Daniel Jones – NYG (1st round)
In a losing effort at Detroit, Jones went 28/41 – 322 yards – 4 TD/0 INT. He did lose a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, however. Jones had a dirty pocket all afternoon as the NYG offensive line continues to struggle but one trait that is becoming glaringly obvious to him is a consistent sense of toughness and confidence in the pocket. He hasn’t shown to be deterred by getting hit and he has been keeping NYG in games because of it.
David Montgomery – CHI (3rd round)
As the CHI offense continues to cope with the struggles of QB Mitch Trubisky in addition to the poor weather coming to the windy city, it is vital this running game produces. Montgomery had the best game of his rookie season to date, going for 135 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown. He also caught 4 passes. Montgomery is the one back on that team that can shoulder a load like that and expect to see more of it throughout the second half of the season,
Hunter Renfrow – OAK (5th round)
It has been a slow start for Renfrow, who many believed would be a heavily used slot right off the bat. Perhaps this was his coming out party, as he caught 4 passes / 88 yards / 1 TD, that TD going for 65 yards, 50 of which were picked up after the catch.
Diontae Johnson – PIT (3rd round)
PIT is still adjusting to life without Big Ben and as Mason Rudolph returned after missing time with a concussion, the passing game erupted after a slow start. Part of that eruption was a 45 yard touchdown to Johnson where he showed his impressive and hard nosed ability after the catch. He finished with a line of 5/84/1.
Noah Fant – DEN (1st round)
Fant brought in 5 catches for 28 yards. While those numbers won’t jump off the screen, his blocking grade was a season-high for him and it is a good sign for a player that was drafted solely for his receiving skill set. He was especially effective at the second level.
Justin Skule – SF (6th round)
Skule continues to impress on the left side as the Joe Staley fill-in to the point where a credible discussion can take place about who should be playing there in 2020. Skule hasn’t been getting a ton of help either, as his performance on an island was impressive against CAR.
Kaleb McGary – ATL (1st round
The confidence is evidently growing for McGary, who has been nicked up a couple times this season. He was very abrupt out of his stance against a fast and aggressive SEA front while also displaying a proper stance with good hand positioning and light feet.
Elgton Jenkins – GB (2nd round)
Even though the KC front seven leaves something to be desired, a lot of credit is owed to Elgton Jenkins and the GB offensive line for controlling the point of attack all night which enables Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers to have a field day at a stadium where road teams often struggle.
Dalton Risner – DEN (2nd round)
Risner, who has not missed a snap all season, nicked up his ankle in their loss to IND but he played through it and put another check in the box next to his name. The toughness and grit combined with the consistency he has shown this season is quickly putting him in the discussion for the top rookie offensive lineman.
Erik McCoy – NO (1st round)
McCoy remains to be a rock in the middle of the NO offensive line. With Drew Brees back from his thumb injury and Alvin Kamara out, there was extra pressure on their group up front and they responded. McCoy kept the middle of the pocket clean and the NO running game didn’t miss any strides.
Nick Bosa – SF (1st round)
We may need to move beyond the point of calling Bosa the likely defensive rookie of the year and put him in to the Defensive Player of the Year discussion. He finished with 3 sacks and intercepted a pass that very few players could have thought about making.
Josh Allen – JAX (1st round)
Allen is turning the corner when it comes to consistency and his ceiling is starting to elevate because of it. He finished with 2 sacks and 3 pressures against NYJ, constantly forcing his way through the pocket using a wide variety of rush moves. He looks like a seasoned pro out there with savvy and quick decision making and adjustments.
Ed Oliver – BUF (1st round)
While his impact early on hasn’t been exactly what BUF wanted, there is no denying the improvement we have seen over the first 2 months. He has flashed occasionally and we saw signs of more consistency against PHI. He finished with 5 tackles / 2 pressures / 1 QB hit.
Khalen Saunders – KC (3rd round)
The KC defensive line is getting more and more beat up and make no mistake here, the replacements are less than stellar. Saunders has taken his fair share of rookie lumps, but he played his best football to date in the NFL with a 3 tackle / 1 sack performance against GB. He made his appearance known in the trenches and away from the ball.
Devin Bush – PIT (1st round)
Compared to what we have seen out of Bush this season, his 7 tackle / 1 PD performance was a quiet one but don’t take for granted just how effective and reliable he is play to play week to week.
Blake Cashman – NYJ (5th round)
Despite the losing effort by NYJ, Cashman is one of a few rookie-standouts for their front seven. He had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery. The speed to the ball and impact when he gets there has been notable.
Deandre Baker – NYG (1st round)
Baker has had a rough go early this year but it is evident that his confidence is growing and one can tell by noting how aggressive he is pursuing the action. He is in more of a read and react mode and delivering plenty of violent contact. He had 8 tackles and was tested deep on 3 occasions against DET with success on all three attempts.
Kendall Sheffield – ATL (4th round)
Even though this has the look of the worst ATL season in a long time, one shiny object that can be pointed is the play of Kendall Sheffield. He is playing a sticky version of coverage with a quick mind and easy flow and his play against SEA is the best we have seen out of him to this point.
Taylor Rapp – LAR (2nd round)
Rapp’s 12 tackle performance in London was a key part to LAR’s win over CIN, who tried hard to run the ball and get their short passing game going. He didn’t miss any attempts, a rarity in today’s NFL, and continues to improve his reaction times.
Marquise Blair – SEA (2nd round)
There is an emerging star on the SEA defense and it is the physical and fast Blair, the kind of player that Pete Carroll knows exactly what to do with in SEA. He had 11 tackles and a forced fumble that was recovered by SEA. His presence was felt all over the field from start to finish in their road win in ATL.