NFL: 3 Rookies Who Are Already Ranked Amongst the Top at Their Positions

Cameron WardContributor IIIDecember 14, 2011

NFL: 3 Rookies Who Are Already Ranked Amongst the Top at Their Positions

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    The 2011 class of rookies has impressed everyone in the NFL so far this season. 

    Usually it takes a few years for young players to take to the physical and mental elements of the NFL game, but this class seems to have taken to intricacies of pro football faster than those before them.

    Players on both sides of the ball have shown that they are capable of taking their teams on their back and lifting them to wins.

    Here is a list a few players that are already in the top 10 of their specific positions.

A.J. Green, WR

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    A.J. Green has been nothing but sensational in his rookie year for the Cincinnati Bengals. He has recorded 55 catches for 891 yards and seven touchdowns only 13 weeks into the season.

    He has made life for Andy Dalton—who has been great in his own right—much easier.

    Green was slotted to be a vertical threat early in his career in the NFL, but has proven that he can run every route to a tee. 

    Many of his catches have been seen on Top 10 highlight reels, and are a main reason that the Bengals are 7-5 and much improved in 2011.

    Wide Receiver Rank: 7-10

Marcell Dareus, DT/DE

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    Marcell Dareus is another rookie making and impact on a rebuilding team.

    The 6'3" 340-pound beast has been killing offensive lines all year long. Before the majority of the Bills defense got hurt, they were shaping up to be one of the more formidable defenses in the NFL.

    Dareus has 30 tackles (22 solo), 3.5 sacks and has been a menace in the back field of opposing teams. A 3-4 DE putting up these type of numbers is quite impressive, considering he does not have a lot of help on his defensive line. He has been consistently taking on double teams.

    Once the Bills get some more pieces around him on the line, watch out!

    3-4 DE Rank: Fifth-Seventh

Cam Newton, QB

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    Cam Newton, despite being the No. 1 selection in the 2011 draft, had his doubters. Many of whom question if he had the discipline and intelligence to translate his skills to the NFL level.

    Well, let's just say he has proved his critics wrong and leave it at that.

    Newton, in his rookie season, has already set the single-season rushing touchdown record for quarterbacks (13, and good for second-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL) and is currently ranked eighth in total passing yards.

    Although the Panthers have not exactly been a success this year, Newton has definitely turned this team around from a 2010 campaign that netted them the first overall pick.

    Once the Panthers get some more pieces around Newton, he could become the most dynamic player in the NFL.

    QB Rank: Ninth or 10th