Biggest Takeaways from Every NFL Team's 2019 Rookie Class
It isn't fair to judge NFL draft classes for at least a few seasons. Making the jump from college to the pros can take time, and what we see in Year 1 isn't always what we get over the course of a career. Older fans may remember Peyton Manning and his league-leading 28 interceptions as a rookie back in 1998. Things ended up working out pretty well for that guy.
With 10 weeks of the 2019 season complete, though, early opinions can be formed. New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, for example, may not be the next Manning—Peyton or Eli—but he's shown a good foundation of athleticism, accuracy and poise during his time as a starter.
As the season enters its home stretch, it's a great time to examine each team's rookie class and the players' development thus far. These takeaways may seem silly a year from now—or even weeks from now, for that matter—but here are the biggest things we've learned about each rookie class through 10 weeks.
In addition to all the takes for every NFL team's 2019 draft class in this slideshow, the folks at Stick to Football's latest episode look at Dwayne Haskins's future, what to make of Vernon Hargreaves III's sudden release, which QB the Cincinnati Bengals should take in the 2020 NFL draft, and the future (and how to fix it) for the Daniel Jones-led New York Giants. Check all that and more out here.
Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray Was the Right Choice at No. 1
The Arizona Cardinals had a difficult decision at the top of April's draft. They already had 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen at quarterback, there was no clear-cut No. 1 signal-caller and Ohio State pass-rusher Nick Bosa appeared to be the safer pick.
The Cardinals opted to draft undersized but dynamic Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and dealt Rosen to the Miami Dolphins. Through 10 weeks, that's looking like the smart decision, as Murray has been a natural fit for Kliff Kingsbury's college-inspired offense.
Has Murray been perfect? Of course not. He's been calm under fire, though, and has made up for some of Arizona's talent deficiencies with his mobility and his accurate arm. Reminiscent of a young Russell Wilson, Murray can buy time in the pocket, let his receiver work open and scramble as a last resort.
Murray has 2,553 passing yards, 351 rushing yards and 14 total touchdowns. At 3-6-1, Arizona has already secured a better record than it had last season.
The Cardinals have also gotten contributions from second-round cornerback Byron Murphy and fifth-round safety Deionte Thompson, but Murray is clearly the gem of this draft class.
Atlanta Falcons: Rookies Have Underwhelmed
Not all takeaways can be positive, and the reality is the Atlanta Falcons haven't gotten a ton out of their rookie class. This isn't entirely the fault of the players or the decision-makers who picked them, though.
The Falcons took guard Chris Lindstrom 14th overall and came back at No. 31 to snag tackle Kaleb McGary. Lindstrom landed on injured reserve after just one game, and McGary has experienced a baptism by fire while getting little support from the players around him.
He has committed four penalties and allowed five sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
Fourth-round pick Kendall Sheffield has been the highlight of Atlanta's rookie class. The former Ohio State cornerback has cracked the starting lineup over the last month and hasn't looked overwhelmed matching up against some talented NFL receivers.
Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown Is a Difference-Maker
Like the Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens haven't gotten a ton of production out of their rookie class. Their first choice in the draft, however, has been a game-changer when he's been healthy.
Injuries have limited former Oklahoma wideout Marquise Brown to seven games, but he has shown in spurts why the Ravens made him the first receiver taken in the draft. Brown is already one of the most explosive players in the NFL, and his downfield ability opens up a lot for Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore rushing attack.
Brown has racked up 454 yards and four touchdowns on just 28 receptions. The scary part is that we still may not have seen him at 100 percent.
"He's nowhere near where he's gonna be," head coach John Harbaugh said, via the team's official website.
Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver Has Gone Missing
OK, this is a hyperbolic statement. Buffalo Bills rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver has been decent in his first season. He's been a solid run defender and a nice rotational piece along Buffalo's talented defensive line.
