupati, G, San Francisco (+4.7, 528 snaps)

Has settled down for the year with a couple of good, if not great, displays. A better run-blocker than pass-blocker at this stage but looking good value. Last week: 8th

9. Koa Misi, OLB, Miami (+6.4, 248 snaps)

Drops big time after his worst game as a pro and due the fact he’s hardly on the field, it seems. Teams’ tendencies to go to three-receiver sets against the Dolphins means he really only sees third-down plays. Last week: 3rd

10. Eric Berry, S, Kansas City (+4.0, 496 snaps)

A first entry for Berry, who has put together two very good performances in which he not only made plays but avoided making mistakes. Looks like a different player from the one we saw at the start of the year. Last week: Not ranked

Dropping out: Lamarr Houston (Raiders), Jordan Shipley (Bengals) and Tyson Alualu (Jaguars)

In the mix: Daryl Washington (Cardinals), Gerald McCoy (Bucaneers) and Rolando McClain (Raiders)

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