Race for Rookie of the Year: The song remains the same

| November 11, 2010

With our top two contenders on their bye weeks, it was going to take a big effort to overtake them and quite frankly, nobody stepped up.

In fact, we saw a number of rookies really begin to look like rookies. Yep, it’s business time and from here on in, and every game counts big time in our Race for Rookie of the Year.

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

Still the top dog, Bradford has had a week to improve on his so-far excellent rookie season. It’s his to lose at this stage, given the rebuild job he’s helping to make in St. Louis. Last week: 1st

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

Another top player on a bye week, Verner isn’t getting anywhere near the attention he deserves. The cream of a very talented cornerback crop. Last week: 2nd

3. Perrish Cox, CB, Denver, (+5.5, 333 snaps)

Up to three despite being on his bye, but how? Sometimes when you sit still you watch others suffer, and Week 9 was the week three guys in front of him had their worst games. Last week: 6th

4. Tony Moeaki, TE, Kansas City (+5.3, 492 snaps)

Our seventh-ranked tight end can thank the poor display of the Patriots’ rookies for his move to fourth, despite his worst performance as a pro against the Raiders. Last week: 5th

5. Eric Berry, S, Kansas City (+5.2, 564 snaps)

The most impressive rookie in recent weeks, sorting out his coverage woes and finding a role closer as a more traditional strong safety. Big week to pick up two sacks, but we’ll reiterate what we said last week. He’s cutting out the raw rookie play, and that may be the most important thing at this stage. Last week: 10th

6. Brandon Spikes, ILB, New England (+12.9, 290 snaps)

In recent weeks his knifing through gaps as been a highlight of an improved Patriots defense. Unfortunately for him, the Browns found a way to use his aggressiveness against him and take him out of the game for the most part. Last week: 4th

7. Devin McCourty, CB, New England (+4.2, 567 snaps)

Dropped to 21st in our cornerback rankings after a sloppy display against Cleveland, as the Browns had enough joy against him to prevent themselves being completely one-dimensional. Makes plays but makes mistakes. Last week: 3rd

8. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit (+2.8 pass rushing, 510 snaps)

Drops a spot despite some improved run defense against the Jets, though he was strangely quiet getting after the quarterback. Read some more excellent coverage of  him here. Last week: 7th

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

On a bye, so didn’t do anything wrong. Is poised to move up the rankings if he just gets a little bit more consistent. Last week: 8th

10. Javier Arenas, CB/R, Kansas City (+4.1, 258 snaps and +6.0 kick return)

Have to find a spot for our top-ranked punt returner. More than that, Arenas has actually been more than serviceable at nickel back for the Chiefs. Great draft class so far from Kansas City. Last week: unranked

Dropping Out: Koa Misi (Miami)

In the mix: Daryl Washington (Arizona), Tyson Alualu (Jacksonville), Brandon Graham (Philadelphia) and Rolando McClain (Oakland)

  • Chris Benson

    Glad to see Arenas appear on the list now.

    Thankfully, Andre Goodman’s FA contract wasn’t so large as to make Denver feel obligated to start him (as many teams do with spendy vets, sadly)
    In fact, if I remember correctly, he gets another 5 mil or so for playing 75% of defensive snaps, so HOPEFULLY the Broncos will do the right thing and start Cox for the rest of the season. He has more than earned the job.

  • John Breitenbach

    I remember the Chiefs being criticised at the time for taking Arenas but I couldn’t understand it myself. With the amount of times a nickel CB sees the field these days and the importance of good STs the pick made perfect sense to improve a secondary already with Carr and Flowers.