The problem is that "solid" and "nice" aren't what the Bills were looking for when they drafted the Houston standout ninth overall. Oliver was a penetrator for the Cougars, often wrecking plays before they could get started. He hasn't been that for Buffalo, and he hasn't been in the starting lineup the past two weeks. The Bills opted to start veteran Jordan Phillips instead.
Rookie tackle Cody Ford has also been a bit of a disappointment, allowing five sacks and committing five penalties, according to Pro Football Focus.
On the bright side, Buffalo has gotten strong contributions from running back Devin Singletary and tight end Dawson Knox.
Carolina Panthers: Rookie Class Is Tough to Evaluate
With quarterback Will Grier buried behind Kyle Allen and tackle Greg Little working back from a concussion, it's been difficult to evaluate the Carolina Panthers' draft class.
First-round pick Brian Burns has flashed potential as a situational pass-rusher, but he's cooled off considerably over the past few weeks. He had 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his first six games but has just a lone tackle since. Fellow linebacker Christian Miller has 2.0 sacks on the season but has been out since Week 5.
Little made just one start before landing in the concussion protocol, though he wasn't responsible for a penalty or a sack in that game, according to Pro Football Focus.
Right now, the quality of Carolina's draft class is largely unknown.
Chicago Bears: Khalil Mack Made for a Limited Rookie Impact
The Chicago Bears didn't draft until the third round because of their trade for pass-rusher Khalil Mack. They used that selection on Iowa State running back David Montgomery.
Montgomery has shown flashes of potential and some burst in the open field. However, he hasn't been a clear upgrade over Jordan Howard, who the Bears traded away in the offseason. He's averaging fewer yards per carry (3.6 versus 3.7) than Howard did a year ago, though he's shown a bit more as a receiver.
Montgomery has 466 rushing yards, 18 receptions, 133 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
At least Chicago is getting something out of Montgomery. Fourth-round receiver Riley Ridley has yet to see the field, and fifth-round cornerback Duke Shelley hasn't recorded a statistic.
Cincinnati Bengals: Rookie Class Is Really Missing Jonah Williams
The Cincinnati Bengals used the 11th overall pick on Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams but lost him for the year to a torn labrum in June. That was a major blow to one of the shakiest teams and worst offensive lines in the NFL.
The Bengals might not be winless if Williams was healthy. They've given up 31 sacks and have seen little return from their draft class overall. Linebacker Germaine Pratt (23 tackles) has shown some promise, and guard Michael Jordan has made a handful of starts, but second-round tight end Drew Sample has a whole five receptions on the year.
Fourth-round pick Ryan Finley was recently inserted as Cincinnati's starting quarterback, and his first outing was painful to watch. The NC State product completed just 16 of 30 passes for 167 yards with a touchdown and two turnovers.
Cincinnati's draft class has been one of the most underwhelming in the league considering it consisted of 10 selections. This might not be the case if Williams hadn't suffered his offseason injury.
Cleveland Browns: Another Batch of Hits and Misses
In the 2018 draft, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey landed three potential cornerstones in Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb. Of course, he also whiffed on offensive lineman Austin Corbett.
The Browns' 2019 draft class has been a similarly mixed bag. Second-round corner Greedy Williams has started every game in which he's been healthy. Third-round linebacker Sione Takitaki can't get on the field. Fifth-round linebacker Mack Wilson looks like an absolute steal, as he has 40 tackles, a sack and three passes defended in nine games (seven starts). Fourth-round safety Sheldrick Redwine has played primarily on special teams.
Perhaps the biggest hit in the class has been kicker Austin Seibert. Kicking woes cost Cleveland multiple games last season, and Seibert has provided some reliability. Though he has missed three point-after tries, he's gone a perfect 16-of-16 on field-goal attempts.
Undrafted punter Jamie Gillan has also been a gem. He has dropped 19 kicks inside the opponent's 20 while allowing just nine returns.
Dallas Cowboys: Seeing Little Return Outside of Backup RB Tony Pollard
Rookie fourth-round pick Tony Pollard has made a few notable plays as a change-of-pace running back and kick returner. He has 226 rushing yards, 37 receiving yards, 104 return yards and a touchdown.
