Week 9 NFL Rookie Rankings

Week 9 NFL Rookie Rankings

by November 11, 2020 0 comments

Week 9 of the NFL season has come and passed, delivering another three handfuls of rookie performances that impressed. This week was a top-heavy offensive group with a new quarterback name. However, several defensive rookies are either making their debut on the list this week or establishing themselves as legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year contenders. Here are the Week 9 NFL rookie rankings.

Honorable Mentions

Adam Trautman, TE, New Orleans Saints – Trautman saw a career-high in targets this past weekend and caught all three of them for 39 yards. The Dayton product averaged 13 yards per reception, hauling in his first career touchdown catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend. Trautman saw just as many targets as veteran teammate Jared Cook, hinting that Trautman could continue to be used more in the Saints offense moving forward.

Justin Madubuike, DL, Baltimore Ravens – Madubuike finds himself on this list for the first time this season after a solid five-tackle performance last week against the Indianapolis Colts. The former Texas A&M Aggie saw the field for 35 percent of the Ravens defensive snaps and has a tremendous defensive line room to grow and develop within. Madubuike could be a great run-stuffer moving forward for the Ravens defensive line, including this weekend against the New England Patriots.

15. Denzel Mims, WR, New York Jets

Week 9 Stats: Four Receptions, 62 Receiving Yards

Mims missed the early weeks this season due to injury, but he has made his contributions in recent weeks. On Monday night against the Patriots, Mims hauled in four of the eight passes thrown his way for 62 yards and three first downs. While these numbers aren’t insane, the Jets want to get him involved in the offense as he saw the field for 96 percent of the offensive snaps. Mims also flashed his ability to gain yards post catch, averaging 6.8 yards after the catch. Mims’ development through the next seven weeks will be something to keep an eye on.

Projected Stat Line vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Week 11): Five Receptions, 70 Receiving Yards

14. C.J. Henderson, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 9 Stats: Four Tackles, One Pass Defended

Henderson has been a vital part of the Jaguars defense this season, and he continued to be so, seeing the field for 100 percent of Jacksonville’s defensive snaps last weekend. The former Gator tallied four tackles and grabbed his fifth pass defense of the season. However, Henderson isn’t higher on this list because he was beaten on a 77-yard touchdown reception by Will Fuller and was flagged for 50-yard pass interference. Henderson is a solid tackler but will need to continue to develop in pass coverage and build consistency, which will come with time.

Projected Stat Line vs. Green Bay Packers: Five Tackles

13. Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 9 Stats: Eight Receptions, 69 Yards

Claypool has been a big part of the Steelers offense for most of the season, and last week was no exception. The Notre Dame product saw a career-high in targets and receptions with 13 and eight, respectively. Claypool took those eight catches for 69 yards, an 8.63-yard average, and had 41 yards after the catch. Pittsburgh wants Claypool to be the main target for Ben Roethlisberger moving forward as he saw the field for 81 percent of the snaps last week. Claypool could go off when you’re least expecting him, and the Steelers are taking on the 22nd ranked passing defense of the Cincinnati Bengals this week.

Projected Stat Line vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Seven Receptions, 85 Receiving Yards, One Touchdown

12. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Chicago Bears

Week 9 Stats: Two Tackles, Two Passes Defended

Johnson has been a great surprise for the Bears this season. The second-round draft pick was shoved into a starting role and has not disappointed. Last week the former Utah Ute broke up both passes thrown his way, bringing his total to 12 on the season. Johnson has established himself as one of the starting outside corners and played 100 percent of the Bears defensive snaps for the fifth-straight week. Johnson could be an under-the-radar Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

Projected Stat Line vs. Minnesota Vikings: Four Tackles, Two Passes Defended

11. Antoine Winfield Jr, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 9 Stats: Seven Tackles

Winfield had been a big part of what was a solid defense down in Tampa Bay. Despite the blowout loss last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, Winfield still managed to put up a seven tackle performance and played for 97 percent of the defensive snaps. While he might be somewhat inconsistent in coverage, there is no doubt how physically gifted and dependable of a tackler Winfield is. The former Golden Gopher now has 51 tackles on the season. He and the Bucs defense are looking for redemption this weekend against the Carolina Panthers.

Projected Stat Line vs. Carolina Panthers: Eight Tackles, One Tackle-for-Loss

10. K.J. Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos

Week 9 Stats: Six Receptions, 75 Receiving Yards

Hamler has been in the shadow of fellow rookie Jerry Jeudy this season. However, respect is due where respect is due, and Hamler deserves recognition after last week’s performance. The former Nittany Lion hauled in six of the 10 passes thrown his way, averaging 12.5 yards per reception. Hamler saw the field for 75 percent of the Broncos offensive snaps and caught four first-down passes. The second-round pick could continue to see his usage grow in the coming weeks if he continues to be as efficient as he was this past weekend.

Projected Stat Line vs. Las Vegas Raiders: Five Receptions, 65 Receiving Yards

9. Derrick Brown, DL, Carolina Panthers

Week 9 Stats: Five Tackles, One QB Hit

Brown has, by far, been one of the best rookie interior defensive lineman this season. Brown has been a solid run defender and was able to get decent pressure this past weekend. The first-round pick totaled five tackles, three of which were solo, and was a bother for the Kansas City Chiefs run game all day. Brown now has 23 total tackles on the season, but the one thing that is lacking is capitalizing in the pass rush. He has yet to tally a single sack this season, but his efforts in the run game outweigh this and make him a top defensive rookie so far this season.

