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NFL Rookie Power Rankings for Preseason Week 2

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2013

NFL Rookie Power Rankings for Preseason Week 2

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    We've waited months for this moment to come and finally the first full week of NFL action is officially in the record books.

    This week's rookie power rankings saw a ton of change as the influencing power of full-speed professional competition revealed some new stars and said goodbye to some early duds who may or may not return. 

    The list now features six new faces—each one ready to hold firm to their place in the top 25. In order to do this, they must prove themselves between those hashes on the biggest stage in the world.

    Each week the influence from their college exploits will slowly dissipate into oblivion. Before long, the future NFL stars that populate this list will all have made their mark battling against the greatest athletes to ever play the game. 

    Any rookie capable of thriving in these harsh conditions deserves our respect. Consider this list their tribute. 

Explanations

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    Just to clarify, the foundation for most of my rankings were derived from my annual draft metric, which can be viewed in its entirety at eDraft.com. The link should be able to provide you with a great deal of transparency about my process. There you will also find a page detailing how I valued each prospect's college production grade. 

    As for the “Camp Buzz” category, this was determined by reading all of the news and updates I could find using both Google and Twitter. Based on the amount of news and the content of the stories/comments, I gave each player a grade that should reflect how they've performed so far in their brief NFL careers.

    The “Early Opportunity” segment is graded based on where each player stands on the depth chart and what type of reps he's getting in camp. Is he running with the ones or the twos?

    To determine this I mainly resorted to Ourlads.com, which has up-to-date depth charts for every team. I also relied on information from various articles while reading about their Camp Buzz grade.  

    In order to determine a grade for the “Team Fit” category, I projected how each player’s skills and natural abilities would translate into the scheme and system of the team by which they were drafted. There was also some slight consideration of surrounding talent, coaching staff and available opportunities.

    This power rankings list is designed to change each week as player performance fluctuates. As new stars rise, older mainstays may lose their spot among the elite crop of 2013 rookies.

     

     

     

Honorable Mention

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    26) Johnthan Banks, CB, Buccaneers

    27) Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers

    28) D.J. Fluker, RT, Chargers

    29) Quanterus Smith, DE, Broncos

    30) Kiko Alonso, MLB, Bills

     

25) Corey Lemonier, OLB, 49ers

4 of 28

    Last Week: Unranked 

    Just made the cut in his first appearance in the top 25. 

     

    Measurables: 6.86/10

    Very gifted athlete.

     

    College Tape: 14.18/20

    Lemonier is a natural pass-rusher who can really turn a corner. Needs to be more active with his hands, though.

     

    College Production: 4.1/5

    Had 17 sacks in 39 games at Auburn.

     

    Team Fit: 2.8/3

    Is the prototypical outside linebacker in a 49ers defense. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1/2

    Will have to fight Cam Johnson and Parys Haralson for a spot in the rotation. The only problem here—the 49ers defense does not rotate bodies. We may not see Lemonier for at least a year. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.7/5

    Corey Lemonier looks slimmer, and faster, than I remember him being at Auburn. Really good first-step off the right side. #49ers

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) August 9, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.5/5

    The Auburn product looked promising in his NFL debut as he found a way to pressure the quarterback on several occasions. He needs to do a better job working his way to the ball through traffic.

     

    Total: 36.09/50

24) Desmond Trufant, CB, Falcons

5 of 28

    Last Week: 6 

    Dropped 18 spots.

     

    Measurables: 6.9/10

    One of the most physically gifted cornerbacks drafted this year.

     

    College Tape: 15.2/20

    His tape is loaded with both good and bad. His confidence can be a real strength or weakness for him. Was very impressed with his abilities in man coverage, as were the Falcons no doubt.