And that's about all the Dallas Cowboys have gotten out of their draft class. Second-round defensive tackle Trysten Hill has all of one tackle, third-round guard Connor McGovern was shut down before the start of the season, and fifth-round pick Michael Jackson didn't make the regular-season roster.
The Cowboys are a deep team, so getting on the field has been difficult for many of the rookies, but when the lone highlight of a rookie class is a backup running back, there's a problem. At least Dallas acquired wideout Amari Cooper last year with its first-round pick.
Denver Broncos: Dalton Risner Is the Highlight of the Class
Former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock wasn't the Denver Broncos' first choice in the draft, but he'll likely be the selection by which this class is judged. The second-rounder has yet to take the field, though, so that evaluation will have to wait.
Denver's first selection, tight end Noah Fant, has flashed promise but has also been inconsistent and unimpressive outside of a huge game against Cleveland. Defensive linemen Dre'Mont Jones and Justin Hollins have only made occasional plays for the defense.
However, guard Dalton Risner has been fantastic. The former Kansas State tackle has provided consistency on the interior, starting all nine games and giving the Broncos a reliable option along the line.
Risner has committed just two penalties this season and has not allowed a sack, according to Pro Football Focus.
Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson and Jahlani Tavi Are Showing Promise
Not every member of the Detroit Lions' draft class has flashed the sort of upside teams want to see. Third-round safety Will Harris has been decidedly average, while fourth-round defensive end Austin Bryant has yet to take the field because of injury.
The Lions' first two selections, however, have been impressive, albeit in spurts.
Hockenson has struggled with consistency, but he's shown what sort of player he can be a few different times this season. He had a remarkable 131-yard, one-touchdown game in Week 1 and a three-catch, 56-yard performance in Week 9.
Linebacker Jahlani Tavai has been even more impressive and has possibly started to push past Jarrad Davis as the team's top linebacker. Tavai has appeared in all nine games with four starts and has amassed 34 tackles, two sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble.
Green Bay Packers: Rookie Class Has Been Quietly Great
Aside from a Week 9 stumble against the Chargers, the Green Bay Packers have looked like one of the best teams in football. While Green Bay's rookie class hasn't received a lot of attention, it has played a big role in the Packers' consistent play.
The biggest contributor has been second-round pick Elgton Jenkins. He's started eight of 10 games at guard and has been a difference-maker in the running game and solid in pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus, he has yet to surrender a sack.
While first-round rookie Rashan Gary has only produced one sack, he's provided good depth behind starting edge-rushers Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith. Fellow first-rounder Darnell Savage Jr., meanwhile, has provided a playmaking presence on the back end of Green Bay's defense.
Fast, physical and aggressive, the rookie safety has been a tremendous fit for Mike Pettine's defense. Savage has three passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble in eight games.
Houston Texans: Rookies Helping Pass Protection Improve
The Houston Texans invested heavily in their offensive line this offseason. They used first- and second-round picks on Tytus Howard and Max Scharping, respectively, and then traded for Laremy Tunsil. When healthy, all three are in the lineup, and Houston's pass protection is better for it.
Scharping kicked inside to guard to make room for Tunsil at left tackle, while Howard has anchored the right side. According to Pro Football Focus, Scharping hasn't allowed a sack this season. Howard has allowed just one.
As a team, the Texans have only allowed 25 sacks in 2019. That's still a fairly high number, but after seeing Deshaun Watson go down 62 times last season, it represents improvement.
Howard and Scharping have been two of the biggest reasons—literally, as they weight a combined 649 pounds—why Watson is seeing better protection this year.
Indianapolis Colts: Rookie Class May Yield Several Defensive Cornerstones
The Indianapolis Colts haven't seen much from rookie receiver Parris Campbell, as injuries have limited him to six games. However, the Colts have seen a lot of defensive rookies Rock Ya-Sin, Ben Banogu, Bobby Okereke, Khari Willis and Marvell Tell.
