Some of the most high-profile members of the NFL rookie class—including the top player in this week’s Bleacher Report NFL Rookie Rankings—took the spotlight when the Buffalo Bills played the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.
It was a tough night for Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel. The No. 16 overall pick suffered a knee sprain in the third quarter and did not return to the game, and it is uncertain how many games he will end up missing as a result of the injury.
It was a better night for Browns outside linebacker and No. 6 overall selection Barkevious Mingo, though. While Mingo was unable to extend his sack streak for a fourth consecutive game, he continued to be a very active member of the Browns defense, making four quarterback hits and breaking up a pass intended for Stevie Johnson with another big hit.
Buffalo Bills middle linebacker and second-round pick Kiko Alonso, however, continued to steal the show. While he did not extend his streak of interceptions to four games, he continued to be a big playmaker for the Bills defense, leading the unit with 12 total tackles.
Another strong game on Thursday night only cemented what Alonso had already accomplished with a two-interception game Sunday versus the Baltimore Ravens: a move to the No. 1 spot in the following rankings.
For more on why Alonso has been the NFL’s best rookie—as well as a look at 24 more rookies whose performances have been praise-worthy thus far—check out the following slides.
Note: Advanced statistics and snap counts were found using Pro Football Focus’ premium statistics database. A subscription is required to access the database.