Victor Cruz: The 2011 Rookie Of The Year?

Victor Cruz of the New York Giants celebrates as he runs off of the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

It could be argued that this should be considered Victor Cruz's rookie year. Cruz came into the league last season and had a phenomenal preseason. On August 16, 2010, the Giants' first preseason game, this scrappy, young man from Paterson, NJ had six-receptions for 145 yards and three-touchdowns. Cruz had more reception yards and touchdowns than any other receiver in the 2010 NFL preseason. After suffering a hamstring injury that October, the rookie season of Victor Cruz was a wash.

The voting for the 2011 NFL Rookie Of The Year is under way. The wealth of talent of this year's nominees is tremendous, rightly so. I think it is safe to say that Cam Newton is the odds-on favorite to win this prestigious award. However, if Victor Cruz was added to this year's ballot, would he upset the apple cart? Would he win the thing outright? Let's take a look at this year's nominees.

Andy Dalton:

Quarterback

Cincinnati Bengals

ATT - 516

CMP - 300

PCT - 58.1

YDs - 3,398

TDs - 20

INT - 13

QB Rating - 80.4

____________________

Cam Newton

Quarterback

Carolina Panthers

ATT - 517

CMP - 310

PCT - 60.0

YDs - 4,051

Passing TDs - 21

Rushing TDs - 14

INT - 17

QB Rating - 84.5

____________________

Aldon Smith

Linebacker

San Francisco 49ers

Combined Tackles - 37

Solo - 31

Asst - 6

Sacks - 14.0

Safety - 1

Forced Fumbles - 2

____________________

Von Miller

Linebacker

Denver Broncos

Combined Tackles - 64

Solo - 50

Asst - 14

Sacks - 11.5

Forced Fumbles - 2

____________________

Patrick Peterson

Cornerback

Arizona Cardinals

Combined Tackles - 64

Solo - 59

Asst - 5

Sacks - 1.0

Pass Deflections - 13

INT - 2

Punt Returns - 44

Return YDs - 699

AVG - 15.9

Lng - 99

TDs - 4

____________________

Victor Cruz

Wide Receiver

New York Giants

Receptions - 82

YDs - 1,536

Avg - 18.7

YDs/G 96.0

Lng - 99

TDs - 9

Victor Cruz broke two-franchise records this year, most receptions yards in a single-season and the longest reception record. There is no question that Cruz had one of the standout performances of the year. Sadly, his hammy from last year may have cost him the 2010 Rookie Of The Year Award, if his preseason play was any indication of what his regular season would look like. Would Cruz walk away with the award this year, if he was pitted up against the 2011 nominees? Cast your vote. Share your opinions.

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