2013 NFL all-rookie team offense: Keenan Allen deserving of Offensive Rookie of the Year

Donald Miralle

The Offensive Rookie of the Year race came down to the wire.

As time wore on last spring, many came to the realization that the 2013 NFL Draft had a weak quarterback class. The closer to April it got, the more clear it was that no consensus No. 1 quarterback had emerged and the draft would be an unpredictable one for the position.

After one season for all of the 2013 quarterbacks, weak is still the best word to describe the group. Geno Smith was the only rookie quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards, and he barley did that. Pus, he threw 21 interceptions to only 12 touchdowns, so the yardage wasn't all that impressive.

Truth be told, the quarterback group wasn't the only position that struggled as rookies. The consensus top tackles consistently underperformed and a few first-year stars were able to boost the other position groups.

Here's the all-rookie team on offense with our Offensive Rookie of the Year pick.

Quarterback

Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Glennon takes this spot on the all-rookie team by default. While other rookie quarterbacks were either injured or ineffective, Glennon improved as the season went on and put together a respectable season given what he was dealing with in Tampa Bay in terms of play calling and injuries to some of his top weapons. He finished with 19 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. Glennon wasn't incredible and may even be replaced this offseason, but he was better than his classmates.

Running back

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers: With Aaron Rodgers out with a collarbone injury, not many people gave the Green Bay Packers a chance to make the playoffs. But rookie running back Eddie Lacy was up for the challenge of carrying the offense. He finished eight in the league in rushing with just under 1,200 yards and was third in the NFL with 11 touchdowns. Lacy did it all while the Packers couldn't keep defenses honest with a respectable passing game. Lacy made a strong case for offensive rookie of the year.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals: Early in the season, it looked as if Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard would run away with offensive rookie of the year honors. He was getting more involved in Cincy's offense on a weekly basis and was making a big impact catching the ball out of the backfield. Bernard wore down a bit down the stretch, however. He finished with over 1,300 total yards and eight combined touchdowns, though. Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell closed out the season strong, but Bernard's body of work was enough to keep him on this list.

Wide Receiver

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers: It's been a while since a wide receiver came into the league and had the type of season Keenan Allen had for the San Diego Chargers. After not dressing for the Chargers' first game of the season and being targeted a total of three times in the next two games, Allen burst onto the scene in Week 4 with a five-catch, 80-yard performance. With 13 games to work with as a rookie, Allen caught 71 passes for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. A.J. Green and Julio Jones are the only receivers in recent memory with comparable rookie seasons, and Allen put his together in 13 games. His 68-percent catch rate and five 100-yard games made him one of the most valuable players on the Chargers' offense in 2013.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings: For most of the season, Cordarrelle Patterson was non-existent in Minnesota's offensive game plan. But as the season went on, Patterson earned more playing time at wide receiver and started to make a big impact. He found the end zone nine times, catching four touchdowns, rushing for three more and adding to return touchdowns to the mix.

Tight End

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins: Even with all of the disfunction in Washington this season, rookie tight end Jordan Reed managed to string together a productive campaign. He fit nicely into the offense and was one of Robert Griffin III's most trusted targets, especially in the red zone. In just nine games, Reed caught 45 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns.

Offensive Tackle

D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers: Despite a rough year in pass protection, D.J. Fluker earns a spot on the all-rookie team after a dominant season of run blocking. While Fluker's limitations were on display when he was asked to move to left tackle, he consistently showed off his run blocking chops on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He should be a fixture at right tackle in San Diego going forward.

Justin Pugh, New York Giants: Another "right tackle only" prospect from the 2013 draft who stepped in and performed as a rookie is Justin Pugh of the New York Giants. He also needs to improve his pass blocking, but he was a reliable starter for the Giants in all 16 games and was one of the team's most consistent run blockers.

Offensive Guard

Larry Warford, Detroit Lions: If he didn't play guard, Larry Warford might have gotten more attention for the rookie season he had in Detroit. Warford was not only the best rookie offensive lineman in the NFL this season, he was also one of the best offensive lineman in the league this season regardless of age. He didn't allow a sack all season and helped make Detroit one of the best run blocking teams in the NFL.

Kyle Long, Chicago Bears: Kyle Long had an inconsistent rookie season but flashed often enough to make this list. The Bears have to hope the Kyle Long from early in the season is the one they'll get moving forward. Long was far from a finished product coming into the league, so for him to play as well as he did at times was encouraging.

Center

Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys: Plenty of things have gone wrong for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, but the selection of Travis Frederick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft was a big hit for them. The four sacks he allowed are a bit much for Dallas' liking, but Fredrick made up for it in the running game. He's a piece to build around on the offensive line.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers: A solid argument can be made for Eddie Lacy as the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He had the third most rushing touchdowns in the league and was asked to carry the load for a team missing its starting quarterback for most of the season. Lacy piled up a lot of yards and put points on the board, but a lot of it had to do with the sheer volume of his carries. His 4.1 yards per carry average was good for 24th in the NFL. He also had a tendency to wear down late in games.

Allen deserves the recognition for what he's been able to accomplish in comparison to others at his position. This season has arguably been one of the seven best seasons ever for a rookie wide receiver, and he did it in 13 games. Allen was thrust into the role as the Chargers' No. 1 wide receiver and has been reliable while making big plays at crucial times. Not only did he average nearly 15 yards per catch, but he also had over 5 yards after the catch on average. Rookie receivers don't normally play how Allen did, and that's why he would have my vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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