1. New Orleans Saints

Best Rookie Year: Marshon Lattimore, CB

Worst Rookie Year: Al-Quadin Muhammad, ED

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Ryan Ramczyk, OT

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/11th Marshon Lattimore, CB 13/13 52 tackles, 18 PDs, 5 INTs
1st/32nd Ryan Ramczyk, OT 16/16 1,164 snaps
2nd/42nd Marcus Williams, S 15/15 73 tackles, 7 PDs, 4 INTs
3rd/67th Alvin Kamara, RB 16/3 1,901 total yards, 14 TDs
3rd/76th Alex Anzalone, LB 4/4 16 tackles, 1 sack
3rd/103rd Trey Hendrickson, ED 12/0 13 tackles, 2 sacks
6th/196th Al-Quadin Muhammad 4/0 1 tackle
  • A huge part of the Saints turnaround in 2017 can be credited to their dominant rookie class. There’s no rookie class that even came close to what the Saints did this past season. It’s insane that Marshon Lattimore won Defensive Rookie of the Year and Alvin Kamara won Offensive Rookie of the Yea; those two are already household names and top 10 players at their position. Ryan Ramczyk quietly had a fantastic rookie year playing both left and right tackle for the Saints. He looks like he’ll be a franchise right tackle and a top five at the position. Other than his NFC Championship blunder Marcus Williams emerged early as a well-rounded safety for the Saints. He may not be a Pro Bowl player, but he’s going to be an above-average starter for a long time. Alex Anzalone and Trey Hendrickson dealt with injuries, but both showed flashes of starting ability when they were on the field. All in all the Saints rookie class produced two franchise players, a star right tackle, a starting safety and two more potential starters.
  1. San Francisco 49ers

Best Rookie Year: Reuben Foster, LB

Worst Rookie Year: CJ Beathard, QB

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/3rd Solomon Thomas, DL 14/12 41 tackles, 10 TFLs, 3 sacks
1st/31st Reuben Foster, LB 10/10 72 tackles
3rd/66th Ahkello Witherspoon, CB 12/9 7 PDs, 2 INTs
3rd/104th CJ Beathard, QB 7/5 1,430 passing, 7 total TDs
4th/121st Joe Williams, RB 0/0 N/A
5th/146th George Kittle, TE 15/7 515 receiving yards, 2 TDs
5th/177th Trent Taylor, WR 15/1 719 total yards
6th/198th DJ Jones, ID 9/0 10 tackles
6th/202nd Pita Taumoepenu, ED 2/0 N/A
7th/229th Adrian Colbert, DB 14/6 37 tackles, 5 PDs
Signed after Buccaneers cut Jeremy McNichols, RB 2/0 N/A
Signed after Vikings cut Elijah Lee, LB 14/0 4 tackles, 1 FF
  • Immediately after the 49ers draft last year people started to admit they may have been wrong about the John Lynch GM hire. Their 2017 draft looked so good on paper and it didn’t disappoint in year one. Solomon Thomas didn’t hit the ground running like most people expected to as the third overall pick, but he had a solid season. After a slow start, Thomas picked it up down the stretch and was a monster versus the run. Even though Reuben Foster played in just 10 games it’s safe to say he’s one of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL already. If he were healthy for the entire season he would have been seriously considered for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Foster is a freaky athlete who uses the speed to dominate in coverage. His mentality versys the run makes him one of the leagues most physical defenders. Ahkello Witherspoon is built in the mould of a Seahawks corner: long and lean. He started the final nine games of the season and showed a lot of promise as a press man corner. The potential is through the roof after one of the better seasons from a rookie cornerback. CJ Beathard struggled as the 49ers starting quarterback, but he showed enough promise and toughness that he’ll likely be a long-time backup for the team. George Kittle and Trent Taylor were steals for the fifth-round, both ending up major contributors and essentially starters. Adrian Colbert played way beyond expectations when forced on the field due to injuries.
  1. Chicago Bears

Best Rookie Year: Tarik Cohen, RB

Worst Rookie Year: Jordan Morgan, OL (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Eddie Jackson, S

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/2nd Mitchell Trubisky, QB 12/12 2,193 passing, 9 total TDs
2nd/45th Adam Shaheen, TE 13/7 127 receiving yards, 3 TDs
4th/112th Eddie Jackson, S 16/16 73 tackles, 2 INTs
4th/119th Tarik Cohen, RB 16/4 1,599 total yards, 5 TDs
5th/147th Jordan Morgan, OL 0/0 N/A
  • Other than Tarik Cohen, the Bears rookie class hasn’t quite received the hype they deserve. Cohen is obviously a star in an offensive weapon role. He affects the game as an explosive runner, versatile pass catcher and dynamic return man. You can’t ask for much more out of a fourth-round pick than what he gave Chicago. There wasn’t much buzz around second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky during the season, but he played much better than the numbers suggest. With next to nothing for receivers and terrible play-calling Trubisky showed off the accuracy and mobility that had him drafted so high. He has the makings of a franchise quarterback, especially with the Bears offensive overhaul from this offseason. When given opportunities as a pass catcher Adam Shaheen showed off his size and athleticism. He wasn’t used frequently and the old coaching staff struggled with using him, but he flashed potential. Eddie Jackson was another fourth-round steal for the Bears. He found a home right away as the starting free safety. Jackson has great leadership ability to go along with his above-average coverage skills.
  1. Houston Texans

