Despite many of the top rookies being either injured or on their bye in Week 6, there were still major performances. Rookies like Kyler Murray, Terry McLaurin, and Devin Bush could be credited for the reason their teams won. While the dominant rookie pass rush trio of Nick Bosa, Brian Burns, and Josh Allen continue to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. As we approach the halfway mark of the NFL season more and more rookies are beginning to see the field. Some of them are going to be the difference between a playoff push and sitting at home come January. Catch up on all the biggest rookie performances in the Week 6 Rookie Power Rankings.

Rookie of the Week

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

  • It finally happened. Kyler Murray lit up an NFL defense and reminded the country why he was the first overall pick. It’s been an up and down rookie year for him thus far, but he’s been getting better each week. With very little help around him, it’s been tough for Murray to get into a rhythm, but there have been flashes every week. Against the Atlanta Falcons, everything was humming. Murray was decisive and getting the ball out quick under pressure while sprinkling in some breathtaking deep balls. He relied on his mobility to extend plays when he needed to, but for the most part, remained a passer. This was extremely promising for both him and head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Things look like they’re finally clicking on offense in Arizona.

Previous Rookies of the Week

Week 1- Hollywood Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Week 2- Greedy Williams, CB, Cleveland Browns

Week 3- Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

Week 4- AJ Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

Week 5- Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

Week 6 Rookie Power Rankings

  1. Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers (Last week- 1)

  • After his dominant Week 5 performance, all of the NFL now knows how good Nick Bosa is despite not having massive numbers. Once again in Week 6, he put on a show, but the numbers don’t show it. That’s why it’s so important to watch the games. Bosa and the 49ers defensive line dominated the Rams from start to finish and kept them to just 157 total yards and seven points. Bosa’s combination of violent hands, power, and explosiveness are turning him into an All-Pro pass rusher as a rookie. When he starts consistently getting home on QBs he’ll truly get his due. He’s been the key to the 49ers dominant defensive play so far. Pairing him with DeForest Buckner is a game plan wrecking formula.

  1. Brian Burns, EDGE, Carolina Panthers (2)

  • If for some crazy reason Nick Bosa doesn’t win Defensive Rookie of the Year, it will be because Brian Burns consistently makes splash plays. Even when Burns has to play across the pond he shows up. In the Panthers 37-26 win over the Buccaneers their pass rush was all over Jameis Winston forcing him into awful decision making. Burns picked up another sack to give him 4.5 on the season which leads all rookies. He’s been a huge difference-maker on the edge and has allowed Mario Addison to get more free more often on the other side. The addition of Burns has rejuvenated the Panthers pass rush and it’s carried them to victories with Cam Newton out.
  1. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington (6)

  • There was exactly one reason to watch the garbage bowl between the Washington’s and the Dolphins. No, not to see the Dolphins maybe purposely drop a two-point conversion attempt to remain winless, but to see Terry “F1” McLaurin put on a show. McLaurin was the one enjoyable factor in this game and boy oh boy Washington has a future star in the making. McLaurin’s combo of route running and deep speed make him such a mismatch already, he looks like a young Stefon Diggs. There are few young receivers as nuanced in their release game as McLaurin and it allows him to beat coverage off the line consistently. Against the Dolphins he caught 4 passes for 100 yards and 2 TDs.

  1. Erik McCoy, C, New Orleans Saints (3)

  • Thanks to Erik McCoy the Saints have been the best offensive line in football this season. In Week 6 they struggled for the first time with the Jaguars beefed up pass rush, but still managed to scratch out a 13-6 victory. Despite an up and down game from McCoy, which included a penalty, he held his own against Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus. Being able to perform against those two is an indictment on how good McCoy can be going forward. The Saints entire offense struggled in the game and it’s hard to peg anything on McCoy. He continues to be an impressive run blocker with the way he attacks angles and moves up to the second level. McCoy is one of the best centers in the league.
  1. Dalton Risner, OG, Denver Broncos (7)

  • The Broncos are not a fun offense to watch, but rookie Dalton Risner is quickly becoming one of the best young guards in the game. Risner helped the Broncos O-line have a big performance against a strong Titans defense. They kept Joe Flacco relatively unscathed and helped open big holes for Phillip Lindsay. Risner continues to be their best offensive lineman and Mike Munchak’s on-field enforcer. He’s been exactly what Denver had hoped as their left guard and looks like a future Pro Bowl player.
  1. Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders (5)

  • Josh Jacobs didn’t play this week as the Raiders were on their bye in Week 6.
  1. Devin Bush, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers (13)

  • Well, it seems like Devin Bush might just be a football magnet. He’s a massive reason, if no the reason, the Steelers upset the Chargers 24-17 on Sunday Night Football. Bush started the game with a fumble return TD and the immediate next drive intercepted a tipped pass. That takes him up to six forced turnovers in six games, just incredible. Bush was also a force in the run game cleaning up anything he got near. His instincts and athleticism have been the exact thing missing from the Steelers LB corps since the Ryan Shazier injury. He’s a future star for the Steelers.

