Top 10 Rookie of the Year candidates entering Week 9

Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs sits at No. 8 on our list after a big Week 8 performance against the Bears.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Top 10 Rookie of the Year candidates entering Week 9

After seven excellent weeks, Ronald Darby earned himself some rest and relaxation on the Bills’ bye week. holding onto the top spot in our race for Rookie of the Year. There was certainly a lot of movement throughout the remaining nine spots in our race, however, after an eventful Week 8 for rookies.

Let’s see how the race is stacking up entering Week 9.

1. Ronald Darby, CB, Buffalo Bills (90.6)

No change here. Darby returns to action in Week 9 with a chance to build on his excellent first half of the year.

2. Henry Anderson, DE, Indianapolis Colts (85.0)

Anderson jumps one spot with another strong effort in the run game; that’s where he really delivers on a consistent basis.

3. Leonard Williams, DE, New York Jets (84.1)

After making some big plays in Weeks 3 through 5, he’s had a couple of quieter efforts that cause him drop a spot on this list.

4. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (81.7)

No drop for Yeldon on his bye. He has done an excellent job in all phases, proving himself as an every-down back.

5. Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams (81.6)

Gurley jumps four spots this week, as he put concerns of playing time to bed. He’s a true home-run hitter.

6. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders (79.4)

Cooper slides forward a spot, despite one of his weaker efforts of the year in Week 8. He really missed a chance to threaten the top five, as other Raiders receivers cashed in.

7. Damarious Randall, CB, Green Bay Packers (79.6)

Randall had some rough moments on Sunday Night Football, but despite some yardage allowed, he still walked out with a pick against Peyton Manning and his head held high.

8. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings (87.4)

Diggs is only this low because of how much he’s played, but the Viking has been excellent since cracking Minnesota’s lineup. He’s simply on fire right now.

9. Adrian Amos, S, Chicago Bears (78.5)

Amos drops after earning his lowest grade of the year, featuring his first multi-missed tackle effort.

10. Mitch Morse, C, Kansas City Chiefs (76.9)

His pass protection prevents him from threatening to move up on this list.


Dropping out

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: He wasn’t terrible against Atlanta, but missed a number of big throws that should have prevented any chance of a Falcons’ revival.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins: Crowder falls out on his bye week, but with a strong performance this week, has every chance of getting back in there.


Five to watch

Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: Mariota should return to action this week, and with a good performance, he could be in line for a return to the top 10.

Rob Havenstein, RT, St. Louis Rams: Havenstein is the most consistent of all the offensive tackles from the 2015 class.

Markus Golden, OLB, Arizona Cardinals: Golden has impressed, and if he can hold onto the bigger role he has carved out for himself, the Cardinal looks like a lock to break into the top 10.

Marcus Peters, CB, Kansas City Chiefs: Peters was better against the Lions, but still got beat for a touchdown, making that seven on the year.

La’el Collins, G, Dallas Cowboys: Now that the starting job is his, he’s starting to look the part.

  • Dr__P

    If you list Amos at safety, then one should strongly consider Byron Jones at safety.

    The “knock” of Jones is that he has played only five games at safety and another 2 games at CB.

    • Tim Edell

      What does Amos being listed as a safety have anything to do with Byron Jones. Amos has strictly played safety all year for us!

      • Dr__P

        Perhaps I was not clear enough:

        If you list Amos [AT # 9 AS ONE OF THE ROTY CANDIDATES] at safety, then one should strongly consider Byron Jones [FOR ROTY GIVEN THE STANDARD PREMIUM STATS FOR EACH] at safety.

        Jones is more of a FS and Amos seems to be a SS.

        • pat

          Jones played a little FS in place of J.J Wilcox last game anyway

          • Dr__P

            yes lots of players play multiple positions as the schemes change, but PFF tracks them by the primary position by game.

            Only when the primary position is different in a second game does it matter. As the ranking is based on the sum of each game’s scores, having fewer games scores puts a player at a disadvantage compared to another individual who has played at one position for all games.

  • Kevin LanG

    How is Willie Snead not on this list?

    • Brian Gosnell

      Snead is not a rookie.

      • Kevin LanG
        • Adam LeClair

          2014 undrafted picked up by the Browns. has some updating to do

          • Kevin LanG

            He never played an NFL regular season snap until this year, thus he is a rookie.

          • Frank

            Played in the preseason and practice squad in 2014. Not a rookie

          • Kevin LanG

            You can play in 30 pre season games and be on a PS for years, until you play a snap in a REGULAR SEASON game you are considered a rookie.

          • Adam LeClair

            By you. By everyone else he’s a 2nd year player.

          • Scott Kohler

            Yeah, Willie Snead is technically a 2nd year player because of his training camp stint with the Browns.

          • bobrulz

            That is not how it works, sorry.

          • Forrest

            No… it only matters that you make the roster. Not that you play any snaps. That’s why Kelce wasn’t in any rookie of the year convos last year despite missing every snap of his rookie season due to injury.

            By your logic a backup QB could be a rookie in his 10th season if he’s never played a snap.

        • cory g

          NFL doesn’t work like that. The NBA does though. Although if you play in a preseason game then miss the season you lose your rookie label even in the NBA.

  • Josh Stewart

    Yeldon over Gurley….lol.

    • redtigernine

      right now yes. bigger sample size end of the season no. Todd only played like 4 games he will be ROY at the end of the season if he keeps up his play

    • Kenchun24

      It’s silly for sure. And I brought this up months ago on another thread when they kept touting Yeldon’s PFF ratings. Yeldon is so blah that I forget he’s in the league or even played for Bama last year. The ultimate vanilla RB that is good due to loads of touches, but his DVOA is weaksauce save for one game (the Bills game).

      Offensive rookie of the year (not PFF’s but who will win the actual award) is still gonna be between Cooper & Gurley – whoever keeps pace in the 2nd half should win. But both players are awesome – no PFF ratings needed, eye test only.

      • bobrulz

        I love this excuse lol.

        PFF is LITERALLY an eye test website. That’s what they do. Their grades are based off of watching the actual film of the plays.

        • crosseyedlemon

          It would be rather silly to grade something you haven’t seen but even with visual documentation of events there is still an interpretive aspect involved. It’s the ability to see beyond the obvious that separates the average scout from the good scout and the good coaches from the great coaches.

    • Brandon

      You have to also consider that the rams are ranked 28th in runblocking where Jacksonville is ranked 11th.

      • Josh Stewart

        Yeah, which makes Gurley even more impressive.

  • Brandon

    Match ups should play a factor here. Peters has had a tougher outing then Darby. Darby’s top two receivers he’s played against Odell Beckham and AJ green. Peters has covered Deandre Hopkins,Demaryuis Thomas, Randall Cobb, AJ Green, Antonio Brown,Calvin Johnson. These are way tougher match ups.if these players where in each others shoes their stats would be flipped.

  • Poppi

    i guess you never heard of Jordan Hicks

  • crosseyedlemon

    No offensive lineman or TE has ever been named ROTY so no need to list them. On the defensive side there is a bias towards linemen and linebackers. Darby would be the first secondary player to win since 1998 when Charles Woodson accomplished the feat.


    Tavon Austin had more rushing yards than Gurley going into the 4th quarter vs Vikings! Gurley ran into a brick wall vs Joseph!