First Rounders in Focus: Week 3
Offensive tackles were clearly the class of the 2013 draft. Five of them went in the first round and each and every one of them was to be, by design or otherwise, a starter on day one.
Yet for those hoping for an immediate display of group dominance they’ll be disappointed as each of them as graded below average through the first three weeks of the season. We bring you their grades and snaps as well as those for every player drafted in the first round this past April in our Rookie Review: First Rounders in Focus.
1. Eric Fisher, T, Kansas City Chiefs
Analysis: Look away now Chiefs fans because hopes of your young tackle taking the league by storm are fading fast. It’s been a tough adjustment to the right side of the line and to the NFL with Fisher being our fifth lowest ranked tackle on the year. He’s graded equally poorly against the run as in pass protection and been flagged for three penalties.
2. Luke Joeckel, T, Jacksonville Jaguars
Analysis: By comparison the Jaguars have to be laughing. Joeckel has had some rough moments with his run blocking but is doing a better job of slowing pass rushers down, with a marginally better Pass Blocking Efficiency score than Fisher. Still there’s plenty of room for improvement as well.
3. Dion Jordan, DE, Miami Dolphins
Analysis: Got his biggest workout to date against the Falcons and responded with his best showing. His lack of playing time and role as a situational rusher may prevent him pushing on, but it’s worth noting his 15.2 Pass Rushing Productivity score is tied for the highest among 4-3 defensive ends.
4. Lane Johnson, T, Philadelphia Eagles
Analysis: It didn’t start off too bad for Johnson but he had a rough day out against the Chargers and then a horror show versus the Chiefs. Justin Houston really taught him a harsh lesson and it’s left the Eagle as our seventh lowest ranked right tackle.
5. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions
Analysis: Our 15th ranked 4-3 defensive end, Ansah got his first start against the Redskins even if he wasn’t quite as good as his excellent outing versus the Cardinals. He’s evidently not as raw as some said he would be, with a solid 10 quarterback disruptions on the year already.
6. Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Cleveland Browns
Analysis: After missing the opener Mingo has has been eased into things as a situational player while Jabaal Sheard and Paul Kruger draw the majority of snaps. Two sacks and three hurries on 41 pass rushes isn’t a bad return at this stage but you’d like to see a little more of him on the field.
7. Jonathan Cooper, G, Arizona Cardinals
Analysis: Out for the year on injured reserve after breaking his leg in the preseason.
8. Tavon Austin, WR, St Louis Rams
Analysis: Not the dynamic start that Rams fans had been hoping for. At the moment his 1.05 Yards Per Route Run are only good enough for 70th out of 88 receivers and he’s dropped three passes. These things do take time.
9. Dee Milliner, CB, New York Jets
Analysis: Started the year as an every down player but wasn’t ready and earned a second half benching in Week 2. Returned to play 23 snaps in Week 3 where he looked better but it’s been a far from impressive start from man charged with replacing Darrelle Revis.
10. Chance Warmack, G, Tennessee Titans
Analysis: Thought J.J. Watt was just another guy even after he’d been beaten for two sacks and three hurries versus the Texans. Warmack’s positive grade for the year is largely due to his run blocking. However, his pass protection woes against Houston have left him nursing an overall negative grade.
11. D.J. Fluker, T, San Diego Chargers
Analysis: Given how the rookie right tackles have been playing so far he did himself a favor by being unable to suit up against the Titans and Derrick Morgan. Fluker hasn’t really had the impact in the running game that you would have hoped for yet.
12. D.J. Hayden, CB, Oakland Raiders
Analysis: He’d flown under the radar the first two weeks of the season but it all went horribly wrong in against the Broncos. Managed to miss a staggering six tackles in that game alone and is now our 98th (out of 103) ranked cornerback.
13. Sheldon Richardson, DE, New York Jets
Analysis: Let’s start with the not so good. He hasn’t generated much pressure. Now let’s get on to the good (and it is good), where he is really making a name for himself with his work against the run. Currently only J.J. Watt of the 3-4 ends has a higher rating in that regard.
14. Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina Panthers
Analysis: At the moment our sixth ranked defensive tackle on the year with nearly his entire grade coming against the run. In that regard only Damon Harrison has graded better as Lotulelei already makes a name for himself.