     

    College Production: 4.2/5

    Very hard to pass on a guy with superior athleticism who produced at a high level throughout college. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.9/3

    What he does best is what Atlanta hopes to pull out of him. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.8/2

    He should end up the starter unless unseated by fellow rookie Robert Alford. Either way, he will be asked to play a ton of snaps his rookie year. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.4/5

    There have been a number of reports that Trufant is struggling. That shouldn't come as the biggest surprise when you have to cover Julio Jones and Roddy White every day in practice. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 2/5

    The most memorable part of that preseason game for Trufant was when Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham cleaned his clock on the sideline when the cornerback tried to tackle him. He might not have been able to recover from the hit, which came early in the contest, because he failed to do anything afterward. At least he showed the toughness to take on a guy more than 50 pounds heavier than him.  

     

    Total: 36.31/50

23) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings

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    Last Week: Unranked 

    Patterson had a big week. 

     

    Measurables: 5.9/10

    Although Patterson ran an electric 40-yard dash time of 4.42 seconds, his 3-cone (7.19) and short shuttle (4.4) times hurt him. 

     

    College Tape: 15.94/20

    If you love yards after the catch, then you're going to really enjoy watching Patterson's career unfold. 

     

    College Production: 1.8/5

    He was a junior-college transfer and didn't play in many games while at Tennessee. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.9/3

    With the loss of Percy Harvin, Patterson should be able to step right into his role as the versatile playmaker.

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.9/2

    The doors are wide open for Patterson to come in and take his place as the No. 2 receiver to Greg Jennings. It's really up to him whether he will do it. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.3/5

    So far, rave reviews for Vikings rookie WR Cordarrelle Patterson:... http://t.co/dR8IW2EwDB

    — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 29, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.6/5

    Patterson looked the part as one of the most dynamic playmakers of the 2013 rookie class. Expect some amazing highlights out of Minnesota as the season goes along. 

     

    Total: 36.34/50

22) Star Lotulelei, DT, Panthers

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    Last Week: 8 

    Dropped 14 spots. 

     

    Measurables: 5.4/10

    Lotulelei's functional strength and physical dominance does not show up on his test numbers.

     

    College Tape: 16.4/20

    This is where that dominating style of play pops out instantly. Lotulelei is nothing less than a human bulldozer. 

     

    College Production: 4/5

    Much of Lotulelei's impact on a game cannot be quantified on a stat sheet. He clogs up holes and disrupts offenses with regularity. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.9/3

    This is a great fit for Lotulelei. He should be a tremendous help to that defense right away. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 2/2

    Lotulelei has been listed as a starter early in Carolina. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.7/5

    Head coach Ron Rivera had several good things to say about Lotulelei (via Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer):

    He’s been everything we thought he could be and maybe a little bit more. He’s done some really good things. He’s shown his athleticism, he’s shown his power and strength and he’s a sharp kid.

    His retention coming back from OTAs and mini-camp was very good. We’re very pleased with that. But his work ethic is really phenomenal, so that’s what you need from your young guys...
    Preseason Game 1: 2.5/5

    Steve Palazzolo writes and analyzes tape for Pro Football Focus. 

    Pretty uneventful game for Star Lotulelei. 13 snaps, no pressures on 11 rushes. Only 2 snaps vs. run, moved easily by Eben Britton on one

    — Steve Palazzolo (@StevePalazzolo) August 12, 2013

     

    Total: 36.41/50

21) Devin Taylor, DE, Lions

8 of 28

    Last Week: 25 

    Moved up four spots.

     

    Measurables: 8.1/10

    One of the most gifted athletes at the NFL scouting combine last February. He looks a little stiff on tape but nobody can time at 6.89 in the 3-cone while weighing 266 pounds and be stiff. Oh, he also happens to be 6'7". 

     

    College Tape: 13.4/20

    Needs to learn how to stay low and use his leverage. At times he's so tall that his movements look lumbering and lethargic. 

     

    College Production: 4.3/5

    He played in a lot of games and has made some big plays. He'll need to take his production up a notch at the next level. 

