A number of the NFL’s first-round draft picks are having successful seasons in their first year as a pro.
First overall draft pick Cam Newton has had record-setting games in Carolina; second overall draft pick, the Broncos’ Von Miller, is one of the favorites for Defensive Rookie of the Year; receivers Julio Jones, Greg Little and A.J. Green have all had respectable numbers for their teams and the list continues.
However, very few rookies have had as much success as Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who not only was not selected until the 2nd Round, but was the fifth overall quarterback choice in the draft.
This entire season, Dalton has been proving why perhaps teams should have taken a chance on him a little sooner.
Working with minimal talent, Dalton has managed to lead the Bengals to a 7-4 record so far, putting them in the thick of a playoff chase. Already Dalton's seven wins are three more than what the Bengals had all last season.
Not only has Dalton been responsible for his own success, but he has also helped out his favorite target, rookie A.J. Green, and vice-versa.
Green has had a great rookie season because Dalton loves throwing the ball to him, and Dalton can credit much of his success to Green’s talent at the receiver position. The Bengals have won six of their last eight games, with their two losses coming in Week 10 and 11 when Green was out due to injury.
This week against the Browns, Dalton was 21-of-31 for 270 yards and a quarterback rating of 105.6. 110 of those yards were to A.J. Green.
Dalton is not the only draft pick selected outside of the 1st Round who has been impressive. Here’s a look at a few others.