The National Football League today announced the five finalists for the 2014 NFL Rookie of the Year award.
Nominated for the 2015 award are WR Mike Evans (Buccaneers), QB Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants), RB Jeremy Hill (Bengals) and WR Sammy Watkins (Bills).
Starting today, fans can vote for one of these five players on nfl.com/rookies through Thursday, January 29 to determine the 2014 NFL Rookie of the Year.
The 2014 NFL Rookie of the Year award will be recognized in Arizona during the Super Bowl festivities and online at nfl.com/rookies.
The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances throughout the 2014 NFL season. Each week, five nominees were chosen for the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Those results were used to help determine the finalists.
A closer look at the finalists:**
Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)* Evans, a rookie from Texas A&M who was drafted in the first round (7th overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft, finished with the second-most receiving yards and fourth-most receptions among rookies in his debut season. He ended the season with 68 receptions for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns – leading the Buccaneers in receiving yards and touchdowns. Evans capped his rookie season with five receptions, 54 yards and a touchdown against the Saints in Week 17 – the touchdown marked a team record. Evans, along with Tampa Bay wide receiver Vincent Jackson, combined for 2,053 receiving yards, the third-most in Buccaneer's history. In Week 11, Evans had seven catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers' 27-7 win at Washington. At 21 years, 87 days old, Evans is the youngest player in NFL history with a 200-yard receiving game. Evans was nominated for Rookie of the Week four times.>> DATA CRUNCH: MIKE EVANSOdell Beckham, Jr. (New York Giants) Beckham, drafted by the Giants as the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Louisiana State had 91 catches, 1,305 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games. He finished the season with four consecutive games with at least 130 receiving yards and a touchdown, seven games with over 100 receiving yards total and nine straight games with 90 or more receiving yards (tying Michael Irvin's 1995 record). Beckham surpassed Billy Howton (1,231 with Green Bay in 1952) for the most receiving yards in NFL history for a player in his first 12 career games. Beckham's 1,305 yards were the third-highest total in Giants history, trailing only Victor Cruz's 1,536 yards in 2011 and Amani Toomer's 1,343 yards in 2002.Beckham was nominated for Rookie of the Week seven times, winning the award four times.*>> DATA CRUNCH: ROOKIE WIDE RECEIVERS
Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota Vikings)**
Bridgewater, a University of Louisville product was selected 32nd overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, finished the season with the third highest completion percentage for a rookie in NFL history (64.4), behind Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (66.4 in 2004) and Washington's Robert Griffin III (65.7 in 2012). He ended the season with 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns in 13 games. Bridgewater was nominated for Rookie of the Week four times, winning the award two times.Jeremy Hill (Cincinnati Bengals)
Drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Hill closed out his rookie season with three consecutive 100-yard games. He reached the 100-yard mark five times total, ending the season with 1,124 rushing yards on 222 carries with nine touchdowns. Hill also recorded 215 receiving yards on 27 receptions. Hill was nominated for Rookie of the Week five times, winning the award once.Sammy Watkins (Buffalo Bills)
Watkins was the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He finished the year with 982 yards on 65 catches, both Bills rookie club records, in addition to six touchdowns. He had more than 100 yards receiving in four games. Watkins was nominated for Rookie of the Week four times, winning the award three times.