Rookie rankings are very fluid early in the season because a strong performance one week could give way to struggles the following week. Over the course of the year, the list will begin to settle organically. There was a big shake-up after Week 2.
We will be tracking rookie performers each week of the season and identifying those that stood out. Without further ado, the cumulative regular season rookie rankings as we head into Week 3:
Micah Parsons Dallas Cowboys LB
|Parsons was commonly identified as a linebacker with the ability to rush the passer during the draft process. An injury to Demarcus Lawrence tested that theory early and the rookie passed with flying colors. He pushed Rashawn Slater to his limits and had his way with Storm Norton . Parsons has done everything asked of him at a high level.|
Rondale Moore Arizona Cardinals WR
|Moore has emerged as one of Kyler Murray's favorite targets early in the season. He has created a lot of yardage for himself after the catch and put Matt Prater in a position to convert a 62-yard field goal before the half against the Vikings . In addition, he has been a difference-maker returning punts, averaging over eight yards per attempt.|
Patrick Surtain II Denver Broncos CB
|Surtain played a limited role in Week 1 because Denver is so loaded at cornerback. An injury to Ronald Darby allowed him to move to a more natural role playing the boundary. His knowledge of the position is advanced. His first career interception came as a result of squeezing the receiver along the sideline, walling him off and making the catch while getting his feet down inbounds.|
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
|Mac Jones is operating at a high level right now. He does not have the athletic ability of his rookie peers but he does have a comfort in the scheme and support cast around him. He threw a fade down the left side that could not have been placed any better.|
Ja'Marr Chase Cincinnati Bengals WR
|Joe Burrow actually underthrew Chase on his touchdown reception but the rookie adjusted nicely and made a big play when his team desperately needed it.|
DeVonta Smith Philadelphia Eagles WR
|Fans were critical of Smith's ranking last week but his production was primarily on a rub route and otherwise he excelled sitting in the soft spots of the zone. It may come as a surprise to see him ranked higher, but he showed why he deserved to be taken so highly even if the statistics did not reflect it. Smith cooked a defensive back down the field but Jalen Hurts waited too long and underthrew it, allowing the defenders to catch up. Smith was wide open on another play, but Hurts did not find him. He created more for himself and could have had a big statistical day. Through two weeks, we have seen a well-rounded player.|
Greg Newsome II Cleveland Browns CB
|Watching the game live, it looked as though Houston was picking on Newsome. The film was not as critical. He made some big plays, including a pass breakup down the right boundary.|
Odafe Oweh Baltimore Ravens LB
|Oweh made my initial list because of his pass rush potential. Fans were able to see that result in production against the Chiefs in Week 2. He was effective in applying pressure to Patrick Mahomes. Baltimore has found yet another athletic edge rusher.|
Penei Sewell Detroit Lions OT
|Sewell struggled a bit more on Monday Night Football even without Za'Darius Smith rushing from the opposition. He is clearly more comfortable on the left side of the line, but Detroit has to move him back when Taylor Decker returns.|
Asante Samuel Jr. Los Angeles Chargers CB
|Samuel was physical at the catch point and showed off his athletic ability breaking up some passes. He has been one of the more consistent rookies to this point.|
Rashawn Slater Los Angeles Chargers OT
|It was going to be difficult for Slater to match his Week 1 performance against Chase Young . There was some regression in Week 2. When people hear regression they often get upset, but the reality is that the rookie could not have played much better in the opener. There was no direction to go but down. He was more on skates this week.|
Josh Myers Green Bay Packers C
|There is a lot to Corey Linsley's game that Myers cannot yet replicate, but he came at a fraction of the cost. I think fans should be encouraged by the early play from Myers.|
Javonte Williams Denver Broncos RB
|Denver is still splitting duties with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams , but I think the latter will start siphoning away some of those reps. He is a balanced back that the Broncos can trust having in to block.|
Jaylen Waddle Miami Dolphins WR
|Waddle, and Miami's offense in general, was held in check a little more this week. I still believe he has a bright future but he lost some ground in the rookie receiver pecking order.|
Kyle Pitts Atlanta Falcons TE
|Pitts has a lot to learn from a blocking perspective, but he was picked for his hands. It was easy to see those strong hands and his ability after the catch. He made a really difficult back shoulder catch and maintained his balance.|
Washington linebacker Jamin Davis played an alright first game but took a step forward in Week 2. His ability in coverage was evident. If his ascension continues, he will make the list in short order. His teammate, offensive tackle Sam Cosmi, is on the heels of Slater and Sewell for top rookie tackle. Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn recorded his first career interception. Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs was feisty and is taking on a larger role each week. Colts wide receiver Mike Strachan was open often for Indianapolis but the quarterback could not find him.
*Note: Odafe Oweh was added after the initial publication. Oweh was supposed to be there but did not get moved over to the final list. He replaced Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo.
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