NFL

35 NFL Rookies Who Took The League By Storm

Darren - September 10, 2020
NFL

35 NFL Rookies Who Took The League By Storm

Darren - September 10, 2020
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

9. Randy Moss

Moss spent the biggest chunk of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. He immediately set the league on fire in his rookie year. However, in another life he would have probably played for the Dallas Cowboys but ‘America’s Team’ wasn’t willing to risk controversy because of Moss’s well-documented legal problems.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Their loss was the Viking’s gain because the 21st overall pick took the league by storm. Moss caught 17 touchdowns as the Vikings stormed towards the Super Bowl. They looked unstoppable but ultimately the Atlanta Falcons stunned them in the NFC Championship Game. But Moss had a brilliant season.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Justin Herbert

Joe Burrow and Tua Tavagoiloa received all of the rookie quarterback headlines at the start of the 2020 season, but Herbert proved to be the best of the bunch. The young man demonstrated superb maturity despite his age. His greatest achievement was setting a new record for most passes by a rookie in a single season. The Chargers were delighted because they have the QB position locked down potentially for the next decade.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Of course, that’s assuming he isn’t a one-season wonder and stays fit. However, it looks like he is a superb talent. Herbert is also the youngest signal-caller to throw for more than 30 touchdowns in one season. The former Oregon Ducks starlet was the sixth overall pick and looks to be a brilliant acquisition for the L.A. franchise as he took the league by storm.

Mandatory Credit: Washington Post

7. Robert Griffin III

Before injuries cruelly got in the way of his career, looked like a worldbeater. He broke onto the scene in 2012 as the second overall draft pick. A Heisman winner with Baylor during his final year, Washington Redskins fans had high expectations for their new man.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Then he proved them right by winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Griffin finished the year with 3,200 passing yards and rushed for 815. However, he suffered some horrendous knee injuries at the end of his incredible season. This resulted in him spending a lot of time as a backup.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Andrew Luck

Luck had the unenviable task of replacing a franchise icon in Peyton Manning. However, the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback proved he was more than up to the task. He quickly demonstrated that he was one of the best passers in the league as their starting QB as he took the league by storm.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

With 4,374 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, Luck was ruthlessly efficient. Furthermore, his 11 wins as a rookie was a new record for a draft first pick. The Colts only won two games in the previous season which shows just how significant his impact was. Unfortunately, injuries ended his career in its prime, but Luck was a generational talent and a supreme athlete at his best.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Eric Dickerson

The most exciting attacking rookies play without fear. Sometimes this can be to their detriment because they may put their bodies at unnecessary risk. However, it can also be scintillating to watch. That was the case for Dickerson in his phenomenal rookie year with the Los Angeles Rams.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Dickerson won all kinds of individual honors for his stellar NFL performances in 1983. He rushed for 1,808 yards and landed 18 touchdowns as he demonstrated his devastating attacking prowess. Furthermore, the running back played in his first Pro Bowl as he took the league by storm.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Dak Prescott

A very gifted player, Prescott is now the undisputed Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback. However, nobody expected Prescott to start for ‘America’s Team’ his rookie year. So how did he end up playing in all 16 regular-season games and winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, not to mention his first Pro Bowl selection?.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Well, Tony Romo suffered an injury during the preseason and was unable to start the season. Prescott took full advantage of this opportunity and put down his mark. His 3,667 passing yards were the fourth-best overall in 2016. It was a magnificent way for him to announce himself in pro football.

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

3. Jevon Kearse

When a rookie makes the Pro Bowl, they’ve obviously done very well. Not many manage to achieve this honor. However, Kearse did after an exceptional year in 1999 for the Tennessee Titans. You could argue that he peaked in his first year because he never achieved the same number of sacks in a season again.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

‘The Freak’ was a major part of the Titans’ reaching the Super Bowl final. With 48 tackles, eight forced fumbles, and an excellent 14.5 sacks, Kearse was a force of nature in the Tenessee backline. Needless to say, he won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award for his staggering contribution.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Cam Newton

Newton took a meandering route to the NFL, but when he finally arrived, he took the league by storm. The young Carolina Panthers’ quarterback quickly ousted his competition and showed off his incredible talents. He was the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in their first season.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

His overall value to the team was incredible. Newton set all kinds of records in his debut year, including rushing yards by a rookie QB and many more. Meanwhile, he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award which was practically a given.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Ben Roethlisberger

‘Big Ben’ has been in the NFL for 16 years but has been brilliant from the beginning. Incredibly, he was the Pittsburgh Steeler’s third-string quarterback before injuries got him on the field. Then he made the starting shirt his, going 13-0 in his rookie season. In short, the Offensive Rookie of the Year had a dream start.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots did eventually shut him down in the AFC Championship game, but Roethlisberger had an excellent regular season. After coming into the team with pressure on his shoulders, he took the NFL by storm. His 2621 passing yards were a very reasonable return, but the best was yet to come as ‘Big Ben’ eventually won two Super Bowls.

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