Friday, December 4, 2020

1975 NFL Rookies of the Year

 In 1975 there were still 5 different organizations who awarded Rookie of the Year titles to NFL players. AP, UPI, NEA, Pro Football Weekly and The Sporting News.  That year there were 11 different awards split among 3 recipients.

The player all five organizations agreed upon was Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile. Houston drafted him with the 6th pick of the first round, just two picks behind his Jackson State teammate, Walter Payton.  Like sweetness, he would be enshrined in Canton, OH.  He played all 10 of his NFL Seasons with the Oilers and was selected to 7 Pro Bowls.  He is also on the Titans/Oilers "Ring of Honor".

Mike Thomas was named NFC Rookie of the Year by UPI.  He was Offensive ROY according to AP and shared the Pro Football Weekly Offensive ROY award with Steve Bartkowski.  Thomas was the lowest draft selection among the three ROYs.  He was picked in the 5th round by Washington from UNLV.  He ran for 919 yards in his rookie campaign. In 1976 he rushed for 1101 and was selected for the Pro Bowl. In his 6 year NFL career he had 6207 total yards from scrimmage for the Redskins and the Chargers.

The first pick of the 1975 NFL draft was Steve Bartkowski from the University of California, Berkley.  He was All American for the Cal Bears and led the nation in 1974 with 2580 passing yards. In addition to sharing the PFW Offensive ROY award with Mike Thomas, he earned NFC ROY honors from the NEA and The Sporting News.  In all he played 11 seasons with the Falcons and one with the Rams. He was a Pro Bowl selection twice.

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