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NFL

5 Players Who Deserved Rookie Of The Year More Than Eddie Lacy

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5 Candidates More Deserving Of Offensive Rookie Of The Year Than Eddie Lacy

Lacy
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday at the NFL honors ceremony, Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy literally "ran" away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year, leaving no question as to who was the best offensive rookie in 2013.

Lacy was justly rewarded for an outstanding season as he finished with 1,178 yards rushing on 241 carries with 11 touchdowns and 35 receptions for 257 yards. He was the catalyst of a Packers offense that for most of the season was without the best quarterback in the NFC in Aaron Rodgers. Lacy's running propelled the Packers to a NFC North division title and a near defeat of the NFC runner-up San Francisco 49ers in the Wild-Card game.

While Lacy's season was the most talked about, there were other deserving candidates that had to be considered more in the discussion as offensive rookie of the year.

This class of offensive talent was nowhere near the caliber of players in the 2012 draft. Quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III led their teams to playoff runs despite marginal talent around them, and other key players like Russell Wilson and T.Y. Hilton also greatly affected their teams as rookies.

Further weakening this class was the obvious strategy that most teams took. Instead of investing in playmakers, teams mostly settled for big offensive and defensive linemen who could change the game from the trenches.

The next five candidates here are the most deserving of more discussion as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 than thee landslide vote that Lacy had.

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5. Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Glennon
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon had the best season among a weak crop of rookie quarterbacks. Glennon had good numbers despite a chaotic franchise around him and a majority of his skill position players were injured for most of the season. He had 2,608 passing yards, a near 60 percent completion rate and 19 touchdowns to only nine interceptions.

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4. Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams

Stacy
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Rams fifth-round pick Zac Stacy was the last line on an offense that struggled in the running game. Stacy overcame both Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead to be the feature back in St. Louis. Stacy had 973 yards on 250 carries with seven touchdowns.

Had he been the starter from Week 1, Stacy would be higher up in this discussion.

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3. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell had as effective a season as Lacy did. Playing on a team that doesn't have the offensive weapons that the Packers have with a worse offensive line, Bell had 860 yards on only 244 carries while also tallying 45 receptions for 399 yards.

Bell would've had a better season than Lacy had the Steelers' offensive line been semi-good.

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2. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Bernard
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard was not used nearly enough in his rookie season.

Bernard was the better running back between him and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, yet Bernard was stuck behind a struggling Green-Ellis and only had 695 rushing yards on only 170 carries. He also had 56 receptions for 514 yards and had eight total touchdowns on the season.

Bernard should've been more in the discussion than he was.

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1. Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers

Allen
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

While San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen flashed big-time in the postseason, Allen had a very effective regular season as well.

Allen became the No. 1 receiver after season-ending injuries to Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander, and he had 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. He was by far the best wide receiver in the 2013 draft class.