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Pittsburgh Steelers rookie of the year no easy decision in 2016

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 rookie class has some players in it, which will make the decision for rookie of the year a tough one.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 NFL Draft class was given poor grades immediately after the selection process had concluded. The logical football fans realized grading players who just left college and were entering a new level of play, as well as a new scheme, cannot be graded in such a manner.

In fact, many, including myself, believe grading a draft class even after Year 1 is a bit unrealistic. Nonetheless, you constantly see grades on draft classes midway through their first year, and obviously after.

This isn’t an article about grading the Steelers rookie class, who has been tremendous this season, but trying to figure out who will win the Steelers Joe Greene award in 2016, given to the team’s top rookie.

The past few seasons it has been ridiculously obvious as to who was going to win the award. Check out the previous winners (the last 3 years):

2013: RB Le’Veon Bell
2014: WR Martavis Bryant
2015: OLB Bud Dupree

In those years, there was almost zero competition for the top rookie. Everyone knew exactly who was going to win the award, but this year it isn’t a slam dunk. In fact, it is an extremely tough decision.

The three nominees, without a doubt, are:

1st round pick: CB Artie Burns
2nd round pick: SS Sean Davis
3rd round pick: DT Javon Hargrave

Let’s look at the tale of the tape:

Artie Burns
Games Played: 14
Tackles: 50 Combined
Pass Defenses: 12
Interceptions: 3
Forced Fumble: 0
Fumble Recovery: 0
Sacks: 0
Touchdowns: 0

Sean Davis
Games Played: 14
Tackles: 54 Combined
Pass Defenses: 3
Interceptions: 1
Forced Fumble: 0
Fumble Recovery: 0
Sacks: 0.5
Touchdowns: 0

Javon Hargrave
Games Played: 13
Tackles: 21 Combined
Pass Defenses: 0
Interceptions: 0
Forced Fumble: 0
Fumble Recovery: 1
Sacks: 2
Touchdowns: 1

There are the stats, but who do you think will win this prestigious award named after the best rookie in franchise history? Vote in the poll below, and be sure to explain your pick in the comment section below.

For my selection this isn’t an easy choice. Hargrave has played the most of the three, Burns has made the most splash plays, but Davis has the look of an elite player. For me, I would place my vote for Davis. Burns was inserted as a starter before Davis, but Davis’ play in both run support and pass coverage is undeniable.

Rookie of the Year: Safety Sean Davis