Ethan Hewett | December 5th, 2019
The NFL Rookie Rankings are back this week and with the Thursday Night matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears approaching quickly, let us reflect on the standout rookie performances from this past weekend.
This was the week of the running back as five snuck into the top-10 this week. Who were the other offensive standouts? Who is continuing to make their case for Defensive Rookie of the Year? Find out in this week’s edition of the NFL Rookie Rankings. As always let’s start with a couple of honorable mentions.
A.J. Brown, WR – Brown wasn’t quite his “superman” self this past weekend but he still showed off the elite yards after the catch abilities against the Indianapolis Colts. Brown only had three receptions for 45 yards this past weekend and didn’t find the end zone. It’s safe to say Brown has been pretty hit or miss this season and has relied on big plays to stack up yardage, but he could be in store for a big game this week against the Oakland Raiders.
Deebo Samuel, WR – Samuel is another receiver that struggled to get touches last week with his biggest play coming on the San Francisco 49ers opening drive against the Baltimore Ravens on a 33-yard touchdown pass. The Ravens were able to shut him down, for the most part, the rest of the game. However, Samuel has found the end zone two weeks in a row. This week will pose another challenge for the 49ers and Samuel as they take on the New Orleans Saints.
15. Taylor Rapp, S, Los Angeles Rams
Week 13 Stats: 2 Tackles, 1 INT, 2 PD
Rapp picked up his first career interception this past weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. Not only that he was able to run it back for a pick-six to put the Rams up 34-0 in the third quarter. Rapp also snagged a pass earlier in the game but it was called back due to a defensive pass interference penalty on Nickell Robey-Coleman. While his tackle numbers weren’t quite where they’ve been most of the season, it is a testament to how good he has been that he still leads rookie defensive backs in tackles (72). Rapp will look to bounce back in that department this week against the Seattle Seahawks.
Projected Stat Line vs Seattle: 9 Total Tackles, 1 PD
14. Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Oakland Raiders
Week 13 Stats: 4 Total Tackles, 2 TFL
Crosby has emerged as one of the best EDGE defenders in this rookie class during the last few weeks. While the last two weeks haven’t been as jaw-dropping, it’s hard to follow up a four-sack performance, but yet Crosby has still been impressive. While he didn’t get to the quarterback in their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Crosby was still a threat in the backfield making a couple of big stops. Crosby ranks third among rookies in sacks, second in tackles for loss, and is tied for fifth in the NFL in tackles for loss (12). Look for Crosby and his fellow defensive linemen to feast this week against the Tennessee Titans who gave up six sacks last week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Projected Stat Line vs Tennessee: 5 Total Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 2 TFL
13. Darnell Savage, S, Green Bay Packers
Week 13 Stats: 4 Total Tackles, 1 INT
Savage put together a solid performance last week in the Packers stomping of the New York Giants 31-13. Savage saw the field for 100% of the team’s defensive snaps and he was able to pick up his second interception on the season along with his fourth pass defended. Savage has put up at least four tackles now for the past five games with his total on the year at 44 which is fifth amongst rookie defensive backs. Savage will look to continue to build upon his solid rookie campaign in this week’s matchup against the Washington Redskins which could turn into another blowout for the Packers.
Projected Stat Line vs Washington: 5 Total Tackles, 2 PD, 1 TFL
12. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Washington Redskins
Week 13 Stats: 3 Total Tackles, 1.5 Sacks
Sweat was putting up great numbers in the Redskins win over the Carolina Panthers when he exited the game with a quadriceps injury. Before exiting he was contributing in a big way racking up 1.5 sacks on quarterback Kyle Allen. Sweat’s combination of speed and length was too much for the Panthers’ tackles and was a huge mismatch for tight ends. Had Sweat not left early he could have had the best day of his young career. The rookie edge rusher is now listed as questionable for this Sunday’s matchup against the Green Bay Packers, but if he is active he could be in store for another big performance.
