Three Former Gators Added to All-Rookie Team

The NFL regular season reaching an end means that multiple Florida rookies saw their first professional season end. Former Gators drew recognition throughout the season for their play as rookies, but the Sporting News selected three Florida rookies to the publication's All-Rookie Team.

A panel of NFL scouts and Sporting News writers and editors selected the team.

The starting center might have been the easiest selection on the team. When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Maurkice Pouncey with the No. 18 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the fan base was split. It wasn't hard to blame them because taking an interior lineman in the first round doesn't happen much.

However, Pouncey turned fans' questions into praise.

In a patchwork offensive line for the Steelers, Pouncey was the consistent piece. Steelers players and coaches often applauded the rookie for his play, but it was his leadership that stood out. His play helped the Steelers to the 11th ranked rushing offense in the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap was also selected to the team. He was the team's second round draft pick after a DUI caused his stock to fall, but Dunlap didn't disappoint. He was the youngest player on the Bengals roster and set their rookie sack record by reaching 9.5.

Ndamukong Suh has got the most headlines as a rookie defensive lineman, but the Detroit Lions stud recorded 10 sacks, only one-half more than Dunlap.

9.5 sacks in any season for a rookie would have been solid season, but Dunlap managed to do it while only playing in 12 games. His production was slowed at the beginning of the year with a knee injury.

Joe Haden is the third Florida rookie to make the team. He was the No. 7 pick in the first round by the Cleveland Browns. There were questions around his selection that high, but Haden silenced those with his play.

Haden led the Browns with 18 pass breakups. He also added 64 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and six interceptions.


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