No shame for rookies Wagner, Jenkins

NEW ORLEANS -- Seattle's Bobby Wagner was second and St. Louis' Janoris Jenkins fifth in defensive rookie of the year balloting by the Associated Press.

Throw in a third-place finish in offensive balloting for Seattle's Russell Wilson and the future appears bright in the NFC West.

Wagner, the Seahawks' starting middle linebacker as a second-round draft choice, finished a distant second to Carolina's Luke Kuechly in balloting.

Kuechly also enjoyed a strong rookie season. He entered the 2012 season amid greater fanfare than Wagner. That gave Kuechly a head start with voters. I suspect the same factor helped Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck finish ahead of Wilson in balloting on the offensive side.