This week for NFL rookies we saw the first start of Josh Rosen’s career, Baker Mayfield get robbed of a win, and Josh Allen fallback down to earth. Each week seems like a huge week for rookie performances. On top of the QB play even more rookie defenders made names for themselves with impressive performances. The NFL season is flying by and we’re already four games in, which means the quarter season NFL All-Rookie Team is here!
Rookie of the Week
Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Josh Rosen might have the worst luck ever in an opening game… I'm at four drops so far! Two of them deep that could have been huge plays for the #Cardinals. #SEAvsAZpic.twitter.com/2qjFr5xDOV
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) September 30, 2018
- Look at the box score from the Cardinals 20-17 loss to the Seahawks and this pick for rookie of the week probably seems crazy. Look at the tape though and you’ll be all in on it. Poor Josh Rosen did everything in his power to win the game, even had the Cardinals setup for the game winning field goal that they missed. From the opening snap to his final pass, Rosen was on fire. Throwing dimes all over the field and showing off NFL-ready accuracy. The numbers don’t show it because his receivers dropped so many passes, even the great Larry Fitzgerald was dropping passes. On three different occasions Rosen threw passes that should have gone for TDs, but didn’t because of his receivers. He was threading the needle all game, making quick smart decisions, and play fearlessly. This was a spectacular first start for the 10th overall pick.
NFL Quarter Season All-Rookie Team
|QB||Baker Mayfield||Cleveland Browns||1st/1st|
|RB||Saquon Barkley||New York Giants||1st/2nd|
|RB||Phillip Lindsay||Denver Broncos||UDFA|
|WR||Calvin Ridley||Atlanta Falcons||1st/26th|
|WR||Antonio Callaway||Cleveland Browns||4th/105th|
|WR||Courtland Sutton||Denver Broncos||2nd/40th|
|TE||Will Dissly||Seattle Seahawks||4th/120th|
|OT||Desmond Harrison||Cleveland Browns||UDFA|
|OT||Mike McGlinchey||San Francisco 49ers||1st/9th|
|IOL||Quenton Nelson||Indianapolis Colts||1st/6th|
|IOL||Will Hernandez||New York Giants||2nd/34th|
|IOL||Connor Williams||Dallas Cowboys||2nd/50th|
|EDGE||Harold Landry||Tennessee Titans||2nd/41st|
|IDL||Deadrin Senat||Atlanta Falcons||3rd/90th|
|IDL||Maurice Hurst Jr.||Oakland Raiders||5th/140th|
|EDGE||Bradley Chubb||Denver Broncos||1st/5th|
|LB||Darius Leonard||Indianapolis Colts||2nd/36th|
|LB||Fred Warner||San Francisco 49ers||3rd/70th|
|LB||Tremaine Edmunds||Buffalo Bills||1st/16th|
|CB||Denzel Ward||Cleveland Browns||1st/4th|
|NB||Minkah Fitzpatrick||Miami Dolphins||1st/11th|
|S||Derwin James||LA Chargers||1st/17th|
|S||Jessie Bates||Cincinnati Bengals||2nd/54th|
|CB||Donte Jackson||Carolina Panthers||2nd/55th|
|K||Greg Joseph||Cleveland Browns||UDFA|
|P||Michael Dickson||Seattle Seahawks||5th/149th|
|RS||DJ Reed||San Francisco 49ers||5th/142nd|
|ST||Zeke Turner||Arizona Cardinals||UDFA|
Week 4 Rookie Power Rankings
*In brackets is where the rookie ranked last week
Derwin James, S, Los Angeles Chargers (1)
- Another week, another power ranking with Derwin James sitting at the top. It’s going to be hard to unseat him. Yet again he was a major playmaker for the Chargers and was literally the reason they beat the 49ers. James was a terror playing around the line of scrimmage again. He batted a pass on a blitz, picked up another sack, had a big run stop, and hit CJ Beathard to force the game ending INT. All in all, he had 7 tackles, 3 QB hits, 2 PBUs, and a sack. He’s incredible.
Darius Leonard, LB, Indianapolis Colts (2)
- It was a tough OT loss for the Colts vs the Texans, but their front seven balled out again. They were led by Darius Leonard who is playing like a Pro Bowler right now. Leonard helped shutdown the Texans run game with his range and consistent tackling. Again, his blitzing ability played a huge role for the Colts as well as his movement skills in coverage. Leonard finished with 13 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1 sack, and a QB hit.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons (7)
- Everyone always says route running translates to the NFL better than any other skill a receiver possesses. Would you look at that; the 2018 NFL Draft’s best route runner is dominating. No other rookie receiver is even close to Ridley right now. Against the Bengals his start-stop ability and nuanced routes led to 4 receptions for 54 yards and 2 TDs. He’s the main reason for the Falcons red zone success this season.
