In a year that featured few rookie quarterbacks who played much and even fewer who had much of an impact, the primary candidates for the first of the annual PFT postseason awards come from the crop of guys to whom the quarterbacks handed or threw the ball.
The invisible PFT trophy for offensive rookie of the year goes to Packers running back Eddie Lacy.
A second-rounder from Alabama who plunged in the draft due to concerns regarding his ability to stay healthy and his passion for the game, Lacy piled up 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns for the NFC North champions. Add 257 yards receiving, and Lacy gained more than 1,400 yards from scrimmage in his first NFL season.
With only 51 yards rushing in all of September, Lacy did the bulk of his damage in three months, with four 100-yard games and a season-high 141 on 21 carries in that epic come-from-way-behind win in Dallas.
Now that the Packers have been reminded after years of a healthy Brett Favre and a mostly healthy Aaron Rodgers that quarterbacks can indeed become injured and miss multiple games in a row, they finally have a consistent threat in the running game, who could help the team grind out tough yardage in the looming postseason tournament.
Other finalists for the award were Chargers receiver Keenan Allen (1,046 receiving yards and eight touchdowns), Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (860 rushing yards, 1,259 yards from scrimmage, eight touchdowns), Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (1,209 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns), Lions offensive lineman Larry Warford, and Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (2,020 total yards and nine total touchdowns).
Cast your own ballot in the poll below, and elaborate in the comments.