How the Top 10 picks from the 2011 NFL Draft did their rookie season (4/24/12)

Media outlets across the country are releasing their 2012 NFL Mock Drafts in preparation for Thursday night’s first round — a 3.5 hour event on ESPN that OtherScreen will be covering. This is a huge day for NFL fans, especially ones who root for a team that missed the playoffs or who ended the season in the bottom of the barrel.

But, how did the 2011 NFL Draft Class do in their rookie season? Below are the Top 10 picks with some of their stats for their first full NFL season.

1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers — QB
Starts: 16
Passing TDS: 21
Rushing TDs: 14
Passing Yards: 4,051
Rushing Yards: 706
2011 Team Record: 6-10
Notes: Cam Newton set records for most passing yards in a season by a rookie; the first rookie to rush and pass for 10 TDs a piece; most total TDs by a rookie; the fastest player to ever throw for 1,000 yards; most rushing TDs in a season by a QB; was named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the 2012 Pro Bowl.

2. Von Miller, Denver Broncos — LB
Starts: 15
Tackles: 51
Assists: 14
Sacks: 11.5
Fumbles Forced: 3
2011 Team Record: 8-8
Notes: The highest selected linebacker since 2000, when LaVar Arrington went #2 to Washington Redskins; forced a fumble on his first NFL play from scrimmage; was AFC Defensive Player of the Week; was selected to 2012 Pro Bowl; was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

3. Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills — DE
Starts: 15
Tackles: 32
Assists: 11
Sacks: 5.5
2011 Team Record: 6-10
Notes: Registered the most sacks for a Buffalo Bill since Aaron Schobel in 2001.

4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals — WR
Starts: 15
Receiving TDs: 7
Receptions: 65
Receiving Yards: 1,057
2011 Team Record: 9-7
Notes: Recorded four 100-yard receiving games; led all rookies in receptions and receiving yards; was second in TD receptions by a rookie behind Julio Jones; set franchise season reception yard record for a Bengals rookie; selected to 2012 Pro Bowl.

5. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals — CB
Starts: 16
Tackles: 59
Assists: 5
Interceptions: 2
Punt Return Yards: 699
Punt Return TDs: 4
2011 Team Record: 8-8
Notes: First NFL play was an interception and return for a TD; tied the single season punt return TD record with four; was selected to 2012 Pro Bowl.

6. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons — WR
Starts: 13
Receiving TDs: 8
Receptions: 54
Receiving Yards: 959
2011 Team Record: 10-6
Notes: Atlanta traded five draft picks to the Cleveland Browns to move up spots and take Jones with the #6 pick; led all rookie WRs with 8 TD receptions; was second behind A.J. Green for number of receptions by a rookie.

7. Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers — DE
Starts: 0
Tackles: 31
Assists: 6
Sacks: 14
2011 Team Record: 13-3
Notes: Set the 49ers franchise record for most sacks in a single season by a rookie; was named Rookie of the Year by Pro Football Weekly; was .5 sacks shy of tying the rookie sack record held by Jevon Kearse even though he never started.

8. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans — QB
Starts: 0
Passing TDS: 4
Rushing TDs: 1
Passing Yards: 542
Rushing Yards: 56
2011 Team Record: 9-7
Notes: Replaced injured QB Matt Hasselbeck on November 20 and threw for 2 TDs and 140 yards; will get a chance to be the starter for the 2012-13 season according to head coach Mike Munchak.

9. Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys — OT
Starts: 16
2011 Team Record: 8-8
Notes: Tyron Smith was first offensive lineman to be selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round since owner Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989.

10. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars — QB
Starts: 14
Passing TDS: 12
Rushing TDs: 0
Passing Yards: 2,214
Rushing Yards: 98
2011 Team Record: 5-11
Notes: Jacksonville traded six spots with the Washington Redskins to pick Gabbert; was sacked 40 times, the third most of any QB during the 2011-12 season; fumbled 14 times, the most of any QB in the league; Football Outsiders stated Gabbert’s season was the “fifth worst season [they’ve] ever measured” in aggregate value.

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