Top 10 Rookie of the Year candidates entering Week 16
‘Tis the season to be jolly, no doubt. But ’tis also the season for rookies to make their case to be the top of the class. Ronald Darby has led our race for many weeks, but could he extend the lead heading into Week 16?
1. Ronald Darby, CB, Bills (87.1)
No change here. Darby had one of his weaker efforts against Washington, lessening the gap between he and the rest of the field. He still remains on top for the year, though.
2. Leonard Williams, DE, Jets (86.4)
Could he be ready to make a play for the win? Williams has been a steady second most of the way, but as Darby has faltered, an opportunity has presented itself. The Jet will need to play better than he did against Dallas to take advantage of Darby’s slide, though.
3. Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers (75.0)
Another good show by Winston. He’s looked every bit the right selection for the Bucs, and has finished the season particularly strong.
4. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams (81.6)
After a big week comes the slumber. Gurley struggled to get much going against the Bucs, but still forced five missed tackles, bringing him to 38 on the year.
5. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders (77.0)
The good Cooper showed up in Week 15. Okay, he still dropped two passes, but the 120 yards and two touchdowns outweighed that.
6. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars (83.0)
Injury has seen him lose ground to Todd Gurley as the two battle for a number of accolades this year.
7. Adrian Amos, S, Bears (80.2)
There’s not a lot to write about Amos. He plays a position where the most noticeable plays you make are often someone else’s highlight reel, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
8. Mitch Morse, C, Chiefs (79.3)
Morse drops down after scoring his lowest run blocking grade of the year in Week 15. Still, he has made the biggest impact of any rookie offensive lineman this season.
9. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks (81.0)
A debut entry in our top 10 for Lockett. He has been tearing it up recently, proving not just a fantastic returner, but added weapon on offense. He may go down as one of the best picks of the 2015 draft.
10. Byron Jones, DB, Cowboys (80.1)
The versatile Jones has lined up all over the field for the Cowboys. That’s a skill in and of itself, but doing so while playing well? Looks like another slam dunk for the Cowboys.
Damarious Randall, CB, Packers: It’s a long season in the NFL, and Randall hasn’t built on his strong start.
Mario Edwards, DE, Raiders: Edwards had a great year, but injured reserve has run his race.
Five to watch
Arik Armstead, DE, 49ers: Armstead simply hasn’t notched enough playing time to break the top 10.
Rob Havenstein, RT, Rams: Havenstein has looked the most assured of all the Rams’ linemen.
Grady Jarrett, DT, Falcons: Jarrett’s extended playing time to close the season out promises a sign of things to come.
Quandre Diggs, CB, Lions: Has been excellent since his playing time increased around Week 8.
Denzel Perryman, LB, Chargers: Perryman is probably too one-dimensional to crack the top 10 list, but his work in the run game has been fantastic.