First Round, First Impressions: Updated

With three weeks of preseason to give a glimpse of what the first-rounders have to offer, Khaled Elsayed sorts out their performances to date.

| 1 year ago

First Round, First Impressions: Updated

11. Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans, OT
Grade: +2.7
Snaps: 124
Analysis: His zero pressures allowed is a little misleading (he’s given up two on plays nullified by penalty) but working largely with the twos (outside of a couple of snaps at right tackle against the Saints) has yet to face the kind of competition to judge how ready he is for a starting role. That’s okay though given that doesn’t look like something the team want from him in year one.

12. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, WR
Grade: n/a
Snaps: n/a
Analysis: The deepest part of the Giants’ team, so his absence has let others vie for roster spots. Still it’s a concern that they haven’t been able to get him on the field as fans wait impatiently.

13. Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams, DT
Grade: +1.8
Snaps: 101
Analysis: After two starts was put with the first reserves, working in some time against the starters. With fewer expectations, he delivered his best performance, picking up a sack and hurry that may convince the team going forward he’s best as an option, rather than the option from the start.

14. Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears, CB
Grade: +1.7
Snaps: 35
Analysis: After a nice start to life in the NFL Fuller would pick up an unfortunate ankle injury on the opening kickoff against the Jaguars. As such he hasn’t played another snap on defense, missing the entirety of that one and then held out against the Seahawks. Still he should be back in time for the regular season opener.

15. Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers, LB
Grade: -5.4
Snaps: 105
Analysis: While his numbers have been eye popping and a sample of his highlight reel plays would have you convinced he’s ready, there’s been plenty of evidence to the contrary. Steve Palazzolo had a really good look at things here after his Buffalo game and while he added a pass defense and six more tackles against the Eagles, lets not forget he was exposed in coverage. Looks like we should expect a rollercoaster ride with him this year.

16. Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys, OL
Grade: +0.4
Snaps: 78
Analysis: He hasn’t exactly stood out, but for a rookie linemen that is more of a compliment that a criticism. Has looked very at home in the pass protection game and can be happy that he’s held his own in the run game going against the likes of Haloti Ngata, Randy Starks and more.

17. C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens, LB
Grade: -0.9
Snaps: 89
Analysis: He didn’t look at his best against the Cowboys but rebounded with a useful effort against Washington, highlighted by his first pick at the NFL level. Come the regular season the team will likely want to see a little more but there’s been enough flashes to excite the fanbase.

18. Calvin Pryor, New York Jets, S
Grade: +6.9
Snaps: 97
Analysis: You think the Jets like the cameo they’ve seen from Pryor in just two games? Just a little. Already shown a knack for making plays and promises to make a big impression playing close to the line of scrimmage in the Jets’ exotic defensive scheme.

19. Ja’Wuan James, Miami Dolphins, OT
Grade: -3.2
Snaps: 133
Analysis: It had been going well for James until this week. Sure he’d struggled to make much of an impression in the run game, but he hadn’t been shown up in pass protection. Against what was supposed to be a weak Dallas front he was beaten a couple of times only for the QB to get rid of the ball before pressure could develop, before a switch to the left side saw him flagged for a penalty after getting beat by Martrez Wilson. A step back after two encouraging weeks.

20. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints, WR
Grade: +0.5
Snaps: 78
Analysis: Has already made his mark, showing an ability to get in behind defenses that will scare many a Saints opponent. Missed the Week 3 action so the attention is off him now, with all eyes keen to see just what kind of playing time he gets during the regular season after rotating in with the team’s three-receiver sets.

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