     

    Team Fit: 2/3

    Using Taylor on the edge out wide could be the best thing that's ever happened to him. This would allow him to build up momentum and collapse the pocket with speed-to-power. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.2/2

    Taylor is currently buried in the depth chart but that should change if he keeps playing like he has in preseason. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.8/5

    Dave Birkett is the Lions' beat writer for the Detroit Free Press.

    Fourth-round pick Devin Taylor leaving an impression at #Lions camp http://t.co/uTvCKhEwb0

    — Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 2, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.7/5

    Taylor had some great moments and some moments where he looked too sluggish. His highlight was a fantastic strip/sack that showed off an array of talents.

     

    Total: 36.47/50

20) Jonathan Cooper, OG, Cardinals

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    Last Week: 14 

    Dropped six spots.

     

    Measurables: 5.2/10

    These are elite measurables for an offensive guard. He is a very talented athlete for being such a big man. 

     

    College Tape: 16.2/20

    His tape showed off that athleticism as he consistently dominated defenders with impressive body control and balance. 

     

    College Production: 4.2/5

    Started 47 games in his collegiate career, winning first-team All-American honors and first-team All-Conference. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.9/3

    The Cardinals need anyone who can block and Cooper is one of the best. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.9/2

    He is starting at guard already. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.5/5

    Josh Liskiewitz is a college scout with GM Jr Scouting and a reliable eye for spotting talent. 

    Looking at Arizona and Green Bay rookies right now - WOW Jonathan Cooper is an impressive athlete...

    — Josh Liskiewitz (@JoshLiskiewitz) August 10, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3/5

     

    Total: 36.52/50

19) Sheldon Richardson, DL, Jets

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    Last Week: 24 

    Moved up five spots. 

     

    Measurables: 6.3/10

    Impressive athlete for a defensive lineman. 

     

    College Tape: 16.2/20

    Was extremely impressed with Richardson's film, especially with the way he is able to penetrate gaps inside. His quickness to close on a ball-carrier rivals that of a linebacker. 

     

    College Production: 4.1/5

    Richardson only played in 24 collegiate games, yet managed to become one of the most productive defensive tackles to enter this draft. He has big-time playmaking ability and a ton of raw ability. 

     

    Team Fit: 1.7/3

    His best fit seemed to be as a 3-technique in a 4-3 defense. The Jets will try to use him all over the line in their 3-4 front but his most valuable asset is as a guy who can shoot the gaps. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.7/2

    Expect him to contribute right away for the Jets. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.2/5

    Rex said Sheldon Richardson has really "jumped out" at him. #Jets

    — Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) August 11, 2013
    Sheldon Richardson records a sack in team drills. Clyde Gates makes diving catch on long ball in 7 on 7. #Jets

              — Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) July 26, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.3/5

    Though Richardson appeared to get tired at times, he did flash some nice ability making a few impressive tackles. He was even able to put a little pressure on the quarterback, which is something he did very well at Missouri. 

     

    Total: 36.52/50

18) Jamie Collins, LB, Patriots

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    Last Week: 19 

    Dropped one spot.

     

    Measurables: 7.4/10

    He is one of the best athletes to come out of the 2013 rookie-draft class. 

     

    College Tape: 15.1/20

    Collins' physical tools really show up when you put on his tape. He can make plays in a variety of ways and impressive closing speed. 

     

    College Production: 4.4/5

    Highly productive player who has demonstrated rare versatility when it comes to playing different positions. Collins has played nearly every position on a defense and has constantly been able to make plays wherever he's lined up. 

     

    Team Fit: 1.8/3

    It's still somewhat unclear exactly how New England intends on using their exciting new rookie. But so far it looks like he is playing primarily in coverage at linebacker. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 0.8/2

    It's unlikely he starts right away but should see some early action. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.4/5

    Patriots linebacker coach Pepper Johnson has had a lot of great things to say about his new linebacker, but he's just one of a long list of Collins' endorsers. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.2/5

    Collins was impressive moving in space and showed off his incredible closing speed on a few occasions. Overall he had a decent day for a first game in the NFL. 