15. Kenny Vaccaro, S, New Orleans Saints
Analysis: The grade is perhaps harsher than it appears. Vaccaro has brought some playmaking and athleticism to the Saints secondary, but he’s failed when used as a pass rusher (no pressure on 11 rushes) and earned slight negatives against the run and in coverage. Do his big plays make up for this?
16. E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
Analysis: It started off pretty well but since then Manuel has stuttered and then imploded with a horrid outing versus a rampant Jets defense. His numbers don’t do justice as he sits bottom of our quarterback grading, reminding us of a time when it was okay for rookies to struggle.
17. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Analysis: Was made a starter for Week 2 but it wasn’t until this week against the Bears where he started to look the part. With just four hurries isn’t doing much rushing the passer but is showing his value with some active work against the run.
18. Eric Reid, S, San Francisco 49ers
Analysis: You can’t like the five missed tackles but with two picks and a pass break up he’s proved an ample replacement for Dashon Goldson. Now it’s up to him to prove he can be more than that.
19. Justin Pugh, OT, New York Giants
Analysis: The dam burst against Charles Johnson and the Panthers and the outcome is that of all offensive tackles in the league, the 17 combined sacks, hits and hurries Pugh gave up are third most. He hasn’t been much better against the run.
20. Kyle Long, G, Chicago Bears
Analysis: Impressive when he gets his hands on defenders but yet to really get to grips with his pass protection where he’s already been beaten for a hit and seven hurries. It’s a testament to how good his run blocking is that he still has a positive grade.
21. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Analysis: Started the season off reasonably well, catching 9-of-11 targets and doing a decent enough job when the team had him blocking in space (as opposed to the big defensive ends they leave for Jermaine Gresham). A nice one two punch right now.
22. Desmond Trufant, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Analysis: A decent enough start after it looked like he might struggle in preseason. Instead while he’s allowed 12-of-17 into his coverage they’ve come at just 10.3 yards per catch and he’s broken up four balls.
23. Shariff Floyd, DT, Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Struggled to do much against the run so far but has flashed his ability rushing the passer with a hit and two hurries on limited snaps. It seems that the Vikings usage of him might act as a check on his impact.
24. Bjoern Werner, OLB, Indianapolis Colts
Analysis: Around 30 snaps a game seems his limit right now as the team prefers to use him purely as a situational pass rusher. In that regard he’s been better since Week one even if he’s certainly not prolific. He currently owns six hurries on 52 pass rushes.
25. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Not quite worked his way into the lineup as an every down player but has more than held his own enough that you wouldn’t expect it too long before he does. Allowed just 7-of-13 balls into his coverage at 6.6 yards per catch.
26. Datone Jones, DE, Green Bay Packers
Analysis: The plan to set him loose in obvious passing situations has yielded the one sack and absolutely nothing else in his 49 snaps on defense. File this guy as one for the future.
27. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Analysis: Making a mockery of his draft selection already, Hopkins has a healthy 243 yards and zero drops while making his way to seventh spot in our receiver rankings. An early contender for Rookie of the Year at this point.
28. Sylvester Williams, DT, Denver Broncos
Analysis: The fifth best defensive tackle on the Broncos roster at this point, delivering no pressure and minimal impact against the run. So far Williams is not having the impact the team was likely hoping for.
29. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: You read that right, just 31 snaps for Patterson who is being brought along slowly on offense, with bigger contributions expected on special teams. The good news is when he’s been in he’s turned seven targets into five receptions and 73 yards.
30. Alec Ogletree, LB, St Louis Rams
Analysis: Makes a whole lot of tackles but has had some issues when blockers aren’t kept off him. The four missed tackles aren’t ideal either but he’s made a decent enough start to life in the NFL.
31. Travis Frederick, C, Dallas Cowboys
Analysis: Coming off his best game as a pro with a fine run blocking display against the Rams. Will need to get better in pass protection though because two sacks, a hit and three hurries is too much for a center to have allowed at this stage.
32. Matt Elam, S, Baltimore Ravens
Analysis: The struggles of Michael Huff saw Elam promoted into the starting lineup quicker than most expected. He’s been outshone by the excellence of James Ihedigbo but has performed in a solid manner so far.
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