Recently, the Sporting News announced their top twenty candidates for the 2013 NFL Rookie of the Year Award and topping their list is Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le\’Veon Bell. Fourth on their list is outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, the Steelers first-round draft pick out of Georgia.
Over the years, the Steelers have had six players win the rookie of the year award with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being the last to do it in 2004. Prior to Roethlisberger, Joe Greene, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, Louis Lipps and Kendrell Bell also won the award.
Bell has yet to be named the starting running back for the Steelers in 2013, but rest assured; he will be the starter sooner than later if not given the job right out of training camp. Bell will have to beat out several talented offensive rookies for the award as Tavon Austin, Montee Ball, DeAndre Hopkins, Giovani Bernard and Eddie Lacy all figure to be primed for solid rookie seasons as well.
As far as Jones goes, he more than likely won\’t be the starter at right outside linebacker out of training camp, and whether or not he plays a lot during his rookie season will depend entirely on how starter Jason Worilds plays. It is much tougher for a Steelers rookie to see much if any playing time on the defensive side of the ball in the Dick LeBeau system, so the Sporting News might have Jones ranked too high on their list.
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly won the defensive rookie award last year as he compiled 164 combined tackles and two interceptions to go along with eight passes defensed and one sack. In 2011, it was Von Miller of the Denver Broncos who won the award as he registered 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles during his rookie season.