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 with 14 weeks in the books.
1. New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley: The No. 2 overall pick out of Penn State has recorded 100-plus scrimmage yards in 12 of his first 13 NFL games, adding 13 touchdowns for a team with a 5-8 record. He’s running away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and is now just 11 scrimmage yards back of Ezekiel Elliott for the NFL lead.
2. Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard: The tackle machine out of South Carolina State still leads the NFL in that category with 135. In a big win Sunday over the Texans, he had 12 tackles and another sack, bringing his season total to seven. Not bad for a dude who was passed on 35 times in the draft.
3. Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch: Only two non-rushing linebackers have higher grades from Pro Football Focus than the No. 19 overall selection out of Boise State, and their names are Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly.
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 huge Chargers victory Sunday over the Bengals. He has 3.5 sacks, three interceptions, six quarterback hits, 12 passes defensed, and 88 tackles as a consistent force in the L.A. secondary.
5. Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield: The No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma completed all but four of 22 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown in a victory over the Panthers on Sunday, bringing his passer rating since Hue Jackson’s firing to 114.4.
6. Broncos OLB Bradley Chubb: The No. 5 overall pick out of North Carolina State had a pair of sacks against the 49ers in Week 14, moving his rookie total to 12. That’s more than any Broncos rookie in history. He still has a chance to hit Jevon Kearse’s all-time rookie record of 14.5.
7. Colts G Quenton Nelson: The dominant No. 6 overall pick out of Notre Dame hasn’t given up a sack since the first month of the season.
8. Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Moore: Another strong performance Sunday against the Browns moved the 21-year-old first-round pick into the top spot on the rookie receiving yards list with 676.
9. Denver Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay: The undrafted Colorado product ranked No. 1 in the NFL by a huge margin with a 5.8 yards-per-attempt average prior to Week 14, but he struggled with just 30 yards on 14 carries in San Francisco.
10. Browns RB Nick Chubb: Another touchdown and a 5.1 yards-per-attempt average in the victory over Carolina for the second-rounder out of Georgia. Hue probably should have used him more…
Honorable mentions: Detroit Lions DT Da’Shawn Hand, Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, Browns CB Denzel Ward, Green Bay Packers CB Jaire Alexander, San Francisco 49ers OT Mike McGlinchey, Giants G Will Hernandez, Lions RB Kerryon Johnson, New England Patriots RB Sony Michel, Giants DT B.J. Hill, New Orleans Saints DE Marcus Davenport