The Rookie Report: Week 1
Jack Herrick, NFL Analyst
Standout Offensive Performances of the Week:
Josh Jacobs- RB Oakland Raiders:
The first round running back looked phenomenal in his NFL debut. He racked up 113 total yards from scrimmage and scored 2 touchdowns, leading the Raiders to a statement victory over the Broncos. Jacobs 3.7 yards per carry is far from outstanding, but he was facing a stout Denver Defense. Expect him to get more targets in the passing game in a likely shootout against the Chiefs.
Marquise Brown- WR Baltimore Ravens:
“Hollywood” Brown lived up to his hype grabbing 4 catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the Raven’s 59-10 slaughtering of the Dolphins. He became the first player in NFL history with multiple scores from 40+ yards in their debut. Every time this man touches the ball, he is a threat to take it to the house. They won’t get to face Miami every week, but they do play the lowly cardinals, who are still without their star corner Patrick Peterson in week 2. Get ready for a repeat monster performance.
TJ Hockenson- TE Detroit Lions:
The highly touted tight end from Iowa put up an incredible performance in an overall bittersweet team performance. Hockenson had 131 yards on 6 catches and came down with what appeared to be a game sealing touchdown early in the 4th quarter. The lions found a gem of a pass catcher, who is getting early comparisons to Gronk. He is too big for a defensive back and too fast for a linebacker making him a match up nightmare regardless of the match up.
Devin Singletary- RB Buffalo Bills:
The speedy back made the most of his touches gaining 70 yards on only 4 carries and adding another 28 yards on 5 catches. Singletary is likely the back of the future with 36 year old Frank Gore struggling in his current starting position. Expect him to get more opportunities this Sunday against the sub-par Giant’s squad.
Terry Mclauren- WR Washington Redskins:
An often overlooked player from The Ohio State University had a dazzling performance with 5 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. This is going to be a player to keep an eye on as the season goes on. Mclauren was a college teammate of inevitable starter Dwayne Haskins, which will make for a fun future combination for both Washington and Buckeye fans.
Gardner Minshew- QB Jacksonville Jaguars:
The 6th rounder was expected to backup Nick Foles and maybe never see any meaningful action. When Foles broke his clavicle early on in this game, Minshew was sprung into action. He ended up with a very impressive 22-25 with 2 touchdowns and an interception in the loss to the high powered Chiefs. This was clearly the most surprising rookie performance in week 1. Foles will be out until week 11 at the earliest. Minshew will have plenty of time to prove his worth and maybe even become a dark house for offensive rookie of the year.
Kyler Murray- QB Arizona Cardinals:
The much anticipated debut for the top pick in the draft was fairly typical for a rookie quarterback. He was honestly awful in the first 3 quarters of the game. Murray relied a little too much on his elusiveness, resulting in a few avoidable sacks. As many people predicted, his height was definitely an issue struggling to get the ball over the line on many occasions. Most of his incompletions were overthrows, potentially due to several batted balls early in the game. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Murray made big time throws to comeback and tie the game. After throwing it 54 times he was able to rack up over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception. Arizona plays a tough Baltimore defense in week 2, so expect some of Murray’s struggles to continue. Overall, this kid is special, but he has a long way to go before he proves his doubters wrong.
Other Offensive Rookies to Watch:
Keesean Johnson- WR Arizona Cardinals: 5 catches, 46 yards, 10 targets
DK Metcalf- WR Seattle Seahawks: 4 catches, 89 yards
AJ Brown- WR Tennessee Titans: 3 catches, 100 yards
Standout Defensive Performances of the Week:
Nick Bosa- DE San Francisco 49ers:
The second overall pick recorded 3 total tackles, including his first career sack. He wasn’t completely dominant, but he made a significant impact on the game. Nick, like his brother Joey is going to be a force for years to come. The only thing that could slow him down is injuries.
Rock Ya-sin- CB Indianapolis Colts:
The owner of one of the coolest names in the NFL had a tough week. This could be because he was matched up against Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen, who had 8 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown. Ya-sin will likely see substantial playing time this year, which will in theory lead to significant improvement. He played nearly 70 percent of the defensive snaps in week 1.
Brian Burns- DE Carolina Panthers:
The first round defensive end was a bright spot in a defense that struggled to create much pressure on Jared Goff. He only recorded 2 tackles, but consistently beat his opposition in pass rush situations. Look out for this kid in the weeks to come.
Jaun Thornhill- S Kansas City Chiefs:
The ball-hawking safety showed off his tackling ability this weekend, recording 8 total tackles. He did very well in rush defensive with most of his tackles coming on rushing plays. He had a solid game in coverage. Thornhill is going to need to continue playing well if the chiefs want to improve from last years extremely poor defensive effort.
Taylor Rapp- S Los Angeles Rams:
The hard hitting safety out of Washington was heavily involved in this game. He totaled 8 tackles, often playing linebacker when the Chargers were in their nickel package. This is an especially impressive stat line considering he was in for less than 50 percent of the defensive snaps. This flexibility in position will be a great asset while facing top tight ends including Travis Kelce twice a year.
Clelin Ferrell- DE Oakland Raiders:
The big man out of Clemson had a nice debut on Monday. He recorded 3 total tackles including a sack. This dude is an absolute beast. Much like Bosa, look for him to be a defensive force in both the rush and pass defense moving forward.