Ya-Sin and Willis have appeared in all nine games at cornerback and safety, respectively. Ya-Sin has started seven games, while Willis has started four. Tell has appeared in six games and has also added some depth to the Indianapolis secondary.
Okereke has been a solid starter at linebacker since Week 3 and gives Indianapolis another quality interior linebacker next to Darius Leonard. Banogu, meanwhile, has provided some punch as a situational pass-rusher.
While the Colts have stumbled a bit in the last two games without quarterback Jacoby Brissett, they remain in contention for the AFC South crown. Their ninth-ranked pass defense has had a lot to do with that, and their defensive rookies have been a key factor.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Rookie Class May Have Multiple Franchise Players
The Jacksonville Jaguars made the right choice by snagging former Kentucky pass-rusher Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick. While Allen has been overshadowed by San Francisco 49ers edge-rusher Nick Bosa, he has quietly put together a campaign worthy of Defensive Rookie of the Year consideration.
Allen already has 25 tackles, 7.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.
With their second-round pick, the Jaguars took former Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor. He's started all nine games, and while he has struggled at times—he's given up six sacks, according to Pro Football Focus—Taylor has added some stability to the Jacksonville line.
Linebacker Quincy Williams has also been solid. The third-round pick has appeared in seven games with five starts and has 33 tackles to show for it.
Then, there's Gardner Minshew II, the mustachioed marvel who captured the collective hearts of the NFL world during the first half of the season. Though the Jaguars announced that Nick Foles will start in his return from injury in Week 11, Minshew showed enough during his eight starts to suggest that he could develop into Jacksonville's quarterback of the future.
Kansas City Chiefs: Nailed Round 2
The Kansas City Chiefs may have made a mistake when they traded away their first-round pick for defensive end Frank Clark, who has just 4.0 sacks on the season. However, they made up for the move by landing two potential centerpieces in Mecole Hardman and Juan Thornhill in Round 2.
Hardman, the speedy wideout out of Georgia, rivals star Tyreek Hill in his ability to stretch the field. Though he has just 21 receptions on the season, he's chewed up 437 yards with them while finding the end zone five times.
Thornhill, meanwhile, has started all 10 games at safety and has added some punch to the back end of the defense. He's made his share of rookie mistakes, but Thornhill should develop into a longtime member of the Chiefs secondary. He has 39 tackles and an interception.
Los Angeles Chargers: Rookie Class Has Been a Disappointment
The Los Angeles Chargers have been one of the league's most disappointing teams this season. After going 12-4 a year ago, Los Angeles sits at 4-6 after 10 games. Part of the issue is that the Chargers have gotten very little from their draft class.
First-round pick Jerry Tillery hasn't emerged as a disruptive, penetrating defensive tackle. He has just 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the season. Second-round pick Nasir Adderley appeared in just four games before being placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
Third-round offensive tackle Trey Pipkins, meanwhile, has failed to crack the starting lineup, despite the offensive line struggling as a whole.
On the positive side, fourth-round selection Drue Tranquill has been solid as a depth linebacker, amassing 43 tackles and a pass defended in 10 appearances.
Los Angeles Rams: Taylor Rapp Impressing; Darrell Henderson Not So Much
While the Los Angeles Rams have been forced to utilize rookie lineman David Edwards, safety Taylor Rapp has been their one consistent rookie contributor. Fortunately, the former Washington star has lived up to expectations.
"His coverage talent is average, but his run-support effort and open-field tackling are clearly defined strengths that make him a relatively safe selection," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote of Rapp before the draft.
Rapp has indeed been a fantastic run-support option on the back end of L.A.'s defense. He has appeared in eight games with three starts, racking up 53 tackles and three passes defended.
Rookie third-round pick Darrell Henderson has been less impressive. He was widely expected to be the primary backfield complement to Todd Gurley, but veteran Malcolm Brown has handled that role. Henderson has just 160 combined rushing and receiving yards on the season.