     

    Total: 37.15/50

17) Robert Alford, CB, Falcons

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    Last Week: Unranked 

    Robert Alford is another fast riser this week making his first appearance in the top 25.

     

    Measurables: 5.9/10

    He's very quick but lacks in ideal size for the NFL.

     

    College Tape: 15.06/20

    Alford shined at the Senior Bowl, which definitely showed he could compete with the big boys. 

     

    College Production: 2.6/5

    Had 10 interceptions in 29 games while playing against small-school competition.  

     

    Team Fit: 2.6/3

    His skills as a cover corner should translate nicely into what Atlanta likes to do, which is play tight man coverage. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.8/2

    He is currently competing with fellow rookie Desmond Trufant for one of the starting cornerback spots. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.7/5

    Sports Illustrated's Peter King declared Alford one of the fastest risers early on in training camp as he was challenging first-rounder Trufant for the starting role. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.5/5

    Alford outshined Trufant yet again in their preseason debut. He looks like one of the best rookies in this year's class throughout the summer.

    His cover abilities and on-field awareness are incredible. 

     

    Total: 37.16/50

16) Manti Te'o, LB, Chargers

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    Last Week: 4 

    Dropped 12 spots.

     

    Measurables: 5.9/10

    His measurables have never impressed. They likely kept him out of the first round in all honesty. 

     

    College Tape: 15.3/20

    Playing football is what Te'o does best, unless of course he's playing against Alabama. 

    Te'o is the most instinctual linebacker in his class. 

     

    College Production: 4.6/5

    Te'o was a beast and tackling machine while at Notre Dame. He also had a knack for interceptions his senior year. 

     

    Team Fit: 3/3

    Everything about this fit is perfect for Te'o. He should do well in San Diego.

     

    Early Opportunity: 2/2

    Te'o will start at inside linebacker right out the gate. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4/5

    High praise has come his way from both players and coaches alike. One of the reoccurring themes seems to be how intelligent and mature Te'o seems to be. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 2.4/5

    Te'o seemed eerily quiet in his first game as he continues to learn the speed of the game, which has to be significant considering he was running out there with the first-stringers.  

     

    Total: 37.22/50

15) Sharrif Floyd, DT, Vikings

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    Last Week: Unranked 

    Vikings fans were upset with the absence of Floyd in last week's edition. He has finally earned the right to be here. 

     

    Measurables: 5.7/10

    Nothing much to brag about here but very solid all around, although his short arms have been a concern. 

     

    College Tape: 15.78/20

    Renowned for his ability to penetrate into opposing backfields from the inside. 

     

    College Production: 4.2/5

    Floyd was one of the more productive guys from the interior in the draft. His ability to put pressure on the quarterback up the middle is a valuable asset in the NFL. 

     

    Team Fit: 2/3

    Floyd fits in nicely with Minnesota's scheme up-front. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1/2

    He will start his career as a backup but should get reps in a heavy rotation with Kevin Williams. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.1/5

    According to Arif Hasan, featured columnist for Bleacher Report and a mainstay at Vikings' camp, Floyd has been abusing the third-string offensive linemen during camp. That may seem like something to expect given the competition, but it's a good sign for any rookie who can dominate against NFL competition.

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.5/5

    Floyd was very active in his debut performance for the Vikings. He was tipping passes and putting pressure on the QB consistently before leaving with a minor knee injury

     

    Total: 37.28/50

14) Vance McDonald, TE, 49ers

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    Last Week: Unranked 

    Vance McDonald is one of this week's fastest risers, making his first appearance in the top 25. 

     

    Measurables: 7/10

    Great combination of speed and strength.

     

    College Tape: 13.5/20

    His ability to power through tacklers, and his sure hands, are the most exciting aspects of his game.