Best Rookie Year: Deshaun Watson, QB

Worst Rookie Year: Julien Davenport, OL

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Zach Cunningham, LB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/12th Deshaun Watson, QB 7/6 1,699 passing, 21 total TDs
2nd/57th Zach Cunningham, LB 16/13 90 tackles, 1.5 sacks
3rd/89th D’Onta Foreman, RB 10/1 327 rushing yards, 2 TDs
4th/130th Julien Davenport, OL 11/4 238 snaps
4th/142nd Carlos Watkins 12/6 21 tackles
5th/169th Treston Decoud, CB 10/0 7 tackles
7th/243rd Kyle Fuller, OL 9/2 89 snaps
UDFA Dylan Cole, LB 12/1 32 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INTs
  • The Texans rookie class definitely gets a huge boost because they went all in on Deshaun Watson. And despite him only starting six games, it looks like they have their franchise passer. Watson was on fire when he was healthy and has transformed the Texans offense. They adapted everything to his strengths and it paid off. Zach Cunningham was quietly one of the best defensive rookies. His athleticism was a big boost to the Texans linebacking core and he was a huge help to their run defense. D’Onta Foreman was solid in spurts prior to his injury. His size and burst added an element to the Texans run game that they lacked. Julien Davenport and Carlos Watkins didn’t lock down starting roles, but were both contributors. They showed enough as rookies to compete for more snaps in year two. The biggest steal was undrafted linebacker Dylan Cole. He was a special teams standout for the Texans and found a role as sub-package coverage linebacker.
  1. Buffalo Bills

Best Rookie Year: Tre’Davious White, CB

Worst Rookie Year: Nathan Peterman, QB

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Dion Dawkins, OL

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/27th Tre’Davious White, CB 16/16 69 tackles, 18 PDs, 4 INTs
2nd/37th Zay Jones, WR 15/10 316 receiving yards, 2 TDs
2nd/63rd Dion Dawkins, OL 16/11 858 snaps
5th/163rd Matt Milano, LB 16/5 49 tackles, 1 INT
5th/171st Nathan Peterman, QB 4/2 252 passing, 2TDs:5INTs
6th/195th Tanner Vallejo, LB 15/0 4 tackles
  • All of a sudden it feels like Tre’Davious White isn’t getting the respect he deserves for a phenomenal rookie season. The Defensive Rookie of the Year award was basically a two-man race between him and Lattimore. White is a perfect fit for Sean McDermott’s system and showed off his absurd footwork and movement skills throughout the season taking on top wide receivers. There’s a real argument that White is a top 10 cornerback in the league already. Zay Jones had a rough rookie year with little help around him in the receiving core. There were flashes but he never put together a consistent stretch of games. Dion Dawkins became the Bills starting left tackle due to injuries and it worked out. He was a top rookie tackle showing off great ability in the run game while getting better in pass pro as the season went on. Dawkins is now entrenched as the Bills starting left tackle. McDermott’s system needs athleticism at linebacker and with the Bills mainstays lacking that, rookie Matt Milano was forced to take on a bigger role. Milano finished the season as the Bills starting weakside linebacker and was the best linebacker on the roster down the stretch. Nathan Peterman was embarrassing when forced into action, but the rookie shouldn’t have been playing. At best the Bills have a long-term backup to Josh Allen in place.
  1. Cleveland Browns

Best Rookie Year: Myles Garrett, ED

Worst Rookie Year: DeShone Kizer, QB

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Larry Ogunjobi, ID

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/1st Myles Garrett, ED 11/9 9 TFLs, 7 sacks
1st/25th Jabrill Peppers, S 13/13 57 tackles, 1 INT
1st/29th David Njoku, TE 16/5 387 receiving yards, 4 TDs
2nd/52nd DeShone Kizer, QB 15/15 11TDs:22INTs
3rd/65th Larry Ogunjobi, ID 14/1 32 tackles, 1 sack
4th/126th Howard Wilson, CB 0/0 N/A
5th/160th Roderick Johnson, OT 0/0 N/A
6th/185th Caleb Brantley, ID 12/1 18 tackles, 2 sacks
7th/224th Zane Gonzalez, K 16/0 75% FG, 96.2% PAT
7th/252nd Matthew Dayes, RB 16/0 437 KR yards, 8 ST tackles
Signed after Colts cut Zach Banner, OL 8/0 27 snaps
  • DeShone Kizer’s struggles overshadowed the Browns production from their rookie class. Kizer was in a bad situation and should have never been asked to start, but Hue Jackson didn’t care. Now Kizer is gone, but the Browns still have seven starters/contributors from their 2017 rookie class. After battling early injuries Myles Garrett was on the cusp of dominance. He lived up to all of the hype when he was on the field and should be a franchise player going forward. Jabrill Peppers was completely misused in a single high safety role as a rookie and it hurt his production. Peppers is at his best near the line of scrimmage and just can’t hold up in that type of role. David Njoku was inconsistent, but in a handful of games the athleticism would show and he’d make big plays. Both Peppers and Njoku should be better in year two. Larry Ogunjobi is the forgotten man of this rookie class. He’s a freak and was awesome when used as a 3-tech. Caleb Brantley found a solid role as a rotational interior presents as a rookie and did a good job when he was on the field. Zane Gonzalez was good for a rookie kicker and should be in Cleveland for awhile. Matthew Dayes found a role on special teams.
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Best Rookie Year: Chris Godwin, WR

Worst Rookie Year: Jeremy McNichols, RB (Cut)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Justin Evans, DB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/19th OJ Howard, TE 14/14 432 receiving yards, 6 TDs
2nd/50th Justin Evans, DB 14/11 66 tackles, 6 PDs, 3 INTs
3rd/84th Chris Godwin, WR 16/2 525 receiving yards, 1 TD
3rd/107th Kendell Beckwith, LB 16/9 73 tackles, 1 sack
5th/162nd Jeremy McNichols, RB 0/0 CUT
7th/223rd Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, ID 0/0 N/A
Signed after Lions cut Pat O’Connor, ED 3/0 N/A
  • Evan Engram was the best rookie tight end, but OJ Howard had a pretty great year for a position that usually struggles in year one. Howard became a big play threat for the Buccaneers showing off awesome YAC ability and athleticism down the field. Justin Evans was forced to play cornerback even though he’s a natural safety. He held up better than expected and showed his versatility. Late in the season Chris Godwin was one of the best rookie receivers. His mix of athleticism, size, and natural hands made for the perfect weapon opposite Mike Evans. With Godwin and Howard, the Buccaneers have found two future stud playmakers for the offense. After a hot start at linebacker Kendell Beckwith cooled late in the season, but was still an impressive rookie. Beckwith should be the starting strongside linebacker going forward. With a small rookie class, the Buccaneers managed to find four starters, two with potential Pro Bowl ability.
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Best Rookie Year: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR

