Top 10 Rookie of the Year candidates entering Week 16

Ronald Darby remains at No. 1 on our list of top Rookie of the Year candidates through 15 weeks.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

(AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

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.


Dropping Out

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.

  • 24AHAD

    And Marcus Peters will win it all. Pff needs to show how many times a receiver had made a spectacular catch to peters spectacular coverage. Can’t wait for a player not even on this list to win it tho haha. Pointless analytics.

  • 24AHAD

    Darby won’t even win droy let alone roy. Pff needs to figure out how to show when Peters has had excellent coverage but a player had made a spectacular catch. Peters has played against no. 1 receivers all season when Darby hasn’t all season. Lol stupid pff.

    • prophetik

      so, in other words, you think that allowing a catch is ok if it’s a player you watch on a week to week basis? how do you know that darby hasn’t had the same types of coverages?

      • 24AHAD

        I don’t know tha,t I just see how highly Darby is graded above peters and know he isn’t a better cb. If you want to argue Darby is better I understand there is a debate. I do know Darby hasn’t played against the #1 receivers all season like Peters has though.

        • prophetik

          so you don’t watch him, but you ‘know’ he isn’t a better cb? at least you’re not a homer or anything.

          • 24AHAD

            Can you speak without idiotic sarcasm? Cause it continues to fail you. Once again, the point of my comment was to say pff is imperfect. Which is obvious because all stats don’t tell the whole story. Peters has been truly beat and burnt very few times this year many players have made great catches on him though. I believe Peters to be a top 5 corner in the nfl, pff just put an article out calling him the best cover corner in the nfl the 2nd half of the league. It’s easy to say someone isn’t as good wit out watching you know the one your comparing him too is obviously one of the best. Didn’t I explain that well enough? It’s called logic, deductive reasoning. Like saying a Ferrari is faster than a BMW without seeing them race.

          • 24AHAD

            Darby can not cover in zone, he has already hit his ceiling as a very good player but doesn’t have peters potential. He doesn’t have the ball skills or savy of Peters. He is what he is because of his athleticism and will be a good press corner for a long time as long as he’s in the right system.

  • Confused

    The fact that PFF doesn’t even include the KC corner as “one to watch” makes this list a bit dubious. Every other football publication, prognosticator, talking head, and informational outlet has the Peters as their front runner, deservedly so; yet, PFF won’t even list his name.

    To me, this is a site that often wants to believe in their own metrics more than their eyes. They also like to be controversial – the more popular opinion leans one way, they’ll lean the other… so long as they have some obscure and inconsequential metric that can support their subjective analysis.

    There is just no way he’s not top 10 or worthy of being on the “watch list.” At that point your just being stubborn and trying to be the smartest guy in the room when the answer is common knowledge.

    • interceptions are super cool

      didn’t peters have the most touchdowns and yards allowed of all cbs recently? and aren’t most of his picks from the carcasses of terrible quarterbacks?

      • 24AHAD

        Do some research man, better yet read the article pff just put out today calling Peters the best cover corner in the nfl since week 8. He was a rookie corner who sat out his entire senior college year and started against #1 receivers from the beginning. He got picked on at the beginning of the year. Gave up 5 tds in first 4 Games

  • Ford Williams

    I’m not sure David Johnson would fit into this system. I don’t know if a guy playing basically half a season would show up numerically. The impact this young running back has had on the Cardinals’ offense is amazing.