For many fans, the NFL season ends when their teams are eliminated from playoff contention and they are forced to find other things to devote their passion to.
Some look forward to the Pro Bowl—that is, if any of their favorite players were even invited. Some choose to cheer wholeheartedly against the teams they despise and root for all the postseason feel-good stories.
However, some fans take great pride when a player from their favorite franchise is gifted with an individual award. It can even become a sign of hope no matter how poorly the season turned out, especially in the case of the Rookie of the Year.
In 2010, QB Sam Bradford was declared the league's top offensive rookie, as he almost led the Rams to a playoff berth. After several dismal seasons, fans in St. Louis are now looking forward to September.
In this particular slideshow, I'll examine the offensive rookies with the best chance to win the prize following the 2011 regular season, as well as several sleepers who could come out of nowhere to snatch it.
Will another quarterback breathe life into a struggling franchise, or will a receiver or running back steal the show next season?
Note: I am only considering wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks because they are the only positions that have ever received the award. Some info used from Wikipedia and player updates gathered from Rotoworld.