Elite Rookie Rankings Week 7

The 2013 1st round pick class had a decent week with a couple touchdowns and some huge defensive performances. None were better than that of Star Lotulelei, who is playing a massive part in the success the Panthers' defense is having. Five of the 32 picks were inactive this week due to injury, so the toll of an NFL season is rearing its ugly head. Here are the update rankings:

1. Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT for the Jets, originally drafted 13th: By his standard this was a slower week, but yet he still had 5 tackles. It's incredible how many he's totalling as a defensive lineman but he's just constantly finding the football and bringing guys down. He maintains a very comfortable lead.

2. Alec Ogletree, LB of Rams, originally drafted 30th: A tough loss for his team and a bleak looking future with Sam Bradford done for the year, but he is up one spot with another solid showing. 5 tackles, including one for a loss.

3. Eric Reid, S of 49ers, originally drafted 18th:  He switched places with Ogletree due to a quiet week where he did nothing special. He had 4 tackles.

4. Star Lotulelei, DT of Panthers, originally drafted 14th: He's up two spots after a monster week that saw him graded as the week's top 1st round pick rookie performer. He was a big part of the Panthers shutting down the Rams' offense. He had 6 tackles, including two for a loss, and was positively dominant in the trenches. This vaults him back into the top 5.

5. Desmond Trufant, CB of Falcons, originally drafted 22nd: He stays in fifth after another very good week. He was terrific in coverage and posted 7 tackles. Not that going up against Mike Glennon is a high degree of difficulty or anything!

6. Tyler Eifert, TE of Bengals, originally drafted 21st: He's up two spots for turning in a 3 catch 45 yard performance with a big time touchdown. Considering his team won by 3 points I'd say that was difference making play, and he really made a fantastic catch.

7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR of Texans, originally drafted 27th: A big three spot jump for the receiver. Despite playing with a new quarterback in Case Keenum, he was a useful target. He had 3 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.

8. Kenny Vaccaro, S of Saints, originally drafted 15th: He's down a spot due to how the scores shook out despite being on a bye week. Some guys behind him (Hopkins and Eifert) performed well while he wasn't playing.

9. Ziggy Ansah, DE/LB of Lions, originally drafted 5th: A rough week for Ansah who drops 5 spots in the standings. Ouch. He didn't do much of anything in this game and the Lions could have used his skillset. Unfortunately he couldn't get any sort of pass rush going.

10. Barkevious Mingo, LB of Browns, originally drafted 6th:  He had 2 tackles and a knock down. Not his best game by any means but he continues to be a threat to passers. He's up two spots.

11. Travis Frederick, C of Cowboys, originally drafted 31st: He was on a real hot streak before this week but he crashes out of the top ten, down two spots, after a disastrous game against the Eagles that specifically saw very poor run blocking. The Cowboys averaged just 2.8 yards a carry.

12. Kyle Long, G of Bears, originally drafted 20th: Did ok this week and played reasonably well at times, but did give up a sack. Long stays steady at 12. I have to admit I'm surprised he hasn't ranked higher so far this season. Many felt he would end up being a top 5 1st round pick.

13. D. J. Fluker, T of Chargers, originally drafted 11th: He also stays put despite a mediocre performance. When you're playing the Jags there's no way you should be giving up that kind of pressure and getting your quarterback hurried.

14. Matt Elam, S of Ravens, originally drafted 32nd: I had him ranked as the 3rd best rookie this week and that shoots him up 5 spots in the rankings. He's starting to come into his own. He had 3 tackles, including one for a loss, and a fumble recovery.

15. Cordarelle Patterson, WR of Vikings, originally drafted 29th: He's also up 5 spots. Despite dealing with the disaster that was Josh Freeman, Patterson played one of his better games and saw more involvement with the offense. He had a 69 yard kickoff return and caught 3 passes for 22 yards.

16. Dion Jordan, DE of Dolphins, originally drafted 3rd: He had 1 tackle for a loss and provided decent pressure most of the game. He's yet to live up to his ceiling and potential but this game was a step in the right direction.

