Bobby Mitchell had 66 carries for 479 yards after six games—on pace for a 960-yard season before tailing off. Mitchell was the consensus Rookie of the Year (UPI and The Sporting News) and a nice backfield compliment to Jim Brown—the NFL's best player.
Darrell Dess of the Steelers played both guard and tackle and when Mike McCormack got hurt, Willie Davis went both ways in some games, but was best at defensive end. We put Dess on the Second-team and Davis on the First-team. Davis looked good, very good at defensive end.
Ray Nitschke played both middle and outside linebacker—two excellent Packer linebackers (Currie the other) "stuck" in a defense that was poorly coached, and many times misaligned. Dennit Morris also played outside linebacker as well as inside. Charlie Jackson was not very good, but who else is there?
Bobby Joe Conrad had his moments as a rookie in the secondary. If we had chosen Conrad were that would mean EIGHT Chicago Cardinals listed on a 2-9-1 team that became strong in 1960. That Cardinal team was on the road to victory, yet not necessarily due to Pop Ivy's double-wing, just excellent young talent.
Our retro Defensive Rookie of the Year is Erich Barnes narrowly edging Alex Karras who was a fine rookie defensive tackle for the Lions. Lou Michaels started all year for the Rams and played well. Jack Morris picked off six passes and took one to the house.