Race for Rookie of the Year, Week 14

| December 10, 2013

Race-for-ROY-WK04Can it be that there are just three weeks left of the regular season?

That also means that there are just three weeks left in our Race for Rookie of the Year, a race that has by and large been dominated by a Jets defensive end. While Richardson has taken control of this from the outset, that’s not to say he’s got this wrapped up with the continuing excellence of Keenan Allen providing the kind of tantalizing finish we’ve come to expect of all things NFL.

Let’s take a look at the top 10.

On the Lead Lap…

1. Sheldon Richardson, DE, Jets: +28.2

The negative grade for pass rushing has kept in within striking distance but he’s so good against the run (only J.J. Watt has a higher score of 3-4 defensive ends) that he’s built a solid lead. Already a big contributor to the league’s most stingy defensive line.

2. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers: +13.8

Now the owner of our sixth highest receiving grade of all wide receivers with his sixth positive grade in a row. Added two touchdowns to his total and is now just 98 yards away from a debut 1,000 yard season.

3. Larry Warford, RG, Lions: +19.1

Our third ranked right guard on the year, Warford has just the one negative grade to his name all season. That speaks to the consistency of the Lion who didn’t let a little thing like snow slow him down this week.

4. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers: +15.2

After his struggles on Thanksgiving responded exactly as the Packers would have hoped with a big outing against the Falcons despite picking up an ankle injury. Up to fourth overall in our running back rankings.

5. Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals: +15.5

Coming off the back of his biggest rushing game Bernard has been the kind of change of pace back the team hoped for, and if the team can get him in space he’s likely to make the opposition pay.

6. Star Lotulelei, DT, Panthers: +14.2

It was a tough night for the Panthers but Lotulelei didn’t let his team down as the front four were at least able to slow down the Saints rushing attack. That’s what he has done all year and it’s a huge reason for the teams improvement.

7. Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Cardinals: +15.5

The shame is that this is as high as Mathieu is, an ACL injury means it won’t get any better for the rookie defensive back who acclimatized so well to life in the NFL.

8. Kiko Alonso, LB, Bills: +6.9

A hot start to the year faded and a middling middle portion saw him fall behind in this race. The good news is he picked up his first grade in the green against the Buccaneers with his coverage once again being the reason why.

9. Desmond Trufant, CB, Falcons: +6.9

In a bad year for Atlanta the play of Trufant bodes well for the future. No pass break ups this week but the team will be happy with the 13 he has managed so far.

10. Kawann Short, DT, Panthers: +12.2

Another reason why the Panthers have to be happy with how this year has gone. Has added depth to the defensive interior and some penetration in their sub package defense.

 

Five to Watch

LaAdrian Waddle, RT, Lions: Just seven snaps this week but it doesn’t offset the work he has done since coming into the lineup.

Justin Pugh, RT, Giants: The highest rated tackle from those taken in the first round. Who saw that coming?

Travis Frederick, C, Cowboys: There’s a lot of negativity around Dallas but they can at least be positive about their first round pick.

Eric Reid, S, 49ers: Has replaced Dashon Goldson seamlessly. The 49ers will be happy with that but will likely expect more as he develops.

Kenny Vacarro, S, Saints: Earned his fifth positive grade in six appearances this week. After a slow start has cut out the bad plays and is a real valuable asset in the Saints defense.

 

Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

  • Stephan Behuniak

    How does Warford move down a spot? Another great game in terrible conditions and still well ahead of Allen in grading?

    • LightsOut85

      I believe the staff has stated before that you can’t compare grades across positions (based on the ins & outs of what makes up the grades).

      • Richard Light

        Correct. O-line grading is different, so you can’t compare OL grades to skill position player grades.

      • Joe

        While that’s true, it seems like it would be a pretty trivial thing for them to just normalize all of the grades based on the position average or something. I really don’t understand why they don’t do this.

        • LightsOut85

          Eh, I’ve given up asking questions since I’ve stopped getting answers. (And it kind of becomes confusing/hypocritical when they laud JJ Watt as having the best grade ever & thus being the best player (regardless of position) in the NFL…if we can’t compare grades, shouldn’t there be no way to tell who’s the best?).

          • Mike Renner

            We tried to do that with our Performance Based Value series here:
            https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/02/25/performance-based-value/

            We basically translated our grades to match how different positions get paid with the basic assumption that salaries that NFL teams dole out are a good indicator of how valuable positions are compared to each other.

            We’ll be looking at it again this offseason and trying to find better ways to compare value across positions, but for now grades provide the best comparisons within the same positional group.

  • Junior Olaogun

    Cordarrelle Patterson is still getting no love huh? Dudes on pace for and NFL record for kickoff return average AND has been making huge plays on offense. Also, PFF is off base with Xavier Rhodes’ PD, he’s got 20 on the year.

    • Richard Light

      According to the stats pages of both ESPN and the NFL, Xavier Rhodes has 10 PD this year, not 20. PFF credits Rhodes with 12 PDs, which again, is significantly less than 20.

      Therefore, unless there’s a conspiracy involving PFF, ESPN, and the NFL to all under-report how many PDs Rhodes has this year, it would appear you’re off base, not PFF.

