2012 NFL Draft: Projecting the Top Rookie Performers on Offense and Defense

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2012 NFL Draft: Projecting the Top Rookie Performers on Offense and Defense
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 2011, Cam Newton re-wrote the NFL rookie record book by amassing 4,757 total yards and 35 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, Von Miller wreaked havoc with 64 total tackles, 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Both earned Rookie of the Year honors and proved that first-year players, now more so than ever, enter the league ready to contribute right away. They're bigger, faster and better prepared for the physicality of an NFL season.

It's a testament to both college coaching and the dedication of these younger players. This year's batch features several prospects capable of imitating the instant success of Miller and Newton.

Look for the following to shine in their rookie seasons. 

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