It was an offensive onslaught in Week 6 for the NFL rookies. This past week had five skill position players surpass 100 yards from scrimmage, and the rookie cornerback class is starting to earn its stripes as the league nears the midway point. However, it’s time to look back and reflect on what was for this year’s rookie class. Here are the Week 6 Rookie Rankings.
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Despite the loss on Sunday, Burrow still had a respectable performance. The rookie threw for 313 yards and completed 25 of his 39 passes. However, he did throw an interception on the game’s final drive that put the game on ice. Burrow hopes to get his second win of the season this coming weekend against the Cleveland Browns.
Jeff Gladney, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Gladney had a strong performance on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. While his coverage skills still need improvement, Gladney was making tackles all over the field, racking up eight on the day, and forcing a fumble. The former TCU Horned Frog played 95 percent of the Vikings defensive snaps on Sunday and hopes to continue to improve after the bye week against the Green Bay Packers.
15. James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 6 Stats: 12 Carries, 29 Rushing Yards, Four Receptions, 24 Receiving Yards, One Touchdown
Robinson has found himself on this list nearly every single week. This week he is near the bottom mostly due to a loaded top-half, but also because the undrafted free agent only totaled 53 yards from scrimmage last weekend. Robinson averaged less than three yards per carry, but he did catch all four passes thrown his way and picked up his first career receiving touchdown. Despite the “down” week from the impressive rookie, he doesn’t appear to be Jacksonville’s problem right now. He hopes to prove that this coming weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Projected Stat Line vs. Los Angeles Chargers: 15 Carries, 55 Rushing Yards, One Touchdown
14. Jeff Okudah, CB, Detroit Lions
Week 6 Stats: Eight Tackles
Cornerback is one of the most challenging positions to transition to in the NFL, and the rookies showed up this week. First on the list is Okudah. The former Ohio State Buckeye racked up eight tackles in the Lions win against the Jaguars, seven of which were solo tackles. The rookie played on 97 percent of the defensive snaps and allowed seven completions of the nine passes thrown his way. While that number isn’t staggering, keep in mind that this position is incredibly tough to play. Okudah can continue to improve in that area this weekend against the Falcons.
Projected Stat Line vs. Atlanta Falcons: Nine Tackles, One Interception
13. Jeremy Chinn, LB/S, Carolina Panthers
Week 6 Stats: Five Tackles, One Interception, Two Passes Defended
Chinn wasn’t as ludicrous in the tackle numbers this week, but he made up for it in pass coverage. The rookie knocked down two passes and grabbed his first career interception in the Panthers’ loss to the Chicago Bears. Chinn took advantage of an ill-advised throw from Nick Foles to go up and grab his first interception in the third quarter. Chinn has gotten better every week this season, so don’t be surprised to see his name on the list for nearly every week this season, starting next week against the New Orleans Saints.
Projected Stat Line vs. New Orleans Saints: 10 Tackles, Two Passes Defended
12. Michael Ojemudia, CB, Denver Broncos
Week 6 Stats: Seven Tackles, Two Forced Fumbles, One Pass Defended
Ojemudia has had to step up into the starting role this season due to an injury-battered Broncos secondary. However, the rookie has been impressive in the past couple of weeks. The former Iowa Hawkeye racked up seven tackles in the Broncos win on Sunday and forced two fumbles. One of which the Broncos recovered in the third quarter. Ojemudia played 100 percent of the Broncos defensive snaps and didn’t look half bad in coverage either. The rookie can only get better from here. Ojemudia looks to try and slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs offense in Week 7.
Projected Stat Line vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Six Tackles, One Pass Defended
11. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Chicago Bears
Week 6 Stats: Three Tackles, Two Passes Defended
Johnson has been one of the more consistent rookie cornerbacks this season. The former Utah Ute has allowed just a 46.7 completion percentage of passes thrown his way this season and broke up two more passes this weekend. This brings his total to nine on the season, and we aren’t even halfway through yet. Johnson also racked up three tackles and played 100 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps last week. Johnson looks to keep up the consistency this coming weekend against the Los Angeles Rams.
Projected Stat Line vs. Los Angeles Rams: Five Tackles, One Pass Defended
10. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Week 6 Stats: Seven Receptions, 64 Receiving Yards
Lamb has been a big part of the Cowboys offense so far this season. The former Oklahoma Sooner has totaled 497 receiving yards this season on 36 targets and added 64 yards last weekend in the Cowboys’ loss. Quarterback Andy Dalton targeted the rookie 10 times in the game, which put Lamb tied for second. While the rookie did have a fumble in this one, he recovered it, and the Cowboys had him on the field for 67 percent of the snaps. Lamb will want to show off the big-play potential this weekend and hopefully bring some life back into the Cowboys offense against the Washington Football Team.
Projected Stat Line vs. Washington Football Team: Eight Receptions, 80 Receiving Yards
9. Cameron Dantzler, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Week 6 Stats: 11 Tackles, Two Tackles for Loss
Dantzler put up a lot of tackles this past weekend in the Vikings loss to the Falcons. Part of this is the fact that the Vikings defense saw the field for nearly the entire first half of the game and because Dantzler was able to make some serious plays behind the line of scrimmage. In coverage, the Falcons picked on him a lot, targeting him 15 times throughout the game. Dantzler allowed 11 of those to be completed, which is why he is a little lower on this list. Dantzler has the bye week to hopefully improve more in coverage before he takes on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 8.
