2010 NFL: Who Are The Top Five Candidates For Rookie of The Year?

Brett AppleyCorrespondent INovember 10, 2010

2010 NFL: Who Are The Top Five Candidates For Rookie of The Year?

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    As we hit the midway point of the 2010 NFL season, it's time to look at which rookies have stepped up thus far.

    With so many highly-paid rookies coming into the NFL every year, countless numbers of them have failed to do much of anything. When a team can get that rookie that turn into a superstar, it makes them look like geniuses and helps the team infinitely.

    Let's take a look at my top five candidates for Rookie of the Year so far.

5. Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England

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    Aaron Hernandez has proven his rookie worthAl Bello/Getty Images

    Coming into the year as one of two rookie tight ends for the Patriots, Hernandez has shown how valuable he can be.

    He's had five games with five receptions and recorded two touchdown receptions last week against the Browns.

    Tom Brady is showing how much he appreciates Hernandez by giving him plenty of targets every week, including nine last week.

    Although he may be overshadowed by some bigger names in the NFL and even on his own squad, Hernandez has be great this year and deserves the five-spot in my rankings.

4. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas

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    Dez Bryant has been outstandingJeff Gross/Getty Images

    Dez Bryant came into this year with a lot of questions surrounding him, including getting along with coaches and a misunderstanding with Roy E. Williams about rookie hazing.

    That said, Bryant has actually been the bright spot of the season so far for the Cowboys. He's been very consistent and has been a target for Tony Romo and John Kitna.

    Not only has he performed as a receiver, but he has also returned two punts for touchdowns and has been a star on special teams. He may very well be the No. 1 wide receiver next year for the Cowboys.

3. Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay

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    Williams may be a top 20 wr at the end of the year.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Mike Williams wasn't as highly-regarded as some other rookie wide receivers, but he has shown that actions mean everything and he currently leads the Bucs in touchdown receptions with five.

    He has been very consistent and has only had two games with under 50 yards receiving. For a rookie, he has done very well and is by far Josh Freeman's favorite target.

    The Bucs are better then they have been in years and are looking at nothing less then a division title.

2. Jahvid Best, Rb, Detroit

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    Jahvid Best has been one of the bright spots for the LionsLeon Halip/Getty Images

    Although Jahvid Best hasn't gotten a rushing touchdown since Week 2, he has still performed phenomenally.

    His quick running game along with his ability to catch the ball has made Best into a good No. 1 running back in this league and has been in the top 10, production-wise, for all running backs in the NFL this year.

    Although the Lions haven't been in the win column as much as they would like to be, they have played very well against most teams, and Best is one of the main reasons. Look for him to make a name of himself again in the upcoming weeks.

1. Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis

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    Bradford may very well lead his team to a NFC West title.J. Meric/Getty Images

    As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, Sam Bradford had a lot of hype to live up to.

    Well, it's safe to say that he has done all that and more for the first eight games of the season. Bradford has taken a absolutely horrible team, and made them into a semi-decent one.

    In the NFC Worst division, it's very probable that the Rams will get to the playoffs—which would have been almost unthinkable before the start of the year.

    Bradford has already had four games where he has recorded two touchdown passes, and he hasn't thrown an interception in the last three. To me, he is the outright favorite to win NFL Rookie of the Year