Projected Stat Line vs Green Bay: 5 Total Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 TFL (If Healthy)
11. Kelvin Harmon, WR, Washington Redskins
Week 13 Stats: 3 Receptions, 51 Yards
Harmon has seen a big increase in snaps recently due to Paul Richardson being sidelined with an injury and he has not disappointed. For the third week in a row, he topped 43 receiving yards and has emerged as a solid number two to fellow rookie Terry McLaurin. Harmon also led the team in both targets and receiving yards in last week’s win over the Panthers. Even if Richardson is healthy this week, there is a chance that Harmon and McLaurin will see the bulk of the team’s offensive snaps this week against the Green Bay Packers, so look for Harmon to have another solid day.
Projected Stat Line vs Green Bay: 4 Receptions, 50 Yards, 1 TD
10. Benny Snell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 13 Stats: 16 Carries, 63 Yards, 1 TD
Snell made the most of the snaps that he got last weekend in the Steelers revenge win over the Cleveland Browns. Snell was on the field for just 23 offensive snaps where he got the call on 16 of them averaging 3.94 yards a carry. While the average isn’t super great, he did find the endzone for the first time this season and has been a serviceable replacement for James Conner who is nursing a shoulder injury. Snell has 279 rushing yards on the season with 249 of those coming in just the past four weeks and with Conner still questionable right now, Snell could see another big workload this week against the Arizona Cardinals who have been so-so against the run this year.
Projected Stat Line vs Arizona: 17 Carries, 80 Yards, 1 TD
9. Kaden Smith, TE, New York Giants
Week 13 Stats: 6 Receptions, 70 Yards
Smith was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers but found his way to the Giants after being picked up off waivers back in September. Last weekend, he didn’t disappoint as Smith got the call with Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion) injured and managed to put together a solid performance. While most of his yardage came late on a 32-yard bomb, combining last week with his performance two weeks ago where he scored a touchdown, Smith is showing potential in this Giants offense and will look to continue to make his case, start or not, this week on Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Projected Stat Line vs Philadelphia: 5 Receptions, 55 Yards, 1 TD
8. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
Week 13 Stats: 16 Carries, 75 Yards, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards, 1 TD
Montgomery had a bit of a bounce-back performance last week after averaging 1.63 yards a carry two weeks ago against the New York Giants. Last week was a different story as Montgomery came out and averaged 4.69 yards and grabbed his first career receiving touchdown as well. It was the game-winning score against the Detroit Lions, and Montgomery has once again emerged as the bright spot for this Chicago offense. This week brings his total rushing yardage to 594 and his recent success should force opposing defenses to load up the box giving fellow Bears teammate Mitchell Trubisky more space in the passing game. Look for Montgomery to continue his success against a struggling Dallas defense.
Projected Stat Line vs Dallas: 19 Carries, 90 Yards, 1 TD, 2 Receptions, 20 Yards
7. Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders
Week 13 Stats: 17 Carries, 104 Yards
I’ve said it multiple times before, but I’ll say it again. Jacobs is the most consistent rookie in this year’s class. While the Chiefs shut him down for most of the second half, it could have been attributed to the fact that they were behind 31-0 in the middle of the third quarter and he only saw three carries the entire half. Jacobs still had a great first half performance putting up 95 yards in that time. Jacobs became the first 1,000-yard rusher since 2015 (Latavius Murray) for the Oakland Raiders in his fifth game where he put up 100-plus yards. Jacobs will go up against the Tennessee Titans this week who possess a decent run defense.
Projected Stat Line vs Tennessee: 20 Carries, 110 Yards, 1 TD
6. Josh Allen, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 13 Stats: 6 Total Tackles, 1 Sack
Allen put up a solid performance in the Jaguars loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend. Allen has now grabbed four sacks in the last five games and leads all rookies in sacks this season (9). Allen did leave the contest early after showing signs of a concussion but after further tests, he was not listed on the injury report as of Wednesday. While Allen has seen a decrease in snaps recently he continues to make the most of them and will look to continue that trend this week against the Los Angeles Chargers who are struggling in all phases of the game right now.
