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All-Rookie Team - WEEK 5

Dave Syvertsen, Senior Draft Analyst
10/28/2023 10:29PM ET

QB

CJ Stroud / HOU (Round 1)

Stroud nearly added his first fourth quarter comeback to his case for OROY, as he brought them back from a 18-12 deficit with a perfect strike to tight end Dalton Schultz on a 18-yard touchdown up the seam. He completed all three passes on that drive as the team was just a minute away from their third straight win, but the defense blew the lead down the stretch. Stroud threw for 249 yards (fifth straight game of 240+) and went yet another game without throwing an interception. He and Brock Purdy are the only quarterbacks that have not thrown one yet among QBs with over 120 dropbacks.

Honorable Mention: Bryce Young / CAR

 

RB

Jaleel McLaughlin / DEN (UDFA)

We have discussed Minnesota linebacker Ivan Pace Jr multiple times so far, but McLaughlin is approaching hard to be considered the top undrafted rookie in the league. Head Coach Sean Payton did warn us that his time was coming and with the injury to Javonte Williams, the door opened wider. He had 68 yards on 9 carries and added 21 yards and a touchdown on 3 catches. The sub-190 pounder from Youngstown State is third in the NFL in yards after contact per rush among backs with over 20 carries.

Honorable Mention: De’Von Achane / MIA

 

WR

Jordan Addison / MIN (Round 1)

In a game where Justin Jefferson injured his hamstring (and ultimately led to his placement on IR), Addison stepped up with 6 catches for 64 yards on just 7 targets. His touchdown in the second quarter gave MIN the lead. The ability to line up both inside and outside has helped this offense immensely and he has yet to drop a pass. His four first downs in this game are a season-high.

Honorable Mention: Josh Downs / IND

 

TE

Sam LaPorta / DET (Round 2)

The execution keeps getting stronger for a tight end who went overlooked by many analysts last spring. LaPorta caught 2 touchdowns on 3 catches / 47 yards in DET’s blowout win over CAR. Catching 75% of his targets actually brought his season’s number DOWN (81%). Add in the fact he ended with a positive run blocking grade for the fifth straight week and it is safe to say LaPorta has clearly separated himself from other rookie tight ends.

Honorable Mention: Michael Mayer / LV

 

OT

Broderick Jones / PIT (Round 1)

After a tough first start against Houston last week, Jones took his game to another level against the division rival Ravens. He allowed just one pressure on 38 pass block snaps. It is safe to say that job will be his for good - the player this front office traded up for in the 2023 NFL Draft. It is amazing to see how different a passing game can work when the reliability on the blind side is there. Jones' speed up the edge and ability to stay controlled post-engagement are a testament to the elite athleticism be brings to the table. Even further, Jones was a trailblazer in the running game.

Honorable Mention: Darnell Wright / CHI

 

OG/OC

Jarrett Patterson / HOU (Round 6)

A key reason to the success we are seeing in Houston and CJ Stroud specifically is the performance of the offensive line. While they still have some ways to go, they are performing at a higher level than expected. They look very clean and crisp and the center is always a reason for that. He allowed 1 pressure on 36 pass block snaps and played his best football during their near-comeback effort against a very tough Atlanta interior.

Honorable Mention: O’Cyrus Torrence / BUF

 

EDGE

Will Anderson / HOU (Round 1)

It is easy to forget Anderson is a rookie, as he already has the look and traits of one of the top pass rushers in football. He added 3 pressures (1 QB hit) to his season total in their loss against Atlanta and has hit multiple in all five games this season. His 6 tackles and 5 stops were a season high, proving this is a guy who does so much more than bend the edge. He can truly set one against the run and knows how to get off blocks with hand strength and feel.

Honorable Mention: Byron Young / LAR

 

DT

Gervon Dexter / CHI (Round 2)

A breakout performance for one of the most interesting athletes from the 2023 NFL Draft. I did a study on physical profiles compared to Dexter last year and the only one who matched up was Chris Jones. Dexter certainly played like it on a national stage with 6 pressures (4 hurries/2 hits). Washington ran the ball just 6 times and Dexter had a tackle on one of them. This is up there with the best pass rush performance we have seen from a rookie this year.

Honorable Mention: Jalen Carter / PHI

 

LB

Dorian Williams / BUF (Round 3)

With the injury to All-Pro Matt Milano, the athletic but raw rookie flashed what got many people excited. He had three tackles and a pass break up, both of which displayed his easy acceleration and closing speed. There is a lot of power that comes from his movement traits and as he gets more comfortable with the scheme, I expect his play to improve week to week.

Honorable Mention: Ivan Pace Jr / MIN

 

CB

Joey Porter Jr / PIT (Round 1)

Arguably the biggest defensive play of the game for the Steelers in their fourth quarter comeback was an interception by Porter in the corner of the end zone on a ball intended for Odell Beckham Jr. The press technique, ball location, and body positioning were textbook.

Honorable Mention: Deonte Banks / NYG

 

S

Jordan Howden / NO (Round 5)

In just his second start of the season and with a large cast around his finger that looked like an MMA fighting glove, Howden was a key component to the Saints’ dominant defensive performance over the Patriots. He was on the field for the second most snaps on the team and broke up two passes, one of which led to a interception. He added one tackle.

Honorable Mention: Jordan Battle / CIN