Getty's Mitchell Leff

It is encouraging to see some new faces pushing for a spot on the list as the season is drawing to a close. The hope of any team is that its young players will develop over the course of the year. Bears quarterback Justin Fields did some good things on Monday against the Vikings. Washington offensive tackle Sam Cosmi missed a lot of time due to injury so his return was met with excitement. Overall, he fared well against Philadelphia but had some difficult moments against Fletcher Cox. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton and Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell are a few of the others that appear to be trending up. 

We will be tracking rookie performers each week 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 16:

Week 16 Rookie Rankings
Creed Humphrey Kansas City Chiefs C
Many will consider Parsons to be the best rookie because he makes a bigger impact on the game but Humphrey has been more consistently great at his position. Each has a case to be No. 1 on the list dependent upon how you want to approach the conversation.
Micah Parsons Dallas Cowboys OLB
Parsons did not have many impact plays against the Giants but he did apply pressure on a play where Mike Glennon rushed a pass leading to a deflection and interception for Dallas' defense. New York steered clear of him all afternoon so his impact is not always measured in the stat sheet.
Rashawn Slater Los Angeles Chargers OT
Slater was out this week against the Chiefs but remains one of if not the best rookies that has been seen this season.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Cleveland Browns OLB
Owusu-Koramoah is all over the football field. His teammates feed off his energy and it is easy to see his impact as a communicator. He was involved on the second to last offensive play of Monday's loss to Las Vegas where he and Denzel Ward converged on Foster Moreau but allowed him to squeak through for important yardage.
Penei Sewell Detroit Lions OT
The Sewell experience has been a roller coaster. He struggled in the preseason at right tackle, performed admirably at left tackle with Taylor Decker out and has improved on a weekly basis since flipping back to the right side.
DeVonta Smith Philadelphia Eagles WR
Smith made an absurd catch along the sideline against Washington Tuesday. He has soft hands and is able to turn upfield quickly post-catch. None of the wide receivers have asserted themselves as the best like Justin Jefferson did a year ago, but the three staples have been fantastic. They have shown an ability to win at all three levels, although at varying rates.
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
Jones had two interceptions in the loss to the Colts -- one on a bad decision to Darius Leonard and the other a fantastic play by Bobby Okereke -- but he probably got away with a few others. Indianapolis was tight in coverage in this game and New England's pass-catchers created little separation.
Ja'Marr Chase Cincinnati Bengals WR
Chase had more targets (4) than receiving yards (3) in this one. There were some opportunities to get rolling early in the game but he and Joe Burrow just looked like they were on different pages all day.
Jaylen Waddle Miami Dolphins WR
Waddle was unavailable against the Jets but he still ranks No. 8 in receptions.
Kyle Pitts Atlanta Falcons TE
The Falcons have been creative in its usage of Pitts in the absence of Calvin Ridley. They ran some clear out routes and then ran Pitts across the formation to create a chance in space. He was targeted on a few routes down the boundary; one of which ended in a 49-yard reception. It is difficult for cornerbacks to counter his size.
Nate Hobbs Las Vegas Raiders CB
Hobbs was a late addition to the reserve/COVID-19 list and thus was unavailable Monday against the Browns.
Javonte Williams Denver Broncos RB
As long as Melvin Gordon is in Denver, Williams will be splitting carries with him. The rookie ranks eighth in rushing yards per carry but, more impressively, he is a regular contributor in pass protection and is tied for 13th in receptions among running backs.
Trey Smith Kansas City Chiefs OG
I only had one pressure credited to Smith late in their game against the Chargers. He was able to keep Los Angeles' interior defenders at bay while looking for work when disengaged.
Pat Freiermuth Pittsburgh Steelers TE
It was not Freiermuth's best game on the year and it ended in unfortunate fashion as he left early with a concussion. On a down-in, down-out basis, the Penn State product has been one of the most consistent performers.
Jevon Holland Miami Dolphins FS
Holland did not play against New York but he has been the best rookie safety in the NFL.

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