With all the bye weeks in week 9 we missed out on some of the top rookies in the NFL. Guys like Saquon Barkley, Jessie Bates, Darius Leonard, and Quenton Nelson had the week off, so it wasn’t the most electric week for rookies. We still got the excitement of a sensational performance from an offensive tackle in prime time, another wow game from Derwin James, and big plays from the rookie linebacker group.
Rookie of the Week
Mike McGlinchey, OT, San Francisco 49ers
- This probably isn’t the “sexy” pick for rookie of the week, Mike McGlinchey does play right tackle after all. But just watch what this guy did on Thursday Night Football against the Raiders. It was his coming out party to the national media. McGlinchey dominated the Raiders in the run game, watch him pull and lead the way for all 52 yards of Raheem Mostert’s touchdown run. That’s a special play from an offensive lineman. McGlinchey consistently worked his way to the second level while run blocking too, something not all 6-8 offensive tackles can easily do. He kept it clean in pass pro with consistent footwork and a good use of his length. McGlinchey and the O-line kept Nick Mullens from getting sacked and gave up just two QB hits all night.
Week 9 Rookie Power Rankings
*In brackets is where the rookie ranked last week
Derwin James, Defensive Weapon, Los Angeles Chargers (1)
.@Chargers @DerwinJames leads this team in tackles for only 1 reason: he plays hard, “balls out” hard. You know, the way it’s supposed to be played. This effort would play well on the sandlot 70 years ago when TV was in black & white. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/RwrBpQ1JCY
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 5, 2018
- Each week that Derwin James plays it gets crazier and crazier how good he already is, that held up against Seattle. James was a monster. He spent a lot of the game lurking around the line of scrimmage on the edge. Gus Bradley had him consistently setting the edge vs the run. Multiple times James used his athleticism to set the edge and then make the play vs the run. He had at least 7 major run stops in the game, that’s unheard of from a “safety.” We shouldn’t even call him that, that’s why I call him a defensive weapon. James finished with 11 tackles in the win.
Darius Leonard, LB, Indianapolis Colts (2)
- Unlucky for the football world, but the Colts were on their bye week this week. Darius Leonard has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL this season. He makes big plays when the Colts need them and has changed this defense. It would be hard to imagine Leonard not making the Pro Bowl at this point. Leonard is on pace for an astounding 176 tackles, 8 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles.
Donte Jackson, CB, Carolina Panthers (4)
- It’s no longer a quiet surprise to see Donte Jackson near the top of these power rankings. He’s been consistently playing at a high-level all season. Jackson even leads the NFL in interceptions with 4 right now. After an early missed tackle against Tampa Bay, Jackson stepped it up. He had a nice run stop and another disruptive play in the backfield that resulted in a TFL. Later in the game Jackson broke up a pass and then intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick to seal the win for the Panthers.
Bradley Chubb, EDGE, Denver Broncos (10)
- One of the reasons scouts loved Bradley Chubb so much coming out of NC State was his ability to play the run. Despite losing to the Texans, the Broncos shutdown their run game. Chubb was heavily involved setting the edge and making plays in the backfield. He ended up making 3 TFLs and multiple run stops. As a pass rusher Chubb used power well and got a pressure that forced a sack along with a sack of his own. Heck, at one point he dropped into coverage on Ryan Griffin and did a nice job. Chubb isn’t the flashiest edge rusher, but he’s a complete player and making a major impact.
Jessie Bates, S, Cincinnati Bengals (5)
- The Bengals were on their bye week this week, meaning no incredible plays from Jessie Bates in coverage. Bates isn’t getting enough attention from the national media right now. He’s shored up the backend of the Bengals defense and looks like he’ll be one of the best center fielder safeties in football. Bates is on pace for 120 tackles, 8 PBU’s, and 6 interceptions.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (7)
- A week without a crazy highlight from Saquon Barkley and an awful decision from Eli Manning, doesn’t feel like a football week. Unfortunately, the Giants were on their bye week this week. Barkley has essentially already locked up the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for what he’s doing with a horrible offensive line and QB. Barkley is on pace for 1,038 rushing yards (4.7 YPA), 994 receiving yards, and 14 total touchdowns.