Worst Rookie Year: Cameron Sutton, DB

Most Underrated Rookie Year: N/A

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/30th TJ Watt, ED 15/15 54 tackles, 10 TFLs, 7 sacks, 1 INT
2nd/62nd JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR 14/7 1,157 total yards, 8 TDs
3rd/94th Cameron Sutton, DB 5/1 5 tackles
3rd/105th James Conner, RB 14/0 144 rushing yards
4th/135th Joshua Dobbs, QB 0/0 N/A
5th/173rd Brian Allen, CB 10/2 2 tackles
6th/213th Colin Holba, LS 0/0 CUT
7th/248th Keion Adams, ED 0/0 N/A
  • If not for the top two picks in the Steelers rookie class shining throughout the season they would be much further down. TJ Watt and JuJu Smith-Schuster were both top 10 rookies, but the rest of the class basically was non-existent. Watt came on strong early with big plays to go along with his big name. He put together a solid year and it was the best rookie edge season the Steelers have had after years of swinging and missing on the position. Watt has the athleticism and technique to reach Pro Bowl ability, but at the very least he’s the Steelers best edge for the next couple years. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s rise up the rookie ranks was surprising. He flashed more athleticism than anybody thought he had and turned into the perfect second option to Antonio Brown. Smith-Schuster had a knack for making big plays and playing tough football. There’s no fear for him going over the middle and he loves to block, just ask Vontaze Burfict. Both Watt and Smith-Schuster should be long-time Steelers with Pro Bowl ability down the line.
  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Best Rookie Year: Keelan Cole, WR

Worst Rookie Year: Dawuane Smoot, ED

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Cam Robinson, OT

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/4th Leonard Fournette, RB 13/13 1,342 total yards, 10 TDs
2nd/34th Cam Robinson, OT 15/15 1,080 snaps
3rd/68th Dawuane Smoot, ED 16/0 20 tackles
4th/110th Dede Westbrook, WR 7/5 339 receiving yards, 1 TD
5th/148th Blair Brown, LB 13/2 8 ST tackles
7th/222nd Jalen Myrick, CB 5/0 N/A
7th/240th Marquez Williams, FB 0/0 CUT
UDFA Keelan Cole, WR 16/6 748 receiving yards, 3 TDs
Signed after Steelers cut Colin Holba, LS 7/0 N/A
  • Taking a running back top 10 is never a good choice and that’s proven by the Leonard Fournette pick vs the Alvin Kamara pick. Running backs grow on trees. Despite this Fournette had a fine rookie year. He helped give the Jaguars offense a tough mentality, but in the games he missed, they ran the ball just as well as without him. He was solid, but not spectacular. Left tackle Cam Robinson solidified an offensive line that was in flux. He wasn’t dominant, but he was an improvement over what they’ve had in the past. Wide receivers Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole were both dynamic when on the field. Westbrook missed time due to injury, but by the end of the season proved to be a weapon and a potential number two option. For the undrafted Cole he was a field stretcher throughout the season and has a home in Jacksonville’s rotation of pass catchers.
  1. New York Giants

Best Rookie Year: Evan Engram, TE

Worst Rookie Year: Davis Webb, QB

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Dalvin Tomlinson, ID

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/23rd Evan Engram, TE 15/11 722 receiving yards, 6 TDs
2nd/55th Dalvin Tomlinson, ID 16/16 50 tackles, 1 sack
3rd/87th Davis Webb, QB 0/0 N/A
4th/140th Wayne Gallman, RB 13/1 669 total yards, 1 TD
5th/167th Avery Moss, ED 11/2 14 tackles
6th/200th Adam Bisnowaty, OT 1/1 CUT
UDFA Travis Rudolph, WR 7/1 101 receiving yards
  • Somewhat like Pittsburgh’s rookie class the Giants had two stars, but inconsistency and injury everywhere else. Evan Engram is as dynamic a tight end as Kamara is a running back. He brings rare athleticism to the tight end spot and dominates out of the slot. With inconsistent quarterback play in 2017 his rookie season is quite phenomenal, even if he can’t block a lick. With second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson the Giants found a great interior presents. Tomlinson was the best rookie versus the run and added more than expected as a pass rusher. He can play any of the interior defensive line spots moving forward. After that the class is a bit messy. Avery Moss flashed when given opportunities, but the Giants rarely used him with any consistency. Wayne Gallman proved he can be a rotational running back with pass catching upside. The Davis Webb pick is bad, especially since they elected to play Geno Smith over him in 2017 instead of seeing what they had in him.
  1. Los Angeles Rams

Best Rookie Year: Cooper Kupp, WR

Worst Rookie Year: Gerald Everett, TE

Most Underrated Rookie Year: John Johnson, S

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
2nd/44th Gerald Everett, TE 16/2 244 receiving yards, 2 TDs
3rd/69th Cooper Kupp, WR 15/6 869 receiving yards, 5 TDs
3rd/91st John Johnson, S 16/11 75 tackles, 11 PDs, 1 INT
4th/117th Josh Reynolds, WR 16/1 104 receiving yards, 1 TD
4th/125th Samson Ebukam, ED/LB 16/2 31 tackles, 2 sacks
6th/189th Tanzel Smart, ID 16/4 14 tackles
6th/206th Sam Rogers, FB 0/0 CUT
7th/234th Ejuan Price, ED 1/0 N/A
  • This past season was different than recent years for the Rams; they were one of the leagues best teams. A lot of credit for that success goes to Sean McVay for knowing how to use the players on the roster. He also had success with rookies even though the Rams did not have a first-round pick. Tight end Gerald Everett had an up-and-down year, but when he was involved he made big plays and showed off the athleticism that made him a second-round pick. The Rams best rookie was slot receiver Cooper Kupp. Kupp struggled with drops at times, but he quickly became quarterback Jared Goff’s safety net and go to guy on third downs. Kupp’s already the Rams best route runner. One of the most underrated rookies of 2017 was safety John Johnson. He took over as the Rams starting strong safety a few weeks into the season and had a strong year. Johnson is already one of the leagues best and most fluid strong safeties in coverage. Wide receiver Josh Reynolds, edge rusher Samson Ebukam, and interior defender Tanzel Smart all had solid rookie years as rotational players.
  1. Philadelphia Eagles

