As the second half of the 2017 NFL season gets underway, here’s a fresh look at the top 10 rookies from the first half of the year…

1. Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson: Let’s give the guy one more week at the top. We’ll always wonder what could have been, because before suffering a torn ACL Watson was putting together the best rookie season I’d ever witnessed.

2. New Orleans Saints CB Marshon Lattimore: The defensive rookie of the year frontrunner continues to be one of the best shutdown corners in the NFL, which is amazing considering he’s a freakin’ rookie and part of what was supposed to be a horrible defense. He’s a huge reason the Saints have won six straight.

3. Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt: He’s faded a bit, but the third-round pick out of Toledo still leads the league in scrimmage yards by a 107-yard margin.

4. Saints RB Alvin Kamara: He’s still not being featured fully, but the third-rounder out of Tennessee has become a huge weapon in New Orleans. He has 518 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in his last five games, all Saints wins.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette: He’s averaging a league-high 99.3 rushing yards per game, but missing one game due to injury and another due to a team-imposed suspension isn’t good.

6. Buffalo Bills CB Tre’Davious White: The No. 27 overall pick is a top-10 corner at Pro Football Focus. Plus he’s got a pick, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, 27 tackles and a defensive touchdown under his belt.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt: J.J.’s younger bro burst onto the scene with a pair of sacks and an interception in his NFL debut. But he got hurt in Week 2 and hasn’t been quite the same since. Still, the No. 30 overall pick now has four sacks and 27 tackles, and we’re not moving him coming out of a bye week.

8. Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: The first player in NFL history to score four touchdowns before his 21st birthday, Smith-Schuster has emerged as a hell of a complement to Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh. He’s coming off a 193-yard performance in a victory over the Detroit Lions, and he again stays put because the Steelers had a Week 9 bye.

9. New York Giants TE Evan Engram: With everyone else hurt, the No. 23 overall pick has become the Giants offense. Engram has 212 yards and three touchdowns in his last three games. He’s outplaying higher-profile rookie tight ends O.J. Howard and David Njoku.

10. Saints OT Ryan Ramczyk: The final selection of the first round has saved the Saints by stepping in at both tackle spots and performing extremely well. What a rookie class for Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton…

Honorable mentions: Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett, New York Jets S Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, Cincinnati Bengals DE Carl Lawson, Chicago Bears RB Tarik Cohen

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.