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Rookie Report – Week 1

Rookies led NFL offenses in the first week 1, here's how the class fared in their first live NFL action!

We are finally here. Players added during the offseason Rookie drafts months ago have taken the field. Week one didn’t disappoint.

QUARTERBACKS

When was the last time all of the rookie first-round quarterbacks started week one? While they all lost, each flashed something.

Anthony Richardson, Colts

24-37 223 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT passing – 10 carries, 40 yards, and 1 TD rushing

Richardson showed his diverse talent in week one with a score through the air and on the ground. But he also missed the final three snaps for the Colts due to a knee bruise. Jonathan Taylor would surely help ease the rookie’s growing pains, literally and figuratively. Richardson outrushed the rest of the Colts team 40-25 and was sacked 4 times.

CJ Stroud, Texans

28-44 and 242 yards passing – 4 carries for 20 yards rushing

Stroud showed well in his first game for Houston. His 28 completions, the most of the rookies, included three to rookie Tank Dell (34 yards) and one to rookie Xavier Hutchinson (9 yards). Nine different Texans caught passes, a good sign for the offense going forward.

Bryce Young, Panthers

20-38, 146 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs passing – 3 carries for 17 yards rushing

Young had the roughest start of the three rookies, with a couple of interceptions and an average pass completion of just 3.8 yards. His game will be predicated on being the point guard of the offense. While I never expect him to have a huge average, that number should improve along with the timing with his receivers.

RUNNING BACKS

There were few doubts about Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs showing up, and they did. The biggest question was always, who else would? Week one was only Roschon Johnson.

Bijan Robinson, Falcons

10 carries for 56 yards, 6 catches for 27 yards, and 1 TD

While Robinson had an instant impact with 16 total touches for 83 yards and a score, he rotated with Tyler Allgeier (Bijan 33 snaps to Allgeier 29). Allgeier had 15-75 and 2 scores on the ground. Even if they are splitting carries, Robinson should thrive in the Falcons run dominated offense (18 passes to 26 carries in a 24-10 win).

Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions

7 carries for 42 yards, and 2 catches for 18 yards

Gibbs was outcarried 21-7 by David Montgomery, but his future impact this season and beyond was obvious. The Lions won’t hesitate to run, and he out-averaged Montgomery 6 to 3.5. His big play ability should give him some huge games, even if Montgomery gets more carries.

Roschon Johnson, Bears

5 carries for 20 yards and 1 TD, 6 catches for 35 yards

I was high on Johnson until his landing spot saw him enter a crowded backfield. Justin Fields carries clouded that more. But he didn’t disappoint his supporters by reaching the end zone on the ground and catching six balls. Everyone got carries in this game, and that’s likely to continue.

The Rest

  • Tyjae Spears, Titans – 3 carries for 27 yards, and 1 catch for 1 yard (34 snaps to Henry’s 30)
  • Tank Bigbsy, Jaguars – 7 carries for 13 yards and 1 TD
  • Sean Tucker, Buccaneers – 5 carries for 15 yards, and 2 catches for 9 yards
  • Zach Charbonnet, Seahawks – 3 carries for 11 yards
  • Deuce Vaughn, Cowboys – 6 carries for 8 yards
  • Chris Rodriguez, Commanders – 3 carries for 7 yards

WIDE RECEIVERS

In an offseason with four first-round WRs, the 20th WR drafted would lead them all.

Puka Nacua, Rams

10 catches for 119 yards

Just like we all thought, fifth-rounder Nacua led all rookie wide receivers in catches and yards. He should be a major part of the offense with Cooper Kupp out the first four games. Van Jefferson is a free agent this offseason, making Nacua a great long-term buy.

Zay Flowers, Ravens

9 catches for 78 yards

Flowers caught nine passes on ten targets. The rest of the team caught eight passes on eleven targets. It might be too early to call him the primary receiver in Baltimore, but you couldn’t have expected a much better sign that he will be.

Jordan Addison, Vikings

4 catches for 61 yards and 1 TD

For a team trying to replace Adam Thielen, Addison is off to a great start. The Vikings are sure to throw a ton, and this game was no exception. Cousins threw 44 passes and just 17 points. There should be enough balls to go around.

The Rest

  • Jayden Reed, Packers – 2 catches for 48 yards
  • Demario Douglas, Patriots – 4 catches for 40 yards
  • Tank Dell, Texans – 3 catches for 34 yards
  • Josh Downs, Colts – 3 catches for 30 yards (Played nine fewer snaps than Alec Pierce but out-targeted him 7-3)
  • Rashee Rice, Chiefs – 3 catches for 29 yards and 1 TD
  • Michael Wilson, Cardinals – 2 catches for 19 yards
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seahawks – 3 catches for 13 yards
  • Jonathan Mingo, Panthers – 2 catches for 17 yards
  • Quentin Johnston, Chargers – 2 catches for 9 yards
  • Marvin Mims, Broncos – 2 catches for 9 yards
  • Trey Palmer, Bucs – 2 catches for 8 yards and 1 TD

TIGHT ENDS

Musgrave-LaPorta-Kincaid…..what a TE draft. All of them showed in week one, and they were the only TEs to catch a pass.

Luke Musgrave, Packers

3 catches for 50 yards

All three showed something, but Musgrave led the way. He showed off his big play ability with a 37-yard reception. The Packers’ offense is still taking shape, but it looks like he will be a huge piece.

2-Sam LaPorta, Lions

5 catches for 39 yards

LaPorta played 83% of the snaps at TE for the Lions in their surprising win over the Chiefs, catching all five of his targets. He is likely to be the steadiest of the trio.

3-Dalton Kincaid, Bills

4 catches for 26 yards

Kincaid and Dawson Knox each had four targets against the Jets. There is a role available for the second target behind Stefon Diggs in the offense, and it could be Kincaid’s. In week one, Knox played 84% of the snaps to Kincaids 80%.

I expect new faces in week two, with Devon Achane, Kendre Miller, Cedric Tillman, and Michael Mayer all ready for their first touches. I’d be buying Miller, Tucker (a surprising seven touches in week one), Michael Wilson (90% of snaps in week one), and Palmer (a touchdown on two catches on just 34% of snaps).

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