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First and foremost, I want to extend thoughts and prayers to Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin and his family following the scary scene that unfolded Monday night. Hamlin, a sixth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, was a rookie just last season and has been making the most of an expanded role in the 2022 season. 

With that being said, let's dive into this week's rookie rankings. Colts offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann has shown a lot of improvement as he has settled into the starting left tackle role. It was tough to leave him off the list. Packers wide receiver Christian Watson and Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks deserved to make the list as well. Watson has become a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers while Burks showed good in-game awareness to get the ball to the referee quickly after going down in-bounds late in the first half if their Week 17 game.

These rankings are not based on statistical performance but rather overall play. Without further ado, here are the cumulative regular-season rookie rankings following Week 17:

Week 18 Rookie Rankings
Sauce Gardner New York Jets CB
TruMedia credited Gardner with allowing three receptions for the first time since Oct. 23. And yet, he allowed just 17 yards. If stats are all that mattered, one could understand an argument for Aidan Hutchinson as Defensive Rookie of the Year, but Gardner has been special.
Garrett Wilson New York Jets WR
Fans are going to have to wait to see how good some of these young wide receivers can be with the right quarterback. Wilson's opportunities were the product of him showing range to make the catch or creating yards after the catch. Very little was created for him.
Drake London Atlanta Falcons WR
London's stats do not stack up well favorably to Chris Olave's, but I think he can be one of the better wide receivers in the NFL with improved quarterback play; that is coming from someone that was not as high on him during the pre-draft process.
Chris Olave New Orleans Saints WR
Olave is going to be a consistent producer for a decade. Ohio State wide receivers come into the league ready to make an impact because they are polished route runners, which is why Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be on this list next year after being taken lower than he should have because NFL teams overthought his capabilities as a prospect.
Aidan Hutchinson Detroit Lions DE
Hutchinson has stacked the stat sheet with 7.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and now three interceptions after making an unnecessary but graceful leap Sunday to pick off Justin Fields. His production would typically be enough for him to be in contention for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Dameon Pierce Houston Texans RB
When you reach this point in the list, the margin between each selection gets narrower. I can understand arguments for several players, including some that did not make the list, at this point and beyond. Pierce is a physical, high-volume runner.
Kenneth Walker III Seattle Seahawks RB
Walker is the most evasive of the rookie running backs. He does a good job of shrinking the strike zone in traffic, in addition to showing off a spin move, jump cut and a second gear, which he showed in Sunday's victory.
Tyler Linderbaum Baltimore Ravens C
Linderbaum's season has been a bit of a roller coaster, but at the end of the day Baltimore has a quality player that is going to be a staple on that offensive line for a long time.
Tyler Allgeier Atlanta Falcons RB
Allgeier has gotten a steeper carry share as the season has progressed and made the most of it. He is not as explosive as Kenneth Walker, but displays good vision and is difficult to bring down in open space.
Kayvon Thibodeaux New York Giants OLB
Thibodeaux is defined by his game-changing plays right now. He has recorded three sacks in the past four games.
Jaquan Brisker Chicago Bears SS
Brisker has become one of the more reliable players on that Chicago defense. Missed tackles were a problem early in the season but he has cleaned that up.
Tariq Woolen Seattle Seahawks CB
Woolen still has a league-leading six interceptions but teams have not strayed from targeting his side. He has gotten turned around in coverage more than seen early in the season.
Tyler Smith Dallas Cowboys OT
Smith has shown a natural talent level and versatility being able to move between left tackle and left guard in-game. As a result, his value is higher; similar to Penei Sewell of the Lions last year.
Braxton Jones Chicago Bears OT
Jones would probably not rate as highly if he were in another system, but the player can not be faulted for what we do not know. He has made the most of his situation.
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Outside of sacking himself on a bootleg, Pickett avoided the critical mistakes that have defined his other starts. He has done a great job attacking soft spots in a zone.