     

    College Production: 4.2/5

    Only two tight end's I scouted this year had more career touchdowns than McDonald did while at Rice. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.8/3

    Can block as well as he can catch. He'll be a huge weapon in the 49ers offense early and often. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.5/2

    Should see a ton of early action as the second tight end in what's sure to be a lot of double TE formations. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.1/5

    49ers had to like the way Vance McDonald looked making that grab for 19-yard gain. Rookie 2nd rd TE.

    — Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) August 9, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.2/5

    Made some really nice catches but needs to be more consistent with catching the ball. 

     

    Total: 37.30/50

13) Geno Smith, QB, Jets

16 of 28

    Last Week: 16 

    Moved up three spots. 

     

    Measurables: 7/10

    Smith's measurables were arguably the most impressive of all rookie quarterbacks this year.

     

    College Tape: 15.3/20

    His proficiency at the college level is intriguing, to say the least. Plays more like a pass-first-type guy than his athleticism would suggest. 

     

    College Production: 4.3/5

    Put up incredible numbers during his time at West Virginia. In his four years there he threw 98 touchdown passes to only 21 interceptions. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.4/3

    One major downside here is playing within an offense that has very little surrounding talent. It will be a challenge for any quarterback to have success for the Jets in 2013. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.6/2

    In Smith's first real opportunity to win the starting job he ended up spraining his ankle while scrambling. The starting job is still up for grabs.  

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.6/5

    Nobody has really wowed in camp but Smith looked impressive in his scrimmage and seems to be coming along well for a rookie adjusting to a pro-style system. As expected, some days are up and some are down. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.2/5

    Smith flashed some nice plays when given the opportunity but he never seemed to look totally comfortable. He left a bit early with a sprained ankle, as mentioned earlier.

     

    Total: 37.42/50

12) Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Browns

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    Last Week: 20 

    Moved up eight spots.

     

    Measurables: 7.4/10

    His physical gifts are incredible, which is partly why Mingo's potential is nearly unlimited. 

     

    College Tape: 15/20

    Mingo's explosion stands out the most on film. 

     

    College Production: 3.9/5

    Never had the monster numbers his athleticism would suggest. This has been a cause for concern. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.4/3

    Aside from limited playing time right off the bat, Mingo is entering the perfect defensive scheme for his abilities. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.1/2

    Mingo is currently second on the depth chart at outside linebacker behind veteran Jabaal Sheard. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.9/5

    #Browns rookie OLB Barkevious Mingo making quite an impression with his non-stop motor. http://t.co/G4rM0LuVCy

    — Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) August 12, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.2/5

    Mingo flashed his potential early on special teams, which was followed up with solid play throughout. Once again, it was his speed that stands out the most. 

     

    Total: 37.92/50

11) David Amerson, CB, Redskins

18 of 28

    Last Week: 23 

    Jumped up 12 spots with an impressive performance in his first game. 

     

    Measurables: 6.9/10

    Very good size for a cornerback at 6'1" and more than 200 pounds. That impressive frame pairs nicely with sub-4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. 

     

    College Tape: 14.9/20

    There were some glaring holes in his game in college. I was impressed by his outing in the preseason game where he seemed to turn all his weaknesses into strengths. 

     

    College Production: 4/5

    Amerson's junior year was one of the most productive years for a cornerback in a long time. He managed to haul in 13 interceptions in that season alone.

     

    Team Fit: 1.6/3

    The Redskins are looking to implement a lot of press-man coverage, which is something new to his game. This can come with a significant learning curve.

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.8/2

    Thanks in large part to Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall's injuries, Amerson has been given a valuable opportunity to make an early impression. So far he has done just that. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4/5

    According to John Keim of ESPN.com, Amerson's physical skill set has been the most impressive aspect of his game so far. His speed and footwork have also been complimented. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.8/5

    Was extremely impressed with the entire gamut of Amerson's game last week. Most surprising was his willingness to get tough and physical on tackles. He made some nice hits and was strong in coverage. 

