Six weeks in and the tape on our rookie class of 2013 is mounting. We’re starting to see if players can consistently put together good performances or whether they’re more akin to flashing brilliance in their debut season.
So, as we tend to do every so often, we’re going to break down the play of each first-round pick with snaps and stats that you simply can’t find anywhere else.
1.Eric Fisher, T, Kansas City Chiefs
Analysis: It hasn’t been pretty has it? The Chiefs’ offensive line has been a problem all season and at no bigger spot than right tackle. Fisher may well develop into a man worthy of the first overall pick, but right now his only saving grace is that he’s not as bad as Donald Stephenson. Currently our third-lowest ranked right tackle.
2. Luke Joeckel, T, Jacksonville Jaguars
Analysis: The Jaguars got a glimpse of their left tackle of the future and it wasn’t always encouraging. Now on injured reserve, the team will be hoping he comes back better for the experiences of his rookie year.
3. Dion Jordan, DE, Miami Dolphins
Analysis: A nice grade but that all came in one game as he got extra duty against the Falcons’ struggling offensive tackles. He is, off course, limited by being a purely situational guy so he’s dependent on the Dolphins getting the kind of lead that forces teams to go pass-heavy.
4. Lane Johnson, T, Philadelphia Eagles
Analysis: Has struggled with his pass blocking throughout the year but has seemed to improve (even in that regard) after a rough three-game stretch between Weeks 2 and 5. Since then he’s allowed six quarterback disruptions after allowing 19 in the first four weeks.
5. Ezekial Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions
Analysis: We always tell people not to be fooled by the sack numbers. Four is a good return for a rookie, but we’d have a better pass rush grade with more total pressure. As it is, he’s 21st out of 37 qualifying 4-3 defensive ends in our Pass Rushing Productivity stat. Still, run defense has been above average.
6. Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Cleveland Browns
Analysis: Much like the man before him, don’t read too much into his sack totals. He’s not the player Jabaal Sheard is right now and it would be right for him to see his snap count drop when Sheard gets back. Only three outside linebackers have lower Pass Rushing Productivity scores.
7. Jonathan Cooper, G, Arizona Cardinals
Analysis: Put on injured reserve during preseason.
8. Tavon Austin, WR, St Louis Rams
Analysis: Let’s not write him off yet. He’s a slot receiver and his playing time versus Houston was limited because the Rams’ lead meant they only ran 11 personnel on seven occasions. That said, he hasn’t impressed. Just two forced missed tackles and five drops with a 6.6 yards per catch average. A risky pick is looking riskier.
9. Dee Milliner, CB, New York Jets
Analysis: With two touchdowns allowed and some blown assignments, Milliner earned himself a benching. Came back but a hamstring injury has kept him out since Week 3. Will want to be playing better when he returns.
10. Chance Warmack, G, Tennessee Titans
Analysis: Hasn’t taken the league by storm has he? It’s easier for people to blame Chris Johnson but Warmack has earned a negative grade for his run blocking and has the eighth lowest grade in pass protection. Proof of the gap between college and the pros.
11. D.J. Fluker, T, San Diego Chargers
Analysis: Has so far adjusted best to life in the NFL though it’s been for the opposite reasons as to what scouts told us to expect. His run blocking has got him a negative grade as King Dunlap and Michael Harris both outplayed him, but his work in pass protection has been excellent news for Philip Rivers.
12. D.J. Hayden, CB, Oakland Raiders
Analysis: A mixed bag of things as a nickel corner for the Raiders. The obvious blot on his copybook was the horrible effort against the Broncos that saw him miss six tackles but he has been better since then.
13. Sheldon Richardson, DE, New York Jets
Analysis: Our third-ranked 3-4 defensive end and leader in our Race for Rookie of the Year. The team might like more pass rush from him but right now his work in the run game really is quite exceptional, with 14 defensive stops there already.
14. Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina Panthers
Analysis: At one point he was the cream of the first round crop, now? Not so much. After his first two games he was a real contender for rookie of the year but since then has failed to make much of an impact against the run. At least not to a level that would compensate for his lack of pass rush.
