Race For Rookie of the Year, Week 12

With every passing week, and every week of impressive passing, we edge closer to the seemingly inevitable coronation of RG3 as PFF ROTY.

| 5 years ago
Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints

Race For Rookie of the Year, Week 12

With five weeks of the season to go it’s looking more and more like there’s only one man who could possibly earn this crown. There have been other challengers who have at times looked capable of approaching the near flawlessness of RG3, but ultimately they have faded.

To some, wins are the measure of what makes a rookie of the year. To us, it’s about how they play.

Now let’s get to the top 10!

1. Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS (+26.8)

Does anything faze this kid? Eyes of the nation on him and what does he do? Dominate Dallas in a manner that leaves the NFC East worried about the future. Washington spent a lot to get him but it’s looking like money well spent.

2. Russell Wilson, QB, SEA (+18.2)

One preseason stud who has lived up to the billing. Wilson, a third-round rookie — as I have to keep reminding myself — has no right to be this good. But he is, and while his pocket presence isn’t the best out there, you seem him improve on a week- to-week basis.

3. Andrew Luck, QB, IND (+10.9)

If it was only about wins Luck would be leading the way, and you can’t argue that a lot hasn’t been asked of him by Indianapolis. However, just having a lot of asked of you isn’t a recipe for recognition in this race, and with at times patchy accuracy and a few too many turnovers, we’ve yet to see the best out of Luck on a consistent basis. That’s a good thing for Colts fans. He’s going to get better.

4. Kevin Zeitler, RG, CIN (+14.9)

Solid. That was Zeitler against Oakland where he missed his first snap in the NFL. He rarely wows you, but then rarely lets you down. That’s not bad for a rookie guard.

5. Casey Hayward, CB, GB (+19.4)

The Giants took Hayward out of the equation, as he was on the field for only a third of the game’s snaps. Then, when he was on defense they stayed away from him, throwing only once in his direction. He duly broke up the pass because, you know, that’s what he does.

6. Matt Kalil, LT, MIN (+13.1)

Tough outing against Chicago that was arguably his worst pass-blocking display of the year, as he gave up six hurries. Has he hit the rookie wall?

7. Doug Martin, RB, TB (+8.3)

Found the end zone on the ground twice, but it was his work in the passing game that caught our eye for mixed reasons. Gave up a sack, hit and hurry to Atlanta, but balanced that out with some good work in the passing game, even if his most impressive play was called back for a penalty.

8. Chandler Jones, DE, NE (+11.0)

With Jermaine Cunningham going down and the team coming off a long week, New England will be hoping that Jones can return in Week 13. They didn’t generate as much pressure off the edge without him there.

9. Alfred Morris, RB, WAS (+7.6)

Looking to find something of a second wind against Dallas he picked up his fourth 100-yard rushing game, kept a good hold of the ball, and added his sixth touchdown of the year.

10. Bobby Wagner, MLB, SEA (+9.7)

If not for a needless roughing the passer penalty from Earl Thomas we’d likely be speaking about his two picks being vital in a Seahawks victory. Had some problems getting off blocks, but made some plays in coverage to justify his every-down linebacker status.

Dropping Out

Lavonte David, LB, TB: The tackling machine had his first multi-missed tackle game of his career, managing a relatively modest (by his standards) seven tackles and getting beat four times in coverage. Not one of his better outings.

Five To Watch

Bruce Irvin, DE, SEA: He’s one dimensional, but he does keep picking up hurries here and there. It’s not at the Aldon Smith rookie rate though, so the Top 10 will continue to elude him.

Luke Kuechly, LB, CAR: Looks like one for the future who has rebounded from a tough start to life in the NFL with some fine performances since moving to the middle linebacker spot.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, MIA: There’s been plenty to be encouraged by from a pretty raw quarterback. Still a lot to be written about this guy in the coming years.

Mitchell Schwartz, RT, CLV: Has struggled at times but seemed to learn after each one of those encounters. Coming off one of his finest days as a pro against Pittsburgh.

Harrison Smith, S, MIN: The Vikings safety misses more tackles than you like but he’s made some plays in coverage that have made Minnesota a better defense.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

  • Chris

    “and you can’t argue that a lot hasn’t been asked of him by Indianapolis.”

    That’s what I’ve been trying to explain to people all season. I’m curious as to how you guys actually factor that in to how you grade QB’s. Sure, Luck has had some bad games, but he’s also been asked to do more than not just the other rookie QB’s, but all QB’s. He’s 4th in the NFL in attempts and his passes are traveling farther past the LOS than any other QB.