Best Rookie Year: Derek Barnett, ED

Worst Rookie Year: Sidney Jones, CB (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Rasul Douglas, CB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/14th Derek Barnett, ED 15/0 21 tackles, 8 TFLs, 5 sacks
2nd/43rd Sidney Jones, CB 1/0 2 tackles
3rd/99th Rasul Douglas, CB 14/5 25 tackles, 11 PDs, 2 INTs
4th/118th Mack Hollins, WR 16/5 226 receiving yards, 1 TD
4th/132nd Donnel Pumphrey, RB 0/0 N/A
5th/166th Shelton Gibson, WR 5/0 11 receiving yards
5th/184th Nathan Gerry, LB/S 10/1 5 tackles
6th/214th Elijah Qualls, ID 6/0 4 tackles
UDFA Corey Clement, RB 16/0 493 total yards, 6 TDs
Signed after Bengals cut Jake Elliott, K 15/0 83.9% FG, 92.9% PAT
  • It surprised most people when the Eagles used the 14th overall pick on pass rusher Derek Barnett. It wasn’t a need for them with an already stacked defensive line, but the pick worked. Playing in the d-line rotation as a rookie, Barnett was consistent and well-rounded. He used his violent hands to pressure quarterbacks and his technique and motor to stop the run. It wasn’t a statistically dominant year, but the tape shows an ascending talent with the ability to be as good a run defender as a pass rusher. With injuries cornerbacks, Rasul Douglas was forced to play much more than the Eagles would have liked. Douglas stepped up and had a solid rookie year for such a raw talent. Mack Hollins and Corey Clement found their way onto the field as rotational players and made big impacts when they were called upon. The steal for the Eagles was signing rookie kicker Jake Elliott after the Bengals cut him. Elliott won a week two game with a 61-yard field goal as time expired. He proved throughout the year he has ice in his veins and a massive leg.
  1. Indianapolis Colts

Best Rookie Year: Malik Hooker, S

Worst Rookie Year: Zach Banner (Cut)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Marlon Mack, RB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/15th Malik Hooker, S 7/6 22 tackles, 3 INTs
2nd/46th Quincy Wilson, CB 7/5 22 tackles, 6 PDs, 1 INT
3rd/80th Tarell Basham, ED 15/0 7 tackles, 2 sacks
4th/137th Zach Banner, OL 0/0 CUT
4th/143rd Marlon Mack, RB 14/0 652 total yards, 4 TDs
4th/144th Grover Stewart, ID 15/0 23 tackles
5th/158th Nate Hairston, CB 14/4 35 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
5th/161st Anthony Walker Jr., LB 10/2 22 tackles
  • If not for a knee injury partway through his rookie season, Malik Hooker was a real threat to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Hooker was showing off his elite ball skills early on and was on pace for nearly seven interceptions. His cover skills were awesome when he was on the field and he looks like a future stud playing center fielder. Fellow defensive back Quincy Wilson was impressive in limited games as a rookie as well. Wilson used his size to handle big receivers for the Colts and showed the ability to be a number two cornerback. If not for those two getting injured the Colts defense could have been much better. Tarell Basham showed flashes of pass rushing ability in a limited rotational role. Marlon Mack wasn’t given the reigns to the backfield, but should have been. As the backup running back he was electric at times and should see an increased role. He’s not a bell cow, but he’s an above-average rotational runner. With lack of quality in the Colts defensive backfield, Nate Hairston played a lot of snaps. He struggled as a rookie, but showed he can be more than a special teams player.
  1. Cincinnati Bengals

Best Rookie Year: Carl Lawson, ED

Worst Rookie Year: John Ross, WR

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Joe Mixon, RB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/9th John Ross, WR 3/1 12 rushing yards
2nd/48th Joe Mixon, RB 14/7 913 total yards, 4 TDs
3rd/73rd Jordan Willis, ED 16/1 25 tackles, 1 sack
4th/116th Carl Lawson, ED 16/1 16 tackles, 8.5 sacks
4th/128th Josh Malone, WR 11/7 63 receiving yards, 1 TD
4th/138th Ryan Glasgow, ID 16/1 23 tackles
5th/153rd Jake Elliott, K 0/0 CUT
5th/176th JJ Dielman 0/0 CUT
6th/193rd Jordan Evans, LB 15/4 38 tackles
6th/207th Brandon Wilson, CB 8/0 5 tackles
7th/251st Mason Schreck, TE 0/0 N/A
Signed after Falcons cut Brian Hill, RB 6/0 73 total yards
  • Considering ninth overall pick John Ross was irrelevant as a rookie, the Bengals ended up with a surprisingly impressive class. For whatever reason the Bengals never went all in on Joe Mixon as their workhorse runner, even when he was clearly their best back. When utilized as a runner and receiver, Mixon was a playmaker for them. With an improved o-line his second year should be huge. The double down on edge rushers Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson paid dividends. Their abilities contrasted perfectly. Willis showed he can be a base defensive end for them with his ability as a run defender. Lawson was a terror rushing the quarterback in passing situations and led all rookies in sacks. Both of them are going to be impactful players and should see more snaps going forward. Ryan Glasgow was a fine rotational interior defensive lineman doing damage on run downs.
  1. Dallas Cowboys

