Throughout the NFL season, we’ll be ranking the top 10 rookies in the league based on their progress. Here’s the breakdown following Week 1.
10. San Francisco 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw: With DeForest Buckner’s big shoes to fill in his NFL debut, the No. 14 overall pick quietly played superb run defense. He’s yet to fully flex his muscles, but is on the right track at a time when most rookies are fish out of water.
9. New York Jets OT Mekhi Becton: The Jets disappointed in a Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills, but the 11th pick in the draft wasn’t the problem. Becton surrendered a sack but was otherwise a shining light both in pass protection and as a run blocker.
8. Miami Dolphins OT Austin Jackson: The No. 18 overall selection didn’t surrender a single pressure as the young Miami offensive line performed surprisingly well despite the loss to the New England Patriots out of the gate.
7. Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb: The 17th pick in the draft caught five of the six passes thrown his way for 59 yards and returned a punt 20 yards in a losing effort to kick off his career in Dallas.
6. Baltimore Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins: The second-round Ohio State product wasn’t a yardage monster, but he scored twice in his maiden NFL voyage as the Ravens pounded the Cleveland Browns.
5. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor: The second-rounder out of Wisconsin wasn’t any more effective on the ground, but caught six passes for 67 yards Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
4. Los Angeles Chargers RB Joshua Kelley: The fourth-round pick out of UCLA was a critical piece of the Bolts’ offense as he averaged 5.0 yards per carry and found the end zone in his first-ever NFL game.
3. Washington Football Team edge Chase Young: The highly-touted top pick forced a fumble and recorded 1.5 sacks in Washington’s thrilling season-opening victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. His very presence also helped that defensive front get continual pressure on Carson Wentz all afternoon.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars CB CJ Henderson: The Jags don’t likely shock the division rival Colts if not for the fact the No. 9 overall pick put up an interception, a game-clinching pass breakup, three total passes defensed, five tackles, and allowed no big completions on Sunday.
1. Kansas City Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: The league’s leading rusher thus far compiled 138 yards on 25 carries and added a touchdown as the K.C. offense didn’t miss a beat without Damien Williams in Week 1.