The SEC's reign of championships may have ended, but a couple of the players they sent to the NFL this past season made immediate impact as they won Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Eddie Lacy - RB - Green Bay Packers - Alabama
Eddie Lacy was the big impact back the Packers have been needing for a couple of years now, and they found him at the back of the 2nd round of this year's draft as a steal compared to what the Browns got at 3rd overall in Trent Richardson two years earlier. Everybody had always thought that Richardson would be the next big impact RB in the league but he has turned out to be a flop so far in the NFL as compared to Eddie Lacy who was never heralded nearly as much as Richardson in college but has turned out to be the much better talent at the next level. Lacy had ran for 2402 rushing yards in just 355 carries for an average of 6.8 YPC at 'Bama. He won two rings there just like Richardson did. This year for the Green Bay Packers he ran for 1178 rushing yards in 284 carries for an average of 4.1 YPC. It almost seems unfair that a weapon like this has been added to the plethora of options Aaron Rodgers has at his disposal.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sheldon Richardson - DL - New York Jets - Missouri
Sheldon Richardson is just another defensive weapon Mizzou has churned out after Aldon Smith came out of there who is now an big part of that nasty 49ers defense in San Francisco. Now Aldon Smith was at Mizzou when they were a part of the Big 12 Conference and Richardson 2011 season was spent in the Big 12, but he didn't have nearly as much impact for Mizzou in 2011 as he did in 2012 for the Tigers in the SEC. In his career at Mizzou he had 18.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. In 15 games for the Jets this year, Richardson had 3.5 sacks, 42 tackles, 35 assisted tackles, and one forced fumble.
Could the SEC churn out more ROY's next year? Could Johnny Football, AJ McCarron, or Tre Mason win Offensive ROY and CJ Mosley or Clinton-Dix possibly win Defensive ROY? We shall see!