Commentary

Rookie Watch: RG3 rises

QB passes Luck after superb debut; top 10 welcomes six newcomers

Originally Published: September 12, 2012
By Matt Williamson | ESPN.com
Every week during the regular season, I will spotlight one of the top rookies. Last week, Andrew Luck was my selection -- and an obvious one.

This week's pick, Robert Griffin III, is just as obvious after his performance in New Orleans. On Sunday night, I graded every rookie quarterback's Week 1 performance, and Griffin was clearly the best of the bunch.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and his offensive staff had a fantastic game plan in place for Griffin early. They built up the rookie's confidence with a series of quick throws along with some designed quarterback runs, which is obviously an area in which Griffin excels.

Griffin executed this portion of the game plan to perfection, with the ball rarely touching the carpet in New Orleans. But as the game went along, Griffin tried and completed more difficult throws. He has a fantastic arm and a quick release, so he is just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what he could become as a passer.

Of course, in the end, Griffin's Redskins controlled the game against a perennial NFL powerhouse in what might have been the most shocking upset of Week 1.

Led by Griffin, below is a list of the top 10 rookies in the NFL based on everything we know about these players to this point, not just one week's worth of performances, as one regular-season game is obviously a very small sample size with which to judge.

There will be many changes in my rankings, particularly early in the season.