Top 10 NFL rookies entering Week 7
Two quarterbacks continue to dominate our rankings, and maybe more impressively, two teams continue to feed rookies into our top-10 list. The Cowboys’ and Chargers’ draft classes already look like slam dunks, with multiple players representing each franchise this week.
1. Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
Carson Wentz and the Eagles have now dropped two straight games, but it’s difficult to lay much blame at Wentz’ feet for either. In those losses, he still only threw one interception and completed 65.5 percent of his passes.The biggest change has been the pressure Wentz has faced, as he was sacked eight times over that span. Through the first three games, the Philadelphia offensive line recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 86.7 (fourth-best); that’s dropped to 70.3 over the last two contests (fourth-worst over the two-game span).
2. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
Dak Prescott finally threw an interception, but that was about the only mistake the quarterback made against the Packers. The most impressive thing about Prescott is easily his poise for a rookie. He’s only converting 14.3 percent of his pressures into sacks, the eighth-best ratio for any QB, and his adjusted completion percentage under pressure is 68.0, the fifth-best mark. I thought the “replacing Tony Romo” conversation was a joke only a few weeks back, but it’s becoming more and more real with each passing game.
3. Jack Conklin, RT, Titans
Through six games, I think we can officially say that Jack Conklin isn’t only the best rookie right tackle, but he’s also in the conversation for top right tackle in the NFL. He continues to shine in pass protection after not allowing a single pressure against the Browns. On the year now, he’ yet to surrender a single sack or hit.
4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott has been absolutely on fire of late, and the Cowboys’ rookie class could not be more impactful. Over the last four weeks, Elliott leads all NFL running backs in yards (569), yards after contact (302), and overall grade. And he did his 157 yards of damage last week against the league’s (former) No. 1-ranked run defense.
5. Rashard Robinson, CB, 49ers
When surrendering 24 receiving yards is a “bad” game, you know you’ve set the bar high. Against the Bills, Rashard Robinson yielded two-of-three targets in 44 snaps before leaving with an apparent head injury. Hopefully his absence won’t be too long, as he’s easily the top rookie corner in the NFL at the moment.
6. Joey Bosa, DE/OLB, Chargers
He’s played just 82 snaps this season, but Joey Bosa is climbing the charts in a big way already. 14 quarterback pressures in only two games will do that, though, as the the former Buckeye already leads all rookie defensive linemen in that category. The third-overall pick has been completely as advertised through two games, and San Diego fans are left to wonder what the team’s record would be if Bosa had been on the field starting Week 1.
7. Cody Whitehair, C, Bears
Whitehair continues to have some issues with penalties, and gave up his second sack of the season on Sunday, but he’s already run-blocking like a seasoned veteran at center. Sandwiched between two Pro-Bowlers, there’s no discernible dip in play across the Bears’ interior O-line. At times, Whitehair can even look like the best of the bunch.
8. Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers
The Chargers join the Cowboys with multiple entries on this list, and have even had Jatavis Brown make the top 10 in weeks past. In his first pro season, Hunter Henry has done what Ladarius Green never could in San Diego: replace Antonio Gates. The Arkansas product hasn’t dropped a single one of his 19 catchable targets from Philip Rivers, and is averaging the fifth-best yards-per-route-run mark of any tight end (2.36).
9. Keanu Neal, S, Falcons
Two strong games have vaulted Keanu Neal into PFF’s list of the top 10 highest-graded safeties this season; so goes the Falcon into our top-10 rookie list. Neal missed the first two weeks of the season, but has been a revelation on the back end ever since. He’s yet to miss a tackle and has three stops in coverage.
10. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
Another newcomer to the list, Michael Thomas now has three straight games with a touchdown reception. He has 203 yards over that span, and four broken tackles on 16 catches. Thomas has averaged 1.66 yards per route so far this season, the 31st-best rate in the NFL.