Mark Ingram (RB), New Orleans Saints
Ingram was the 28th overall selection in the 2011 draft. He has been slowed by an injury to his heel but has still been productive for the Saints in his limited action. He needs to step up his game in order to be considered one of the more electrifying rookies this season.
Sam Acho (OLB), Arizona Cardinals
Acho transitioned from defensive end in college to outside linebacker with the Cardinals and has excelled at the position. The fourth-round pick has taken over Joey Porter's position and shows no signs of relinquishing his spot. He's the real "Acho Libre."
Roy Helu (RB), Washington Redskins
Helu has been mediocre for the majority of the season. The Redskins banked on their fourth-round selection being a little more electrifying than what Helu has provided thus far. In Week 12, however, Helu showed promise against a legitimate Seattle Seahawks run defense with 108 yards on 23 carries and seven receptions for 54 yards. Helu even managed to bang one into the end zone.
The big-play ability he displayed at Nebraska has yet to carry over to the NFL, but it should come over the next couple of seasons.
Tyron Smith (RT), Dallas Cowboys
Smith was the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft. Because Smith doesn't get the ball in his hands, he's not going to show up on too many "most electrifying rookie" lists. He's still electrifying in his own way. Legendary Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck has nothing but praise for Smith. Recently, Houck compared Smith's talent level to that of 11-time Pro Bowler Larry Allen. That's the kind of praise that smells like the Hall of Fame is in Smith's future.
Aldon Smith (OLB), San Francisco 49ers
Smith has been a dominant force on the league's most dominant defense this season. Smith has recorded 7.5 sacks in 12 games this season while rotating with fellow outside linebacker Parys Haralson. He has become an impact player for the 49ers and a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.
Ryan Kerrigan (OLB), Washington Redskins
After being scorned in the comments for omitting Kerrigan from the list, I have sheepishly come back to add him on the honorable mention list. Like Acho, Kerrigan has transformed nicely from a college defensive end to a promising NFL outside linebacker. While Kerrigan has found himself on a less than spectacular Redskins team, he has quietly become a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Had Kerrigan donned a 49ers uniform on a team that is hogging the defensive headlines this season, then surely he would've been the topic of many more discussions this year. Nevertheless, Kerrigan will be a force for years to come.