The official Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year Awards won't be announced until Saturday, Feb. 4, as part of a special awards show on NBC, but ESPN's Mel Kiper could be providing us with a preview of how things will turn out. In his Insider only piece, Kiper provides a list of his top 20 rookies from the 2011 season.
At the top, No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton is his top rookie, and Kiper sees Newton becoming a "superstar" after the development he saw this season from the quarterback. At No. 2, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is the top defensive rookie following a season with 11.5 sacks. Kiper gives Miller the edge over San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith because Miller "was a complete linebacker." Smith came in at No. 3.
Marcell Dareus, who went No. 3 overall and wanted to get back at the Broncos for not taking him at No. 2, finished at No. 13 following a 5.5-sack season with the Buffalo Bills.