Best Rookie Year: Jourdan Lewis, CB

Worst Rookie Year: Taco Charlton, ED

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Xavier Woods, DB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/28th Taco Charlton, ED 16/0 19 tackles, 3 sacks
2nd/60th Chidobe Awuzie, CB 10/6 25 tackles, 7 PDs, 1 INT
3rd/92nd Jourdan Lewis, CB 15/7 54 tackles, 10 PDs, 1 INT
4th/133rd Ryan Switzer, WR 16/0 856 return yards, 1 TD
6th/191st Xavier Woods, DB 16/4 42 tackles, 1 INT
6th/216th Marquez White, CB 0/0 N/A
7th/228th Joey Ivie, ID 0/0 CUT
7th/239th Noah Brown, WR 13/1 33 receiving yards
7th/246th Jordan Carrell, ID 0/0 N/A
UDFA Lewis Neal, ID/FB 7/0 8 tackles
  • Big D stood for defensive backs in Dallas for 2017. Their rookie defensive back picks blew away expectations. Chidobe Awuzie found his home playing outside cornerback and started the last five games of the season. Awuzie’s size, athleticism and hard nosed mentality were exactly what the Cowboys cornerback group needed. At nickel Jourdan Lewis was terrific. He had no trouble translating to the NFL despite his slender size. The feistiness he plays with is ideal for today’s nickel. Hybrid defensive back Xavier Woods played everything from corner to nickel to safety for Dallas and also was impressive. Woods should be the starting free safety moving forward. All three of these defensive backs were top 10 rookies at their positions and bring a toughness the Cowboys need to the secondary. First-round pick Taco Charlton wasn’t as impressive. He struggled a lot with his technique and was terrible vs the run. With his big stiff build, he struggled to provide much pass rush. Ryan Switzer was a nice return man, but Dallas couldn’t figure out how to use him on offense and shipped him out.
  1. Atlanta Falcons

Best Rookie Year: Takk McKinley, ED

Worst Rookie Year: Sean Harlow, OL (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Damontae Kazee, DB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/26th Takk McKinley, ED 16/0 20 tackles, 9 TFLs, 6 sacks
3rd/75th Duke Riley, LB 12/6 30 tackles, 7 ST tackles
4th/136th Sean Harlow, OL 0/0 N/A
5th/149th Damontae Kazee, DB 16/1 23 tackles, 8 ST tackles
5h/156th Brian Hill, RB 1/0 CUT
5th/174th Eric Saubert, TE 14/0 N/A
  • On paper the Falcons rookie class isn’t overly sexy. They don’t have jaw-dropping stats because of the depth on the Falcons roster. None of them were forced to play massive roles as rookies, but were impactful when asked to be. Takk McKinley received little hype during the season, despite playing at a high-level for a rookie when deployed in the Falcons d-line rotation. McKinley used his athleticism and motor to get after quarterbacks, but was a much better run defender as a rookie than expected. He could make a huge leap in his second year. Duke Riley split time with Vic Beasley at Strongside linebacker and struggled to settle in, but made an impact with his athleticism and hard hitting on special teams. Damontae Kazee wasn’t asked to play a whole lot, but between snaps at safety and nickel he looks like a future starter. On special teams Kazee was impressive, he’s got some similarities to Budda Baker.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs

Best Rookie Year: Kareem Hunt, RB

Worst Rookie Year: Tanoh Kpassagnon, ED

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Harrison Butker, K

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/10th Patrick Mahomes, QB 1/1 284 passing, 62.9%
2nd/59th Tanoh Kpassagnon, ED 16/1 14 tackles, 2 sacks
3rd/86th Kareem Hunt, RB 16/16 1,782 total yards, 11 TDs
4th/139th Jehu Chesson, WR 12/1 18 receiving yards
5th/183rd Ukeme Eligwe, LB 14/1 5 tackles, 1 sack
6th/218th Leon McQuay, S 1/1 4 tackles
Signed after Panthers cut Harrison Butker, K 13/0 90.5% FG, 100% PAT
  • Obviously, when it comes to the Chiefs rookies two things standout: Patrick Mahomes got to sit and learn and Kareem Hunt dominated the league. Mahomes getting to sit doesn’t hurt this rookie class because it was the best thing for him. His raw ability is insane and giving him a year to learn with Andy Reid is the best way to get him to reach his potential. Hunt is another reason not to draft running backs high. He’s already looking like a top 10 player at his position with his all-around ability. Hunt’s vision and second gear when he has an opening are impressive. He’s also a damn good pass catcher out of the backfield. Harrison Butker was cut by the Panthers and the Chiefs got lucky. Forced into action a few games into the year, Butker was automatic and consistent all season. Other than Hunt and Butker nobody made much of an impact or played significant snaps.
  1. Minnesota Vikings

Best Rookie Year: Pat Elflein, C

Worst Rookie Year: Jaleel Johnson, ID

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Dalvin Cook, RB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
2nd/41st Dalvin Cook, RB 4/4 444 total yards, 2 TDs
3rd/70th Pat Elflein, C 14/14 1,081 snaps
4th/109th Jaleel Johnson, ID 5/0 1 tackle
4th/120th Ben Gedeon, LB 16/9 37 tackles
5th/170th Rodney Adams, WR 0/0 CUT
5th/180th Danny Isidora, OG 7/1 147 snaps
6th/201st Bucky Hodges, TE 0/0 CUT
7th/219th Stacy Coley, WR 4/0 N/A
7th/220th Ifeadi Odenigbo, ED 0/0 N/A
7th/232nd Elijah Lee, LB 0/0 CUT
7th/245th Jack Tocho, CB 0/0 N/A
  • It was a weird rookie class for the Vikings. Dalvin Cook was dominating before an ACL tear; it happened so long ago that it seems like his start to the year was underrated. Pat Elflein shored up the offensive line and gave the Vikings a long-term answer at center. Other than those two the rookie class was uninspiring. Ben Gedeon started some games at strongside linebacker and was fine, nothing special. Most the other rookies had zero impact or didn’t make the team. Cook though, is a star in the making with the vision, explosiveness and balance a star running back needs. Get the ball in his hands as a pass catcher and he makes plays. He’s an every down running back for them. Elflein isn’t spectacular, but his football IQ helps this offensive line a lot and makes up for his lack of size and athleticism. Both are building blocks for this offense.
  1. Los Angeles Chargers