Miami Dolphins: Rookie Class Suggests Future Is Bright
The Miami Dolphins have been busy this season accumulating future draft picks. That's nice and all, but it won't matter if Miami cannot pick the right players with those selections. Fortunately, some of Miami's rookies are showing that someone in the front office knows what they are doing.
The Dolphins didn't hit on all of their draft picks, but their first two selections have been solid.
First-round pick Christian Wilkins has 32 tackles and a sack. Third-round pick Michael Deiter has started all nine games at left guard. While he hasn't always been spectacular—he's allowed four sacks, according to Pro Football Focus—he's been far from a disaster.
Perhaps the most impressive rookie has been undrafted wideout Preston Williams. Before tearing his ACL, the former Colorado State standout put up 32 receptions for 428 yards and three touchdowns. He's barely been out-paced by DeVante Parker (469 yards, four scores), and Parker was a first-round pick by the old regime.
Minnesota Vikings: Rookie Class Is Sparking the Offense
Kirk Cousins is finally looking like he could be the Minnesota Vikings' answer at quarterback, and this year's rookie class has helped him along the way.
For one, the Vikings have been able to lean on their running game and put less pressure on Cousins. A healthy Dalvin Cook has had a whole lot to do with that, but so has rookie first-round pick Garrett Bradbury. The center hasn't been perfect—he has seven penalties, according to Pro Football Focus—but he's helped spark the interior running game.
Rookie back Alexander Mattison has been a fine complement to Cook, while tight end Irv Smith Jr. is emerging as one of Cousins' most reliable and explosive targets. With him and veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph in the lineup, the Vikings have little trouble passing out of two-tight-end sets, which keeps opposing defenses off-balance.
Even seventh-round receiver Bisi Johnson has contributed to Minnesota's offensive explosion. He has 18 receptions for 190 yards and two scores, cementing himself as Minnesota's No. 3 wideout.
New England Patriots: Getting Unexpected Contributions
While New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a mastermind on the sidelines, he doesn't have the strongest track record in the draft room. The Patriots have missed on players like Cyrus Jones, Ras-I Dowling and Aaron Dobson during Belichick's tenure. There's no telling yet how this year's class will stack up.
First-round pick N'Keal Harry has yet to take the field for New England, while second-rounder Joejuan Williams has largely been a non-factor on defense.
However, New England has gotten some contributions from its rookie class—perhaps just not in places where they were expected.
Third-rounder Chase Winovich has been fantastic as a situational pass-rusher, while fifth-round punter Jake Bailey has solidified the position for the Patriots. Undrafted receiver Jakobi Meyers, meanwhile, has provided depth in the receiving corps and has contributed 14 receptions for 172 yards. He ranks fifth on the team in receptions.
New Orleans Saints: Erik McCoy Is an Anchor on the Line
While the New Orleans Saints have gotten two starts and 18 tackles out of fourth-round safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, the biggest first-year contributor has been center Erik McCoy. The Saints took him with the 48th overall pick and haven't had to worry about the position since.
McCoy beat out offseason acquisition Nick Easton for the starting job in camp and has started every game at center. He's been an asset in the interior running game and has mostly held his own in pass protection. He hasn't allowed a single sack this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
With McCoy in the middle of the line, New Orleans has survived for stretches without star players Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara. The Saints didn't have a first-round pick because of last year's trade to acquire Marcus Davenport, but it seems they still ended up with a first-round talent by taking the former Texas A&M lineman in April.
New York Giants: Rookie Class Could Give New York a Bright Future
Daniel Jones has been up and down since taking over as the Giants starter—rookie quarterbacks tend to do that—but he's flashed the athleticism, accuracy and determination of a future franchise signal-caller. However, Jones is far from the only rookie that should have Giants fans excited.