     

    Total: 37.97/50

10) Kenny Vaccaro, S, Saints

19 of 28

    Last Week: 5 

    Slid five spots from last week.

     

    Measurables: 6.6/10

    Has all the physical tools to be a great one.

     

    College Tape: 15.2/20

    Showed impressive fluidity in his hips, which helps him to be one of the better cover safeties in the draft. 

     

    College Production: 4.5/5

    Vaccaro has been one of those guys who has played solid football for a long time. You know in him you at least have consistency at the safety position.  

     

    Team Fit: 2.9/3

    The Saints' secondary needs playmakers and Vaccaro is just that. He is a great fit in New Orleans. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.7/2

    Will likely end up the starter by the start of the regular season. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 3.9/5

    Don Banks writes for Sports Illustrated.

    2013 Saints defense is so much better in the back with newcomers Kennan Lewis and Kenny Vaccaro added to secondary: http://t.co/ZA1ZFpr2J8

    — Don Banks (@DonBanks) August 9, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.3/5

    Vaccaro made some nice tackles in his first preseason game, showing off his physical nature and willingness to get dirty. 

     

    Total: 38.05/50

9) Damontre Moore, DE, Giants

20 of 28

    Last Week: Unranked 

    Damontre Moore skyrocketed up the charts with an impressive preseason outing against the Steelers.

     

    Measurables: 6.94/10

    Though many were concerned about his unimpressive 40-yard dash, he did manage to excel in nearly every other area at the combine. His long 35-inch arms may be his biggest physical asset. 

     

    College Tape: 13.62/20

    Moore seems to lack a burst around the corner, which may end up haunting him throughout his pro career. 

     

    College Production: 4.2/5

    Whatever his knocks are, production is not one of them. Moore was one of the more productive pass-rushers coming out of college this year. He had 26.5 sacks in 38 games while at Texas A&M. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.7/3

    Moore is a nice fit with the Giants, who have a habit of stockpiling talented pass-rushers.

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.4/2

    He will have to continue to impress this preseason if he's going to play a big role on the defensive line. So far it looks like he already earned a spot as a rotational guy.

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.5/5

    Perry Fewell says Damontre Moore is "making a lot of mistakes right now" but is "positive" he will contribute as rookie. #nyg

    — Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) August 13, 2013

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.8/5

    Provided relentless pressure off the edge while even coming up with a beautiful punt block on special teams.

     

    Total: 38.16/50

8) Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Cardinals

21 of 28

    Last Week: 21 

    Mathieu made a big jump in the rankings to eighth, courtesy of his undeniable playmaking ability.

     

    Measurables: 5.2/10

    This is an area that has never impressed scouts when it comes to Mathieu. He's not overly big, fast or strong, but has incredible instincts. 

     

    College Tape: 15/20

    Though he had some lapses in coverage, this kid is a true difference maker. 

     

    College Production: 4.5/5

    In terms of production per game, nobody comes close to Mathieu's incredible output. In 26 games he was able to do what most can't in 50. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.7/3

    It seems he has found a nice home in Arizona where they intend on maximizing his playmaking instincts in a roaming-safety type role. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.7/2

    He has a good opportunity for early playing time and has made a case for a starting position thus far. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 5/5

    The Mathieu camp chatter has been loud and positive

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.7/5

    The big plays continued with his first real NFL action. Mathieu took advantage of a blitz opportunity by coming up with his first sack in a Cardinals uniform. He also was impressive in coverage. 

     

    Total: 38.29/50

7) Dee Milliner, CB, Jets

22 of 28

    Last Week: 3 

    Was outshined by some impressive performances this week. 

     

    Measurables: 6.1/10

    Gifted athlete who has the length to be an excellent man-corner in this league.

     

    College Tape: 15.9/20

    Instinctual player who has a knack for finding the ball and making big-time plays. 

