Where Does Andrew Luck's 2012 Season Rank Amongst Best Rookie Years in History?

Nick Kostora@@nickkostoraContributor IIIDecember 23, 2012

Where Does Andrew Luck's 2012 Season Rank Amongst Best Rookie Years in History?

0 of 5

    Setting a rookie record for passing yards elevates Andrew Luck into the conversation of best rookie campaigns of all time.

    Luck is in a tight battle for Rookie of the Year honors with Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III, but for the purposes of this list, we will look past the spectacular seasons those two quarterbacks are having.

    Which rookie years have been the best throughout NFL history, and where does Luck fit in?

    We start with two players in Indianapolis, and surprisingly, neither of them are Peyton Manning...

5. Edgerrin James (1999)

1 of 5

    When Edgerrin James was good, he was great, and his rookie season of 1999 was one of the best in NFL history.

    Of course, he was not the only great rookie that year, but more on that later.

    For now, let's focus on James and his 1,553 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns and 369 attempts on the ground.

    James was the workhorse that the Colts so desperately needed, getting all but 13 of the handoffs that season. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year and generated an amazing 2,139 yards of offense and 17 total touchdowns.

4. Andrew Luck (2012)

2 of 5

    Has any player ever had as much build-up and hype coming out of college as Andrew Luck?

    The proverbial "can't miss" No. 1 pick, Luck has done everything to live up to that moniker in his rookie campaign.

    He has surpassed Cam Newton's year-old mark of 4,051 passing yards to become the all-time rookie leader. Luck has poise in the pocket not usually associated with such a young player and has quickly taken the Indianapolis Colts from doormat to contender.

    His 18 interceptions are a clear blemish, but Luck has been every bit as good as advertised. 

3. Jevon Kearse (1999)

3 of 5

    For the other star of 1999, we turn to the Defensive Rookie of the Year and a bona fide "freak," Jevon Kearse.

    The Tennessee Titans' defensive end set the rookie record with 14.5 sacks and created a new standard for what a defensive end could be.

    6'4" and 265 pounds, Kearse was lethal off the edge and could get to the QB in ways that offensive tackles were not used to seeing.

    He added eight forced fumbles, 48 tackles and one touchdown to his rookie resume.

2. Randy Moss (1998)

4 of 5

    Perhaps no player ever took the NFL by storm as much as Randy Moss in 1998.

    The Minnesota Vikings' wide receiver exploded onto the scene, setting a rookie record with 17 touchdown receptions and immediately establishing himself as one of the best deep threats in the league.

    Only three players have ever caught more touchdowns in a season than Moss did in his rookie campaign. He averaged 19 yards per catch and won Rookie of the Year honors.

1. Eric Dickerson (1983)

5 of 5

    Reading Eric Dickerson's 1983 statistics is a surreal experience.

    As a rookie, Dickerson rushed for 1,808 yards, 18 touchdowns and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. It was the beginning of a storied Hall of Fame career.

    Much like Kearse at defensive end, Dickerson's combination of size and speed changed the entire idea of what a running back could be at the professional level.

    Dickerson's rookie season wins a close battle for the best of all time, and it will be a tough season for any player to topple.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.