NFC East rookies among league's best

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
12:06
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Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. has his weekly "Rookie Watch" posted, and three of the top 10 players in it are NFC East players. It's an Insider piece, so you have to send me a check if you want to read it, but I can tell you that this is where our division's players rank:

Robert Griffin III
Griffin III
2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Philadelphia Eagles

9. Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

No other division has more than two in the top 10, and the NFC East also has two guys in the honorable mention list -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne and Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. It's a fun time to be a fan of these teams on which young players are making such an impact in their first years, and I'm sure it gives fans plenty of reason to hope for good things to come in the future.

Redskins fans will wonder, of course, why Griffin is No. 2 on the list and not No. 1. It is Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, taken one spot ahead of Griffin at the top of this year's draft, who sits atop Matt's list. Matt has consistently called this a very difficult choice between the two, and he expects that it will remain so for the rest of their careers. Both are obviously excellent young players, and you can probably find as many people who would rate Griffin No. 1 and Luck No. 2 as you can people who would flip the order. Matt's one concern, articulated here, is about the way Mike Shanahan and the Redskins are running the offense in the very early part of Griffin's career without top wideout Pierre Garcon on the field:
Shanahan better quit calling so much option if he wants to keep Griffin upright. That cannot be the foundation of Washington's rushing attack.

A point being brought up by worried Redskins fans all over the DMV this week, and one worth watching. Personally, I think the option stuff is just one of several things Shanahan believes he can do with Griffin. It has been a good idea early without Garcon in the lineup and while Griffin gets used to the speed of the NFL game. I doubt they plan to run this all season, and Morris has shown enough early that they could afford to give him more carries.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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