     

    College Production: 4.1/5

    Finished fourth out of more than 30 cornerbacks in production per game throughout his career. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.9/3

    Rex Ryan should be able to help Milliner reach his maximum potential. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 2/2

    Milliner has already earned his way into the starting lineup, according to ourlads.com.

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.2/5

    The big buzz was him playing well enough to earn a starting job. But there was no shortage of praise for Milliner's play early on in camp. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.8/5

    Made some really nice plays on the ball and was always tight to his man in coverage. Proved the NFL game is not too big for him, regardless of his lack of experience. 

     

    Total: 38.38/50

6) Luke Joeckel, OT, Jaguars

23 of 28

    Last Week: 10 

    Moving up with steady play.

     

    Measurables: 5.8/10

    Not the most athletic tackle in the group, but probably the best. 

     

    College Tape: 16.4/20

    Solid anchor, technically sound and the safest pick in the draft. 

     

    College Production: 4.2/5

    Winner of multiple collegiate awards and a guy who has proven his durability. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.5/3

    The only knock here is not being able to play the left tackle position because of the established presence of Eugene Monroe. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.9/2

    Joeckel is a lock to be the starter at right tackle for opening week. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.1/5

    All news about Joeckel out of Jaguars camp has been good. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.2/5

    Played extremely well for his first NFL action, even when matched up against All-Pro defensive end Cameron Wake.  

     

    Total: 38.49/50

5) DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

24 of 28

    Last Week: 7 

    Bumped up two spots after a promising first preseason game. 

     

    Measurables: 6/10

    There is nothing overly impressive about Hopkins in this department but he gets the job done. 

     

    College Tape: 15.1/20

    Fantastic route-runner and superior hands have made him a top receiver in this rookie class. 

     

    College Production: 3.7/5

    Amassed more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage during his college career.

     

    Team Fit: 2.9/3

    Should benefit from having Andre Johnson to learn from and a proficient offense focused on a balanced attack. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.8/5

    Hopkins began to impress even as early as mini-camps, catching everything thrown his way. That pattern seems to have carried over all the way into his preseason opener. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.9/5

    The first-round rookie looked like a veteran out there in his first action as a pro, making some fantastic grabs in traffic and over the backs of defenders.

     

    Total: 38.75/50

4) EJ Manuel, QB, Bills

25 of 28

    Last Week: 12 

    Moving on up after an impressive debut. 

     

    Measurables: 6.8/10

    Big, tall, strong and fast. Everything you want physically in your franchise quarterback. 

     

    College Tape: 15.4/20

    Manuel's release is a bit unique, but then again so is his accuracy. He needs to improve his decision making and protect the football, but his potential and raw ability are by far the most impressive of any QB in this rookie class. 

     

    College Production: 4.1/5

    Completed almost 67 percent of his passes while at Florida State. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.8/3

    Seems to be a good fit in Buffalo so far. Worked a lot of high-tempo plays from a shotgun formation. This is ideal for Manuel's skill set. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.8/2

    The only thing standing in the way of him and the starting QB job is Kevin Kolb. There's a good chance Manuel locks up the job well before the season opener. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.2/5

    Manuel is receiving mixed reviews in training camp. Obviously has a steep learning curve as a rookie QB. Expect lots of growing pains. 

     

    Preseason Game 1: 3.9/5

    Flashed his potential to be a big star in the NFL with both his legs and his arm. The intermediate accuracy and zip on his throws looked promising. 

     

    Total: 38.94/50

3) Tavon Austin, WR, Rams

26 of 28

    Last Week: 2 

    Fell back a spot due to an uneventful preseason opener. 

     

    Measurables: 6.6/10

    Though short at 5'9", Austin is already one of the quickest players in the NFL.

     

    College Tape: 15.8/20

    Austin has extremely reliable hands and can make you miss like few people can. 

     

    College Production: 5/5

    Has never missed a game due to injury. He was also the most productive receiver overall in this rookie class. 