Projected Stat Line vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Four Tackles, Two Tackles-for-Loss

8. Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills

Week 9 Stats: Four Receptions, 70 Receiving Yards, One Touchdown

Davis had another excellent performance last weekend, earning his top-10 placement on this list. The Central Florida product caught four of the five passes thrown his way, his third touchdown of the season, and did all this while just seeing 47 percent of the Bills offensive snaps. Davis caught all four of his passes for a first down, and he outpaced veteran teammate Cole Beasley. Out-targeting Beasley is an interesting point. It appears that Davis may be starting to garner more attention from offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

Projected Stat Line vs. Arizona Cardinals: Five Receptions, 75 Receiving Yards

7. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Week 9 Stats: Four Receptions, 71 Receiving Yards, One Touchdown

The first Cowboy on this list is their first-round pick out of Oklahoma, who put up another solid performance last weekend. Lamb caught four of the seven passes thrown his way last week for 71 total yards and hauled in his third career touchdown catch. The rookie wideout saw the field for 53 percent of the Cowboys offensive snaps, tied with two other pass catchers for most targets, and led in receiving yards. Lamb was a big-time deep threat this past weekend as 81 percent of his yards came before the catch, including a 20-yard touchdown. The Cowboys have a bye this week, but Lamb could be someone to watch in Week 11 against the Vikings.

Projected Stat Line vs. Minnesota Vikings (Week 11): Six Receptions, 85 Yards, One Touchdown

6. Trevon Diggs, CB, Dallas Cowboys

Week 9 Stats: Seven Tackles

Diggs put up another tackling clinic this past weekend against the Steelers. The Alabama product racked up seven total tackles but left the game early due to a foot injury. This resulted in him seeing just 77 percent of the defensive snaps. Diggs had a phenomenal Week 8 performance featuring four passes defended and two interceptions. Still, an injury could prevent the Cowboys’ top corner from playing in Week 11 against the Vikings. If he is eligible, Diggs could be in for another big game against a struggling Kirk Cousins.

Projected Stat Line vs. Minnesota Vikings (Week 11): Six Tackles, One Interception

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins

Week 9 Stats: 20-28, 248 Passing Yards, Two Touchdowns

After a career debut that saw Tua asked to do very little, he came out in his second appearance and dazzled his way to his second career win. Tua completed 71 percent of his passes for 248 yards and tossed two touchdown passes to push his team to the victory against the Arizona Cardinals. The Alabama product has yet to throw an interception this season. Still, he has not been afraid to push the ball down the field, averaging 8.2 intended air yards last week. Tua also threw for 12 first downs and secured three of them with his legs, including a huge 17-yard scramble that set up a key touchdown. Tua will look to build off this impressive performance a the Dolphins take on the Chargers.

Projected Stat Line vs. Los Angeles Chargers: 25-32, 260 Passing Yards, Three Touchdowns

4. James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 9 Stats: 25 Carries, 99 Rushing Yards, One Touchdown

Robinson nearly had his third 100-yard rushing game this past weekend but fell just a yard short. The Southern Illinois product averaged 3.9 yards per carry and picked up his fifth rushing touchdown of the season. Robinson ran for a season-high seven first downs and gained nearly two-thirds of his yards after contact in the Jaguars loss to the Houston Texans. Despite the loss, Robinson has been a big part of the Jaguars offense and will be an Offensive Rookie of the Year contender as we come to the end of the season.

Projected Stat Line vs. Green Bay Packers: 20 Carries, 110 Rushing Yards

3. D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions

Week 9 Stats: 13 Carries, 64 Rushing Yards, Three Receptions, 33 Receiving Yards

Swift has been hit or miss this season in production, but it has been great when he has hit. The former Georgia Bulldog totaled 97 yards from scrimmage, with 64 coming on the ground and 33 through the air. Swift averaged 4.92 yards per carry and hauled in three of the five passes thrown his way in the Lions loss last week. The second-round pick did all of this while seeing the field for just 40 percent of Detroit’s offensive snaps, but he could see that number go up in the coming weeks. It appears the Lions would be smart to utilize Swift more moving forward.

Projected Stat Line vs. Washington Football Team: 10 Carries, 55 Rushing Yards, Four Receptions, 40 Receiving Yards

2. Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

Week 9 Stats: 28-42, 326 Passing Yards, Two Touchdowns

Herbert, along with fellow rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, has emerged as a likely favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and last week’s performance certainly will help. The rookie quarterback completed 66 percent of his passes for over 300 yards for the fourth time this season. Herbert completed two touchdown passes, including a fourth-quarter score that made it just a two-point game with the Las Vegas Raiders. However, after the Raiders had an eight-minute field-goal drive, Herbert and the Chargers could not put up any points. Herbert has been a big part of why the Chargers have been in contention nearly every game.

Projected Stat Line vs. Miami Dolphins: 30-45, 300 Passing Yards, Three Touchdowns

1. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos

Week 9 Stats: Seven Receptions, 125 Receiving Yards, One Touchdown

Jeudy has stepped into a significant role for the Broncos this season with Courtland Sutton done for the year. The Alabama product showed why the Broncos took him with the first overall pick hauling in seven passes for 125 receiving yards, including a 20-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. Jeudy led the Broncos in receptions, receiving yards and targets with 14 in the Broncos loss on Sunday. He flashed his deep threat potential and an ability to go up and make contested catches. Jeudy will be a force to reckon with on the Broncos offense for defenses in the coming weeks.

Projected Stat Line vs. Las Vegas Raiders: Eight Receptions, 90 Receiving Yards

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