It was a really difficult week to narrow the Rookie Power Rankings down to 15 players. There are so many rookies playing at a high level that the teens fluctuate each week. In most seasons, the pool of prospects shrinks and shrinks as the season progresses, but this season has had a different dynamic.
Several players have missed time and only recently came back to their teams. For example: Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was one of the highest ranked players on this list before he was placed on injured reserve. He returned to the field Sunday against the Patriots but only played 19 snaps. Broncos edge rusher Jonathon Cooper is receiving an extended look following the Von Miller trade and he is making the most of it. The suddenness to his game jumps off the screen.
Jets running back Michael Carter and Steelers running back Najee Harris were more than deserving of this list. New names also meant leaving off some weekly mainstays such as Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore and Chiefs offensive guard Trey Smith.
We will be tracking rookie performers each week of the season and identifying those who stood out. These rankings are not based on statistical performance but rather overall play. Without further ado, the cumulative regular season rookie rankings as we head into Week 11:
Creed Humphrey Kansas City Chiefs C
|Humphrey's awareness of what is going on around him is fantastic. His ability to cut off gap shooters while also stonewalling Johnathan Hankins on an island is impressive.|
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
|Jones was phenomenal against Cleveland. His ability to layer throws and make quick reads has been fun to watch so early in his career. The Alabama product was throwing with great touch (19 for 23) and putting the ball where the Browns defense simply could not make a play as he tossed three TDs with no interceptions.|
Rashawn Slater Los Angeles Chargers OT
|Slater had one spin move roll off of him and gave up the corner too soon on another, but he continues to play the position on an island at a high level.|
Ja'Marr Chase Cincinnati Bengals WR
|The Bengals and Chase were on a bye this week so the opportunity to get back atop the list will have to wait.|
DeVonta Smith Philadelphia Eagles WR
|The narrative that Smith is too small to play in the NFL took a big hit against the Broncos. He was a ball winner for Jalen Hurts in a few ways. First, he climbed the ladder over two defenders to snare a touchdown pass that Hurts probably should not have thrown. Second, Patrick Surtain II had an interception dead to rights and Hurts went over the top to deflect it. Smith continues to shine.|
Kyle Pitts Atlanta Falcons TE
|Atlanta was losing 43-3 heading into the fourth quarter against Dallas. I think there were a few more opportunities for Kyle Pitts than Matt Ryan took, but he was relatively held in check all day.|
Nate Hobbs Las Vegas Raiders CB
|One play in this game could have been an example of Kansas City's luck changing. Hobbs stripped Tyreek Hill and the ball hit the ground and bounced back into Hill's arms in stride.|
Greg Newsome II Cleveland Browns CB
|Newsome plays a lot of zone coverage, but he is not any less capable in man coverage. It is fun to see his handle of the defense as he is calling out plays while they are happening.|
Micah Parsons Dallas Cowboys OLB
|Parsons should just be an edge rusher at this point. He was a mismatch against Kaleb McGary all day as the Cowboys trounced Atlanta 43-3.|
Pat Freiermuth Pittsburgh Steelers TE
|Lions-Steelers was a pretty tough game to watch back. Freiermuth fumbled one late that potentially cost the Steelers a chance at a game-winning field goal.|
Kwity Paye Indianapolis Colts DE
|Over the past two weeks, the light switch has turned on for Paye. He is playing at a high level right now. He recorded his first sack of the season but was responsible for multiple other pressures.|
Jaylen Waddle Miami Dolphins WR
|Waddle is so sudden in his breaks and he really presses defensive backs at the route stem to create leverage. His route-running can be more concise but his effectiveness is evident on a weekly basis.|
Elijah Mitchell San Francisco 49ers RB
|Mitchell is just a smooth runner who has fallen into a great system. Monday Night Football was rather one-sided and that allowed San Francisco to give bulk carries to the rookie against a stout Los Angeles front.|
Javonte Williams Denver Broncos RB
|The inevitable is happening as Williams is slowly taking control of that offense. He is not as fluid of a runner as Mitchell but he makes up for that in other areas of his game. He is a well-rounded option capable of catching passes, running inside or bouncing outside and staying in for pass protection.|
Rashod Bateman Baltimore Ravens WR
|Bateman is quickly assimilating that offense and carving out a role for himself. He is just a calm player with range that will be where the quarterback expects him.|
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