NFC South: All-Rookie team

Kiper high on Bucs' draft class

January, 3, 2013
If you listen to Mel Kiper Jr., who knows a thing or two about the NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have had the league’s best rookie class.

In this Insider post Insider, Kiper lists his All-Rookie team and the Bucs have three representatives. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Safety Mark Barron, running back Doug Martin and linebacker Lavonte David all were starters from the beginning of the season.

Martin got better as the season went on and showed he’s an all-purpose back. David started a little faster than Martin, but also improved. Kiper compares David to Derrick Brooks and he’s not the first person to say that. David’s off to a great start, but he isn’t Brooks just yet.

Barron was Tampa Bay’s top draft pick. He didn’t have as many splash plays as Martin and David, but that probably is due to the nature of his position and the fact the Tampa Bay secondary struggled so much. But you can see that Barron has all sorts of potential and he could make a larger impact once the Bucs get their cornerback situation resolved.

Carolina middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was the only other NFC South rookie to make Kiper’s team. You know how I feel about Kuechly. I think he was the best defensive rookie in the NFC South and maybe in the NFL.

Some honors for the NFC South

January, 17, 2012
The Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team and All-NFL team are out and we’ve got some pretty slight NFC South representation.

On the rookie team, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, Atlanta receiver Julio Jones, Atlanta punter Matt Bosher and Atlanta special teams player Akeem Dent all made the team.

Newton also was the Rookie of the Year, but this is not to be confused with the Associated Press Rookie of the Year award, which will be announced at a later date.

Only two division players made the All-NFL team. They were New Orleans guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks.

Also, we should note New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees did not win the Most Valuable Player award. As expected that went to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Again, this isn’t the same as the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award. That’s viewed as the most prestigious award and player contracts often include incentives for winning that.