Top 20 Rookies this Preseason


"For what it's worth."

Preseason brilliance of course doesn't always equate to regular season brilliance but there are plenty of outliers. Still recall Jeremy Shockey's epic trunk stick, or Victor Cruz's virtuosity, an unknown Romo's complete game or more recently Prescott's high bar play. So there are always flashes. Plenty of guys have shown up this camp & preseason. Guys like TE Evan Engram, S Jabrill Peppers, OT Taylor Moton, S Jamal Carter, LB Ben Gedeon, DB Lorenzo Jerome, or DT Davon Godchaux might turn out better seasons then some listed here but these are the guys I thought did the best in the games that don't count.

1. QB Pat Mahomes | Chiefs

Mahomes hit the ground running and throwing providing a legit push for Alex Smith.

2. RB Tarik Cohen | Bears

Everyone knew about the joystick mobility but Cohen's looked more physical than most gave him credit for.

3. LB Reuben Foster | 49ers

Combine med check incident seems so far away now. Health looks like the only potential obstacle for Foster.

4. RB Christian McCaffrey | Panthers

Basically as advertised so far. The question will be how much can the Panthers put on those little shoulders.

5. WR Dede Westbrook | Jaguars

Red flags are still all over the place but Westbrook has looked dominant thus far on the field.

6. DE Takk McKinley | Falcons

One man hype machine wrecked former 1st rounder D.J. Humphries. Could be sign of things to come...or maybe Humphries is just bad.

7. QB Mitchell Trubisky | Bears

So far so good. Trubisky has particularly shown impressive poise this pre season. Sans that spin.

8. CB Nate Hairston | Colts

Hairston has looked better than fellow blue chip rookie Quincy Wilson and could be the day 1 starter.

9. LB Jarrad Davis | Lions

Davis will almost certainly lead the team in tackles as a rookie.

10. RB Joe Mixon | Bengals

Hasn't looked fair trying to tackle Mixon in space. Looks like the only obstacle will be how much work he puts in.

11. WR Kenny Golladay | Lions

Has flashed pro bowl ability thus far. I could see him ascend very quickly with Stafford.

12. DT Elijah Qualls | Eagles

Always a guy that looked more athletic than he should, Qualls has taken quickly to coaching and cleaned up his technique. Sustainability will be the question.

13. QB Deshone Kizer | Browns

Has clearly played like a rookie but has also shown flashes of brilliant arm talent. Thus far has kind of a Jay Cutler vibe. But INTs will rain like buckets if a running game doesn't emerge.

14. DE Derek Barnett | Eagles

Basically as advertised. 1st teamer's are different then feasting on the depth chart but Barnett's motor will serve him well.

15. LB Jordan Evans | Bengals

Looking an awful lot like his alum Jordan Hicks thus far. Just needs more snaps.

16. LB Alex Anzalone | Saints

Has the making of a steal as he continues to come back from injury and has a great opportunity for a lot of snaps on the Saints this year.

17. S Desmond King | Chargers

Making a seamless transition to safety thus far.

18. DE Jordan Willis | Bengals

Likely starts as a pass rush specialist but he's been too much for 2nd and 3rd string to handle so far.

19. LB Kendall Beckwith | Buccaneers

Appearing like a steal coming back from injury. The only question will be how will he get snaps in that stellar LB group.

20. RB Alvin Kamara | Saints

It might take awhile because of the talent ahead of him but Kamara been showing a more complete physical skill set than I thought he had.

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#NFLPreseason

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