Brock Purdy / SF (Round 7)
Starter Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a foot injury early, opening the door for Purdy’s first extended action of his career. Mr. Irrelevant, the final pick of the draft, came in and looked like a seasoned-pro. Purdy passed for 210 yards on 25/37 with 2 touchdowns and an interception as SF took out MIA by 16 points. This will be Purdy’s team from here on out and he showed he can keep it together despite being blitzed a ton.
Honorable Mention: Kenny Pickett (PIT)
James Cook / BUF (Round 2)
Cook saw a season-high 32 snaps in the team’s Thursday night win over NE. He led the team with 14 carries and 64 yards and added another 41 yards on 6 catches. The 105 total yards led all rookies at the position. Cook’s smooth but explosive movement led to 38 yards after the catch and gave the high-flying BUF passing game yet another component opposing defenses will need to account for underneath.
Honorable Mention: Isaiah Pacheco (KC)
Garrett Wilson / NYJ (Round 1)
Wilson has been pacing this group from the start of the season and he now has the most yards in a game of all the pass catchers from the 2022 class. Wilson had 162 yards on 8 catches (20 per) with 65 of those yards coming after the catch. The movement traits he shows as a route runner and with the ball in his hands look a lot like a receiver that was on the opposite sideline, MIN’s Justin Jefferson.
Honorable Mention: Rashid Shaheed (NO)
Greg Dulcich / DEN (Round 3)
The DEN passing game is searching for answers left and right. One of the answers resides in the middle with Dulcich. He caught 6 passes for 85 yards. His 55 yards after the catch and 4 first downs were vital to DEN almost pulling off the upset in BAL. They only threw for 189 yards, meaning it was Dulcich then everyone else.
Honorable Mention: Chigoziem Okonkwo (TEN)
Tyler Smith / DAL (Round 1)
Smith has now made multiple appearances on the all-rookie team. The former guard-turned tackle pitched a shut out in pass protection on 26 drop backs and created plenty of movement off the line as a run blocker. Once Tyron Smith comes back and Smith goes back to guard, watch out.
Honorable Mention: Zach Tom (GB)
Cordell Volson / CIN (Round 4)
Volson, a starter since week 1, has had a rough year. But quietly his play has improved over the past month and it is a big part of CIN’s surge. In their upset win over KC, Volson did not allow a single pressure and extended his no-penalty streak to five straight games.
Honorable Mention: Kenyon Green (HOU)
Kayvon Thibodeaux / NYG (Round 1)
After the best performance of all rookie edge rushers league-wide in week 12, Thibodeaux responded with another strong game. He had 4 pressures, 1 sack, and added 5 tackles in the team’s tie against WAS. There are young pieces along that NYG front that are appearing to be a group of guys that can be built around long term. Thibodeaux is very much included in that group and is breaking out at the right time as the NYG schedule is about to get very difficult.
Honorable Mention: Travon Walker / JAX
Perrion Winfrey / CLE (Round 4)
In his most extended action of the season, Winfrey ended the game with 6 tackles in CLE’s dominant defensive performance over HOU. The CLE defensive line has been a major weak point on the team all year, but Winfrey and fellow rookie Alex Wright are both proving to be young pieces to build with, especially against the run.
Honorable Mention; John Ridgeway (WAS)
Jack Sanborn / CHI (UDFA)
Sanborn makes his first appearance on the All-Rookie team as he continues his surge in performance. He finished with 11 tackles and a TFL that took place near the end zone. Sanborn went undrafted because of athleticism but the instincts and quality footwork more than made up for it against GB as he was reaching the outside runs with no problem. And he was his usual dominant self between the tackles.
Honorable Mention: Chad Muma (JAX)
DaRon Bland / DAL (Round 5)
The DAL defense completely changed the trajectory of the game in the second half. Bland was a key part of it, picking off 2 passes and ending the game with 8 tackles. He allowed just 4 completions on 7 attempts for just 25 yards. With the injury to nickel Anthony Brown, Bland will be expected to step up. He sure looks the part.
Honorable Mention: Tariq Woolen (SEA)
Jalen Pitre / HOU (Round 2)
Pitre has been all over the field this entire season. The one glaring issue has been missed tackles, however. In their matchup against run-heavy CLE, he finished the game with 16 tackles and just one miss. It was by far his best performance of the year in that regard.
Honorable Mention: Kerby Joseph / DET