     

    Team Fit: 3/3

    Seems to be a perfect fit for the Rams offense and how they intend to feature him. Plus, he gets to play on a fast surface indoors.

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.9/2

    Should be a starter come Week 1. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.7/5

    Mike Mayock of NFL.com had a lot of good things to say after visiting the Rams in training camp:

    "I watched all of his tape, I saw him in person at his pro day. He might be the most explosive player I've ever seen in my life, from a static start to full speed."

     

    Preseason Game 1: 2/5

    Played sparingly in his debut, failing to catch a single ball. 

     

    Total: 39/50

2) Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks

27 of 28

    Last Week: 17 

    Michael's impressive preseason debut gave him a huge boost this week. Lets see if he can maintain that level of play throughout. 

     

    Measurables: 9.1/10

    In two years of collecting measurables on more than 500 prospects, Michael has the highest grade of them all. Incredible specimen.

     

    College Tape: 15.2/20

    Displays an ideal combination of power, burst, elusiveness and vision. 

     

    College Production: 3/5

    Character issues hampered his opportunities to produce more at Texas A&M, but when given the ball he shined. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.2/3

    Is somewhat in the mold of Marshawn Lynch's physical run style. Will likely have to wait for his chance to contribute in a loaded backfield. 

     

    Early Opportunity: 1/2

    Currently third on the depth chart in Seattle behind Lynch and second-year pro Robert Turbin. 

     

    Camp Buzz: 4.4/5

    According to ESPN NFL reporter Adam Caplan, head coach Pete Carroll had this to say about Michael:

    He’s done nothing but good stuff. He’s very quick, lightning quick, a really good worker, he finishes, he makes an impression to you all the time about how he’s willing to bust his tail to get down the field and finish runs, finish blocks and all that stuff. He’s fast, and he’s picking things up so he’s doing good.

     

    Preseason Game 1: 4.5/5

    Michael lit up the opposition in a showcase of athletic supremacy and toughness all night long. 

     

    Total: 39.42/50

1) Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals

28 of 28

    Last Week: 1 

    Holds on to the top spot with Tavon Austin sliding. Eifert is the top-ranked rookie for the second week in a row.

     

    Measurables: 6.9

    At 6'5" and 250 pounds, he was timed at 6.92 in the 3-cone while at the scouting combine.  

     

    College Tape: 16.4/20

    His tape is a series of impressive catches and inspired play throughout. There is no doubt Eifert was the heart of the Notre Dame offense last season. His combination of height and athleticism helped him terrorize opposing defenses on a weekly basis. 

     

    College Production: 4.1/5

    Of all the tight ends I scouted this year, Eifert was tops in total yards from scrimmage throughout his career. 

     

    Team Fit: 2.8/3

    Having to share time with Jermaine Gresham forces the Bengals to get more creative with how they use their rookie tight end, which can be a good thing considering his versatility. Andy Dalton needs to step up and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden needs to flex his play-calling muscles this season. 

     

     

    Early Opportunity: 1.9/2

    Splitting time with Gresham, as mentioned earlier, will take some of his opportunities away, but he'll be on the field more than not this season.

     

    Camp Buzz: 5/5

    Gruden praises Eifert (via foxnews.com): 

    He's done everything we thought and more. He's just one of those guys that when he makes a play, you kind of look around and see if anybody else saw what he just did. He's running routes and catching the ball. He's very natural at what he does. He can beat man coverage no problem. He can beat zones. He's got a great feel for the game.

    Preseason Game 1: 3.6/5

    Though he did struggle at times, the rookie managed to make a few decent blocks (an area he was criticized for coming out of college) and he made a nice catch that was called back because of a penalty away from the ball. 

     

    Total: 40.89/50

     

    Ryan Riddle is an NFL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a contributor to Footballguys.com. Before B/R, Ryan was drafted by the Oakland Raiders and spent time with the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Avengers.  


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