Projected Stat Line vs Los Angeles: 5 Total Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 TFL
5. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Week 13 Stats: 6 Receptions, 75 Yards
Metcalf has been a big part of the Seahawks offense all season and Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings was no different as he caught six of the seven passes thrown his way for a total of 75 yards. Metcalf didn’t have his usual 40-50 yard touchdown this past week but he nearly carried two Vikings defenders into the end zone in the middle of the first quarter on a slant route. While it’s easy to celebrate Metcalf’s involvement, he did have another fumble which brings him to three on the year. This week against the Los Angeles Rams should feature the bread and butter of the Seahawks offense: run the ball, and then throw it over their heads. Metcalf could just be that deep man again this week.
Projected Stat Line vs Los Angeles: 5 Receptions, 88 Yards, 1 TD
4. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills
Week 13 Stats: 14 Carries, 63 Yards, 3 Receptions, 38 Yards, 1 TD
Singletary topped 100 scrimmage yards for the third time this season last week in Buffalo’s Thanksgiving victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Averaging 4.5 yards a carry, Singletary has seemed to take over the feature role in the Bills backfield paired with Frank Gore. Singletary was able to find paydirt through air late in the second quarter on a trick play where he ran a simple wheel route and caught the pass from receiver John Brown for the score. Singletary is up to 553 rushing yards on the season paired with just two touchdowns on the ground. Look for Singletary to continue to put up great numbers this week against this Baltimore Ravens team who have struggled to slow down the run all year.
Projected Stat Line vs Baltimore: 18 Carries, 85 Yards, 1 TD, 3 Receptions, 30 Yards
3. Ed Oliver, DL, Buffalo Bills
Week 13 Stats: 4 Total Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 PD, 1 FF
Oliver is starting to figure it out. After getting a sack two weeks in a row, last weekend Oliver was able to get to the quarterback not once, but twice. Oliver showed off incredible power against the veteran interior lineman of the Dallas Cowboys and was able to knock the ball loose from quarterback Dak Prescott’s hand and cause a huge turnover early with his first sack. While the season started slow for the defensive rookie, the past few weeks have showcased what we all thought Oliver could be coming out of the draft. He and his fellow defensive lineman will be up for a challenge this week as they take on the high powered and fast Baltimore Ravens offense.
Projected Stat Line vs Baltimore: 5 Total Tackles, 1 Sack
2. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 13 Stats: 17 Carries, 83 Yards, 5 Receptions, 22 Yards, 1 TD
Sanders recorded another solid and impressive week against the 31st ranked rushing defense of the Miami Dolphins. Sanders has continued to impress in these trying times for Eagles fans averaging 4.6 yards a carry these past three weeks and 4.9 just this past weekend. Sanders also was effective through the air bringing in all five passes thrown his way and a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. With fellow running back Jordan Howard (shoulder) still listed as questionable, Sanders could continue to see the bulk of carries again this week against the New York Giants who have held opposing running backs to a respectable 3.9 yards a carry.
Projected Stat Line vs New York: 19 Carries, 85 Yards, 1 TD, 3 Receptions, 40 Yards
1. Devin White, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 13 Stats: 7 Total Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PD, 1 FR
White had quite the performance last week. While it was an incredible performance, it was also a lot of firsts for White as the interception, fumble recovery, and touchdown were all the first of his career. He was able to get his first touchdown on a fumble recovery late in the first quarter. White also racked up an extra pass defended and brought his tackle total on the season to 69 (44 solo). White has been a big part of a good run defense in the Tampa Bay, and the numbers are even better when you consider that he sat out for three games earlier this season. White will look to continue his solid rookie campaign this week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Projected Stat Line vs Indianapolis: 9 Total Tackles, 2 TFL, 2 PD
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images