The race for rookie of the year: Introducing Nate the Great

| October 15, 2010

What a cursed chalice it is. Whoever takes over the race for rookie of the year follows it up with a poor performance the following week.

This week was no different, with Sam Bradford struggling in his worst outing as a pro.

So for the fifth consecutive week we welcome a new rookie to the top of the charts as Eagles fan bemoan the selection. Surely he’ll break the trend?

1. Eagles S Nate Allen (+5.6, 355 snaps)

Has taken to the NFL like a duck to water. Our third-ranked safety can blitz (five total pressures), is a sure tackler (one missed tackle) and has some ball skills (three interceptions and two pass break ups). Superb. Last week: 5th

2. Rams QB Sam Bradford (+6.4, 380 snaps)

He wasn’t great against the Lions, but he’s outperforming a number of quarterbacks you wouldn’t expect. Still plagued by receiver drops. Last week: 1st

3. Raiders DE Lamarr Houston (+5.0, 216 snaps)

Four quarterback pressures in Week 5 and seems to be leveling out as one of the surprise rookie success stories at defensive end. Last week: 4th

4. Jaguars DT Tyson Alualu (+4.5, 288 snaps)

Couldn’t get to the quarterback in Week 5, but he was strong enough against the run to impress us. Complete defensive tackle who isn’t the finished product, but certainly isn’t looking like a reach. Last week: 6th

5. Dolphins OLB Koa Misi (+4.9, 143 snaps)

Tough to drop a guy who didn’t play this week but looking at his snap counts makes us realize we really need to see more of Misi on the field. His 13 total quarterback pressures are impressive, though. Last week: 2nd

6. Titans CB Alterraun Verner (+2.6, 216 snaps)

New entry alert! Verner isn’t getting much praise but has really taken his opportunity to start, intercepting one pass and breaking up a further four balls. Last week: Not ranked

7. Oakland ILB Rolando McClain (+2.7, 325 snaps)

After a series of up-and down-displays, McClain was solid against the Chargers. So far he’s missed just one tackle this season. Last week: 9th

8. New England TE Rob Gronkowski (+4.0, 159 snaps)

No move for Gronkowski this week, with the Patriots on a bye. We’re interested to see if his role in the offense grows with the trade away of Randy Moss. Last week: 8th

9. Tampa WR Mike Williams (+1.8, 238 snaps)

Williams is tied for the league lead with six missed tackles and is playing just about every snap for the 3-1 Bucs. Last week: Unranked

10. Seattle S Earl Thomas (+1.6, 313 snaps)

With Seattle on a bye this week, Thomas holds on to his place. But he’ll need to improve, especially with such a strong safety class. Last week: 10th

Dropped out: Mike Iupati (49ers)

In the mix: CB Kendrick Lewis (Chiefs), WR Jordan Shipley (Cincinnati), CB Perrish Cox (Denver), CB Devin McCourty (Patriots) and TE Aaron Hernandez (Patriots)

  • http://www.ffgeekblog.com Brandon

    Not familiar with your rankings, but why no love for Aaron Hernandez?! Do you expect him to climb the ranks now that he should see more targets with Moss gone? Go Patriots!

  • ryanmccrystal

    Verner’s rating seems to be inflated because teams are specifically targeting him, rather than Finnegan. He’s been throw at 26 times in his two starts. More targets means more opportunities to make plays. He’s been surprisingly solid, but not as good as someone like Nate Allen or Earl Thomas, who teams are already learning they need to gameplan for.

  • http://www.profootballfocus.com Khaled Elsayed

    Hernandez is certainly close. Especially with more balls thrown his way.

    As for Verner there is a point to that, but he has been up to the challenge so far. Certainly not as good as Nate Allen but Earl Thomas? Matter of perspective in some regards but for me I think Verner has been more impressive so far (not to discredit Thomas)