Best Rookie Year: Desmond King, DB

Worst Rookie Year: Mike Williams, WR

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Austin Ekeler, RB

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/7th Mike Williams, WR 10/1 95 receiving yards
2nd/38th Forrest Lamp, OG 0/0 N/A
3rd/71st Dan Feeney, OG 15/9 665 snaps
4th/113th Rayshawn Jenkins, S 15/0 13 tackles
5th/151st Desmond King, DB 16/4 76 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT
6th/190th Sam Tevi, OL 14/1 135 snaps
7th/225th Isaac Rochell, DL 3/0 4 tackles, 1 sack
UDFA Austin Ekeler, RB 16/0 624 total yards, 5 TDs, 17 ST tackles
  • Since it’s the Chargers, of course the injury bug hit their rookie class. Wide receiver Mike Williams could never get on the field because he missed a lot of his early time with the Chargers due to injury. Forrest Lamp would have been a plug and play guard, but he missed the entire season. Dan Feeney was solid playing on the interior of the o-line. His rookie year wasn’t incredible, but he looks like a plug and play starter for them at guard. Desmond King helps their class a lot. The fifth-round pick was a revelation at nickel for the Chargers. He lacks athleticism, but his feistiness and technique fit right in and he’ll be a long-time starter. Undrafted running back Austin Ekeler was awesome on offense and special teams. He found a role as a change of pace runner and receiving back while also leading the team in special teams tackles.
  1. Green Bay Packers

Best Rookie Year: Aaron Jones, RB

Worst Rookie Year: Montravius Adams, ID

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Josh Jones, S

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
2nd/33rd Kevin King, CB 9/5 28 tackles, 5 PDs
2nd/61st Josh Jones, S 16/7 71 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
3rd/93rd Montravius Adams, ID 7/0 2 tackles
4th/108th Vince Biegel, LB 9/0 16 tackles
4th/134th Jamaal Williams, RB 16/7 818 total yards, 6 TDs
5th/175th DeAngelo Yancey, WR 0/0 N/A
5th/182nd Aaron Jones, RB 12/4 448 rushing yards, 4 TDs
6th/212th Kofi Amichia, OL 0/0 N/A
7th/238th Devante Mays, RB 8/0 N/A
7th/247th Malachi Dupre, WR 0/0 CUT
UDFA Lenzy Pipkins, CB 12/1 15 tackles
UDFA Justin Vogel, P 16/0 44.4 AVG, 41.6 Net
  • One of the weirder rookie class, the Packers had a lot of rookies play at an inconsistent level. Kevin King wasn’t ready to start and it showed, but the lack of corner depth forced him to play too early. Safety Josh Jones made an impact as a enforcer on the backend, but he too should be better in year two as he finds a bigger role that suits his skill-set better. The Packers found two contributing running backs in Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. Williams is more of the bruising type, but showed some ability in the passing game. He’s likely their short yardage back going forward. Surprisingly Aaron Jones emerged as a big playmaker when he was healthy. He proved to be explosive as a runner and receiver and could seriously contend to be the Packers top running back.
  1. New York Jets

Best Rookie Year: Jamal Adams, S

Worst Rookie Year: ArDarius Stewart, WR/Chad Hansen, WR

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Marcus Maye, S

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/6th Jamal Adams, S 16/16 83 tackles, 9 TFLs, 2 sacks
2nd/39th Marcus Maye, S 16/16 79 tackles, 2 INTs
3rd/79th ArDarius Stewart, WR 15/2 282 total yards
4th/141st Chad Hansen, WR 15/1 94 receiving yards
5th/150th Jordan Leggett, TE 0/0 N/A
5th/181st Dylan Donahue, ED 4/0 5 tackles
6th/188th Elijah McGuire, RB 16/2 585 total yards, 2 TDs
6th/197th Jeremy Clark, CB 1/0 N/A
6th/204th Derrick Jones, CB 3/0 N/A
UDFA Thomas Hennessy, LS 16/0 4 ST tackles
  • The Jets rebuild all starts with safety Jamal Adams. He proved in his rookie year he’s all in. Adams was the leader of the defense and stood out on tape for his non-stop motor. At strong safety Adams dominated as a run defender and was impressive in coverage. Alongside Adams was fellow rookie safety Marcus Maye. Maye wasn’t nearly the player Adams was as a rookie, but he was promising. He was well-rounded as the starting free safety and should only improve. All of the pass catchers the Jets drafted disappointed, but running back Elijah McGuire was a pleasant surprise. McGuire showed big play ability and looks like a rotational running back.
  1. Tennessee Titans

Best Rookie Year: Adoree’ Jackson, CB

Worst Rookie Year: Jonnu Smith, TE

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Corey Davis, WR

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/5th Corey Davis, WR 11/9 34 receptions for 375 yards
1st/18th Adoree’ Jackson, CB 16/16 17 PDs, 868 return yards
3rd/72nd Taywan Taylor, WR 16/4 274 total yards, 1 TD
3rd/100th Jonnu Smith, TE 16/13 157 receiving yards, 2 TDs
5th/155th Jayon Brown, LB 16/0 52 tackles
6th/217th Corey Levin, OG 0/0 N/A
7th/227th Josh Carraway, ED 1/0 N/A
7th/236th Brad Seaton, OT 0/0 CUT
7th/241st Khalfani Muhammad, RB 0/0 N/A
  • It wasn’t a great year for fifth overall pick Corey Davis. He battled injuries all season and, due to the lackluster offense, didn’t see a significant amount of targets. Davis looked better late in the season and in the playoffs. He should take an enormous step in year two, but the rookie struggles were less on him and more about injuries and scheme. Adoree’ Jackson made plays both on defense and special teams. He did a good job in the return game and was more NFL-ready at cornerback than expected. He was the Titans best corner as a rookie and was constantly breaking up passes. Taywan Taylor and Jonnu Smith both disappointed in their rotational roles. Neither showed the big play ability and versatility they were expected to bring to the offense.
  1. Arizona Cardinals

