Ethan Hewett | September 18th, 2019
Let’s be honest, week one probably set our expectations for some of these offensive rookies extremely high. Putting it into perspective, we haven’t seen four rookie pass catchers in their debut going over 100 yards ever before in NFL history. Week two was a reality check for most and reminded us how difficult it is to maintain success in the NFL. While the numbers weren’t as wild this week, there were still several solid rookie performances to highlight and new players who shined starting with a couple of honorable mentions.
Metcalf has continued to put together solid performances through the first couple weeks of the season. He has put up good numbers, however he has been rather one dimensional so far. I would like to see him become more versatile and a bigger part of this Seahawks offense. If he can do that, Metcalf will become a serious threat for opposing defenses.
Some might question why I took Bush out of the top 15 here. While he did still rack up seven total tackles against the Seattle Seahawks in week two, there were a lot of defensive stars this past week who outperformed Bush. While he is out this week, he has racked up 18 total tackles through two weeks so look for him to sneak his way back into the countdown very soon.
15. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills
Week Two Stats: 6 Carries, 57 Yards, 1 TD
While some will argue that Singletary could have been on here last week, week two finally convinced me. Singletary has served as the lightning to Frank Gore‘s thunder early this season. He continued to put up great numbers and averaged 9.5 yards per carry in week two against the New York Giants, including a 15-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Singletary is listed as questionable as of September 17th on whether or not he will play in week three against the Cincinnati Bengals, but if he does, I would expect him to get similar touches and put up similar numbers against a struggling Bengals defense.
Projected Stat Line vs. Cincinnati: 7 Carries, 65 Yards
14. Darnell Savage, S, Green Bay Packers
Week Two Stats: 6 Solo Tackles, 1 PD, 1 FF
Savage was once again a great threat on a very impressive Packers defense. While outside linebacker Preston Smith got the interception in the book, he can thank Savage for the tipped pass and allowing for the play to even occur. Savage was all over the field again this week against the Minnesota Vikings. Pairing him with Adrian Amos, along with cornerbacks Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, and Tramon Williams, this could be one of the best and youngest secondaries in 2019. Week three brings the Broncos back to town, and a struggling Joe Flacco will once again have to go up against a very good defense.
Projected Stat Line vs Denver: 5 Solo Tackles, 1 INT
13. Byron Murphy, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Week Two Stats: 7 Total Tackles, 2 PD
Murphy and Savage have been the two most impressive rookie defensive backs so far this season for me. Murphy was able to once again be all over the field against a very good Baltimore Ravens offense helping to keep the game close until finally losing 23-17. While his run defense wasn’t superb, he made up for it in his pass coverage as according to Pro Football Focus, he graded out at 81 in pass coverage only allowing 1 of 5 passes thrown his way to be completed for 11 yards. Week three will be against the Carolina Panthers, whose offense might not have their starting quarterback this week in Cam Newton due to a foot issue.
Projected Stat Line vs Carolina: 8 Total Tackles, 1 INT
12. Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Week Two Stats: 4 Receptions, 61 Yards, 1 TD
Hardman didn’t see the field a lot in week one, but with the Tyreek Hill injury, Hardman should become a much larger part of this Chiefs offense if week two is any testament as to how Andy Reid intends to use the speedy rookie. Hardman had an impressive game against the Oakland Raiders including a 45-yard bomb from Patrick Mahomes for the touchdown during their electric second quarter. Hardman also had an impressive second 40-plus yard touchdown called back due to a holding penalty.
Week three will be a true test for Hardman and this Chiefs offense as they will be taking on the Baltimore Ravens. We’ll see how Coach Reid and the Chiefs do against one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Projected Stat Line vs. Baltimore: 5 Receptions, 70 Yards, 1 TD
11. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
Week Two Stats: 18 Carries, 62 Yards, 1 TD
Montgomery was another rookie who didn’t see the field a lot in week one, but after finally getting the reps he deserves, we saw a glimpse of what he is capable of in week two. While most of his rushes only gained between 0-5 yards, we saw him also break away for a couple of rushes of at least 10 yards and he also notched his first NFL rushing touchdown. Unfortunately, this Bears offense hasn’t quite found its rhythm yet, and week three won’t be an easy win either for them as they will be taking on the Washington Redskins on the road. Montgomery should get the majority of the touches again this week, and look for this offense to hopefully kick into full gear.
Projected Stat Line vs. Washington: 16 Carries, 80 Yards, 1 TD
10. Quincy Williams, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week Two Stats: 9 Total Tackles
Williams has stepped into a big role with the loss of Telvin Smith this offseason and has impressed through the first couple of weeks. The Jaguars defense in week two was especially impressive as Williams led the team in tackles and allowed their offense a chance to win the game after holding the Texans to only 13 points. Williams will look to continue his tackling clinic this Thursday against the Tennessee Titans who currently have one of the hardest running backs to bring down in Derrick Henry. Look for Williams to use his explosiveness and speed to be all over the field in week three.
Projected Stat Line vs Tennessee: 8 Total Tackles, 1 TFL
9. Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week Two Stats: 23/33, 213 Yards, 1 TD
Minshew had another solid week two performance that was highlighted by an incredible fourth quarter, leading two scoring drives with less than 12 minutes left in the game. Play-calling lost the Jaguars this game. After making it a 12-13 game on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Minshew, the Jags decided to go for two, which ultimately cost them the game as Leonard Fournette was unable to get in on the conversion attempt.
