The list this week consists of some new names which add some excitement for the rookie class. There were a few other candidates worthy of being on here who were tough to leave off. For the group listed below, a few first-year cornerbacks had impactful games. A new quarterback also makes the list after a solid performance. Let’s take a look at the 10 best rookies heading into Week 16.
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10. Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots
Despite a tough loss for the Patriots, Jones had a stellar outing on the road against a quality opponent. He completed a ton of passes, 26 for 299 passing yards along with two touchdowns. Jones propelled New England to a late comeback giving his team a chance. His second touchdown pass was an incredible throw. Jones has had a fantastic first year for the Patriots.
9. Davis Mills, QB, Houston Texans
The Texans rookie signal-caller put together his second consecutive solid performance deserving a spot on the list for this week. This was the first win for Mills in the league. He completed 19 passes, had a completion percentage of over 63, threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Mills helped lead the Texans to a 30-point effort. The third-round selection has shown some good things for the Texans. Hopefully, Mills finishes the season strong.
8. Trey Smith, IOL, Kansas City Chiefs
Smith has had a tremendous first year for the Chiefs. He continued his excellence for his team in their crucial division victory on the road. Smith made his mauling blocks in the running game. One was on a crucial play that Kansas City scored a touchdown on. In the passing game, he made a ton of impactful blocks. He contributed to the Chiefs’ late-game push through the air in which big plays were made to victory.
7. Tyson Campbell, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Even though the Jaguars lost in disappointing fashion once again, Campbell played well in what was likely the best game of his first season. In coverage, Campbell made his impact felt in a big way. He had one interception and recorded two pass deflections. Campbell also recorded four total tackles. The rookie cornerback has all the physical tools to be a very good player in the league. It would be great if Campbell could continue to be effective on the football in coverage.
6. Nick Bolton, LB, Kansas City Chiefs
Bolton filled out the stat sheet tremendously for the Chiefs in their big win. He recorded a ridiculous 14 total tackles. In the air, he recorded three pass deflections. One of his pass deflections led to an interception. As usual, Bolton made awesome plays against the run. He was also a key part to stopping one of the many fourth downs the Chiefs defense won. Bolton has had a great rookie year.
5. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions
St. Brown continued to build on his strong play in recent weeks as the Lions picked up an impressive win. He was featured in a big way, seeing 11 targets come his way. St. Brown finished with a total of eight catches for 90 receiving yards. On the ground, he also picked up five yards. St. Brown was a talented prospect and has shown his ability throughout his first season. He gives the Lions a needed building block at wide receiver.
4. Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Chicago Bears
Graham made his first appearance in the NFL for the Bears on Monday. In his opening start, he had a fantastic game. He recorded three pass deflections and seven total tackles. As a result of this terrific start, the Bears made the easy decision to sign Graham to their active roster. Graham was a good prospect when going through the draft process. It is a surprise he had to wait this long to get his opportunity. He should build on this from here.
3. Brandin Echols, CB, New York Jets
Echols had a great game for the Jets in their tough road loss. In coverage, he filled out the stat sheet tremendously. He had three pass deflections and an interception which he returned for a touchdown. Echols made plays throughout the game as a cover corner. Throughout his rookie year, he has held his own well. For a rookie sixth-round pick, Echols has exceeded all expectations for the Jets.
2. Penei Sewell, OT, Detroit Lions
Sewell had another awesome week for the Lions in their big home win. In pass protection, he continues to shut out his opponent. This helped lead to one of the Lions’ cleaner operations they have had all year throwing the football. With all their injuries at running back, the Lions still had their feature runner have over 100 yards. Sewell has a lot to do with this dominant day as he continues to play like one of the best tackles in the league.
1. Creed Humphrey, IOL, Kansas City Chiefs
Humphrey has been special for the Chiefs throughout his rookie year. He made his usual key blocks for his team in their huge division victory on the road. Along with his teammate, Smith, Humphrey had crucial blocks on short-yardage runs. He has been great as a pass blocker all season as well. Humphrey made a nice play in space in the Chiefs last game. He has been arguably the best center in football this season.
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