Ranking NFL's Top 10 Rookie Playmakers
Going into last April's NFL draft, there was a lot of hype about many of the top prospects.
Like every other year, many of these players have lived up to the hype, while others have been completely invisible so far this season.
Of the ones that have lived up to the hype, only a select few of them have really stood out and become playmakers for their respective teams.
Here are the top 10 playmakers from the '11 rookie draft class so far this season.
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10. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
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The Raiders' fifth-round selection in the '11 NFL draft has really blossomed into his role on the team in his first season in the league.
He's caught 23 passes for 396 yards and four touchdowns for Oakland's offense and has had nine catches of 20-plus yards.
Moore really showed his playmaking ability last week, when he had 123 receiving yards and two big TDs in his team's win against San Diego on the road.
This talented wideout seems to be just another speedy, playmaking threat that makes the Raiders even more dangerous on offense going forward.
9. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
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Other than Patrick Peterson, Randall Cobb is the only rookie that has really been making some noise in the return game this season.
The Packers' rookie has already returned a kick and punt for a score and also had a highlight-reel catch and run TD on offense in Week 1 against the Saints.
Like many others on this list, he is very explosive when he gets into open space, much like he was during his college days at the University of Kentucky.
Once he improves his fumbling habits, Cobb has a chance to be a great playmaker for the Pack on both offense and special teams in the future.
8. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
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Smith was known for making the big play while playing at the University of Maryland.
Now, he is also known for it in the NFL as well.
His 425 receiving yards and four touchdowns should speak for themselves in his first year with the Baltimore Ravens.
He also turned in one of the biggest plays of the year when he caught a touchdown pass from QB Joe Flacco to beat the rival Steelers in the final minute of the game during Week 9.
7. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
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The Falcons thought that they were getting a big-time playmaker in Julio Jones when they traded several high draft picks for him to nab him in April's draft.
Fortunately for them, he has been the playmaking wideout that they desperately wanted.
Jones is second in the league among all rookies in receiving yards with 498, and also has two touchdowns as well.
This kid has playmaker written all over him.
6. Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers
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The word on 49ers' rookie OLB Aldon Smith when he was coming into the draft was his great ability to get to the opposing quarterback.
Through the first nine games of this season, he has done just that for San Francisco.
Smith has already accumulated 6.5 sacks and is on pace to reach double digits in that category, which doesn't happen often for a rookie linebacker in this league.
He's quickly becoming one of the best playmakers on a Niners' defense that is suddenly chock-full of them.
5. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
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The Cardinals rookie has already earned a reputation of making big plays in the NFL in just his first season in the league.
Peterson has been electrifying in the return game for the Cardinals, already returning three different punts for touchdowns on the season.
He's also good good at cornerback as well.
The former LSU standout has picked off two passes and has made numerous plays for the Arizona secondary this year.
4. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
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Murray is one of the more exciting players of this rookie draft class.
After a slow start to the season, he has exploded for 674 rushing yards and two touchdowns for a Dallas offense that was in need of some help in the running game.
He's rushed for 130-plus yards in three of his last four games and appears to be on track for an excellent rookie season.
Keep an eye out for this guy in the future as I think that he will be one of the best offensive playmakers in the NFC for years to come.
3. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
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A.J. Green is the best wide receiver in this class, and it's not even close.
The rookie has already amassed 635 receiving yards and six touchdowns, while helping to put a once stagnant Bengals passing game back on the map.
At 6'4'', he does a great job of using his big body to out-jump defenders and come up with big plays from week to week.
It looks like Cincinnati has their playmaker of the future at the wide receiver position.
2. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
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Newton has silenced his critics for the most part in his rookie season.
The Panthers' QB is on pace for 5,000 passing yards and 20 passing TDs in his inaugural season in the league.
Did I mention that he can also run the ball too?
The former first-round pick has used his legs to rush for 374 yards and seven touchdowns while making several highlight reel plays for Carolina this season.
1. Von Miller, Denver Broncos
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Coming into April's draft, many began to compare Broncos' rookie linebacker Von Miller to the late NFL Hall-of-Famer Derrick Thomas.
At first, I thought that these comparisons were outrageous, but after watching Miller's play through 10 games this season, they could have some truth.
The former Texas A&M star is already up to 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and has a knack to get pressure on the QB every game.
He's easily been the league's best rookie playmaker this season.