The Motown Effect

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: January 19, 2011

Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh

NEW YORK — In a time when most people are eyeing the Super Bowl line and the two contestants that will likely be in it, the NFL posted it’s candidates for the Pepsi Rookie of the Year award, which fans can now vote on.

The five finalists are: Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams), Joe Haden (Cleveland Browns), Ndamukong Suh (Detroit Lions), Mike Williams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Devin McCourty (New England Patriots).

Bradford is going to be the frontrunner because he’s a quarterback and let’s face it, the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. But the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft did have a huge hand in the Rams going from just one win in 2010 to nearly making the playoffs.

Suh should be neck-in-neck with Bradford as he helped the lousy Lions finally become respectable — at least on defense. Suh finished the season with 66 tackles, one fumble forced, an interception, three passes defensed and 10 sacks, which the most by any defensive tackle in the NFL.

Haden had strong season for the Browns, who have sorely lacked a quality cornerback in a long time. He finished the year with 65 tackles, a forced fumble, 18 passes defensed and six interceptions, which led the Browns.

Williams — the other Mike Williams — had an excellent season for Tampa Bay as he registered 964 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. His 11 touchdowns tied him for third-most in the NFL.

Meanwhile, McCourty had a fine season as well he led the Patriots with seven interceptions as a rookie, which is a phenomenal feat.

The award will likely go to Bradford because plays the glamour position but Suh should at least share it with him. The others played well but their stats don’t outshine Bradford or Suh.