1. Andrew Luck- My pick for offensive Rookie of the Year, Luck lived up to the expectations. Just like his last year in college, Luck takes the backseat to flashier players like RG3 and Russell Wilson. Still, Andrew Luck took a two win team to ten wins the next year. Unlike Griffin, Luck started every game of the year and set the rookie passing record with over 4,100 yards. He had 23 touchdowns compared to 18 interceptions, but he was asked to throw the ball over 627 times! Compare his rookie year to Peyton Mannings rookie year, in which Manning threw 26 touchdowns but 28 interceptions! Most of Luck’s rookie year was without his head coach as well, Chuck Pagano. Luck didn’t miss a beat and carried his team to the playoffs. Luck is going to be elite in the next few years, and is the only QB on this list who fits the mold to be the next Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees type of QB.
2. Colin Kaepernick- While not a rookie technically like everyone else on this list, Kaepernick only had ten career starts. His tenth start of his NFL career happened to be in the Superbowl! After Kaepernick took over for Alex Smith, he never gave back the job because he had played so well. The move was a bold one by Jim Harbaugh, and many fans, Niners fans included, were torn over who should start and who would be better. Clearly, Kaepernick was the right move. With his ability to mix it up by running and throwing the ball, Kaepernick kept the 49ers right on track, and led them to the Superbowl, beating offensive juggernaut Green Bay and beating out Atlanta in their own dome. The Niners lost the Superbowl due to poor playcalling, not because of Kaepernick. He has a great arm, is very fast, can take hits and is smart with his decisions. He doesn’t get rattled under pressure and is the right man to lead the 49ers going forward.
3.Robert Griffin III- RG3 took the league by storm, especially when the Redskins went into New Orleans week one and just destroyed the Saints in their own house. After RG3 threw his first touchdown, Griffin was pictured sitting on the ground with his hands raised to the air, setting off tons of mimicking “Griffining” pictures by fans. For most of the season, RG3 was electric. He ripped off long runs, showed off his arm with some great throws and showed that even at his shorter height, he was able to stand behind an NFL offensive line and make all the throws. The only reason he is number 3 on this list is because of his injury history. Griffin was able to survive what looked to be a brutal knee injury when Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata flew into it, but Griffin luckily only missed a few games. RG3 was able to come back and lead the Redskins to a must win victory over the Dallas Cowboys, sealing up the NFC East division crown, something no one picked the Redskins to do before the year. Still, RG3 suffered another knee injury in the playoffs, in which he tore ligaments. Hopefully, RG3 can come back and stay healthy, because he is a pleasure to watch.
4. Russell Wilson- When the Seahawks signed QB Matt Flynn to a big free agent deal last offseason, many thought Flynn was the Hawks QB of the future. The Seahawks picked Wilson in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, and he made headlines during the preseason for his play during games and in camp. He had a rocket arm and could move around the pocket. Pete Carroll made the bold call to start Wilson over Flynn. Wilson looked like a struggling rookie in his first few games, and his team was at the center of the “Fail Mary” play against the Packers. However, Wilson seemed to take a big step forward with his play, consistently throwing for over 200 yards. He showed the country he was accurate, could move in the pocket and make any type of throw on the run. His athleticism is on par with Kaepernick and RG3. The Seahawks had a great 11-5 season, and look to be big time contenders next year.