Throughout the 2018 NFL season, we’re monitoring the progress made by the league’s rookie class by power ranking them based on their play, their circumstances, or both.
Here’s how the rookie crop shakes out heading into Week 13.
1. New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley: The No. 2 overall pick out of Penn State has recorded 100-plus scrimmage yards in 10 of his first 11 NFL games, adding 12 touchdowns for a team with a 3-8 record. He’s running away with the offensive rookie of the year award.
2. Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard: The second-round selection out of South Carolina State leads the NFL with 114 tackles, and he’s also got six sacks, a pick and four forced fumbles. He’s got a solid lead in the defensive rookie of the year race.
3. Colts G Quenton Nelson: The already-dominant No. 6 overall pick out of Notre Dame had quite possibly his best game yet while rocking out as both a pass- and run-blocker in a Week 12 victory over the Dolphins.
4. Los Angeles Chargers S Derwin James: The No. 17 overall pick out of Florida State was once again all over the field in a blowout Chargers victory Sunday. He has 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, nine passes defensed and 78 tackles as a consistent force in the L.A. secondary.
5. Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield: The No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma has completed 74 percent of his passes, posting a 9-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 129.5 passer rating in three games since the firing of Hue Jackson. He’s lapping the rookie quarterback field.
6. Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch: Gotta give credit where it’s due — the Cowboys know how to draft. The No. 19 overall selection out of Boise State was considered somewhat raw, but he’s been borderline-dominant in place of injured veteran Sean Lee. He’s really standing out in coverage.
7. Detroit Lions DT Da’Shawn Hand: The fourth-round pick out of Alabama has been a consistent force in the middle for the Lions, but he is sliding due to a lack of impact plays.
8. Denver Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay: Among 22 backs with at least 125 carries, the undrafted Colorado product ranks No. 1 with a 5.8 yards-per-attempt average. He’s also chipped in with six touchdowns.
9. Browns RB Nick Chubb: The second-rounder out of Georgia is right there too with a solid 5.4 yards per carry and eight total touchdowns, including this mega-highlight Sunday against the Steelers:
How in the world did Nick Chubb make this grab… pic.twitter.com/7rDKjmKm0j
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 25, 2018
10. Broncos OLB Bradley Chubb: The No. 5 overall pick out of North Carolina State struggled in the team’s Week 12 victory over Pittsburgh, but he’s only 3.5 sacks back of the rookie record of 11.5. He just beats out Jaire Alexander.
Honorable mentions: Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley, Browns CB Denzel Ward, Green Bay Packers CB Jaire Alexander, Cincinnati Bengals S Jessie Bates III, Giants G Will Hernandez, Broncos RB Royce Freeman, San Francisco 49ers OT Mike McGlinchey, Colts RT Braden Smith, Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Moore