NFL Rookies Kicking Up the Turf This Season
Part of the excitement of the upcoming football season is to take a look at which new players will become stars or at least draw attention during their rookie season. Although most rookies added to the NFL rosters are usually warming the bench, every year a few get attention or become young stars. From offensive players who are scoring major yards to a defensive addition that completely changes the game, these rookies are scoring big on and off the field. Take a look at the best NFL rookies taking the field this year.
The Seattle Seahawks running back is really giving the 12s something to cheer for this season. This rookie was a first-class stand in for Marshawn Lynch, while he was out for injury. In just three games he gained 321 rushing yards averaging almost 6 yards per carry. Considering how ineffective the Hawk’s O-line has been this season, it’s truly a feat. Perhaps when Lynch leaves the game Seattle will have a quality replacement. At the very least, he’s a new player fans will buy jerseys of, even if the rest of the team has been struggling this year.
As the second overall pick, Mariota has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Despite the Titan’s failures in recent seasons, this rookie has really transformed the offensive plays for the team. Through five games, the former Oregon standout was averaging a 64 percent completion percentage. While he has struggled and is overcoming a strained MCL, he remains the Titans’ starter. A new challenge has emerged for the rookie, however, in that he is already on his second head coach, barely halfway through the season after Ken Whisenhunt was fired.
The Buccaneers aren’t known for being all that good in recent years, but the team is hoping Jameis Winston will help change that. Winston, taken with the top pick in the 2015 draft has been OK so far, though he is known for making hilarious mistakes. Even though the learning curve for the young QB is pretty high, he’s led his team to 10 touchdowns, a 58 percent completion rating, and major wins over the Saints and the Falcons.
The Seahawks racked up the rookie talent this season, and Tyler Lockett is the perfect addition to a needy offensive game. With Wilson avoiding sacks and rushing passes down field, it’s good that Lockett is one of the most impressive rookie wide receivers in the league. Even though he doesn’t get as many offensive snaps as he should, this receiver won’t be denied his star capabilities. With a few touchdowns under his belt and an impressive 105-yard punt return TD, he is someone to look out for.
The Oakland Raiders have been on the lookout for someone to take over their game, and rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper has been that man. Cooper is on pace to be the best receiver the Raiders have seen since 2002. If the plays continue pushing in his direction, the team may be looking at impressive stats ending the season. He already has three 100-yard performances under his belt through only six games.
The New York Jets got what they needed in a rookie defensive end with Leonard Williams. As the number six overall draft pick this year, Williams adds tailored skill to an already impressive defensive line. On top of his stout defense against the run, he has 18 tackles and some impressive plays already. Even though the Jets have failed to put up the offensive points this year, the defense has been one of the best in the league.
Rounding out the list is Ronald Darby the cornerback for the Buffalo Bills. Even though the rookie was a second-round pick in the draft, he’s proven to be most impressive on the field. Even among his more seasoned peers he’s the third-ranked cornerback in the league through six games. Despite the fact that the Bills aren’t really making much of a splash this season as far as wins, Darby has been the stand out player and looks to have an exciting career in the NFL.
- Written by James Hills
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