SI KIDS gave me the once in a lifetime chance to interview some of the NFL’s top rookies at the NFL Play 60 event in NYC in April. Now that we’re actually going to get to see some football this year, I have decided to give my predictions for the NFL’s offensive and defensive rookie of the year awards and a few other “off the record” awards.
After asking the draftees about the rookie of the year awards, there was little controversy. They all answered, “Me!”
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Ryan Williams, running back, Cardinals
Ryan gets my pick not only because he has the abilitiy to make plays, but because of his tireless work ethic and integrity.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle, Bills
This fearless big boy is going to blow through most of the offensive lines in the league. The Bills’ defense will be much improved with Marcell clogging up the middle.
Awards I think they should give…
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Cam Newton, quarterback, Panthers
I realize that most of you who read this are thinking, “He went Number 1 overall! How is he a surprise?” Cam has a lot of naysayers who don’t believe in his ability to perform at the next level. I think he surprises a lot of people this year and in years to come.
BIGGEST BUST: Robert Quinn, defensive end, Rams
He’s going to be a bust. I’m sorry, but you just can’t spend your first round draft choice on a guy who hasn’t played football in a year. He can work out all he wants, but you can’t just show up and compete at the highest level like that.
TOM BRADY AWARD (Diamond in the Rough Award): Kendrick Ellis, nose tackle, Jets
“Who’s he?” Exactly. He’s a defensive lineman out of Hampton University in Virginia. He’s a guy who will contribute on special teams from the beginning and work his way into the lineup. His motor just doesn’t quit. Before you know it, he will be a household name.
FUTURE HALL OF FAMER AWARD: Von Miller, linebacker, Broncos
Von is a great athlete. He has good leadership and loyalty skills. With these three traits, he has potential to be a real franchise player for a long time to come.