We’re now three weeks into the NFL season, so it’s time to take a look at some of the best rookies around the league so far! Without further ado, here are some of the top rookie performers in no particular order:
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals:
Chase struggled with drops in the preseason but has since silenced the critics in the biggest way, becoming the first player in the Super Bowl era to start his NFL career with a 30-yard touchdown in three straight games. Quarterback Joe Burrow and Chase have taken no time to get back to where they left off at LSU in 2019, where they won a national championship together. Chase has shown his ability to stack cornerbacks on his hip and stretch the field vertically, and once the Bengals fully incorporate his ability to work the middle of the field as a possession receiver as well, he will be an extremely well-rounded, productive receiver as a rookie.
Penei Sewell, OT, Detroit Lions:
Like Chase, Sewell had his share of struggles in the preseason but has since produced a solid three weeks, having moved from right tackle to left tackle following Taylor Decker’s injury, returning to his more natural side. While there is some work to do in pass protection, Sewell has still held up well to keep Jared Goff clean, and his run blocking has been extremely impressive.
Rashawn Slater, OT, Los Angeles Chargers:
Slater is making the people who claimed he would not be able to play left tackle in the NFL during the draft process look like fools. I always thought he would shine as a left tackle, giving him a top ten grade this spring. While his measurables aren’t ideal, he certainly has the technique to overcome them and shine on the blindside, which is crucial for Justin Herbert’s health and development. Slater even held Chase Young and the Washington defensive line to 0 sacks, pressures, hurries or hits against him in Week 1.
Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys:
Remarkably, Parsons is the fourth opt-out on this list who has taken no time to hit the ground running. Even more impressively, Parsons has even shined at defensive end, a position he has not played since high school, which demonstrates his elite natural pass-rushing ability. He has been solid in both the run game and pass coverage as well, showing that he can be a complete player and playmaker for the Cowboys for years to come.
Odafe Oweh, DE, Baltimore Ravens:
Despite not recording a sack at Penn State last year, Oweh has impressively burst onto the scene during his rookie season, including one of the best defensive performances in the league in the Ravens’ win against Kansas City. For a player who flashed all of the natural talent and potential, it is a real credit to him and his coaching staff for how quickly he has improved his game and acclimated to the NFL.
Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Los Angeles Chargers:
Samuel’s interception against Patrick Mahomes, which demonstrated both his athleticism and football instincts, made rounds in NFL circles, which is well-deserved given his play these past three weeks. Samuel now has interceptions in back-to-back weeks and has been outplaying several cornerbacks picked ahead of him.
- Cover Image: https://thespun.com/nfl/nfc-east/dallas-cowboys/micah-parsons-keeping-a-secret-before-sundays-game
Edited By: Isaac Dirrim and Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.