Projected Stat Line vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 8): Seven Tackles, One Pass Defended
8. A.J. Terrell, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Week 6 Stats: Seven Tackles, One Interception, One Tackle for Loss
Terrell had quite the performance in his second game back from being placed on the COVID/Reserve list. The rookie put up seven tackles, a tackle for loss, and grabbed his first career interception. Terrell made a great stop early in the game where he was patient in coverage and broke on the receiver once he had the ball in his hands to make the stop behind the line. Like all the corners on this list, the former Clemson Tiger can still improve some in coverage, and Terrell will hope to do just that in this weekend’s game against the Lions.
Projected Stat Line vs. Detroit Lions: Six Tackles, Two Passes Defended
7. C.J. Henderson, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 6 Stats: Six Tackles
Henderson took the league by storm in his first two weeks. However, since then, the rookie had been quiet. But in the Jaguars loss to the Lions, Henderson had himself a bit of a redemption game. The former Florida Gator picked up six tackles and allowed a 60 percent completion percentage on passes thrown his way. Henderson was one of the stronger rookie corners in coverage this past weekend. He also played 95 percent of the Jaguars’ defensive snaps. Henderson hopes to continue to build upon his impressive rookie season in Week 7 against the Chargers.
Projected Stat Line vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Eight Tackles, One Interception
6. Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 6 Stats: Four Receptions, 74 Receiving Yards, Two Carries, One Touchdown
After a blockbuster performance in Week 5, Claypool followed it up with another excellent outing. The rookie wideout amassed 74 receiving yards on four passes, catching all passes thrown his way. Claypool led the Steelers in receiving yards in their dominant win over the Cleveland Browns and picked up chunk plays of 36 and 23 yards, respectively. He also found himself in the end zone again on a three-yard rush attempt in the third quarter. Claypool could be the new no. 1 receiver in Pittsburgh, and he hopes to continue to show that against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7.
Projected Stat Line vs. Tennessee Titans: Five Receptions, 85 Receiving Yards
5. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Week 6 Stats: 12 Carries, 60 Rushing Yards, Four Receptions, 55 Receiving Yards
The Colts finally decided to utilize Taylor more in the passing game, and he made the most of it last weekend in the Colts win over the Bengals. Taylor surpassed 100 scrimmage yards for the second time this season, totaling 115 yards. Taylor also saw his most efficient day on the ground averaging five yards per carry, a career-high for the former Wisconsin Badger. The rookie caught all four passes thrown his way and looked dangerous coming out of the backfield. Taylor will hopefully continue to get this kind of attention moving forward, starting in Week 8 against the Lions after the Colts bye week.
Projected Stat Line vs. Detroit Lions (Week 8): 15 Carries, 70 Rushing Yards, Five Receptions, 45 Receiving Yards
4. Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Week 6 Stats: Six Receptions, 125 Receiving Yards
Higgins has been on fire this past couple of weeks. The former Clemson Tiger hauled in six of the eight passes thrown his way and took them for a career-best 125 yards. A large majority of Higgins yards came on a beautiful 67-yard deep ball late in the first quarter. The rookie wound up second on the team in targets and receptions and played for 81 percent of the offensive snaps. Higgins continues to be a big part of this Bengals offense and will continue to be moving forward.
Projected Stat Line vs. Cleveland Browns: Seven Receptions, 80 Receiving Yards
3. D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
Week 6 Stats: 14 Carries, 116 Rushing Yards, Two Touchdowns
Swift finally had his breakout performance for the Lions this past weekend. It was only a matter of time before the former Georgia Bulldog managed to put together a phenomenal performance. He did just that, totaling 116 rushing yards last week. The rookie averaged just over eight yards per carry and punched into the end zone for two scores in the Lions victory. Keep in mind; Swift did all of this while seeing the field for just 38 percent of the offensive snaps. Swift could keep up this momentum headed into Week 7 against the Falcons.
Projected Stat Line vs. Atlanta Falcons: 18 Carries, 85 Rushing Yards
2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 6 Stats: 26 Carries, 161 Rushing Yards
After the Chiefs decided to sign all-pro running back Le’Veon Bell last week, Edwards-Helaire seems to have taken it personally. The rookie back went off last week, totaling 161 rushing yards on 26 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. While he wasn’t as involved in the passing game, he didn’t need to be. The Chiefs were able to run all over the Buffalo Bills all game, allowing Edwards-Helaire to have the kind of night he did. Next week, however, likely won’t see as many carriers for Edwards-Helaire. However, he will still make the most of them with his explosiveness.
Projected Stat Line vs. Denver Broncos: 12 Carries, 55 Rushing Yards, One Touchdown
1. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Week 6 Stats: Nine Receptions, 166 Receiving Yards, Two Touchdowns
Jefferson finds himself atop the rookie rankings this week once again. The rookie wideout also surpassed 100 receiving yards for the third time this season. Jefferson hauled in nine of the 11 passes thrown his way, taking them for 166 yards. The former LSU Tiger also hauled in two touchdown passes late in the fourth quarter to make the Vikings loss look a little bit closer than it was. Jefferson had more than double the number of targets than Adam Thielen in the loss. While he had a down week in Week 5, Jefferson bounced back in a huge way and will hope to carry that momentum through the bye week and into Week 8 against the Packers.
Projected Stat Line vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 8): Seven Receptions, 90 Receiving Yards
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