Denzel Ward, CB, Cleveland Browns (3)
- Some bad news for Browns fans this week, 4th overall pick Denzel Ward got injured. Ward exited the Browns game against the Chiefs late in the 1st quarter with a hip injury and did not return. He’s currently listed as questionable for the Browns game against the Falcons. Prior to the injury, Ward looked smooth in coverage per usual. He’s currently on pace for 71 tackles, 16 PBU’s, 4 fumble recoveries, and 5 interceptions.
Fred Warner, LB, San Francisco 49ers (9)
Video: Rookie ILB Fred Warner is currently 5th out of all Linebackers in Tackles. He has 73 Combined Tackles, 3 Passes Defended, 1 Forced Fumble & 1 Fumble Recovery this season so far. Warner had 7 Tackles against the Raiders. #49ers #FredWarner @fred_warner #BYU #GoNiners pic.twitter.com/fKeplLFvEH
— 49er_Edits (@49er_edits) November 7, 2018
- On Thursday Night Football the 49ers defense shutdown the Raiders offense with ease. Fred Warner had another impressive game. Warner looked so natural flowing to the ball against the run and rarely made a misstep because of his instincts. His reaction speed helped him make a big stop against a screen and two major run stops. In zone coverage he looked naturally working his depth while reading the QB. When asked to man up on a tight end, Warner’s hips were fluid and his positioning clean, he even broke up a pass.
Quenton Nelson, OG, Indianapolis Colts (8)
- The Colts being on the bye week sucks, it robs us of Leonard, Braden Smith, and Quenton Nelson. Nelson is living up to his billing as a game changing guard for the Colts. With the injection of him and Smith into this offensive line along with Frank Reich’s new scheme, the offense is humming. Nelson has helped pave the way for the 12th ranked rushing attack in the NFL, the Colts ranked 22nd in rushing last season.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Dallas Cowboys (13)
- With the return of Sean Lee, LVE had been playing less. Lee went down in the Cowboys loss to the Tians and LVE stepped up once again. Early in the game LVE made a big hit to break up a pass while in coverage. His natural ability to move in coverage at his size is freaky. When playing zone, he was eating up every underneath route thrown against him. Against the run he did miss a tackle, but came up with a few run stops. On a blitz he had a pressure on Marcus Mariota. Ignore the personal foul that was called on him because it was a weak call.
Jaire Alexander, CB, Green Bay Packers (17)
- Jaire Alexander has been everything the Packers could have hoped for; they’ve already got him playing man-to-man without help against top NFL WRs. On Sunday Night Football when Alexander was on Josh Gordon he did a great job with tight man coverage. His physicality really makes up for his lack of size. Alexander had a nice pass breakup during the game and came up with a strong stop on a screen pass. Green Bay has their CB1 for the next few years.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Miami Dolphins (15)
- There aren’t many rookies who can go from playing nickel to outside corner to strong safety in the same game and do it at a high-level. That’s what Minkah Fitzpatrick did against the Jets. Fitzpatrick did a great job in coverage giving up nothing and helping to stop Sam Darnold from doing anything. Against the run it’s no surprise that Fitzpatrick was coming up and sticking his tackles. He’s going to be one of the best run defending DBs in football. The Dolphins still need to be more creative with using Fitzpatrick, but he’s balling right now.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons (19)
- It was a slow start for Calvin Ridley against Washington. He had two early drops on key plays that slowed the Falcons offense. He was also tackled for a loss on a screen pass. After that he was back to his old ways, get it? Ridley took a quick slant for a 40-yard TD where he exploded after the catch by Washington’s DBs. His footwork on his routes is already some of the best you’ll see in the NFL. If he cleans up the drops, he’ll be dominating every week.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Buffalo Bills (6)
- After sustaining a concussion in the Bills week 8 loss to the Patriots, Edmunds was held out of their week 9 game against the Bears. The Bills defense clearly missed his athleticism and playmaking ability vs the run and pass. Edmunds is currently listed as questionable for the Bills game in week 10 against the Jets. He’s on pace for 110 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 12 PBU’s.
