Who will be the NFL's 2016 Rookie of the Year?
(Corey Coleman photo courtesy of the Cleveland Browns)
(Karl Joseph photo courtesy of Tony Gonzales/Oakland Raiders)
Talk of Fame Network
Jameis Winston was not only the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft – he was the best pick of that draft.
Winston became a walk-in starter and passed for 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win NFL Rookie of the Year acclaim in fan voting sponsored by Pepsi. Running back Todd Gurley was selected the Offensive Rookie of the Year and cornerback Marcus Peters the Defensive Rookie of the Year in voting conducted by the Associated Press.
So who’s the favorite for NFL Rookie of the Year honors in 2016? Is it a quarterback? A running back? A cornerback? How about a safety? The choice is yours in this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. We ask our listeners and readers to pick their choice for rookie of the year, and we're offering up six options:
Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland. The Browns took Coleman with the 15th overall pick -- the first wide receiver selected in a talented draft class of wideouts that produced three more in the first round and another three in the second. Coleman won the Biletnikoff Award in 2015 as the top receiver in college football after catching 74 passes for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns at Baylor. He’ll team up with a former Baylor quarterback, Robert Griffin III, to stretch defenses in Cleveland.
Ezekiel Elliott, HB, Dallas. The Cowboys selected Elliott with the fifth overall pick – the highest they’ve drafted a running back since taking Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett second overall in 1977. Elliott spent three years at Ohio State and finished second on the school’s all-time rushing list behind two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. He rushed for 1,821 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2015 and left Ohio State with a career rushing average of 6.7 yards per carry. He’ll be running behind the best offensive line in the NFL in Dallas.
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles. The Rams needed a quarterback and a name to put on the marquee for their first season back in Los Angeles. So they traded a king’s ransom to Tennessee for the right to select first overall in the 2016 draft and claim Goff. The cost was steep -- two first-round draft picks, two seconds and two thirds. Goff passed for 12,220 yards in his three-year career, third-best in Pac-12 history. He threw for 4,719 yards and 43 touchdowns with only 13 interceptions in his final season at Cal.
(Jared Goff photo courtesy of the University of California)
Karl Joseph, S, Oakland. The Raiders selected Joseph with the 14th overall pick of the draft even though he suffered a season-ending knee injury four games into his 2015 season at West Virginia. He started all 42 games of his career before suffering the injury and was leading the nation in interceptions with five when his knee gave out. He collected 104 tackles as a true freshman and left West Virginia with nine career interceptions.
Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville. The Jaguars selected Ramsey with the third overall pick. He became the first true freshman to start at cornerback at Florida State since Deion Sanders. He also was a track All-America, having won both the ACC long-and triple-jump championships in 2015. But Ramsey did not intercept a pass in his final collegiate season and picked off only three passes in his three-year college career.
(Jalen Ramsey photo courtesy of Rick Wilson/Jacksonville Jaguars)
Noah Spence, DE, Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers selected Spence in the second round with the 39th overall pick out of Eastern Kentucky. But his draft standing did not reflect his talent. He collected eight sacks as a sophomore at Ohio State in 2013, but was suspended in 2014 by, first, the school and then the Big Ten for failing drug tests. He surfaced at Eastern Kentucky in 2015 and collected 11 ½ sacks to earn Ohio Valley Defensive Player of the Year acclaim. NFL teams backed off him because of his character flags, and the Bucs may have stolen the best pass rusher in this draft with their second-round pick.
(Noah Spence photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)