Jones has hooked up with fifth-round pick Darius Slayton often this season, and the former Auburn pass-catcher may prove to be the centerpiece of New York's passing attack sooner than later. He's caught 27 passes for 394 yards and five touchdowns.
First-round pick Dexter Lawrence has also been a fine addition to the Giants' young core. The former Clemson defensive tackle has been a one-man wrecking crew on the interior for the Giants defense, and he's already produced 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Third-round pick Oshane Ximines has shown flashes of being a productive pass-rusher off the bench, as well. He has 2.0 sacks and has shown a relentless motor when given the opportunity to attack on passing downs.
Though the Giants have struggled in 2019, they should be a team on the rise next season—thanks in no small part to this rookie class.
New York Jets: Rookie Class Has Been a Mixed Bag
Fifth-round pick Blake Cashman was one of the biggest surprises for the New York Jets, securing a starting linebacker spot and racking up 40 tackles in seven games. Unfortunately, Cashman landed on injured reserve. This mix of good and bad exemplifies New York's rookie draft class.
Third overall pick Quinnen Williams has been good but not great, while third-round pass-rusher Jachai Polite was waived before the regular season even started. Third-round pick Chuma Edoga has started six games at tackle. He's also committed six penalties and allowed four sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
Tight end Trevon Wesco, meanwhile, has been a non-factor in the passing game. Despite appearing in all nine games, he has just one reception for 15 yards on the season.
Oakland Raiders: They May Have Won Their Trades After All
Last season, the Oakland Raiders dealt pass-rusher Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Bears and Cowboys, respectively. In exchange, they acquired an additional three first-round picks in 2019 and 2020.
With the Raiders sitting at 5-4 in part because of their rookie class, those trades look far better in retrospect.
First-round pick Clelin Ferrell and fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby form the nucleus of an improving pass rush. They have only 6.0 sacks between them, but they've helped the Raiders generate consistent pressure, as they did against the Chargers in Week 10.
Meanwhile, first-round running back Josh Jacobs looks like the front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The 24th overall pick has rushed for 811 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and he's become the centerpiece of a revitalized Raiders offense.
The Raiders barely got a look at first-round safety Johnathan Abram, who landed on injured reserve after Week 1. However, their draft class as a whole is looking like the foundation for long-term success.
Philadelphia Eagles: Miles Sanders Is an Offensive Weapon
The Philadelphia Eagles used their first-round pick on former Washington offensive tackle Andre Dillard, who has started the last three games in place of the injured Jason Peters. But once Peters returns, Dillard will return to being a depth player who will eventually develop into an impactful piece of the Eagles' future.
On the other hand, second-round running back Miles Sanders has quickly carved out a critical niche in the Eagles' offense. As a fantastic change-of-pace complement to Jordan Howard, Sanders is capable of hitting big plays in both the run and the passing games.
Sanders already has a 65-yard touchdown run and a 45-yard reception this season. For the year, he has 336 rushing yards and a touchdown on 76 carries to go with 305 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 22 receptions.
However, fellow second-round wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has made a minimal impact this season. He has only two catches for 14 yards in nine appearances, which is a disappointment for an Eagles team badly in need of receiving help.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Rookies Have the Steelers Rolling
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won four in a row and five of their last six games despite not having quarterback Ben Roethlisberger under center. The early-season trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick has helped turn the season around following Roethlisberger's injury, but so has the rookie draft class.
The Steelers traded up to No. 10 overall to land former Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, which looks brilliant in retrospect. Bush, who has 69 tackles, a sack, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown, is a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Getting Bush was great for Pittsburgh. Keeping him away from the rival Bengals—who the Steelers jumped over in the draft order—was even better.
Third-round pick Diontae Johnson has also come on recently to emerge as Pittsburgh's No. 2 wideout. He has 30 receptions for 363 yards and three touchdowns in nine appearances.
While fourth-round running back Benny Snell Jr. hasn't been a consistent piece of the offensive puzzle, he rocked the Chargers for 75 rushing yards on 17 carries during the Steelers' Week 6 win.
San Francisco 49ers: Nick May Be the Better Bosa
Edge-rusher Joey Bosa has been a star for the Chargers during his three-plus NFL seasons.
However, the 49ers may have landed the more dominant pass-rushing brother when they took Nick Bosa with the second overall pick in this year's draft.
Bosa has been nothing short of a revelation for San Francisco. He's been able to generate pressure consistently while also racking up 29 tackles, 7.0 sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.
He's the front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year and may even garner consideration for Defensive Player of the Year.
The 49ers have also gotten solid contributions from second-round wideout Deebo Samuel (339 yards, one TD), sixth-round tackle Justin Skule and fourth-round punter Mitch Wishnowsky, but Bosa has been their best rookie. In fact, he's perhaps the best first-year player in the entire league.
Seattle Seahawks: A Lot of Teams Missed on D.K. Metcalf
The Seattle Seahawks have gotten some good production out of second-round safety Marquise Blair, but second-round receiver D.K. Metcalf has been the highlight of their rookie class.
The former Mississippi wideout has emerged as Seattle's No. 2 option and has 35 receptions for 595 yards and five touchdowns through 10 weeks. More importantly, he has earned the trust of quarterback Russell Wilson.
"He's very mature in how he goes about his business," Wilson said, per Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. "He's just prepared every day. He's prepared to be a true pro, to try to be great. He's on his way just by his work ethic. I think that's the most important thing."
The Seahawks didn't take Metcalf until the bottom of Round 2 (64th overall), which means Seattle and 31 other teams passed on a player they shouldn't have earlier in the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White Is a Star
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't hesitate to grab former LSU linebacker Devin White with the fifth overall pick in the draft.
After 10 weeks, they should be elated that they did.
White has been as advertised this season, excellent in most middle-of-the-field coverage and pursuit of ball-carriers. Despite being limited to only six games because of injuries, he has already racked up 41 tackles, one pass defended and two forced fumbles.
White is one big reason why the Buccaneers lead the league in run defense (77.8 yards per game allowed).
Tampa Bay has also gotten defensive contributions from third-round safety Mike Edwards (21 tackles) and second-round cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (three passes defended, one interception), but White is the one who appears to be a rising NFL star.
Tennessee Titans: Jeffery Simmons Was Worth the Risk
As was the case with his former teammate D.K. Metcalf, a lot of teams missed on rookie receiver A.J. Brown. He and rookie guard Nate Davis have both been contributors for the Tennessee Titans offense this season.
But the biggest takeaway from this class is that Jeffery Simmons is already making a difference.
The Titans took a major risk by drafting Simmons 19th overall after he suffered a torn ACL while preparing for the scouting combine. There was a chance that he wouldn't debut until 2020, and there was no guarantee that he would be the same disruptive player following the injury.
Not only did Simmons make it back to the field by Week 7, but he's been a difference-maker since entering the lineup. He's been dominant at the point of attack, stonewalling ball-carriers and making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.
Simmons has started the last three games for Tennessee and has 12 tackles and a sack on the season. The Titans' gamble is already paying off.
Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins Wasn't NFL-Ready, but Terry McLaurin Was
The Washington Redskins have finally decided to turn their offense over to rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
"We're at a juncture where we don't want to be record-wise," interim head coach Bill Callahan said Monday, per ESPN's John Keim. "So this is a good opportunity for him to take advantage of every rep so we can see growth in his play."
Make no mistake: If Washington wasn't sitting at 1-8, Haskins wouldn't be starting. The former Ohio State signal-caller has looked overwhelmed and outmatched during each of his three appearances.
On the other hand, former Buckeyes receiver Terry McLaurin has looked like he has belonged since day one.
In eight games, McLaurin has caught 32 passes for 497 yards and five touchdowns. He's likely to play a huge role in Haskins' development, and not only because the two have prior experience playing together.
McLaurin looks like a legitimate No. 1 receiver.