Tonight at 7 PM Eastern time on NFL Network the AP Rookie of the Year awards for offense and defense will be announced. Earlier this week it was N’Damakong Suh who won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year award, edging out the Bucs’ Mike Williams, Joe Haden, Sam Bradford and Devin McCourty. Fortunately for Williams, and teammate LeGarrette Blount (who was inexplicably not a finalist for the Pepsi honor) both are finalists for the offensive rookie of the year award tonight.
The Pepsi award is nice, but the AP and NFL awards are the ones that carry some weight. And the Bucs have two very worthy candidates on the list. Mike Williams was one of the biggest surprises of the season, a 4th round pick who came into the league with a chip on his shoulder and had an fantastic rookie campaign. He finished with 65 reception for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead all rookies in receiving.
LeGarrette Blount was even more unexpected, an undrafted free agent that was waived by the Titans after training camp, Blount exploded for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns despite starting just seven games. In my opinion LeGarrette Blount IS the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. That should be a no brainer. He got his first substantial action in week 7 when the Bucs were 27th in the league rushing the ball and by year’s end he had the Bucs up to 8th. He also finished strong, averaging over 100 yards per game the final five games of the year as the Bucs chased the playoffs.
Blount should win, but I’ll bet it’s Sam Bradford. You can find out who wins by tuning into NFL Total Access tonight on NFL Network or checking in with us, we’ll post the winner as soon as it’s announced.