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RZL Rookie of the Year Tracker (Week 1)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to

The seasonís first week is barely in the books, yet itís not too early to start considering who the Rookie of the Year might be. Like previous seasons, I will try to track the Rookie of the Year throughout the year, noting if a player is rising or falling in the rankings. I'll provide my top 10 based on their cumulative achievements for the season, but also let the readers vote as to their favorites. At the end of the season, the fake Rookie of the Year in our fake league will win a shiny new fake car or fake something.

Some interesting notes from the first week. First and foremost, how about Mr. Irrelevant putting up 343 yards passing in a 30-29 loss to Indianapolis after Adrian McPherson went down after 1 pass attempt? Wow. In Tampa, another rookie QB got off to a good start as well. Sorta. The Raiders got a lot of production from their rookie crop Ė the top two rookies were DE William Ross and OT Nelson Howard who definitely outplayed their respective draft picks. Overall, the rookies were not that impactful, which is to be expected considering the poor draft class. Still, a rookie punter cracks the Top 10? Wow. Interesting to note that 4 of the top 10 were taken in the first round, but lots of the better rookie performances came from the later rounds as well, three from the 4th-7th round. Not bad. The top two picks David Murphy and Wayne White got in the stat column, but not enough in week 1 to be considered. Though the season is still very young.

Please note that even if a team loses, I don't hold that against a player who has made exceptional efforts on the field. Lastly, this is meant for entertainment purposes only, so let's keep it civil, and if you don't like it, you are always welcome to make your own list.

Rookie of the Year Tracker

1. DE William Ross, OAK (5 tak, 1 tfl, 3 sacks) Previous Rank: 2.12
2. OT Nelson Howard, OAK (8 pancakes, 0 sacks) Previous Rank: 4.3
3. HB Louis Freeman, DET (114 yds, 5.2 ypc, 0 TD) Previous Rank: 1.31
4. QB Donald Walker, JAX (48.9%, 343 yds, 1 TD, 2 int) Previous Rank: 7.32
5. HB Craig Leer, ARI (76 yds, 3.5 ypc, 0 TD, 64 rec yds, 1 TD) Previous Rank: 1.32
6. QB Greg Bryant, TB (85.7%, 111, 1 TD, 0 int) Previous Rank: 1.22
7. SS Oliver Poole, IND (4 tak, 1 Int, 2 def) Previous Rank: 3.8
8. SS Myron Sanchez, MIA (6 tak, 1 FF) Previous Rank: 4.15
9. CB Sean Allen, SEA (2 tak, 1 sack, 1 def) Previous Rank: 1.19
10. P Benjamin Watts, PIT (44.1 avg) Previous Rank: 2.24

Also receiving consideration: WR Warren Carson, OT Darwin Smith, FS Russell Graham, TE Corey Harmon
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