At the start of the season it seemed the Rookie of the Year honor was guaranteed to go to a braided quarterback in burgundy and yellow. As the season progressed, more candidates revealed themselves and Robert Griffin III didn't seem like such a shoo-in for the award. According to our panel, while Griffin is deserving of the award, he's not the top pick. Here are their choices:
Phil Simms' pick – Andrew Luck
Coming in as a rookie behind the great Peyton Manning and being expected to save a franchise is quite a tall order to fill. However, Luck took it in stride, threw for a rookie record 433 yards in a game and never missed a beat while leading the Colts to a No. 5 playoff seed with an 11-5 record. “What he was asked to do was so much harder than the other two QBs,” Simms said. “It was on him and it was about developing him and making him the star.”
Rich Gannon's pick - Russell Wilson
Rich was torn in this pick but ultimately came up with Wilson as the ROY. The Seahawks quarterback fell to the third round of the draft and was doubted due to his height. Fast forward to the end of the season, and he has 26 TD passes (more than Luck and Griffin) and is sharing ROY talk with two first-round stars. “He's been a playmaker all season for the Seattle Seahawks,” Gannon said. “I like the way this guy avoids pressure and continues to keep his eyes down the field. I think he's had a terrific season. If I had to vote today it would be Russell Wilson.”
Steve Beuerlein's pick – Luck
Although RG3 and Wilson are deserving of this honor, Steve said, he felt it should go to Luck. On the road to helping his team overcome multiple setbacks, Luck threw an NFL rookie-record 339 completions as well as 23 TD passes. “No one took the Colts seriously at all this year as being a threat with a new quarterback and new coach.” Beuerlein said. “How he's really had to carry that ball club I think he deserves [the award] more than the other two, who are very deserving as well.”
Was our panel wrong to leave RG3 off the list? Leave us a comment below. Also follow @NFLMondayQB on Twitter and watch NFL Monday QB on CBS Sports Network, Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET. You can follow Adena Andrews on Twitter here: @adena_andrews.