Best Rookie Year: Budda Baker, DB

Worst Rookie Year: Chad Williams, WR

Most Underrated Rookie Year: N/A

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/13th Haason Reddick, LB/ED 16/3 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks
2nd/36th Budda Baker, DB 16/7 74 tackles, 1 sack, 7 PDs
3rd/98th Chad Williams, WR 6/1 64 total yards
4th/115th Dorian Johnson, OG 0/0 CUT
5th/157th Will Holden, OT 7/5 327 snaps
5th/179th TJ Logan, RB 0/0 N/A
6th/208th Rudy Ford, S 10/0 5 tackles
  • First-round pick Haason Reddick had a tough time adjusting to the NFL as a rookie. After playing on the edge in college, he moved to off-ball linebacker for the Cardinals, but then was asked to move back to the edge due to injuries. He never got to settle into a position and it showed on the field. Luckily for Arizona, second-round defensive back Budda Baker was a stud as a rookie. Baker made the Pro Bowl on special teams, but when playing nickel, he looked like a young Tyrann Mathieu. The future is bright with Baker. Chad Williams was too raw to find a role as a rookie, but should be a deep threat at least in his second season.
  1. Baltimore Ravens

Best Rookie Year: Marlon Humphrey, CB

Worst Rookie Year: Chris Wormley, ID

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Tyus Bowser, LB/ED

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/16th Marlon Humphrey, CB 16/5 34 tackles, 11 PDs, 2 INTs
2nd/47th Tyus Bowser, LB/ED 16/0 11 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT
3rd/74th Chris Wormley, ID 7/2 5 tackles
3rd/78th Tim Williams, ED 8/0 6 tackles
4th/122nd Nico Siragusa, OG 0/0 N/A
5th/159th Jermaine Eluemunor, OL 8/2 198 snaps
6th/186th Chuck Clark, S 15/0 8 ST tackles
  • After using all of their top picks on the defensive side of the ball, only Marlon Humphrey made an impact for the Ravens. Baltimore is known for not forcing rookies into action so it’s no surprise how little they played them this year. As for Humphrey he flashed legitimate Pro Bowl ability. With his physicality, size, and athleticism, Humphrey is an ideal fit for the Ravens at corner. In very limited snaps Tyus Bowser flashed some pass rush ability, but is better suited for an off-ball role. He could be the defender in Baltimore that takes the biggest step in his second year. Chris Wormley, Tim Williams, and Jermaine Eluemunor were all underwhelming.
  1. Seattle Seahawks

Best Rookie Year: Shaquill Griffin, CB

Worst Rookie Year: Malik McDowell, ID (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Nazair Jones, ID

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
2nd/35th Malik McDowell, ID 0/0 N/A
2nd/58th Ethan Pocic, OL 16/11 639 snaps
3rd/90th Shaquill Griffin, CB 15/11 59 tackles, 15 PDs, 1 INT
3rd/95th Delano Hill, S 15/0 5 tackles
3rd/102nd Nazair Jones, ID 11/2 19 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
3rd/106th Amara Darboh, WR 16/0 71 receiving yards
4th/111th Tedric Thompson, S 9/0 4 tackles
6th/187th Mike Tyson, DB 0/0 N/A
6th/210th Justin Senior, OT 0/0 N/A
7th/226th David Moore, WR 1/0 N/A
7th/249th Chris Carson, RB 4/3 267 total yards, 1 TD
  • Prior to the season Malik McDowell got injured in an ATV accident that will likely end his career. That stung the Seahawks rookie class. Ethan Pocic had an up-and-down rookie year, but he was moved all over the offensive line, which is a tough task for a rookie. He’ll become a better player when he finds a home at one position. Shaquill Griffin is the biggest standout from the Hawks rookie class. Griffin fits the mold of a Seattle corner with size and athleticism. As a rookie he earned a starting job and should be their top corner going forward. Naz Jones was the biggest surprise from the class. He provided a needed pass rush from the interior and should be their starting 3-tech. Chris Carson was a nice banger at running back before he was injured.
  1. Miami Dolphins

Best Rookie Year: Charles Harris, ED

Worst Rookie Year: Raekwon McMillan, LB (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Davon Godchaux, ID

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/22nd Charles Harris, ED 16/2 19 tackles, 2 sacks
2nd/54th Raekwon McMillan, LB 0/0 N/A
3rd/97th Cordrea Tankersley, CB 11/11 31 tackles, 7 PDs
5th/164th Isaac Asiata, OG 1/0 N/A
5th/178th Davon Godchaux, ID 15/5 40 tackles
6th/194th Vincent Taylor, ID 13/0 18 tackles
7th/237th Isaiah Ford, WR 0/0 N/A
UDFA Chase Allen, LB 16/4 40 tackles
  • With depth on the defensive line last year it was hard for Charles Harris to find anything more than a rotational role. He flashed pass rush ability with multiple moves in his repertoire and as his role expands, his numbers will be better. Davon Godchaux played far more than expected and earned a role on the defensive line. Godchaux was one of the Dolphins best run defenders and top rotational interior presents. With Raekwon McMillan missing the season and Cordrea Tankersley struggling so much the draft class wasn’t great. Vincent Taylor is a fine run downs defensive tackle and Chase Allen a potential special teams stud.
  1. Washington

Best Rookie Year: Jonathan Allen, ID (Injured)

Worst Rookie Year: Ryan Anderson, ED

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Montae Nicholson, S

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/17th Jonathan Allen, ID 5/5 10 tackles, 1 sack
2nd/49th Ryan Anderson, ED 14/0 15 tackles
3rd/81st Fabian Moreau, CB 16/0 14 tackles
4th/114th Samaje Perine, RB 16/8 833 total yards, 2 TDs
4th/123rd Montae Nicholson, S 8/6 24 tackles, 1 INT
5th/154th Jeremy Sprinkle, TE 11/5 13 receiving yards, 1 TD
6th/199th Chase Roullier, C 13/7 457 snaps
6th/209th Robert Davis, WR 1/0 N/A
7th/230th Josh Harvey-Clemons, LB/S 10/0 16 tackles
7th/235th Joshua Holsey, CB 12/0 2 tackles
  • If not for an injury five games into his rookie season, Jonathan Allen would have received more media attention. Allen was off to a hot start playing 5-tech in base looks and 3-tech in nickel. Although the stats don’t show it he was providing an impressive amount of pass rush for an interior defensive lineman on top of being a solid run defender. Samaje Perine wasn’t the bell cow Washington had hoped, but showed some ability as a between the tackles banger as a rotational guy. Montae Nicholson really stepped up and showed solid cover skills for a bigger guy. Chase Roullier was okay when forced into action and is probably the starting center in 2018.
  1. Detroit Lions

