Patrick Peterson and the 5 Most Electrifying NFL Rookies

Adam OdekirkContributor IIDecember 4, 2011

Patrick Peterson and the 5 Most Electrifying NFL Rookies

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    The 2011 NFL Draft is shaping up to be one of the most successful in recent history in terms of potential Pro Bowl players.

    Players are threatening not only rookie records, but also long-standing NFL records.

    The draft was top-heavy with serious talent that is living up to its hype and making immediate impacts on their teams.

    Here are some of the most electrifying rookies that are sure to excite NFL fans for many years to come.

Patrick Peterson

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    Few plays are more exciting in football than a punt return touchdown, and Patrick Peterson may do it more times in one season than anyone in history.

    This would be impressive for a veteran, but the fact that a rookie might do it makes it all the more incredible.

    Peterson is a freakish athlete and if his return skills weren't on the verge of being record-breaking, then his growing prowess as a cornerback would be garnering all the attention.

    The Arizona Cardinals might have the next coming of Deion Sanders in some people's opinions, but Peterson is carving out a place in NFL history all his own.  

Cam Newton

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    It took Cam Newton all of one game to set an NFL record for passing yardage in his debut, and before the season is done Newton will likely steal the crown for most yardage in a season by a rookie from none other than Peyton Manning.

    Newton is an offensive force and even though his production has not translated into many wins yet for the Panthers, he is proving to be a solid base from which Carolina can build.

    Get used to seeing Cam Newton at the top of fantasy drafts and Pro Bowl balloting for a long time.

AJ Green

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    Andy Dalton is as steady a rookie quarterback as the NFL has seen in recent memory, but the true electrifying rookie in Cincinnati is AJ Green out of Georgia.

    Green has an incredible catching radius and helps to make big plays when the Bengals need them most. His presence on the outside for Cincy means that the vertical threat did not leave with Ochocinco and TO.

    In fact, it may have just arrived.

Von Miller

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    Much was made of Denver's decision to eschew traditional thinking and not draft Marcel Dareus to solidify their interior defensive line. There was a risk that Miller would take time to become a true impact player on defense, but those days seem long forgotten.

    Miller's presence is already making quarterbacks in the NFL wary of taking a hit or a sack from the rookie outside linebacker. The best evidence of that was on display against the New York Jets, where the punishment that Miller heaped on Mark Sanchez might have been the biggest reason for Denver's upset.

    Miller is the front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and if his career continues on the same arc, he will be in line NFL Defensive Player of the Year soon. 

DeMarco Murray

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    Murray only truly became a regular player for the Cowboys in Week 7 of the NFL season. Since that time, he has more carries and more yardage than any other rookie running back.

    Despite not being the go-to player in the red zone for the Cowboys just yet, Murray is a serious talent that will surely start to find the end zone almost every week.

    A solid running game in the playoffs might make Murray a household name down the stretch and into January.