July 8, 2014

Rookie of the Year: John Brockington, 1971

Fullback, Green Bay Packers

Age: 23 (Sept. 7)
College: Ohio State
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 225

Brockington started at halfback as a sophomore in college, backed up FB Jim Otis for a year, and then started at fullback as a senior and rushed for a team-record 1142 yards and scored 17 TDs in 1970. He was chosen by the Packers in the first round (ninth overall) of the ’71 NFL draft and moved directly into the starting lineup in combination with HB Donny Anderson.

1971 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 216 [5, tied with Ken Willard]
Most attempts, game – 30 (for 142 yds.) at Chicago 11/7
Yards – 1105 [2, 1st in NFC]
Most yards, game – 149 yards (on 23 carries) at Minnesota 11/14
Average gain – 5.1 [4]
TDs – 4
100-yard rushing games – 4

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 14
Most receptions, game – 3 (for 9 yds.) vs. NY Giants 9/19, (for 21 yds.) at St. Louis 12/5
Yards – 98
Most yards, game – 34 (on 2 catches) vs. Chicago 12/12
Average gain – 7.0
TDs - 1

All-Purpose yards – 1203 [10]

TDs – 5
Points – 30

Awards & Honors:
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: AP
NFC Rookie of the Year: UPI, NEA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-NFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Packers went 4-8-2 to finish fourth in the NFC Central.

Brockington, who had a new backfield mate in HB MacArthur Lane, followed up by rushing for 1027 yards as the Packers won the NFC Central in 1972 and then had a career-high 1144 yards in ’73, which led the conference. He was chosen to the Pro Bowl after each season, having become the first player in NFL history to reach a thousand yards in each of his first three years. A straight-ahead runner, he found the going more difficult over time as the team’s lack of a credible passing attack had defenses keying on stopping the ground game. His rookie yards-per-carry average was his best, as he averaged 3.7 and 4.3 yards, respectively, in ’72 and ’73. After gaining 883 yards on the ground in 1974, in addition to catching a career-high 43 passes, his production dropped sharply as the wear and tear of his punishing running style began to take its toll and he never again gained as many as 500 yards in a season. Released by the Packers early in the 1977 season, he finished up with the Kansas City Chiefs. Overall, Brockington rushed for 5185 yards on 1347 carries (all but 161 yards and 54 carries coming with Green Bay) and caught 157 passes for 1297 yards (19 for 222 yards with the Chiefs), scoring a total of 34 touchdowns (30 rushing, four receiving).


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL, AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year).