While the team is 0-2, Minshew has flashed his abilities to be a decent NFL quarterback. He also has managed to put up an incredible 77.6 completion rating. Week three brings the Tennessee Titans to town who just allowed Jacoby Brissett to put up three touchdowns, so watch for Minshew to have another productive day and hopefully grab his first NFL victory.
Projected Stat Line vs Tennessee: 25/40, 275 Yards, 2 TD
8. Charles Omenihu, EDGE, Houston Texans
Week Two Stats: 2 Total Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 FF
Omenihu had a strong performance in week two against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Omenihu not only racked up his first career sack, but he was also able to force a fumble along the way to helping this Houston defense hold Jacksonville to only 12 points. Week three takes the Texans out to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers who have a lot of question marks around their offensive line right now. So if Omenihu, J.J. Watt, and early standout Whitney Mercilus can create pressure, this could be a much more comfortable win this week for Houston.
Projected Stat Line vs Los Angeles Chargers: 3 Total Tackles, 2 TFL, 1 Sack
7. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins
Week Two Stats: 5 Receptions, 62 Yards, 1 TD
McLaurin has continued to be a big part of this Redskins offense. Week two was another reality check for fans as McLaurin was held to 62 yards, after a breakout performance in week one. He almost would have had another 100-yard day if quarterback Case Keenum could have put a little more behind a deep ball in the first quarter that was broken up by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones. This week the Redskins will be taking on the Chicago Bears who once again have one of the best defenses in the NFL, so this could be an interesting week for McLaurin and this Redskins offense.
Projected Stat Line vs Chicago: 6 Receptions, 75 Yards
6.Brian Burns, EDGE, Carolina Panthers
Week Two Stats: 3 Total Tackles, 1 Sack
Burns became the fifth rookie defensive lineman to grab his first career sack in week two of the NFL season joining Nick Bosa, Chase Winovich, Clelin Ferrell, Omenihu and Isaiah Mack. The Panthers defensive line performed well in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, partly thanks to Burns who played 43 of the teams 65 defensive snaps due to Bruce Irvin dealing with a hamstring injury. Week three takes the Panthers to Arizona taking on the Cardinals in a matchup where the Panthers will need to get pressure on playmaker Kyler Murray whose offensive line has allowed 8 total sacks this season.
Projected Stat Line vs Arizona: 4 Total Tackles, 1 Sack
5. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Week Two Stats: 25/40, 349 Yards
While Murray didn’t find the endzone in week two against the Baltimore Ravens, Murray still was able to keep it clean for the most part against a very good Ravens defense. Murray was also second behind Patrick Mahomes in passing yards in week two. While there have been a handful of ugly passes, Murray has also continuously shown us why he was the number one overall pick after being the second rookie quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in his first two games joining Cam Newton.
The only area this Cardinals offense has struggled is in the red zone, and the team could easily be 2-0 at this point. Hopefully, the play-calling and Murray can improve near the goal line this week against the Carolina Panthers. I expect another big day from Murray and maybe even a victory.
Projected Stat Line vs Carolina: 27/42, 300 Yards, 2 TD
4. Chase Winovich, EDGE, New England Patriots
Week Two Stats: 2 Total Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 1 TFL
Winovich was a surprise this week for most as he is still buried on that New England depth chart, but he was able to make the most of his snaps this week and was able to record his first NFL sack. Of course, this type of production probably won’t come about every week for Winovich, it was nice to see a really good performance out of the rookie defensive end.
Week three brings the New York Jets to town who will be relying on their third-string quarterback Luke Falk to lead an injured Jets roster into Foxborough. Look for Winovich to get more snaps again this week as this game may be another blowout.
Projected Stat Line vs New York Jets: 3 Total Tackles, 2 TFL
3. Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders
Week Two Stats: 12 Carries, 99 Yards
Jacobs has managed to find his way up my rankings this week after another impressive performance in week two. He has shown over the first couple of weeks that he is going to be a physical runner between the tackles. Along with his contact balance, and ability to turn on the jets in open space. While he did leave the game late with an apparent groin injury, Raiders fans are hopeful that he will be back for their week three matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. If he is active, the Raiders might be conservative with how many touches he gets, but I expect him to still be the workhorse in week three.
Projected Stat Line vs. Minnesota: 15 Carries, 105 Yards, 1 TD
2. Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Week Two Stats: 8 Receptions, 86 Yards
While Brown didn’t have quite as flashy of numbers in week two as he did in his debut, he was still a key part to this Ravens offense. Brown was used in a lot more ways in week two that resulted in less yardage for him but showed that he is a very good route runner, who also poses the threat of taking the top off the defense as we saw again last week against the Arizona Cardinals. Week three presents them with the Kansas City Chiefs, whose defense has been stout at times, but also has allowed big plays. Look for the Ravens to try and continue to use Brown all over the field this Sunday.
Projected Stat Line vs. Kansas City: 7 Receptions, 95 Yards, 1 TD
1. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Week Two Stats: 5 Receptions, 87 Yards, 1 TD
Samuel had a quiet debut with only three catches for 17 yards in week one, but week two was different and he turned into a yards-after-the-catch machine against the Cincinnati Bengals. With the help of an innovative offensive mind in Kyle Shanahan, Samuel should be able to put on another dominant performance against a struggling defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers who have given up 61 points over the first two weeks. Even with the addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick in the Steelers secondary, Samuel will still be a name to watch in week three.
Projected Stat Line vs. Pittsburgh: 8 Receptions, 90 Yards, 1 TD
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images