  1. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals (15)

  • As the NFL season gets closer to the midway point, Kyler Murray is beginning to make his push for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Every week he’ll make a wowza deep throw with wonderful ball placement and it’s beginning to happen more than once a week. He carried the Cardinals to a 34-33 victory over the Falcons in Week 6 with 372 total yards and 3 TDs while completing 73% of his passes on 9.2 YPA. He’s never looked more comfortable operating the Kliff Kingsbury offense. If the Cardinals can build up this offensive line and get Murray some more playmakers the future will be bright.

  1. Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (4)

  • Just as Kyler Murray had his best game of the season, Gardner Minshew had his worst. Minshew never found his magic in the Jaguars 13-6 loss to the Saints. He was indecisive and panicking while under pressure. His receivers and the offensive line didn’t do him any favors. They couldn’t get open nor stop the Saints vicious pass rush. At the same time, Minshew was sporadic with his ball placement and missing throws he normally hits. This is the first time Minshew has allowed doubt to creep into the minds of Jaguars fans. He’s going to need a big bounce back if he’s going to be seriously considered the future of this team.
  1. Khari Willis, S, Indianapolis Colts (10)

  • Khari Willis didn’t play this week as the Colts were on their bye in Week 6.
  1. Dexter Lawrence, IDL, New York Giants (12)

  • There’s one thing going for the Giants right now, they’re hard to run the football on. That’s because they have an interior defensive line full of large men like Dexter Lawrence. Lawrence helped stuff the Patriots inside running game on Thursday Night Football and even added some pass rush, he had a wonderful sack called back. He’s been more than just an old school run plugger for them this season and that’s the absolute best news for this team. They need playmakers and Lawrence looks like he’s got the chance to be a Linval Joseph type for them up front.
  1. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks (11)

  • Talking about DK Metcalf can get pretty annoying, especially on Twitter. For whatever reason, there are people who hate when he succeeds and he’s been succeeding a lot as a rookie. Against the Browns in Week 6 he put up 4 receptions for 69 yards and once again showed his knack for big plays. He’s a massive athletic freak that can stretch the field or make big YAC plays, what’s not to like? Sorry, the Seahawks are smart and use him in a role that plays to his strengths, lining up on the left at X and generally running fly routes and hitches. What’s wrong with putting a young talent in their best position to succeed? Nothing, Metcalf has been exactly what the Seattle offense had hoped.

  1. Josh Allen, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars (18)

  • It might not fully be back to being Sacksonville, but Josh Allen is doing his best to get them there. Allen has really come on in recent weeks and looks like the perfect edge addition with Campbell, Dareus, and Yannick Ngakoue along the defensive line for the Jaguars. Allen picked up his 4thsack of the season in the loss to the Saints and was all over Teddy Bridgewater multiple times. He’s still raw, but he’s winning with length and athleticism. As he expands his pass rush repertoire and gains experience he’s just going to continue to get better.

  1. Hollywood Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (8)

  • Hollywood Brown didn’t play this week as he was dealing with an ankle injury sustained in Week 5.
  1. Darnell Savage, S, Green Bay Packers (9)

  • Darnell Savage didn’t play this week as he was dealing with an ankle injury sustained in Week 5.
  1. Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (17)

  • The Chiefs had a tough 31-24 loss to the Texans in Week 6 and their offense just didn’t look the same. A lot of that blame is on the offensive line. Mecole Hardman managed a solid game catching all four of his targets for 45 yards. At the same time, it felt like with the poor O-line Andy Reid and the Chiefs should have attempted to scheme the ball into their playmaker’s hands more frequently. Hardman has the blazing speed and YAC ability to break away on any touch, but his looks have been inconsistent. With Tyreek Hill now healthy Hardman should be keyed in on less and see bigger opportunities.
  1. Elgton Jenkins, OG, Green Bay Packers (19)

