October 27, 2012

Welcome to the NFL, Rookie

By - Jaquan Murphy

The NFL experience is different for every rookie out there.

Some quickly emerge on the scene and become important role players on their team, while others get knocked around and come to the realization that they are no longer dominating a league full of 18 to 21-year-olds anymore.

These are some of the rookies who have transitioned nicely into the pros, and some who are facing a rather rude reality check.

First, the guys who are off to a great start.

Robert Griffin III - QB, Washington Redskins

Photo by: Getty Images
So far, the No. 2 overall pick has done nothing less than electrify in his rookie campaign. Currently the #3 rated passer in the league, he has surpassed all expectations, showing an exceptional grasp of the Redskins playbook, and an above average understanding of the complexities of professional defenses. Griffin has been the heart of Washington's offense -- accounting for 11 of the team's touchdowns. Through 7 games, he has amassed over 1,600 passing yards and over 450 yards rushing. RG3 is making a strong case for Rookie of the Year, and if he continues to play at this level, there will be no arguing for anyone else.

Doug Martin - RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay's first-round pick has quickly turned into the team's workhorse, and a very legit running back in the NFL to boot. Martin has emerged as the Bucs primary ball carrier, and currently ranks third among rookies in total rushing yards. His balance of speed and strength and his ability to run between the tackles and break a run to the outside should make Martin a mainstay in Tampa's backfield for years to come.

Alfred Morris - RB, Washington Redskins

Perhaps the biggest steal of the draft, the sixth-round pick has quietly paired up with RG3 to form a dynamic duo in the backfield for Washington. When drafted, Morris was not expected to play a major role in the offense -- if any at all. But he has emerged as the every-down back for the Redskins. Somewhat flying under the radar due to all the attention that Griffin garners, Morris has piled up over 650 yards on the ground, and currently sits second in the NFL in rushing. He has been a pleasant surprise for the Skins, and is helping the future look brighter than ever in Washington.

While those players are racking up major numbers and adjusting well to the NFL, others are getting a welcome colder than Lambeau Field in December.

It's safe to say these guys envisioned their rookie season going differently.

Justin Blackmon - WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars traded up to land what they thought would be the big play receiver to boost their offense and help in the development of their young quarterback, Blaine Gabbert. However, Blackmon has not had that go-to receiver impact, and Gabbert's play has actually regressed. What was supposed to become a dynamic offensive duo is looking as dark and dreary as a rainy winter day in Jacksonville.

Ryan Tannehill - QB, Miami Dolphins

Miami is a perfect place for people looking to soak up the sun, hit the club, and relax on the beach. However, it is not a perfect place to play quarterback in the National Football League. Tannehill is learning that first-hand. While the Dolphins have not made things easy for him, that still doesn't justify his lackluster numbers. Under 1,500 passing yards, under 60% completion percentage, and a passer rating under 80 shows that Tannehill is not quite ready to be a starter in the NFL yet.

Michael Floyd - WR, Arizona Cardinals

Drafted to be a compliment to Larry Fitzgerald and thrive off the lack of attention given to him by defenses, Floyd has done the complete opposite -- being virtually a non-factor in the desert. Tallying only 1 touchdown catch and under 100 total receiving yards, Floyd has been one of the biggest rookie disappointments of the season.


  1. Tannehill hasnt been that bad bruh. Hes got similar numbers to the other starting rookie quarterbacks and his are actually better then Andrew Lucks.

  2. The only person you mentioned that I disagree with is Tannehill. I don't think he's looked that bad. Like the other guy said, he's been no worse than Luck.

  3. Still doesnt mean Tannehill is having a good year..And Luck has showed some 4th quarter magic already that looks promising..