2012 NFL All-Rookie Team

A pick for the top rookie at every position on the field

Originally Published: January 2, 2013
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

Andrew Luck, Luke Kuechly & Janoris JenkinsUSA TODAY SportsAndrew Luck, Luke Kuechly and Janoris Jenkins all had terrific rookie seasons.

If anybody ever questioned the immediate impact of the NFL draft, you could keep him quiet for a while by pointing to the 2012 class. We have seen not just good QB play but also the fortunes of franchises completely change. And we've seen not just typical early value at running back; we've also seen guys considered among the best in the NFL emerge from the beginning of the draft to the end.

Here I will go through the best at every position this year, essentially building a team of my best rookies at every position on both offense and defense. At some positions, I have more than one player, as this reflects how a team might typically line up. And later this week I'll be looking at rookies whom I expect to have big breakthroughs at the outset of 2013. So if you don't see a guy here, he might be on that list.


Offense

Quarterback

Luck

Andrew Luck, Colts: This could have gone to either Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, and it wouldn't offend most close observers. But if it offends you, before you leap to the comments to have your say, let me make my case for Luck. The rookie record for passing yardage (4,374 yards) is nice, as is that he ran for five touchdowns to go with 23 touchdown passes. But he gets the most juice here because no team in history has had this kind of a turnaround after drafting at No. 1, and Luck was the greatest reason the Colts turned it around. Folks around the NFL will tell you the same thing.


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst