Friday, February 4, 2011
Bradford, Suh head of the class
Sam Bradford and Ndamukong Suh were paired together last April as the top two picks in the NFL Draft, and Friday night they shared the stage once again, when they were voted the AP Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year.
The only other time in the history of the award that the top two picks in the NFL Draft also were voted as the top rookies was in 1981 when No. 1 pick George Rogers and No. 2 pick Lawrence Taylor took home the honors.
Bradford is the first quarterback taken first overall to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. He is the fourth No. 1 pick among all positions to win the award, alongside Rogers, Billy Sims (1980) and Earl Campbell (1978). Bradford is just the third player in Rams history to win Offensive Rookie of Year, joining Jerome Bettis (1993) and Eric Dickerson (1983) in the franchise record books.
Bradford becomes the fourth quarterback in the last seven years to win the offensive award. That’s an incredible run of talent behind center considering that in the first 47 years of the award, zero quarterbacks were honored.
Bradford had one of the best seasons statistically by a rookie quarterback in NFL history, finishing the season with the most completions (354) and attempts (590), second in passing yards (3,512) and tied for fifth in passing touchdowns (18).
Ndamukong Suh, the only rookie elected to the All-Pro team, is the first Defensive Rookie of the Year who was also the first defensive player drafted since Julius Peppers in 2002, and is also the first non-linebacker since Peppers to win the award. The last Lion to win Rookie of the Year was Al Baker in 1978.
Suh dominated the line of scrimmage, finishing with 10 sacks, the most by a defensive tackle this season, and tied for the second-most by a rookie defensive tackle since sacks became official in 1982.