Denzel Ward, CB, Cleveland Browns (5)
- It wasn’t a flashy game for Denzel Ward, but he was by far the best DB playing. The Browns allowed Derek Carr to throw for 437 yards on them, but Ward handled his business. He shutdown basically everyone he covered. Jordy Nelson was erased when Ward was on him. His movement skills, suddenness, fluidity, and physicality are freaky.
Harold Landry, EDGE, Tennessee Titans (10)
- Harold Landry stans are feeling themselves right now. Since getting on the field for the Titans, Landry has been their best pass rusher and the best rookie pass rusher. His explosiveness paired with his bend/dip ability creates so many problems for NFL offensive tackles. Against Pro Bowler Lane Johnson, Landry got pressure multiple times. At one point he used speed to power with a swim combo to get pressure and the following play just dipped and ripped around the edge for a strip sack. He also managed a TFL on a screen pass.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (9)
- It wasn’t the best day for Baker Mayfield with four turnovers and an OT loss, but he did enough to win the game. The first INT he threw was off Antonio Callaway’s hands and the second was on a deep shot as time ran out in regulation. The fumbles came on a messy exchange with his center and a strip sack. It’s hard to put a ton of blame on him for all of that. Once again Mayfield showed off his live arm, decisive decision making, quick reads, and fun improvisation skills. He threw a perfect TD to his tight end up the seam and a perfect fade to Jarvis Landry for a TD. The biggest knock was missing Callaway for a deep score.
Fred Warner, LB, San Francisco 49ers (3)
- Fred Warner wasn’t dominant this week, but once again he showed off his range, aggressiveness, and instincts. He struggled some in coverage giving up a TD to Austin Ekeler, but he was swallowing up underneath routes all day. Again he was a tackling machine with 10 tackles as his see it, hit it mentality continues to payoff.
Quenton Nelson, OG, Indianapolis Colts (4)
- It was Quenton Nelson’s worst game so far against the Texans and understandably so. JD Clowney beat him bad for a sack, but considering the D-line he was up against he still had a nice day. His anchor showed off a few times in pass pro and of course he was the best offensive lineman on the field. The Colts need to find a quality RB to run behind him.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (6)
- It wasn’t the biggest day for Saquon Barkley, but it was productive. He racked up 100 total yards and a score on just 16 touches. He was effective through the air per usual as Eli Manning’s safety net. His ability to make people miss on first contact is impressive. With little run blocking he took what he could inside, but with his awful O-line it’s hard for him to consistently make chunk runs.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Buffalo Bills (8)
- This Bills team is awful and Josh Allen was terrible this week, but Tremaine Edmunds continues to look like a future Pro Bowl linebacker. His range and length are so rare at linebacker; he swallows everything around him. Edmunds also showed off his blitzing ability this week with pressures. He finished with 6 tackles, 1 PBU, and 1 QB hit.
Donte Jackson, CB, Carolina Panthers (11)
- Sadly, Donte Jackson and the Carolina Panthers were on their Bye Week. Jackson has been a monster so far this year.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Miami Dolphins (21)
- After a rough game against Oakland, Minkah Fitzpatrick was a star vs the Patriots. He was the best Dolphins player all game. Fitzpatrick showed off his physicality against the run and coming up to blow up a screen pass. He also showed terrific coverage ability on Gronk. Fitzpatrick even picked off a pass while covering a seam route. He was a stud with 10 tackles, 2 PBUs and an INT.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos (23)
- A week after getting ejected for throwing punches, Phillip Lindsay was back running hard. One again Lindsay made up for his slight size with elite quickness and burst through holes. He runs so hard despite his size and his low center of gravity makes him tough to bring down. Against the Chiefs he had 79 total yards and a TD on 14 touches.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions (15)
- Nobody can comprehend how ridiculous it is that Kerryon Johnson still hasn’t been given the keys to the Lions backfield. He’s by far their best running back and the best one the team has had in years. His vision and patients make him so dangerous. He waits for the hole to develop before bursting through for chunk runs. Against Dallas he had 55 yards on 9 carries, one of which went for a TD as he trucked Jeff Heath.
Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos (24)
Royce Freeman is sick.
- The thunder to Phillip Lindsay’s lightning looked terrific against the Chiefs too. Royce Freeman showed off the rare combo of power and burst he possesses. His contact balance was impressive and he has a nasty jump cut. He ran for 67 yards and a score on just 8 carries. Denver needs to get him the ball more and figure out how to use both him and Lindsay.