Mike McGlinchey, OT, San Francisco 49ers (31)
- This week’s rookie of the week has been the best rookie offensive tackle in the NFL this season. He’s been an impressive run blocker all season and has made strides as a pass blocker. Against Oakland with their 3rd string QB the 49ers managed to put up 34 points and 405 total yards while averaging 7.5 yards per play. A ton of that had to do with the 49ers O-line shutting down the Raiders D-line. Again, the play McGlinchey led Mostert for all 52 yards down the field for the score shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s not something you see from most offensive linemen.
Justin Reid, S, Houston Texans (34)
- It’s pretty crazy that Justin Reid fell to the third-round. It’s also crazy that the Texans didn’t have a first-round pick and still ended up with a first-round talent in Reid. Over the last few weeks Reid has played like a first-round pick. In the win over the Broncos he was great vs the run. He came up with a couple run stops and even recovered a key fumble on a play where he was involved in forcing the fumble. His ability to cover slot receivers, make plays in the run game, and play in deep zone coverage is impressive.
Deadrin Senat, IDL, Atlanta Falcons (12)
- Per usual it was a quiet game on the stat sheet for Deadrin Senat. He had just one tackle. Look past that and watch what he’s doing in the games. On the opening drive he drew a holding call while rushing the passer that helped Washington go three and out. After that he was controlling the line of scrimmage with leverage and power. He does such a great job anchoring down as a run defender. Senat is a huge reason Adrian Peterson was held to just 17 rushing yards.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos (14)
- It was a tough game for Phillip Lindsay as the Texans D keyed in on him. He was held to just 60 rushing yards and 3.5 yards per carry. He looked quick hitting holes when they were there and even had an explosive run, but the O-line didn’t do him any favors. Lindsay was struggling to break first contact at times, something we haven’t seen him struggle with much. It’s tough to carry an offense when the defense has JJ Watt and JD Clowney more worried about you than the passing game.
Roquan Smith, LB, Chicago Bears (18)
- It was a strange game from Roquan Smith. He made some major plays, but also made some major mistakes. He missed a tackle in space on LeSean McCoy early in the game, but after that he was lights out as a tackler. Smith came up with two run stops, a screen stop, and a stop on a check down pass. He even helped force a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. On the other hand, he was beat three times in coverage. The issue wasn’t that he was getting beat by speed, but his positioning just wasn’t great. That can be cleaned up. Smith is still so young with a high-ceiling.
