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2023 Ourlads All-Rookie Team

A compilation of the 18 Weekly All-Rookie Teams brings us an objective roster.

Dave Syvertsen - Senior Draft Analyst
01/12/2024 4:40PM ET

Since week 1, I have tracked every snap of every rookie in the NFL. I came up with an All-Rookie team every Wednesday and tracked who earned the top spot and who finished as "Honorable Mention".  And because many have simply forgotten what transpired over the first half of the season - I came up with an objective way to measure which rookies had the best complete seasons. No scoring system is perfect in a world of opinion and evaluation, but this is as close as I can get to take bias out of the picture.

 

Here is the 2023 Ourlads All Rookie Team 

 

QB: CJ Stroud / HOU (20)

2nd QB selected

The margin between Stroud and second place was larger than every other position. He was the QB rookie of the week eight times, no other quarterback reached four.  Stroud put this team on his back with late game heroics (three game-winning drives), elite throws to all levels, and elite ball protection. His one percent interception rate was number one in the NFL (all QBs) and his average depth of target (9.4 yards) also led the league. 

 

RB: Jahmyr Gibbs / DET (15)

2nd RB selected

Gibbs finished tied with Bijan Robinson in points and top running back finishes (6). He was one of the surprises of draft night to some, going 12th overall in an era where some want to label drafting a running back in the first round altogether is a sin. Gibbs went on to finish third in the NFL in rushes over 15 yards (15) on just 182 carries. He finished top ten in touchdowns, yards per carry, and catches.

 

WR: Puka Nacua / LAR (10) & Jordan Addison / MIN (10)

20th and 4th WR selected

Nacua not only finished as the top rookie receiver as a fifth rounder; he also broke a 63-year old record with 1,486 yards. His 68 first downs were fifth best in the NFL, as were his total yards from scrimmage. Addison was a factor right away in the Vikings offense that immediately needed a replacement for Adam Thielen to complement superstar Justin Jefferson. His pre-draft process was less than ideal, but he proved he can get the job done between the lines. He led all rookies with ten touchdowns.

 

TE: Sam LaPorta / DET (20)

2nd TE selected

The second biggest margin between first and second team was right here.  LaPorta. finished the year with ten touchdowns and no other tight end in the league had more than six. He was top five in both yards and catches as well and to remind you, I am talking all tight ends. All of this production in the passing game and LaPorta also led all rookie tight ends in blocking snaps, and he was penalized just once.

 

OT: Paris Johnson / ARI (15) & Dawand Jones / CLE (12)

1st and 10th OT selected

17 games, 17 starts for the first tackle taken. He was the league’s top rookie tackle a league-high seven times (nobody else reached five). The rookie leaders in snaps played (among tackles) was notably strong in the running game at the first and second level and cleaned up his penalties down the stretch, being flagged just once over his final five games after 11 in his first 12. Jones stepped in before many thought he would be ready when Jack Conklin went down for the year week one. He went on to win top-rookie at the position four times in ten weeks before suffering his own season ending injury.

 

OG/OC: O’Cyrus Torrence (10) / BUF & Steve Avila / LAR (9) & Joe Tippmann / NYJ (6)

4th, 1st, and 3rd OG/OC selected

Coincidentally the two guards led all rookies in snaps (1,163 and 1,147 respectively). They were both week one starters for playoff teams and they never missed a game. Torrence has dominant-caliber traits as a run blocker and Avila, who played all over the line in college, showed advanced mental capacity and reaction skills. Tippman did not start until week three and had some rocky moments, but he finished as the top interior blocker twice this year and was a key part to Breece Hall’s strong finish on an offensive line that was in shambles around him.

 

EDGE: Byron Young / LAR (12) & Will Anderson Jr. / HOU (9)

14th and 1st ED selected

It was a tight race and while Young’s highs weren’t as high as others, he was the most consistent pass rusher among rookies. He finished second in hits (13) behind Anderson, sacks (8) behind Diaby, and stops (31) behind Tulipulotu. 123 of his snaps were spent in coverage, no other rookie edge defender reached 75. He was simply asked to do more than others from the very start. Young finished first or second among ten times; the next highest was five. Anderson was the rookie leader in total pressures (59) and QB hits (14) despite missing two games to injury.  He was the top weekly edge defender four times.

 

DT: Jalen Carter / PHI (11) & Kobie Turner / LAR (8)

1st and 9th DT selected 

One of the surprise draft-weekend falls to the number one overall player on my board ended up with a team that has such a loaded defensive line that they could afford to keep him as a package defender. 407 of Carter’s 562 snaps were spent as a pass rusher and he delivered with a rookie defensive tackle-high 49 pressures, earning the number one spot eight times. Turner led all rookies with 11 sacks, playing over 100 snaps more than the next highest among rookie linemen, earning the top spot five times.

 

LB: Jack Campbell / DET (22) & Ivan Pace Jr. / MIN (18) 

1st LB selected and undrafted

It was a two-man show at the position all season. Campbell was the top rookie linebacker eight different times despite sharing a snap load over the first half of the season. Pace Jr. was the top Ourlads undrafted free agent and ended up leading all rookies with 70 tackles and 30 stops.  These two actually finished 1-2 in snaps, pressures, sacks, tackles and stops.

 

CB: Devon Witherspoon / SEA (12) & Tyrique Stevenson / CHI (6), Christian Izien / TB (6)

1st, 8th CB Selected and undrafted 

Witherspoon was far and away the most impactful rookie corner in the NFL a year after teammate Tariq Woolen made the 2022 Ourlads All-Rookie team. His presence was felt everywhere. He finished first in pressures, sacks, and stop. He also had a pick six and broke up ten passes. Stevenson got off to a rocky start but ended up leading all rookie corners in tackles and interceptions. Izien finished top five in pressures, tackles, stops, and interceptions for one of the most surprising teams in the league. 

 

S: Brian Branch / DET (14) & Jordan Battle / CIN (9)

1st S selected

The college teammates wind up together once again. Now, Branch could be considered more cornerback than safety because of the number of snaps he spent at nickel. If you keep him at safety, his production was head and shoulders above everyone else. He could make a strong case for Defensive Rookie of the Year, leading all defensive backs in stops while finishing second in pass break ups. Battle was the only defensive back besides Witherspoon with multiple sacks and finished second among safeties in tackles despite seeing most of his playing time in the second half of the year. His missed tackle percentage was the lowest among all safeties among those that played over 230 snaps.

 

SECOND TEAM

 

QB: Aidan O’Connell / LV (8)

RB: Bijan Robinson / ATL (15)

WR: Tank Dell / HOU (7), Zay Flowers / BAL (6)

TE: Dalton Kincaid / BUF (10)

OT: Darnell Wright / CHI (12), Broderick Jones / PIT (7)

OG/OC: Peter Skoronski / TEN (6), Matthew Bergeron / ATL (5), Anthony Bradford / SEA (5)

 

ED: Tuli Tuipulotu / LAC (9), YaYa Diaby / TB (4)

DT: Keeanu Benton / PIT (8), Gervon Dexter / CHI (7)

LB: Dorian Williams / BUF (3), Drew Sanders / DEN (3)

CB: Emmanuel Forbes / WAS (5), Deonte Banks / NYG (4), Joey Porter Jr. / PIT (4)

S: Jordan Howden / NO (9), Sydney Brown / PHI (6)