Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2013 NFL Rookie Rankings: Week Three

1. Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (18 receptions, 243 yards, TD) 
Hopkins was able to catch six passes against the Ravens, but was unable to find paydirt to go along with his 60 receiving yards. Still, Hopkins has become the #2 receiving option this team needs going forward.
Last Week: 1st.

2. Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovanni Bernard (22 rushes, 110 yards, 2 TD, 6 receptions, 84 yards, TD)
Bernard has made an impact, as he was able to account for 99 yards from scrimmage and a score against the Packers this past week. It now seems only a matter of time before he supplants BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the Bengals' starting halfback. It also appears that I didn't give enough credence to his performance the previous week.
Last Week: unranked.

3. Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso (27 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR)
Alonso continues to make plays for the Bills' defense, as he intercepted Geno Smith this past week to go along with 8 tackles. Alonso also performed better against the run this week, and has shown above-average cover skills for a linebacker.
Last Week: 4th.

4. Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel (689 passing yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 86.5 rating, 76 rush yards)
Manuel struggled mightily against the Jets' aggressive blitz packages, as he was unable to hit any deep balls to his receivers against man coverage. Manuel doesn't turn the ball over, but will need to take more chances downfield to open up the run game more.
Last Week: 2nd.

5. Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (9 tackles, 1 sack)
Lotulelei hasn't put up eye-popping stats, but has helped Carolina's rush defense hold opponents to just 3.7 yards per rush this season. That being said, the sacks will come.
Last Week: unranked.

6. St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin (18 receptions, 118 yards, 2 TD)
Austin caught six more passes, but only accumulated 30 yards on those catches. The Rams will need to use Austin on more than just screens and underneath routes in order to give Austin a better chance to hit the big play.
Last Week: 3rd.

7. Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (11 tackles, 2.5 sacks, FF)
Ansah recorded two sacks this past weekend, and while he's still very raw in terms of his development, his early productivity is a nice boost to a defense that lost pass rushers Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch last offseason.
Last Week: unranked.

8. New England Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (9 receptions, 130 yards, 2 TD)
Thompkins made the most of his three catches, tallying two of those for scores against Tampa Bay last Sunday. While Rob Gronkowski may play next Sunday, Thompkins will still see enough targets to be relevant as long as Danny Amendola is still out.
Last Week: 9th.

9. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (14 tackles, 2 INT, 3 passes defensed)
In a defense that has looked vulnerable in back-to-back weeks and will now be without troubled pass-rusher Aldon Smith, Reid will have to continue to make an impact for a San Francisco team with Super Bowl aspirations.
Last Week: 6th.

10. New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (16 tackles, 1.5 sacks)
Richardson looked strong against the run, and also notched a sack this past week against Buffalo. Richardson's motor is perhaps his best asset, as he's constantly trying to make a play.
Last Week: unranked.

Honorable Mention:
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marlon Brown (10 receptions, 116 yards, 2 TD); Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods (7 receptions, 121 yards, TD); New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (801 passing yards, 3 TD, 6 INT, 65.0 rating, 78 rush yards, TD); Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (9 receptions, 120 yards).

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