Harold Landry, EDGE, Tennessee Titans (22)
- Even without being a full-time starter, Harold Landry continues to effect games for the Titans defense. He’s their best pass rusher and it showed against the Cowboys. Landry came up with a sack by redirecting himself when a chip block came from a running back on the outside. Once he’s got a clear lane to the QB he’s too explosive to stop. He also came up with a big TFL from the backside on a run play inside the Titans 10. The Titans need pass rush and should consider playing Landry more frequently.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions (16)
Da’Ron Payne, IDL, Washington (11)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (28)
Braden Smith, OT, Indianapolis Colts (20)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (21)
Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts (23)
BJ Hill, IDL, New York Giants (24)
Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Cincinnati Bengals (25)
Maurice Hurst Jr., IDL, Oakland Raiders (26)
Da’Shawn Hand, IDL, Detroit Lions (29)
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts (30)
Marcus Davenport, EDGE, New Orleans Saints (32)
Will Hernandez, OG, New York Giants (33)
Genard Avery, LB/EDGE, Cleveland Browns (39)
Taron Johnson, CB, Buffalo Bills (35)
Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals (27)
James Daniels, OG, Chicago Bears (45)
Jerome Baker, LB, Miami Dolphins (NR)
Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons (48)
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears (46)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers (49)
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals (38)
Josh Jackson, CB, Green Bay Packers (NR)
Chris Herndon, TE, New York Jets (47)
Brian O’Neil, OT, Minnesota Vikings (41)
Kenny Young, LB, Baltimore Ravens (NR)
Ronnie Harrison, S, Jacksonville Jaguars (42)
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Atlanta Falcons (NR)
Harrison Phillips, IDL, Buffalo Bills (NR)
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (NR)
Start the Rook
Kenny Young, LB, Baltimore Ravens
Ravens seem to have found another top ILB in Kenny Young. Traits similar to Shazier. Plus balance to work off cut block, find the ball, help make the stop. pic.twitter.com/Hd8bU7ROLW
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 1, 2018
- When Pro Bowl LB CJ Mosley was injured earlier in the season rookie Kenny Young filled in for him. Young was impressive showing off his motor and athleticism. Since Mosley has returned, Young has seen time in sub-packages, but is no longer starting. With Mosley back the Ravens have been starting him with Patrick Onwuasor at their inside linebacker spots. It’s time the Ravens start Young over Onwuasor. He provides a boost in athleticism to this talented D and fits very well with Mosley beside him. Young can be a dynamic ILB for the Ravens, he makes flash plays that Onwuasor isn’t capable of making.
Wyatt Teller, OG, Buffalo Bills
- The Bills season is a wash. They’re either staring Derek Anderson or Nathan Peterman at QB each week. They should shutdown Josh Allen for the season and prepare him for next year. They should also start seeing what they have in their other rookies. Buffalo has benefitted from playing rookies Tremaine Edmunds, Taron Johnson, and Harrison Phillips this season. It’s time they get other rookies on the field consistently. Fifth-round guard Wyatt Teller needs to be given a shot on this O-line. The Bills have been terrible on the interior of their offensive line this season and Teller is a true hog molly. He’s a mean run mauler who lives for playing through the whistle. Teller has some athletic shortcomings and issues in pass pro, but he can inject attitude into this offensive line.
Obo Okoronkwo, EDGE, Los Angeles Rams
- This is definitely a little premature, but the Rams need it to be Obo time soon. It was evident against the Saints that their current edge rushers just aren’t doing enough. Trading for Dante Fowler needs to pan out for them, but they still need more. Aaron Donald can’t provide all of their pass rush while taking on double- teams constantly, I mean he can because he’s a freak, but they need someone else. Okoronkwo was a fifth-round pick and was just activated to the Rams active roster, but he can provide a spark. He’s not the biggest pass rusher in the world (6-2, 253 pounds), that’s part of the reason he slid. Okoronkwo has a great get off, violent hands, and despite his lack of size he consistently sets the edge well. Obo can boost this pass rush and run defense. Think Bruce Irvin.
- Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
- DJ Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
- Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
- Mike Hughes, CB, Minnesota Vikings
- Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Cincinnati Bengals
- Uchenna Nwosu, LB, Los Angeles Chargers
- Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers
- Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals
- Justin Reid, DB, Houston Texans
- Marcus Davenport, EDGE, New Orleans Saints
- Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
- Genard Avery, EDGE/LB, Cleveland Browns
- Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Rashaan Gaulden, DB, Carolina Panthers
- Braden Smith, OL, Indianapolis Colts
- Arden Key, EDGE, Oakland Raiders
- PJ Hall, IDL, Oakland Raiders
- Damion Ratley, WR, Cleveland Browns
- Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
- Alex Cappa, OG, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Avonte Maddox, NB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Tarvarius Moore, DB, San Francisco 49ers
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