Another week and not a lot of excitement from the rookie class. Sadly, it’s starting to look like the weak predictions for this class were pretty accurate. There may not be a superstar from the entire draft. No one has been able to separate themselves from the pack.
#1. Eddie Lacy RB Green Bay Packers (Last week #2)
Lacy had a very nice week. The Packers relied on him heavily as they had the lead in the 2nd half. He definitely came through with 23 carries for 120 yards. He now leads all rookie RBs with 270 yards and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. He’s in the top 25 in rushing in the entire NFL and could make his way to the top 10 by the end of the year. Lacy has solidified himself as the #1 back for Green Bay. He has a shot to become one of the better backs in the league. He appears to be the only rookie with a chance at being a superstar.
#2. Geno Smith QB New York Jets (Last week #1)
I feel like I could just type two different paragraphs for Geno. One for his good weeks and one for his bad. Then just rotate them on these rankings. Geno was pretty terrible this week against the Steelers. He reverted to the mistake-prone rookie that pops up too often. He threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 3 times. He’s been sacked the 2nd most times in the NFL this year. Some of that is his O-line, but some of it is his fault. He didn’t account for any touchdowns this week as the Jets only mustered 2 field goals all game. And he made no impact in the running game at all. He has to be more consistent.
#3. Andre Ellington RB Arizona Cardinals (Last week #4)
I absolutely love this guy. He continues to make a big impact every week. Facing the tough 49ers defense this week, he ran for 56 yards with a TD and had 36 receiving yards. He averaged 8 yards per carry and 7.2 yards per reception. For the season, he’s up to 7.0 yards per carry and has 18 receptions for 180 yards. He’s super explosive and needs to get the ball more. There’s no excuse for not getting him more involved.
#4. Keenan Allen WR San Diego Chargers (Last week #12)
This guy has really shot up the rankings fast. Two weeks ago he was unranked. After posting 6-115-1 and 9-107-1 lines in consecutive weeks, he’s shaping up to be one of the best WRs from this draft. The Chargers are sitting at 3-3 and Allen has become the go-to receiver for a pass happy team. Assuming he stays healthy (he was out for a lot of camp and the beginning of the year with an injury), he should continue to put up really solid numbers.
#5. Giovani Bernard RB Cincinnati Bengals (Last week #3)
Bernard had a bit of an off week running the ball. He averaged only 1.9 yards per carry while receiving 15 carries. That put a damper on his season stats and brought his average all the way down to 4.0 yards per carry. However, he was a big time threat in the passing game. He finished with 6 receptions for 72 yards and a TD. He currently ranks 5th among all rookies in receptions with 20. Bernard continues to be a useful piece of the Bengals offense, even if it’s not always in the running game.
#6. Kenbrell Thompkins WR New England Patriots (Last week #5)
I wonder how much this guy is going to have to do to have a card. Thompkins caught the game-winning TD with 5 seconds left this week against the undefeated Saints. He currently ranks 3rd in rookie receiving with 318 yards and 2nd with 4 TDs. He’s making an impact every week right now, and that’s all you can really ask for from a rookie receiver.
#7. DeAndre Hopkins WE Houston Texans (Last week #7)
Hopkins had another solid week with 47 yards on 3 receptions. He currently leads all rookies in receptions and receiving yards. Unfortunately, Houston’s season has really spiraled downwards, so Hopkins isn’t getting the attention he deserves. Houston needs to figure out it’s QB situation and start utilizing their weapons better. There’s no reason that they shouldn’t have a top 5 offense with the talent on this team.
#8. Zac Stacy RB St. Louis Rams (Last week #13)
Stacy is another player who has made quite a leap in the rankings. He’s had 2 solid games in a row with 79 rushing yards and 78 rushing yards. Amazingly he moved all the way up to 4th in rookie rushing with those 2 games. It shows you how poor the rookie performances have been so far. Stacy is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, which is pretty darn impressive. Stacy appears to be holding his own as the #1 back in St. Louis.
#9. Le’Veon Bell RB Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week #6)
I’ll give Bell a little leeway because the Jets have been really good up front on defense. However, he had a pretty bad game with only 34 rushing yards on 16 carries. Bell has to do more in the running game for the Steelers to be successful. The Steelers have another tough matchup this week against the Ravens. Hopefully Bell can have a better week.
#10. Terrance Williams WR Dallas Cowboys (Last week #9)
Williams didn’t have a great week, but he did at least catch a TD pass. Sadly, it sounds like Miles Austin is going to be ready to play next week. That could really eat into Williams’ production. He currently ranks 4th in rookie receiving yards and 8th in receptions. I still like his long-term outlook, but he could suffer short term with the return of Austin.