  • It’s hard for offensive linemen to get big recognition as rookies, but Elgton Jenkins is beginning to get the buzz. Since he took over as the Packers starting left guard their O-line has been much steadier on the inside. Against the Lions, he helped keep their big interior defensive line from wrecking the run game and the Packers ran for 170 yards. He’s been a sheer people mover as a run blocker and his ability to move to the second level off of combo blocks has been lethal. Jenkins also held his own in pass pro and the Packers gave up only a single sack.
  1. Ed Oliver, IDL, Buffalo Bills (14)

  • Ed Oliver didn’t play this week as the Bills were on their bye in Week 6.
  1. Juan Thornhill, S, Kansas City Chiefs (22)

  • The Chiefs defense didn’t play all that well against the Texans, but their secondary held it down for the majority of the game. One guy in their secondary who needs more hype is rookie Juan Thornhill. Thornhill has been a huge addition in coverage this season. He made a great play on the ball against the Texans for a big INT, although it was on 4thdown and dropping it would have saved them many yards. Thornhill’s length and athleticism have been big on the backend. He’s been able to matchup in single-high, man-to-man with tight ends, and play some nickel. Quietly he’s having an All-Rookie season.

  1. Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (16)

  • When Daniel Jones debuted in Week 3 he put on a show, but it’s important to note the offense was tailored to what he did well. He did the things he’s good at well and the things he struggles with poorly, unsurprising. But it’s not catching up to the Giants and their lack of healthy playmakers has killed any momentum Jones had this season. Against the Patriots he was a complete mess. He was forcing throws under pressure and his ball placement was iffy at best. This led to him throwing three interceptions and blowing any chance the Giants had at winning. They need their offense to get healthy and Pat Shurmur to stick with what Jones can do if they want any offensive hope this season.
  1. AJ Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans (20)

  2. TJ Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions (21)

  3. Taylor Rapp, S, Los Angeles Rams (24)

  4. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Oakland Raiders (25)

  5. Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Oakland Raiders (26)

  6. Ryan Connelly, LB, New York Giants (23)

  7. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Jacksonville Jaguars (27)

  8. Chase Winovich, EDGE, New England Patriots (31)

  9. Byron Murphy, CB, Arizona Cardinals (34)

  10. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Washington (37)

  11. Dawson Knox, TE, Buffalo Bills (30)

  12. Greedy Williams, CB, Cleveland Browns (29)

  13. Justin Skule, OT, San Francisco 49ers (43)

  14. Charles Omenihu, DL, Houston Texans (46)

  15. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers (28)

  16. Jamie Gillan, P, Cleveland Browns (38)

  17. Cole Holcomb, LB, Washington (39)

  18. Blake Cashman, LB, New York Jets (41)

  19. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills (32)

  20. Garrett Bradbury, C, Minnesota Vikings (42)

  21. Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (33)

  22. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Indianapolis Colts (35)

  23. Oshane Ximines, EDGE, New York Giants (36)

  24. Christian Miller, EDGE, Carolina Panthers (40)

  25. Foster Moreau, TE, Oakland Raiders (45)

  26. Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants (44)

  27. Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings (47)

  28. Max Scharping, OG, Houston Texans (49)

  29. Mack Wilson, LB, Cleveland Browns (50)

  30. Jahlani Tavai, LB, Detroit Lions (N/A)

Start the Rook

Charles Omenihu, IDL, Houston Texans

  • When Charles Omenihu fell to the Texans in the fifth-round plenty of folks on Draft Twitter were scratching their heads. Omenihu was basically considered a top 50 lock due to his length, hand work, athleticism, and versatility. Add in his impressive Senior Bowl week and some believed he could go in the first-round. For whatever reason, he fell and the Texans cashed in. In a rotational role for Houston Omenihu has been as impactful as almost any rookie interior defensive lineman when he’s on the field. In four games he’s had two strip-sacks and flashed the ability to get to the QB. His upside as a pass rusher should have him in a starting role soon. Stick him at 5-Tech and let those heavy hands get to work.

Previous Start the Rooks

Week 1- Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 2- Elgton Jenkins, OG, Green Bay Packers

Week 3- Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington

Week 4- Oshane Ximines, EDGE, New York Giants

Week 5- Jerry Tillery, IDL, Los Angeles Chargers

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Author Details
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.


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