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Green Zone League Articles

2017 GZL All-Rookie Team
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

Earlier I posted the results from the Rookie of the Year Tracker. While I was at it, I made my (sorta) annual All-Rookie Team. A few things are remarkable.

Last year the 49ers had the most rookies on this list with 5. This year they again are in the lead, though they have only 3 rookies this year. Technically, San Francisco and Philly both have 3, but since their 3rd rounder Charles Sims is on the list twice (for HB and KR), I’ll give them the nod. This year, the AFC had more All-Rookie selections than the NFC. Though interestingly, the NFC supplied the backs, receivers and tight end, while the offensive lineman all came from the AFC. The hardest positions to select? Choosing a second OG was tough as Thomas Nguyen and Edward Jacoby had identical seasons. Then I realized that an argument could be made for Mills, so I chose him. Kicker was tough too, but mostly because they were so bad. I considered JT Harrison of the Ravens as he had a better percentage than Hunter, but then I noted that Harrison missed 40% of his extra points. How is that even possible?! Anyway, I was so disgusted I could not bring myself to even consider him further. One guy who didn’t really qualify but is of note is the Bucs’ Orion Gray, drafted in the 3rd round. Gray is listed as a Punter but didn’t make a single punt last year. Why is he noteworthy? Gray served as the team’s kickoff specialist and had 40 touchbacks at a 41.2% rate, 2nd best in the entire league. Leave it to the Bucs to draft in the 3rd round a backup punter who is their kickoff specialist. No wonder they are 13-3.

Also, as usual, some good scouting on our part. 16 of the 22 offensive and defensive starters were first rounders. Furthermore, 11 of the 22 were either the first or second player taken at that position.


OFFENSE
QB – Bo Callahan, ATL (1.7, 1st QB overall)
HB – Charles Sims, SF (1.22, 2nd HB overall)
FB – Bubba Andrews, NO (2.3, 1st FB overall)
WR – Josh Gordon, SF (1.2, 1st WR overall)
WR – Sammy Watkins, MIN (1.10, 4th WR overall)
TE – Benny Davis, PHI (2.21, 3rd TE overall)
OT – Greg Robinson, OAK (1.12, 1st OT overall)
OT – Zack Barnett, SD (2.4, 4th OT overall)
OG – Brandon Thomas, PIT (1.28, 1st OG overall)
OG – Damien Mills, BAL (3.12, 4th OG overall)
C – Demetrius Conway, BUF (4.17, 4th C overall)

DEFENSE
DE – Jadeveon Clowney, CHI (1.4, 1st DE overall)
DE – Yasmin Ferguson, NE (1.26, 6th DE overall)
DT – Louis Nix, CLE (2.8, 1st DT overall)
DT – Mike Daniels, SF (6.2, 12th DT overall)
OLB – Junior Rivers, HOU (3.31, 8th OLB overall)
OLB – Jimmy Tuputala, PHI (3.30, 7th OLB overall)
MLB – CJ Mosley, PHI (1.21, 2nd overall)
CB – Demarius Stonewall, WAS (1.6, 2nd CB overall)
CB – Darqueatlze Dennard, BUF (1.30, 4th CB overall)
FS – Sully Santos, CLE (3.8, 3rd FS overall)
SS – Deone Bucannon, PIT (2.9, 1st SS overall)

SPECIAL TEAMS
K – Derek Hunter, NE (4.28, 3rd K overall)
P – Michael Palma, CIN (2.30, 1st P overall)
KR – Charles Sims, SF (1.22, 2nd HB overall)

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Josh Gordon
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Jadeveon Clowney
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