#11. Mike Glennon QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week #15)
Glennon had a solid week against Philly with 273 yards and 2 TDs. He looked much better in his second game than in his first. Hopefully he can continue to build on his performances and make a difference in Tampa. He hasn’t resulted in any wins yet, but I do think he’s playing better than Josh Freeman was for Tampa. Glennon has certainly shown enough to not make the Bucs look like idiots with their decision to get rid of Freeman.
#12. Marlon Brown WR Baltimore Ravens (Last week #17)
Brown continues to make an impact for the Ravens. He had 3 receptions for 71 yards this week. He was targeted a team high 7 times. It’s obvious that Joe Flacco trusts Brown at this point. Brown missed 1 game due to injury and had 1 dud game. However, 4 out of the 5 games he’s played in have been solid performances. Brown is another player who doesn’t have any cards to date. That needs to change.
#13. E.J. Manuel QB Buffalo Bills (Last week #11)
Manuel honestly lands here because no one else did much of anything. A report came out saying that Manuel was going to miss at least 4-6 more weeks. That’s not good news. However, he was good enough when healthy to warrant staying in the top 20 while he’s out. The Bills were also held below their season average in total yards even though their game went over 8 minutes into overtime. It’s obvious that the Bills’ offense is going to miss Manuel.
#14. Jordan Reed TE Washington Redskins (Last week unranked)
Reed had a nice game this week and is starting to generate a good bit of buzz around the league. He finished with 58 yards on 4 receptions. His numbers on the year are nearly as good as Tyler Eifert’s now. But I think his prospects for the rest of this year might be better. Griffin is starting to look more and more like the RG3 from last year. As he continues to come around, we’re going to see better offensive numbers from the entire team.
#15. Tyler Eifert TE Cincinnati Bengals (Last week #10)
Speaking of Eifert, we see him here dropping 5 spots from last week. Eifert had a down week with only 2 receptions for 13 yards. He’s been far less explosive than I thought he would be. He doesn’t have a single TD on the season. And he’s averaging right at 3 receptions and 40 yards per game. That’s nothing too exciting. He really hasn’t had a great game yet this year. I still expect Eifert to be a great TE, but it might have to wait until next year.
#16. Robert Woods WR Buffalo Bills (Last week #8)
Woods seems lost without Manuel. He was hardly a part of the offense with only 2 receptions for 6 yards this week. His season stats still aren’t bad. I’m just afraid he’s going to continue to struggle with Manuel out.
#17. Tavon Austin WR St. Louis Rams (Last week #14)
Austin continues to plummet down the rankings. He has 6 receptions for 41 yards in his last 3 games. That’s not very good. And St. Louis is actually having a decent season (as is Sam Bradford), so a lack of production can’t be blamed on that. Austin continues to fail to create any separation. And there’s no doubt he’s falling behind in the pecking order in St. Louis. He also continues to not make any impact on special teams. Not a good rookie season for Austin so far.
#18. Khiry Robinson RB New Orleans Saints (Last week unranked)
Welcome back to the rankings Mr. Robinson. Khiry had a very nice week with 53 yards and a TD on 7 carries. He’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry with 137 yards on the season. The Saints continue to look for a running game, and they just may have found something in Robinson. He’s a big RB and he runs hard. I expect the Saints to continue to use him in running situations.
#19. Aaron Dobson WR New England Patriotrs (Last week unranked)
Dobson is another player who was not ranked last week. He had a solid game against the Saints. He led the Patriots in both receptions (with 6) and receiving yards (with 63). He was also 2nd in targets (with 10). Dobson has 19 receptions for 230 yards and a TD on the year. As long as the Patriots continue to have injuries to other WRs, Dobson is going to be involved in the offense.
#20. Kenny Stills WR New Orleans Saints (Last week unranked)
Really grasping at straws here honestly. Stills had a good week with 3 receptions for 64 yards and a TD. He’s been wildly inconsistent this year. His season stats aren’t terrible with 198 yards. However, he only has 10 receptions for the year, and has 2 games where he didn’t even get a single target. Stilsl may have some moments this year, but I don’t know that he’s going to be a consistent threat each week.
Dropped from the rankings: Johnathan Franklin, Ace Sanders, Cordarrelle Patterson and Montee Ball.
As I said, it was a bit of a rough week for rookies. I suspect this week will be better, if only because it would be hard for it to be worse. Enjoy the games!
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