Best Rookie Year: Kenny Golladay, WR

Worst Rookie Year: Teez Tabor, CB

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Jamal Agnew, CB/RS

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/21st Jarrad Davis, LB 14/14 96 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
2nd/53rd Teez Tabor, CB 10/1 14 tackles
3rd/96th Kenny Golladay, WR 11/5 477 receiving yards, 3 TDs
4th/124th Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB 14/0 30 tackles
4th/127th Michael Roberts, TE 15/3 46 receiving yards
5th/165th Jamal Agnew, CB/RS 13/0 643 return yards, 2 TDs
6th/205th Jeremiah Ledbetter, DL 16/0 14 tackles
6th/215th Brad Kaaya, QB 0/0 CUT
7th/250th Pat O’Connor, ED 0/0 CUT
  • On paper Jarrad Davis had a good rookie year. He played a lot of snaps and started the majority of the season, but the tape shows a linebacker who struggled a ton in coverage. Davis was impressive against the run though, it’s just worrisome how much of a negative he was in coverage. Teez Tabor struggled to crack the lineup and when he did, his lack of athleticism was taken advantage of. He’ll need a lot of coaching to pan out. Kenny Golladay fit right into the Lions as their third option at wide receiver. His size and big play ability gave them a new wrinkle for their passing game. Golladay’s rookie year was promising. The addition of Jamal Agnew was a big boost to the Lions return game. Agnew is quickly becoming one of the best return men in the league.
  1. Carolina Panthers

Best Rookie Year: Christian McCaffrey, RB

Worst Rookie Year: Curtis Samuel, WR

Most Underrated Rookie Year: N/A

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/8th Christian McCaffrey, RB 16/10 1,306 total yards, 7 TDs
2nd/40th Curtis Samuel, WR 9/4 400 total yards
2nd/64th Taylor Moton, OL 16/0 70 snaps
3rd/77th Daeshon Hall, ED 1/0 N/A
5th/152nd Corn Elder, CB 0/0 N/A
6th/192nd Alexander Armah, FB 9/0 N/A
7th/233rd Harrison Butker, K 0/0 CUT
  • Doubling down on offensive weapons Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel didn’t work out this past season. McCaffrey did the majority of his damage in a hybrid slot role, but struggled as a true running back. He couldn’t run inside and rarely broke any tackles. On the other hand, as the safety net he made a difference in the passing game and flashed big play ability. Samuel was non-existent as a rookie. He never found a role as a receiver and needs a lot of coaching to adjust to the NFL. Taylor Moton wasn’t asked to play as a rookie and Daeshon Hall missed his rookie year with injuries.
  1. Denver Broncos

Best Rookie Year: Garett Bolles, OT

Worst Rookie Year: Carlos Henderson, WR (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: N/A

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/20th Garett Bolles, OT 16/16 1,107 snaps
2nd/51st DeMarcus Walker, ED 10/7 7 tackles, 1 sack
3rd/82nd Carlos Henderson, WR 0/0 N/A
3rd/101st Brendan Langley, CB 11/0 3 tackles
5th/145th Jake Butt, TE 0/0 N/A
5th/172nd Isaiah McKenzie, WR 11/0 266 total yards
6th/203rd De’Angelo Henderson, RB 5/0 108 total yards, 1 TD
7th/253rd Chad Kelly, QB 0/0 N/A
  • After a slow start to the season Garett Bolles started to look like a potential franchise left tackle for the Broncos. He struggled in pass pro, but became a dominant force in the run game. He is such a raw player that starting the whole season and holding up is impressive in itself. DeMarcus Walker looked fine in a limited rotational role. Nobody else did anything noteworthy. The class was weak as only Bolles made any true impact.
  1. Oakland Raiders

Best Rookie Year: Treyvon Hester, ID

Worst Rookie Year: Gareon Conley, CB/Obi Melifonwu, DB (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: Eddie Vanderdoes, ID

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
1st/24th Gareon Conley, CB 2/0 7 tackles, 1 PD
2nd/56th Obi Melifonwu, DB 5/1 7 tackles
3rd/88th Eddie Vanderdoes, ID 16/13 18 tackles
4th/129th David Sharpe, OT 5/2 124 snaps
5th/168th Marquel Lee, LB 13/6 25 tackles
7th/221st Shalom Luani, S 16/1 18 tackles
7th/231st Jylan Ware, OT 1/0 N/A
7th/242nd Elijah Hood, RB 1/0 N/A
7th/244th Treyvon Hester, ID 14/1 19 tackles
  • Injuries were the story with the Raiders rookie class. Top two picks Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu missed most of the season with injuries. Defensive tackles Treyvon Hester and Eddie Vanderdoes were the bright spots. Hester showed he can be a rotational 1-tech for the Raiders. Vanderdoes fits the 3-tech spot well with his athleticism he just needs technique help. Marquel Lee did a good job vs the run when asked to play.
  1. New England Patriots

Best Rookie Year: Deatrich Wise Jr., ED

Worst Rookie Year: Derek Rivers, ED/Antonio Garcia, OT (Injured)

Most Underrated Rookie Year: N/A

Round/Pick Player Games/Starts Key Stats
3rd/83rd Derek Rivers, ED 0/0 N/A
3rd/85th Antonio Garcia, OT 0/0 CUT
4th/131st Deatrich Wise Jr., ED 16/3 26 tackles, 5 sacks
6th/211th Conor McDermott, OT 0/0 CUT
  • The Patriots rookie class was small and other than Deatrich Wise Jr, nobody played. Derek Rivers was likely to have a sizeable role, but tore his ACL. He should make an impact in his second year. Antonio Garcia and Conor McDermott aren’t even on the team anymore. Wise Jr. was the only impactful rookie for New England. His inside/outside ability was a nice fit for the Patriots and he found a home in their rotation. It wasn’t a spectacular rookie year for Wise Jr., but it was a pleasant surprise.

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Author Details
Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
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Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.

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