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Gurley Named PFWA Rookie of the Year

Posted Jan 19, 2016

The Pro Football Writers of America have named running back Todd Gurley the 2015 Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Rams running back Todd Gurley has been named the Professional Football Writers of America’s Rookie of the Year/Offensive Rookie of the Year. In addition, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and punter Johnny Hekker were placed on the 2015 All-NFL team and offensive tackle Rob Havenstein was placed on the All-Rookie team, chosen in voting conducted by the PFWA.
 
Gurley earned Pro Bowl honors after leading all NFL rookies in rushing yards (1,106), scrimmage yards (1,294), and 100-yard games (5). His 10 total touchdowns rank second among all NFL rookies despite only playing in 13 games. In the last 10 seasons, Gurley is one of just nine rookie running backs to score 10 or more touchdowns during their first NFL season. Of those nine, only three of those players did so with fewer carries than Gurley’s 229.
 
Gurley, the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft, made his first NFL start in Week 4 and rushed for 146 yards. The performance started his streak of four consecutive games with 125 or more rushing yards, sealing his place in NFL history as the first rookie to ever do so. His five total games of 125 yards or more are the second-most ever by a rookie, trailing only Eric Dickerson’s seven. The former Georgia Bulldog finished the year as the league’s third-leading rusher and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerome Bettis and Dickerson as the only rookies in Rams history to rush for over 1,000 yards.
 
Since joining the league in 2014, Donald has become one of the NFL’s most dominant interior defenders. PFWA and the Associated Press dubbed Donald as the NFL’s 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year and he followed up in his sophomore season with 11.0 sacks – tied for the most among NFL defensive tackles. The two-time Pro Bowler also added 85 tackles, 49 QB pressures, 29 QB hits and 22 tackles for loss, according to coaches’ review.
 
Hekker turned in one of the best seasons by a punter in NFL history and was rewarded with his second career Pro Bowl selection. Hekker led the NFL in net average (43.7), gross average (47.9) and punts downed inside the opponents’ 20 yard-line (41). Since the NFL began tracking inside 20 punts in 1976, Hekker is the first player to lead the league in gross, net and inside 20s in the same season.

Havenstein, drafted by the Rams in the second round, started 13 games at right tackle and did not allow a sack as a rookie. He was part of the Rams offensive line group that only allowed just 18 sacks, the fewest in the NFL this year.
 
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold, who covers the Denver Broncos, currently serves as the organization’s. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.