Justin Herbert / LAC – Round 1
On a Monday night in New Orleans, Herbert went toe to toe with a 40+ year old quarterback for the second time in as many weeks. Also, for the second time in as many weeks, he put the Chargers ahead just to see the defense blow that lead late. He certainly did his part, going 20/34 with 264 yards while adding 4 touchdowns without turning the ball over. The early returns on Herbert are really paying off for the Chargers, a team that has been bit by the injury bug pretty hard.
Jonathan Taylor / IND – Round 2
Taylor is going to be a major part of the Colts' offense moving forward and down the stretch. He was on the field for 55% of the snaps and touched the ball on half of those snaps. He finished with 57 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries while adding 17 yards on 2 catches in IND’s loss to CLE.
Chase Claypool / PIT - Round 2
There wasn’t an ounce of debate on this one, as the record setting rookie scored 4 touchdowns (3 through the air / 1 on the ground). He had 7 catches that totaled 110 yards and was given 3 carries (2 of which were near the goal line). His length, speed, and burst are rare traits for a kid that weighs 240 pounds and it carries over to several areas of his game. Some viewed him as a possible tight end in the NFL but I think he found his niche in the PIT offense, an organization that has just dominated the draft when it comes to skill positions.
Jedrick Wills / CLE – Round 1
Wills is coming along nicely, protecting Baker Mayfield’s blind side. His technique looks much cleaner and more consistent than it did at the beginning of the year. Remember, he was a right tackle in college and didn’t have as much time to get his reps in on the left side during the preseason period. He took on Justin Houston and had a near-perfect success rate.
Damien Lewis / SEA – Round 3
He was flagged again (false start) but he was one of the steadiest pieces of the SEA offense during their comeback against MIN. His anchor as a pass blocker looks easy, as defenders simply run into a wall when up against him. The lone sack he “allowed” was a result of Russell Wilson evading pressure from the other side of the line and running into Lewis’ man, James Lynch. Beyond that, he was heavy with his hands and sturdy with his legs.
Chase Young / WAS – Round 1
Young was more disruptive than his 3 tackle / 1 TFL would lead on, but he does take the positional win this week partially because it was a quiet week for rookies on the edge. He was up against Andrew Whitworth for most of the afternoon and had it not been for specific play calls, he would have recorded multiple sacks. This isn’t a league of “if” though. But it does go to show his skill set is improving and catching up to his tool set.
Javon Kinlaw / SF – Round 1
The SF defense was torched by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the MIA offense. There wasn’t much in this one for them to hang their hat on, but they had to have been pleased with the play of Kinlaw. He made 3 tackles and is vastly improving his lockout game. The speed in backside pursuit is a difference maker as well. Kinlaw is proving to be scratching the surface of a potentially dominant level.
Patrick Queen / BAL – Round 1
Queen is strongly making a case for Defensive Rookie of the Year with his play so far even though we still have a ways to go. His production is off the charts and versatile. He had 9 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 forced fumble, and 2 recovered fumbles (1 of which returned for a touchdown).
Jeff Gladney / MIN – Round 1
The MIN defense had a first half in Seattle that no other defense was able to put together so far in this young season. The young secondary excelled against one of the top passing attacks, with Gladney being the star. He stuck to the hip pocket of Tyler Lockett in man coverage several times while adding 3 tackles and a pressure.
Jordan Fuller / LAR – Round 6
Fuller ended up hurting his shoulder and will miss a few weeks at least, but he put out a 4 tackle / 2 PD performance in the Rams win over Washington. His ability to play the deep half in coverage while also coming down to support the run has given LAR multiple options schematically. His presence will be missed but LAR has had a lot of success drafting safeties in recent years, providing adequate depth.