      Folks, if you’re going to accuse PFF of being wrong about certain FACTS, please take 15 seconds to double check. It’s really, really not hard…

      • chris

        I think all Junior was asking is why Patterson and Rhodes aren’t mentioned in the article. Insulting people who take the time to comment here is no way to build traffic for your site. It’s really, really not that hard to understand, is it?

        • StevenSTL

          Says the guy insulting Eddie Lacy w/o any logic.

          • chris

            Logic: Lacy is averaging less than 4 YPC, he was held to less than 20 yards rushing against the same DET defense that coughed up 200+ yards to McCoy on Sunday. He’s a nice back but not elite. He doesn’t have the long runs or explosive plays to prove otherwise. He’s a great grinder but nothing more.

          • Redsfan84

            Lacy has also had the likes of Matt Flynn and some other guy at QB while Rodgers has been out. Yeah I think I’d stack the box too. Great logic there. Also to compare the lions defense for the two backs is idiotic since McCoy got to play them in the snow which bodes well for rbs vs the defenders. He also has one of the hottest qbs in the league right now in Foles so maybe the box wasn’t as stacked. Regardless, better luck next time.

          • roguepatriot

            Lacy is an excellent blocker who contributes in the passing game. He’s 4th in missed tackles and 543 of his 887 rushing yards have come after contact. As a team, GB ranks 22nd in Run Blocking. PFF looks at every play. We the fans make our judgements based on anecdotal evidence as shown in your “he was held to less than 20 yards rushing against” argument.

            FYI, Lacey’s rush #s vs DET in 2013:

            Week 5: 23 carries 99 yards

            Week 10: 10 carries 16 yards

            Dude, if 10/16 in a 40-10 blowout, when the trailing team abandons the run, is all you have to go on? Give it up. For instance, would you say AP sucks because he only had 28 yards on 13 carries against an Giants DEF that allowed DeAngelo WIlliams to run for 120 yards???

          • Chris

            Elite RBs average more than 4 YPC. Lacy does not and nothing you’ve written changes that fact. Truly elite RBs are able to average 4+ YPC despite bad QB play (AP), or poor run blocking (AP & MJD for the last several years). Lacy played with Rodgers and without him and is still unable to put up huge rushing numbers without a large volume of carries. What better barometer for a RB’s status than YPC? Lacy is a nice back, a grinder who can move the chains, but he’s not elite.

          • 1st Down

            Using the DET rushing defense in this case is rather disingenuous, yes McCoy did rush for 200+ yards but he has been the only player that has rushed 100+ yards against this DET defense. No, Lacy isn’t a great rusher but he does have the second best rushing total against DET this year, 99 yards. Forte and Peterson have both fallen short of this (with Peterson having one more chance to rectify that this year).

    • Richard Light

      P.S. Patterson has been a good kick returner, but he has done little on offense. He averages a “meh” 11 yards per catch and has 2 receiving TDs, with 1/5 of his total receiving yardage this year coming on one catch last game, plus 1 rushing TD this year.

      His average yards-per-carry *looks* impressive at 7.0 yards, but he’s only rushed 5 times, and all his yardage came on one big 33 yard carry. On his other 4 carries, he’s gained 2 yards combined.

      All in all, he looks like a “meh” receiver with 1 big 70 yard play inflating his mediocre stats and a “meh” runner with 1 good play this season and 4 bad plays. Not nearly enough to be mentioned with the other guys, who have played far more snaps and made far more good plays.

      • Thinkaboutit

        Hmm a rookie who is 2nd in the league in all purpose yards is “meh”.
        Interesting… for all of those “other guys, who have played far more snaps” to not have as many yards as someone who doesn’t play as much only proves that he should be considered for the offensive rookie of the year. But I still think there are too many good defensive rookies for him to win the whole thing.

        • A;am

          I don’t think it’s really fair to judge by all purpose yards. Most really good players are too valuable to play on returns. I just don’t think outside a few big plays he’s had the same game-to game impact as any of these guys on the list especially Allen who’s been a constant factor in the Chargers’ passing attack. You can’t really say the same for Patterson.

    • #9458248

      $10 that Junior is a Vikings fan!

  • G.D.

    How’s Matt Elam been doing this year? Haven’t watched much of Ravens.

  • chris

    Lacy is averaging less than 4 YPC. Not elite and not worthy of ROY consideration. He might look great compared to Packer RBs who preceded him but that’s not saying much.

    • Brian

      The Green Bay Packers offensive line are a good group of pass blockers. Their run blocking, however, leaves much to be desired.

      You may be seeing Eddie Lacy averaging 2.0 yards per carry at times during games according to the stat sheets. What you’ll notice on the field, is a runner who is hit 2-3 yards behind the line of scrimmage and gains 2 yards worth of field position beyond the line of scrimmage. Not only is he turning a negative play into a positive one, he’s doing so after hits & contact, which break pre-exchange momentum for his runs.

    • Jake

      Are you serious?
      The dude has to break at least 2-5 tackles just to get out of the backfield – The guy hasn’t gotten any help – especially with Rodgers out for 6 games now.

      • chris

        Elite RBs average more than 4 YPC. AP has been playing without a QB for years and consistently averages more than 4 YPC. Same goes for Arian Foster, Shady McCoy, etc. Lacy is a grinder, nothing more. Not elite.

  • roguepatriot

    Chance Warmack is ranked 43rd.

    Never draft a pure college guard in the first 2 rounds.