As rookies from the 2014 NFL Draft class attend the NFL Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio, NFL Network decided to take a look at league history and which rookies excelled immediately upon being drafted. Subsequently, they compiled the NFL's All-Time All-Rookie Team, which featured two prominent members of the New York Giants.
In Hein's day, centers had to play both ways, often lining up at "middle guard" (a precursor to nose tackle) or linebacker on the defensive side of the ball. Hein performed at a high level at both center and linebacker from Day 1, and never missed a snap his entire career.
Toughest competition: Clyde "Bulldog" Turner, Dick Szymanski, Jim Otto, Jon Morris, Maurkice Pouncey.
Although Hein debuted in 1931 and had a solid rookie season, the future Hall of Famer didn't really turn things up a notch until 1934 when he was named a first-team All Pro for the first time. Ultimately, he ended his career as five-time first-team All Pro and a three-time second-team All Pro. He was also named to the NFL Pro Bowl four times and eventually had his No. 7 retired by both Washington State University and the New York Giants.
League observers and casual fans alike thought Taylor was already the most imposing defensive player in the league in Year 1. "LT" posted 9.5 sacks (unofficially) in his rookie season, but more importantly, he led the Giants to their first playoff appearance in 18 years while immediately redefining a position.
Of course, there was no "toughest competition" for Taylor, who ran away with the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1981 to go along with being named to the Pro Bowl, an All Pro and the AP Defensive Player of the Year. In other words, LT dominated from the very moment he stepped on the field, forever changing the way the game was played. Easy choice.
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