Top 10 Rookie of the Year candidates entering Week 13
We’re nearing the end of the season now, and it’s put up or shut up for the runners in our race for Rookie of the Year. Ronald Darby had built a seemingly insurmountable lead, but would the gap be cut with him posting his second-worst grade of the year?
1. Ronald Darby, CB, Bills (88.0)
With four negative grades in his last six outings, the shine of his earlier season form is starting to rub off. He was still so good then (and not bad enough now) that the race remains his to lose. Some improved performances in the next few games would lock it down.
2. Leonard Williams, DE, Jets (84.5)
Williams hasn’t taken advantage of Darby’s struggles as much as he could, with some uneven performances rushing the passer. The good news is that he is consistently delivering against the run.
3. Mitch Morse, C, Chiefs (80.4)
The former Missouri tackle looks like anything but a rookie center, and while his pass protection isn’t at the level of his work in the run game, that’s more of a testament to the impression he has made in that facet of his play.
4. Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers (68.4)
Winston has had some shockers, but his improved consistency and high ceiling is propelling him up this list.
5. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars (81.3)
You feel that if he had a bit more support around him, then he might put up some more eye-catching numbers. Has the look of an every-down back for the Jaguars—for now and the foreseeable future.
6. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams (80.2)
After the storm comes the quiet. Gurley has received some touches the past four weeks, but hasn’t averaged more than 3.8 yards per carry in a single game.
7. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders (77.1)
Cooper caused the Titans some problems, and while he did add to his drop total (11), he also added to his forced missed tackle number (14). An encouraging, if frustrating, season.
8. Adrian Amos, S, Bears (80)
Amos missed a couple of tackles against the Packers, but given his play outside of that, shoots back into contention.
9. Damarious Randall, CB, Packers (76.7)
Randall has had a rough couple of weeks, and is in danger of falling out of the top 10 without climbing that rookie wall.
10. Mario Edwards, DE, Raiders (77.5)
Four impressive games in a row for Edwards, who has come from nowhere to crack the top 10. The impressive thing? As he has played more, his performance hasn’t dropped.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins: Needs to make more plays to be in the top 10.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings: As well as he played early in the year, its not a big enough sample to keep him in the top 10 when he hasn’t done much recently.
Markus Golden, LB, Cardinals: Golden didn’t do much wrong in Week 12, but someone had to make way for Edwards.
Five to watch
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans: Not his best effort against Oakland; Mariota will need more to follow Winston up the leaderboard.
Thomas Rawls, HB, Seahawks: It won’t be long before the top 10 gives way to Rawls, considering how well he is running right now.
Arik Armstead, DE, 49ers: Only playing time is holding back Armstead, who is providing plenty of optimism for the future in San Fransisco.
Kevin Johnson, CB, Texans: His consistent play has him in contention.
Vic Beasley, DE, Falcons: Beasley had some good moments against T.J. Clemmings, but needs to do it against better opposition.