Top 10 NFL rookies entering Week 7

Carson Wentz maintains his lead in PFF's race for Rookie of the Year, though Joey Bosa is quickly ascending.

| 8 months ago
(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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.

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Have no complaints about Cody but the rest of the Bears are giving fans white hair.

  • Norm Elia Tovine

    Jatavis Brown should be on this list this week with the impact he made late vs the broncos – sack followed next play forced fumble on D. Thomas

  • Jon

    Jatavis Brown made the list in weeks past, but doesn’t get a nod after his best week in the NFL?

  • Thor

    It boggles the mind that Wentz would be #1 after the last two games. He hasn’t looked terrible, but he certainly hasn’t looked transcendent either. The reasoning is given that the circumstances have been bad? Pfft. Weak. If anything, Conklin should be #1 on this list, and I’m a Dallas fan. Dak has had a solid team effort around him, and been solid himself, but not other-worldly. Same with Wentz. But for a rookie to play like Conklin? Ridiculous. #1 in the real world.

    • eYeDEF

      Conklin’s a stud but if you’re a Dallas fan then you shouldn’t be acting like you’ve never seen it before when Tyron Smith was every bit as dominant as a rookie right tackle starting for the Cowboys in 2011. Conklin could turn out having a better rookie year than Smith if he avoids the pitfall of having a poor game like Smith did against Jason Babin that year. But after six weeks it’s far too early to say. The rookie wall predicts Conklin will give up some sacks as attrition from the extended duration of the pro season starts to affect his fatigue levels late in games.

    • RTP210

      It boggles my mind that you post comments on PFF but don’t know how they grade.

  • Jeff

    Not sure how these rankings are determined, but Brown,cb, Cowboys, is very good as well. Also, wentz goes 11-22 with 0 tds in a bad loss and is still ranked ahead of Prescott who throws 3 scores in a road win while playing without Dez. That is hard to see.

    • RTP210

      It’s almost like PFF doesn’t grade based on boxscores. Strange.

    • eYeDEF

      Click the link at the very bottom of the page that reads “HOW WE GRADE”. You can find it between SUBSCRIBE and ABOUT.

  • John

    Safe to say Coach Meyer had one of the most talent laden college football teams in history the past few years ….

  • DezKobe

    Dak and Zeke are leading the boyz to a 5-1 record without Dez Bryant and lots of defensive players. No way in hell should Wentz be higher than either Dak or Zeke. Plus Zeke is in the running for both rookie of the year, rushing title, and league MVP. How is Wentz higher? Makes no sense too me.

  • spewing_venom619

    Hunter Henry is stepped up big for SD. He should be number 2 on this list.

  • John Campbell

    Where’s Jatavis Brown? Without Browns’ sack and forced fumble, the Chargers don’t beat the Broncos. On the list shown, Brown should at least be listed at the number 5 spot, before Reshard Robinson. Sorry Joey, that would slide you back to number 7, and Hunter Henry to number 9. Brown is just that good

  • Richard Vaux

    chargers should have three players on this list…..also prescoot is been better then wentz period…..most of the top ten players rated before the draft are not on the list… much for so called draft gurus

  • Andrew

    For those of you that think Dak and Zeke are better than Wentz, consider that you have the best offensive line in the league by far. You have 4 pro-bowlers on your offensive line – 4! With Lane Johnson gone, the Eagles have a mediocre line at best. If you’ve actually seen all of these players play, you would understand that these rankings are in fact accurate. It’s no coincidence that Wentz is ranked in the top 5 QBs along with Sam Bradford, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady. Sure, the Cowboys are 5-1, but that is not solely due to Dak and Zeke. There is far more talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Cowboys than the Eagles, period. If Dak was behind the helm in Philly, he would have struggled mightily without his best offensive linemen as well. I’m not saying these guys are bad or overrated by any means, but Wentz is the real deal and I would take him any day over Dak. Just some pompous cowboys fans that are excited they actually have a QB for once. We’ll see if Jerry Jones is delusional enough to put Romo in for Dak. That’ll make me laugh.

  • Matt

    Cleveland: 2nd in points allowed
    Chicago: 5th in points allowed
    Pittsburgh: 5th in passing yards allowed
    Face it, Wentz has played great against poor competition. The real test will be the second half of the season where he has to face Minnesota, Dallas x2, NYG x2, Atlanta, Seattle, Green Bay, Cincinnati and Washington again. If they go above 500 during that span I will take back everything I’ve said about the kid but if they end up going worse than 5-6, then hes exactly what I thought he would be.

  • liltrav88888

    Neal and Poole both ballin for the falcons

  • #issues

    3 of top 10 from Ohio State…enough said.