View Full Version : Offensive rookie of the year, from the 2nd round

Andy Freeland
06-01-2010, 12:32 PM
Any time I see someone pick potential rookies of the year, I always feel like their cheating when they pick one of the top picks. Anyone can pick Sam Bradford or C.J. Spiller, though those might not be the best examples. I decided to take a look at a few picks from the 2nd round only.

Chiefs RB/WR Dexter McCluster is a home run hitter that can score any time he touches the ball. He's very small but very fast. A RB in college, the Chiefs have him listed at WR, he'll be used much like last year's rookie of the year Percy Harvin. You can count on seeing a few long touchdowns from McCluster on the highlight shows, but with Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles on the roster, I don't know that he'll get enough touches for rookie of the year.

Vikings RB Toby Gerhart is a big guy with a nose for the end zone (led the nation with 28 TDs last year). You can count on some red-zone TDs from Gerhart, especially if Adrian Peterson's fumbling problems continue, but, like McCluster, I don't see him getting enough carries or yards to take home the hardware.

Browns RB Montario Hardesty is another big back similar to Gerhart. Unlike Gerhart, he will probably begin the season as the #1 back, with Jerome Harrison as the change of pace. The Browns re-committed to the run at the end of last year, and with their talented but somewhat underachieving offensive line, Hardesty could get a lot of carries and a lot of yards. The question is whether or not the Browns stay in games long enough to keep a big back on the field in the 2nd half.

Panthers QB Jimmy Claussen. Only 4 quarterbacks have ever won offensive rookie of the year, but 3 of those (Ben Roethlisberger, Vince Young, Matt Ryan) have come in the last 6 years. In just the last 2 years 3 rookie quarterbacks have taken their team to the playoffs (Ryan, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez) and they all had 1 thing in common, a strong running game. Behind DeAngelo Williams and James Stewart, the Panthers finished 3rd in the NFL in rushing last year. The biggest question mark for Claussen is when or if he wins the starting job.

07-02-2010, 02:05 PM
What about RB Ben Tate? The Texans have been searching for the physical back to complement the prolific passing game led by Schaub and Johnson. Assuming the rest of the offense remains intact, it seems to me that Ben Tate could receive the majority of carries by midseason--along with almost all of the goal line attempts. Running backs tend to jump out of the starting gates in the NFL much earlier than QB's and WR's [I don't see a 2nd-round-OT getting OROY], so betting on a RB is never a bad idea. Tate also has the skill-set to stay on the field for every down and situation--running, receiving and blocking. As far as early prognostications go, he has to be the top OROY from Round 2.

Andy Freeland
07-02-2010, 02:19 PM
Good point. Tate definitely has a better shot at roy than Gerhart. Very similar situation to Hardesty. Big, physical guy coming in to probably get most of the carries on a team with a smaller speed back (Steve Slaton). I would still take Hardesty over Tate based mostly on situation. The Texans are clearly a passing team, the Browns are a running team. Because the Texans expect to win now, they will be hesitant to put too big of a load on Tate's shoulders, especially early in the year. The Browns might say they expect to win, but they're rebuilding, and will be more willing to put their future stars in a position to win or lose the game.

07-02-2010, 02:27 PM
The "win-now" argument is a double-edged sword, however. Placing too much of a load on a young RB is a clear premeditator for injury, just ask Cadillac Williams. A team like the Texans that is trying to jump from reliable mediocrity to the playoffs might be willing to risk injury if he proves to be their best back. The Browns, who know they are a couple years away from contention--despite what their media guide says--might be hesitant to overwork Hardesty. Throw in the extra linebacker that the Browns most certainly will be seeing in the box compared to the Texans, and I got to give Tate the slight edge. Slight.

Andy Freeland
07-02-2010, 02:42 PM
If I had to take a wild guess right now, I would say Hardesty goes over 1000 (barely) and Tate is between 600 and 800 yards, with both getting 5-7 TDs. Tate might be more valuable and on a better team, but stats win awards. You have Tate, I have Hardesty, let's see what happens. Hopefully one of us will remember to come back after the season and rub it in. I don't suppose we can find anyone to take Gerhart?

Cris Collinsworth
07-02-2010, 03:01 PM
I am taking Jason Pierre-Paul with the Giants. He is a blur. No way the Giants defense can be that bad again. Chris Canty should be ready, Justin Tuck goes back inside on passing downs, and Osi Umenyiora is in a bad mood. That was the formula that one a Super Bowl for the Giants and they get back to it.

07-02-2010, 03:08 PM
Okay, I know Cris is the expert and all--having seen him on TV all these times--but I'm guessing that Pierre-Paul is quite a stretch for Offensive rookie of the year.

As far as Tate/Hardesty, you got it. Maybe Hardesty can join our discussion, since his season will likely be over by the time the doling out of the awards come around. However, with Tate I have an inkling that he will still be playing come January.

