With three weeks of NFL action in the books, this race is starting to heat up.
The early pace setter, RG3, remains the man at the top but as his body takes more and more of a pounding will that allow his competitors to catch up?
1) Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS (+9.7)
He continues to impress even if you’re starting to worry about his health. He’s still making plays with his arms but his legs seem to be getting busier, and that isn’t necessarily a formula for staying at the top of the pile.
2) Chandler Jones, DE, NE (+8.5)
Was held firmly in check by Michael Oher until a fine fourth quarter helped him move his total pressure total to 13. Will be interesting to see if New England scales his snaps back with him looking to wear down when not rested.
3) Cordy Glenn, LT, BUF (+6.5)
Up to fourth overall in our left tackle rankings, Glenn is giving up just one pressure a game. He’ll face bigger tests in the week to come but its been an impressive start from the second-rounder.
4) Mychal Kendricks, LB, PHI (+5.1)
He’s missed more tackles than the Eagles would like, but this every-down linebacker has already formed a solid partnership with Demeco Ryans in a much-improved linebacker group.
5) Dont’a Hightower, LB, NE (+3.1)
Am I focusing too much on Week 1 by having Hightower here? Since then he’s seemed more and more tentative, a trait that was evident in preseason.
6) Harrison Smith, S, MIN (+2.8)
You aren’t hearing much about Smith which is normally a good thing for a safety. Instead he’s going about his business, making the odd play in coverage and coming crashing down in the box when it’s needed. Promising.
7) Bruce Irvin, DE, SEA (+3.1)
That’s three sacks, two hits, and seven hurries. He may be a purely situational player, but at this rate Irvin is going to terrorize an awful lot of quarterbacks as a rookie.
8) Trent Richardson, RB, CLV (+2.2)
He’s yet to set the world on fire, but there have been flashes of what a special talent Richardson could be.
9) Kevin Zeitler, G, CIN (+2.4)
When I saw Zeitler in preseason I thought the guy looked lost and that he could be in for a long rookie season as he adapted. Fast forward a month later and here he is cracking the Top 10. That performance against the Redskins was his most accomplished to date.
10) Russell Wilson, QB, SEA (+0.3)
The training wheels are firmly on, but credit him with playing the kind of football that is good enough for the Seahawks to stay competitive against good teams.
Matt Kalil, LT, MIN: Had a tough time of things against Aldon Smith. Would like to see him do more in the run game.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, MIA: Wasn’t helped by his receivers dropping five balls, but took a step back after an impressive Week 2.
Fletcher Cox, DT, PHI: Needs to make every snap count when playing as part of a rotation. Didn’t against Arizona and pays the price here.
Five to watch
Andrew Luck, QB, IND: Surely it will only be a matter of time before he makes this list. Consistency lacking just a tad at the moment.
Alfred Morris, RB, WAS: Doing a good job in the Redskins’ scheme, and handling a higher workload than most expected from him. Making himself a feature back.
Melvin Ingram, LB, SD: With a hit and seven hurries we know he can get pressure, but can he get enough playing time to show what he can really do? A heavy Chargers rotation suggests no.
Mike Martin, DT, TEN: Sure he was held in check by the Lions and their quick passing attack, but his relentless motor is going to see him making more plays as the season goes on.
Bobby Wagner, LB, SEA: Only playing time is keeping Wagner off the list. Does make plays in the Seahawks’ base package.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled