Top Ten Best NFL Rookies of 2014
Which 2014 NFL Rookies Were the Most Impressive?
2015 NFL Offseason
It’s almost draft week, y’all. In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought we’d end the week by taking a look at the top ten rookie NFL players from the 2014 season. As I hammered home last offseason, it wasn’t the greatest class of all-time, but some of these boys still had impressive first years in the big pros.
USA TODAY Sports
1. Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater's completion percentage of 64.4% is the third highest in history among rookies starting at least 10 games. Color me impressed.
2. New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. had one heck of a rookie showing, even a catch that is sure to go down in NFL lore (you know the one). With 108.8, Beckham Jr. also had more receiving yards per game than any other rookie player in league history.
3. Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (you might remember how much I love this kid) may not have had a winning season, but he did an amazing job with very few great pieces surrounding him on offense. We’ll see how Carr looks under Jack Del Rio’s tutelage in 2015.
4. Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill was expected to be a good player, but he turned into a critical piece of the puzzle in Nasty Nati. Hill rushed for well over 1,000 yards on the season and had an notable 85-yard touchdown run late in the year.
5. St. Louis Rams RB Tre Mason missed the first quarter of the 2014 NFL season, but made-up for it with 765 rushing yards during the final 12 games. Give Mason another offseason to work and he could really be a force to be reckoned with this year.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (who had a much better rookie campaign than former teammate, Johnny Manziel) looked better in the red zone than just about any other wideout in the league in 2014. Evans ended the year with 12 touchdowns.
7. Green Bay Packers C Corey Linsley was thrown to the wolves (er..the birds?) in his first start, which happened to be against the beastly Seattle Seahawks’ defense. Linsley held his own, playing every one of the Pack’s offensive snaps in 2014. Watch for him to be even more comfortable come September.
8. My boy, Oakland Raiders OLB Khalil Mack, did exactly as well as I expected him to during his rookie year. In fact, the only player who had more pressures on the season was the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller. Not bad company for a guy to be in.
9. Green Bay Packers S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had an excellent rookie campaign, showing particularly prowess on blitz packages. Clinton-Dix came out of Nick Saban’s system at Alabama, so he’s used to playing on big stages and hasn’t seemed phased at all by the NFL.
10. I couldn’t decide if I should include former San Francisco 49ers ILB Chris Borland on this list or not, but the man did have a great season in the league. Borland has since announced his retirement, but not before racking-up 107 tackles, a sack, and two interceptions before getting injured in December.