Andy Freeland
07-02-2010, 03:18 PM
You don't see a 1st round DE being the 2nd rounder with the best chance at winning offensive rookie of the year? Have you no imagination?

As far as Tate and/or Hardesty playing in January, I'm with you 100%. Montario will be very rested when he picks up his award.

07-02-2010, 03:25 PM
As a tribute to my namesake, I'm about as imaginative as Brad Childress is amicable.

If you are looking for a running back in the draft with Hardesty and Tate on the board still, who do you take?

Andy Freeland
07-02-2010, 03:54 PM
Good question. They are so similar. Same size, same speed, almost identical stats last year, from the same conference.

The answer depends on which draft we are talking about, real or fantasy. If I was drafting a football player, I suppose it would be Tate. If I was drafting fantasy stats for next year, it would be Hardesty.

I like the fact that Tate was more productive early in his career. Maybe it just took a while for the light to go on for Hardesty, but maybe he only turned it on in his 'contract year'. Tate gets up to full speed very quickly and I really like his balance. Hardesty seems like more of an inside runner, sort of a Jamal Lewis light (but maybe that's because of the Tennessee/Cleveland connection). My only knock on Tate is that he was used on so many sweeps in college, that just won't work against NFL speed.

They are both good players, and like I said, very similar in style and build. But to answer your question, if I was in an NFL war room, drafting a player for the next 7 to 10 years, it would be Tate. But Hardesty will still have a better statistical year this year.

07-02-2010, 05:08 PM
I will stick with Tate, in both drafts.

The only thing I will give Hardesty is that he has a much better name for a RB. Ben Tate sounds like a solid OT from the Midwest, or even a good back-up QB. Not a RB. Montario Hardesty? Much better.

07-02-2010, 11:18 PM
It will be McCluster

He will rack up to receptions like Wes Welker, everyone knows receptions/tackles leads to OFF/DEF ROY

07-03-2010, 01:01 AM
What about Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE)? Won't he be in a great situation as a dark horse for ROY? Tom Brady should be fully recovered from his injury, which normally does take two years to come back from, and with Welker figuring to be out for a sizable amount of time, will he function as the third receiver behind Randy Moss and Julian Edelman?

07-03-2010, 01:06 AM
Welker won't be out as long as you think, and the Patriots have always utilized multiple TE's. I don't like his chances. He could end up being the best rookie TE, but OROY is a major stretch--though not as much of one as Hardesty or Pierre-Paul.

07-03-2010, 09:23 PM
I hope Hardesty turns out to be really good, but it's not a certainty that he will start; and not because of Harrison. James Davis had a excellent camp last year and seemed like he would have taken Jamal Lewis' starting job if not for an early season-ending injury. If he has another stellar camp, don't be surprised if Mangini gives Davis a chance.

07-05-2010, 02:29 AM
Right Team Wrong Player. Armanti Edwards Carolina Panthers. This guy is going to explode with Double Coverage on Steve Smith. The trade for a 2nd rounder in 2011 is going to make Marty Hurney look like a genius. The Panthers get this guy into the 2nd Level. Don't be shocked. The 2 time Walter Peyton award winner is going to show why he was such a force in Division II at Appliachian St.

07-06-2010, 03:20 PM
If Claussen wins the starting job (and I think he will) the ROY is his to lose. His situation and the team surrounding him is far superior to what Bradford will have on his side of the ball. Best case: Sanchez's rookie year, with more efficient numbers.

07-10-2010, 01:16 PM
Armanti Edwards was a force--at QB. Claussen won't beat out Moore, either--unless the front office wants him to. Moore has played well the past two seasons, much better than the overhyped ND QB will be able to provide this year.

Oh, and Andy...from the Mothership:

Paul Kuharsky
Texans hope Tate can step up
"The starting running back situation for the Texans will be fluid. For the start of camp they'll look to Arian Foster first. I think we'll see a combo of Steve Slaton, Foster and Ben Tate until someone distinguishes himself. Ultimately, they'd like Tate to lead and Slaton to be third-down type, I believe."

08-01-2010, 03:02 PM
Yea, I like Clausens chances too. He could join a team that was very good only two years ago and if he can manage the game and lead them back to the playoffs he should win it

Andy Freeland
09-03-2010, 12:23 PM
With news today that Hardesty might be out for the year with a knee injury, I thought of this discussion between Chilly and myself as to who would have the better rookie year - Hardesty or Tate. Tate was lost for the year several weeks before Hardesty, therefore I am declaring victory.

09-03-2010, 12:56 PM
With news today that Hardesty might be out for the year with a knee injury, I thought of this discussion between Chilly and myself as to who would have the better rookie year - Hardesty or Tate. Tate was lost for the year several weeks before Hardesty, therefore I am declaring victory.

Is this the beginning of the FPL curse for RBs? Hold on, I have to see what other rookie running backs might play so I don't pick them.

This could hold a special place in the Fipplehoff as "Creepiest Coincidence Ever."