15. Kenny Vaccaro, S, New Orleans Saints
Analysis: A versatile talent he has made some plays, but unfortunately not all of them have been good. The team is asking a lot of him but the end result has seen him beaten in coverage for 167 yards and a touchdown on 19 targets.
16. E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
Analysis: Too much too soon? Manuel, despite missing time, has been our lowest-graded quarterback on the year. There isn’t a harder spot to play in the NFL for a rookie, though, and there have been flashes of what convinced the Bills to spend a first round pick on him.
17. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Analysis: Failed to make the kind of impression that would make Jason Worilds obsolete with just two quarterback hits and five hurries on the season. Marginally better against the run, but outside of a play here or there, really failing to show up. Will be hoping more teams leave him one-on-one with a running back going forward.
18. Eric Reid, S, San Francisco 49ers
Analysis: Have the 49ers missed Dashon Goldson? The play of Eric Reid has meant the answer to that is not what many would have thought before the year. Three picks and a couple of pass break-ups have helped push him to eighth overall in our safety rankings.
19. Justin Pugh, RT, New York Giants
Analysis: It looked like he was out of his depth when Charles Johnson worked him over, but he’s got better since and it culminated with a fine outing against the Bears. He looked anything but out of place as he controlled Julius Peppers and Shea McClellin.
20. Kyle Long, G, Chicago Bears
Analysis: A tale of two players. On one hand he more than gets the job done in the run game, looking at ease there. In pass protection? Well you’d like to see him give up less than the 15 quarterback disruptions he has so far.
21. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Analysis: The Bengals haven’t been shy about getting him on the field with their love of 12 personnel, but with just 26 targets he’s not proven an integral part of the team’s passing attack. Two dropped passes haven’t helped his cause.
22. Desmond Trufant, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Analysis: Has broken up a pass in each game and while he hasn’t exactly put wide receivers on notice, he’s looked comfortable out there. An upgrade for the Falcons already, but they might want to see that zero in the interception column change.
23. Shariff Floyd, DT, Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Quiet so far. Has generated a decent amount of pressure (seven quarterback disruptions) relative to how much he’s been on the field, but his -3.5 grade against the run is a good reason as to why he’s not starting right now.
24. Bjorn Werner, OLB, Indianapolis Colts
Analysis: The Colts didn’t draft him (or at least we hope they didn’t) to be an immediate success story. Now out for the foreseeable future it’s left to his peers to provide the pressure.
25. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Coming off his worst game of the year versus the Panthers where he also missed his first tackle. Also flagged for a declined penalty but let’s not dwell on that because he’s largely done a decent job.
26. Datone Jones, DE, Green Bay Packers
Analysis: The situational pass rusher has generated much pressure (a sack and two hurries) while missing two tackles. Fortunately others have stepped up but it’s concerning that he’s not made a case for more playing time.
27. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Analysis: It was all going so well at the start of the year but as the team has imploded he has been caught up in the storm somewhat. He’s played well when given the opportunity but with just 12 targets in the past three game his role has been reduced.
28. Sylvester Williams, DT, Denver Broncos
Analysis: Way down the Broncos’ depth chart, seeing less snaps than four other defensive tackles. Just the one hit so far and failing to make much of an impact against the run when on the field. Very quiet.
29. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Has so far managed just 14 snaps more than Joe Webb. That gives you an indication of how reluctant the team is to use him. Of course the play they’ve got from the quarterback spot doesn’t help, but you may as well file Patterson down as one for special teams now, and offense in the future.
30. Alec Ogletree, LB, St Louis Rams
Analysis: He’s all over the field but that doesn’t always mean he’s in the right place, and can leave him exposed to catching our eye (such as with seven missed tackles). But he has made plays, so the challenge is now doing that on a more consistent basis.
31. Travis Frederick, C, Dallas Cowboys
Analysis: Every time I write about Frederick I make mention of how he has proved the naysayers wrong. Well no change there. Our seventh-ranked center on the year is getting the job done and cutting out some of the early-season errors that had some worried.
32. Matt Elam, S, Baltimore Ravens
Analysis: May be a better fit closer to the line of scrimmage down the line, but still hasn’t made the kind of impact the team would have been hoping for in replacing Ed Reed. Graded negatively in all bar one game.
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