Roquan Smith, LB, Chicago Bears (17)
- The Fitzmagic show was murdered by the Bears. It wasn’t a flashy performance for Roquan Smith who had just 4 tackles, but his ability in coverage was a difference maker. Smith’s athleticism was showcased against Tampa’s talented TEs with his smooth hips and awareness in coverage. He also helped shutdown the run.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Dallas Cowboys (40)
- Without Sean Lee the Cowboys could have been in trouble, but first-round pick LVE filled in as well as they could have hoped. He was flying around and just banging. The 6 tackles on the stat sheet don’t do justice to how well he played. Underneath routes were his bread and butter vs Detroit. This is a real dude.
Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals (NR)
This Josh Rosen throw was insane.
Initially called a TD, overturned cos his heel then hit out of bounds after his toe came down. Given how he falls I think that should count as a toe-drag and be a completed pass.
- Again, Josh Rosen was incredible against Seattle in his debut. He threw for just 180 yards and a score while completing 55% of his throws, but the amount of drops his receivers had was pathetic. He dropped a ball in JJ Nelson’s bucket on a deep shot that was dropped, he split two DBs for a TD to Chad Williams who couldn’t keep his feet in, and Larry Fitzgerald dropped a score. Rosen was poised, accurate, and NFL-ready.
Bradley Chubb, EDGE, Denver Broncos (13)
- The Broncos D has had the most success in slowing Patrick Mahomes down. That’s all about the pass rush. Eventually Mahomes took over, but Bradley Chubb did a nice job causing pressure. He had just 2 tackles and 2 QB hits in the game, but a few times forced Mahomes out of the pocket. Chubb needs to start getting home more frequently, but the vision is there.
Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts (20)
- Stats wise it wasn’t a huge game for Kemoko Turay against Houston. He had a half a sack and 2 QB hits, but he was beating the Texans O-line all game. The speed to power ability Turay has is dang impressive and he’s starting to get his hands involved more. He pulled out the rip move a few times. Everything is there for Turay to become a legit pass rusher.
Deadrin Senat, IDL, Atlanta Falcons (14)
Genard Avery, EDGE/LB, Cleveland Browns (27)
Jessie Bates, S, Cincinnati Bengals (12)
Maurice Hurst Jr., IDL, Oakland Raiders (NR)
Mike Hughes, CB, Minnesota Vikings (29)
Michael Dickson, P, Seattle Seahawks (28)
Da’Ron Payne, IDL, Washington (16)
Will Hernandez, OG, New York Giants (25)
BJ Hill, IDL, New York Giants (22)
Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Cincinnati Bengals (26)
Jaire Alexander, CB, Green Bay Packers (29)
Josh Jackson, CB, Green Bay Packers (35)
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts (50)
Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons (38)
Desmond Harrison, OT, Cleveland Browns (34)
JK Scott, P, Green Bay Packers (41)
Connor Williams, OG, Dallas Cowboys (33)
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (NR)
Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans (NR)
Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets (31)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (NR)
Da’Shawn Hand, IDL, Detroit Lions (NR)
Marcus Davenport, EDGE, New Orleans Saints (NR)
Taron Johnson, CB, Buffalo Bills (NR)
Mike McGlinchey, OT, San Francisco 49ers (NR)
Frank Ragnow, OG, Detroit Lions (46)
Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns (36)
Jerome Baker, LB, Miami Dolphins (NR)
Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots (NR)
Taven Bryan, IDL, Jacksonville Jaguars (NR)
Start the Rook
Marcus Davenport, EDGE, New Orleans Saints
- Many, including me, ridiculed the Saints for trading up to draft a project of a pass rusher in Marcus Davenport. Turns out the Saints defense is much worse than originally anticipated and one of the few players making flashy plays is rookie Marcus Davenport. It’s time for the Saints to go all in on the raw rookie and see what they really have. Davenport has shown freakish athleticism, power rushing ability, and a motor in stints this season. His ceiling is high, might as well get him on the field more.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
- Demaryius Thomas is a shell of his former self and just doesn’t have the athleticism or consistent hands to play full-time snaps. Rookie Courtland Sutton on the other hand has flashed big time potential when on the field this season. He’s a height-weight-speed mismatch who can create far more consistent big plays than Thomas. With a QB like Case Keenum it’s important to surround him with as many dynamic playmakers as possible.
Genard Avery, EDGE/LB, Cleveland Browns
- This isn’t necessarily a call for the Browns to start rookie Genard Avery, but just to get him on the field more. Avery is a hybrid linebacker/edge rusher who gets into the D-line rotation as well as seeing time off-ball. His violent playing style and non-stop motor has made him impactful when playing this year. The motor is insane; he’s chased running backs 30+ yards downfield to make the tackle. Jamie Collins isn’t what he used to be so getting Avery in more could be good for the entire D.
- 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
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