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Week 12 NFL Rookie Of The Year Rankings

Find out which rookies top our list on offense and defense.

Charlie Bernstein

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The most comprehensive set of weekly power rankings anywhere on the web now moves to the rookies, as we look at our top offensive and defensive first-year players.

Offensive Rookie Power Rankings

1. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans has been magnificent streak despite playing with very little quarterback talent. Evans caught seven passes for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Bucs win against the Redskins, one of the best rookie receiver performances ever. On the season, Evans has supplanted Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson as the team’s top option and leads all rookies with 794 yards receiving and is second with seven touchdowns. He’s done this while enduring not one, but two quarterback changes.

2. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers

Kelvin Benjamin had a nice bounce-back game in the Panthers’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The rookie from FSU is still Cam Newton’s best target and he leads all rookies with eight touchdown receptions. His recent decline in numbers probably has more to do with his quarterback’s decline in accuracy.

3. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills

Sammy Watkins overall body of work has been great but he’s struggled over the past two games. His struggles are likely due to opposing teams recognizing that he’s the Bills’ No. 1 receiver and rolling coverage to him.

Defensive Rookie Power Rankings

1. Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams

Aaron Donald was a major reason that the Rams held the Denver Broncos to their lowest scoring output in the Peyton Manning era. Donald did his job of sucking up blocks and added three tackles and a drive-killing sack of Manning. On the season, Donald is tied for the rookie lead in sacks and is already one of the best defensive tackles in football.

2. Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings

Anthony Barr had a tough game against the Bears as he recorded just four tackles and didn’t make many impact plays. On the season, Barr has 62 stops, four sacks, three passes defensed, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and touchdown.

3. C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens’ middle linebacker is keying Baltimore’s defensive turnaround as he’s leading the team and all rookies in tackles with 90, which ranks him fourth in the NFL. Mosley also has a pair of interceptions and nine passes defensed, and his presence has made former second-round pick Arthur Brown expendable. Mosley was on a bye Sunday and his Ravens take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.

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