Top 5 NFL Rookie Performances of 2012

Aaron NaglerNFL National Lead WriterNovember 5, 2012

Every year, the NFL is treated to performances from a new rookie class—performances that both surprise and disappoint. Today, we look at five of the best rookie performances in the NFL so far in the 2012 regular season. 

Obviously, much has been made about the five rookie quarterbacks that started opening week—and for good reason. Some of them are included above, but others are not.

To be sure, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are on the list, one coming off a record-setting performance and the other having exploded onto the scene back in Week 1. But the last two weeks, RGIII has looked more than a little human. Are teams starting to catch up? 

One guy no one is catching is Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, who set a team record by becoming the first running back in Tampa Bay history to rush for four touchdowns in a single game. 

Ryan Tannehill's improvement is one of the more surprising developments of the season as far as I'm concerned. Most pundits and observers, yours truly included, thought his rookie season would be a disaster. It has been anything but.

To my eyes, even in a loss, the game against the Cardinals was the moment he arrived as a viable NFL quarterback. Yes, he has much to work on. But exploding for over 400 yards, after Arizona shut down Tom Brady and Michael Vick, is darn impressive. 

Let me know which performances I missed in the comments below and who you think should not have been included at all.