Thursday, September 26, 2019

1971 NFL Rookies of the Year

In 1971 there were a total of  5 different Rookie of the year presenters each giving out 2 awards each. Some were divided among offensive and defensive, others AFC or NFC. But for the most Part they were in agreement and the 10 awards were split between 3 players; John Brockington, Jim Plunkett and Isiah Robertson. None of these players had Topps cards in 1971. All three made their Topps debut the following year.

John Brockington won 4 different Rookie of the year honors. He was named NFC ROY by The Sporting News (TSN), United Press International (UPI) and the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA).  He was also named Offensive ROY by the Associated Press (AP). Brockington was the Packers 1st round pick from Ohio State. He was a 3 time Pro Bowler.

Jim Plunkett also collected 4 Rookie of the Year awards. He was the AFC Rookie of the Year per TSN, UPI and NEA. He was crowned Offensive ROY by Pro Football Weekly (PFW). Plunket was the overall #1 pick in the 1971 Draft. He was the 1970 Heisman Award winner for Stanford beating out Joe Theisman and Archie Manning. He led the Raiders to 2 Super Bowl victories despite being the back up quarterback both seasons.  I made this card several years ago for Jim from Downingtown's 1971 Football Cards blog.

Isiah Robertson was named Defensive ROY by both PFW and AP. Robertson was the Rams 1st round pick in 1971 out of Southern University. He was a six time Pro Bowler for the Rams. He was traded to the Bills in 1978 and was among the highest paid linebackers at the time.