    I’m not discrediting RG3 for what he’s done at all; he’s a special talent. I’m just wondering how you guys factor in the type of offense and type of throws these QB’s are being asked to make. RG3 seems to have an offense completely tailored to him, and he’s getting a lot of his yards from his receivers making plays (YAC). Like Russell Wilson, he’s not being asked to do a ton. You’d think that if both of them could be consistently this good, their respective teams would ask them to do more with their talents. As a 49ers fan, I’ve seen what a QB can look like when you limit the kind of throws he makes and ask him not to do much. Obviously, RG3 and Wilson both have more talent than the QB I’m speaking of does.

    I think RG3 has been better than Luck this season, but I’m curious as to how you guys weigh all those aspects. I wonder what they’d look like if they switched roles.

    • Martin

      Luck’s offense has been tailored to him as well.

      EVERY QB’s offense is tailored to him – no offensive coordinator in the NFL tells his QB, “Well, I’ve seen you struggle with this play, but I’m still going to make you do it in-game, so good luck.”

      RG3’s offense incorporates more college concepts because of his incredible athletic talent, but that doesn’t make it a “worse” offense than Luck’s. QBs are paid to move the ball down the field and score real points, and there’s no “style penalty” for a touchdown scored after a read-option play. If it works, it works.

      • Jason

        Have you seen the Eagles? Deep throws and no run plays behind the mos injured line in the league is definetly not playing to the team’s strengths or Vick’s. Plenty of coaches have bad systems for their players (the Eagles defense last year proves my theory as well).

      • Chris

        It’s not that the offense hasn’t been tailored for Luck, it’s that they’re asking him to do more than any rookie QB should. You can’t ask a young QB to go out there and throw the ball 40+ times a game and expect immediate success. I’ve heard numerous analysts and football minds say this.

        • NCAA-Olineman

          Chris and William
          All NFL Qb’s offenses are tailored to them, but if you look at the offense that RGIII is running… it is errily similar to his offense at Baylor. It’s obvious that RG3 throws far fewer passes, but if you added it up, i’m sure you would also find he throws the most check downs/flares/screens (as a percentage). The reason this is troubling is because Andrew luck is going to make massive progress given the amount of traditional NFL QB reps whereas RG3 hasn’t been getting that same level of experience… Simply Put Washington wants to win games now to validate the trade for RG3, at the expense of his development, whereas Indy wants to make sure that Luck develops into the next Peyton, at the expense of immediate results.

      • http://twitter.com/Cornerss william

        “EVERY QB’s offense is tailored to him – no offensive coordinator in the NFL tells his QB”

        Until recently thats exactly how coaches told rookie qb’s. Learn the system or be cut. Its changed the last few years though

    • Martin

      Anyways – PFF grades players on a per-snap basis.

      Luck has more throws per game than RG3.
      If Luck regularly made more good throws than RG3, Luck would have a
      HIGHER grade than RG3 because he has more opportunities to earn a grade
      for himself. RG3 doesn’t earn a grade a positive grade when he hands
      the ball off to Alfred Morris.

      So how come RG3 has a better grade than Luck if he has fewer dropbacks?

      Well, when RG3 passes the ball, good things usually happen.

      If you actually watch Luck play, you see him make some good plays, some brilliant plays, and some really awful plays.

      Luck has 18 turnovers (INT+ lost fumbles) in 11 games. RG3 has 6 total turnovers.

      Luck is asked to do more than RG3, but he’s not asked to do 3 times more – RG3 has 305 pass attempts and 99 rushing attempts (404), while Luck has 449 pass attempts and 41 rush attempts (490).

      In roughly 86 more snaps (or 21% more snaps than RG3), Luck has turned over the ball 300% as much. Luck has also scored fewer touchdowns (18 for Luck versus 22 for RG3), and Luck has gained 3388 total yards, only slightly ahead of RG3’s 3146 yards.

      Luck is a terrific young QB, but having seen both Luck and RG3 play (and pre-draft I preferred Luck over RG3), RG3 has been significantly more productive on a per-snap basis and FAR less turnover prone on a per snap basis, and I think PFF’s grade reflects that.

  • http://twitter.com/Cornerss william

    so because of what the skins gave up to get RG3, is it pretty much what we see is what we will get From the skins the next few years talent wise because of a lack of picks?Do they have cap space to get more players?

    • Alvaro

      It’s not like a team will hit on every 1st rd pick, so there’s that. But the redskins sould be fine. Plus, their major deficiencies are at positions typically taken in the 2nd and 3 Ed round…RT and safety.

  • dave

    Just saw the stat of the day….

    “Doug Martin is the first back this year to force 50 missed tackles from scrimmage.”

    Yes but 49 of those came from the Oakland game.