17. Tavon Austin, WR of Rams, originally drafted 8th: Every game he plays seems to combine potential with moments that really hurt his team. While he showed some explosivesness in the return game he had two fumbles, one lost, and that is just inexcusable. He had 5 receptions for 39 yards and had yet another touchdown called back on a deep ball for holding. I don't know what the NFL record is for most called back touchdown in a season but he's got to be approaching it. I recall three for sure and maybe there's been another? Terrible luck there. He's down two spots.

18. Xavier Rhodes, CB of the Vikings, originally drafted 25th: He stays put despite a poor week that saw him often get roasted by Eli Manning and the Giants. He had 4 tackles and a defended pass but struggled overall in coverage.

19. Jarvis Jones, LB of the Steelers, originally drafted 17th: The Steelers chose to be careful this week and sat him out with a concussion. The main concern with him during the draft was durability and he's already missed a game. Hopefully there won't be many more. He drops 5 spots.

20. Sharrif Floyd, DT of Vikings, originally drafted 23rd: After having the biggest jump up the standings last week he fell back down to reality a little bit. Despite playing more snaps defensively he made zero impact on the field and his lone statistic was a fielded short kickoff that he would return before fumbling and losing the ball.

21. D. J. Hayden, CB of the Raiders, originally drafted 12th: Stays put after spending his Sunday on a bye week.

22. Chance Warmack, G of the Titans, originally drafted 10th: He's been struggling lately so this was a nice bounce back game for him. He held up well against a formidable 49er defense and it moves him up 3 spots in the rankings. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

23. Justin Pugh, G/T of the Giants, originally drafted 19th: He's down a spot. He played a little bit better than he has at times this season but his pass blocking still gets Eli Manning in trouble.

24. Lane Johnson, T of the Eagles, originally drafted 4th: Playing right tackle for Kevin Foles is easier duty for him than blocking Michael Vick's blindside. While he did give up a sack and the Eagles' offense scored just three points, he did play a tad better overall. Foles gets the ball out quicker and he's right handed so this made Johnson's life a bit easier and it showed. He stays put at 24.

25. E. J. Manuel, QB of Bills, originally drafted 16th: He's going to keep dropping because this grading system hurts players that miss games. He's down two spots and out at least a few more weeks due to injury. Thad Lewis has been playing decent in his place.

26. Datone Jones, DE of Packers, originally drafted 26th: He's up 3 spots after getting a little more playing time this week and doing a decent job rushing the passer. He had one knock down. Maybe he won't be a complete bust of a pick after all but he's been real disappointing so far. This was at least better.

27. Eric Fisher, T of Chiefs, originally drafted 1st: The Chiefs are the lone undefeated team left in the league, but it isn't because of who they drafted first overall. Another poor week from the tackle, who gave up tons of pressure all day long and was penalized. 

28. Sylvester Williams, DT of Broncos, originally drafted: He saw a little bit more playing time and had 2 tackles but didn't have his best day in run support as he got pushed around a little bit in the trenches. He holds water.

29. Luke Joeckel, T of the Jaguars, originally drafted 2nd: Out for the year with an injury. He'll continue to drop and likely end the season 31st overall.

30. Dee Milliner, CB of Jets, CB of Jets, originally drafted 8th: Returning from injury the time off seemed to do him some good. He's up a spot and I anticipate him continuing to rise if he can play at this level. He had 6 tackles and more than held his own against Tom Brady. The Jets still clearly value him and have a role for him despite how badly he's struggled and he had a prominent place on defense this week. Hopefully this is the start of good things for him.

31. Bjoern Werner, DE/LB of Colts, originally drafted 24th: He's injured and out 3-5 weeks.

32. Jonathan Cooper, T of Cardinals, originally drafted 7th: Due to a season long injury, he will occupy this spot all season.


Who's Hot

Cordarelle Patterson up 5 spots

Matt Elam up 5 spots

DeAndre Hopkins up 3 spots

Chance Warmack up 3 spots

Datone Jones up 3 spots


Who Not

Ziggy Ansah down 5 spots

Jarvis Jones down 5 spots

Sharrif Floyd down 3 spots

Luke Joeckel down 3 spots

About Andrew Juge

I like the Saints. A lot.