NFL Week 7 All Rookie Team


The best part about the draft evaluation process is finally getting to see the prospects make plays during a game. Some of guys have been better than expected, some worse and some are doing exactly what we thought. Here are the best rookies from week seven of the NFL season.


Derek Carr

Oakland Raiders

14th Overall Prospect, 2nd Quarterback, 1st Round Pick

Another week has brought another good performance from the rookie out of Fresno State. Carr did not load up the box score like he did last week, but he had a good day overall. He looked poised throughout the game and had a few fantastic throws. He has been playing incredibly well given the circumstances and the Raiders should be comfortable that they have found their guy for the long run.

Oct 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) prepares to throw a pass against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

Branden Oliver

San Diego Chargers


For the third week in a row, Branden Oliver turned in an outstanding performance. Against the Cardinals, he ran hard, with good vision and was elusive, forcing five missed tackles on the day (Per Pro Football Focus). The Chargers really have found a very good player in Oliver.

Oct 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Branden Oliver (43) is defended by Kansas City Chiefs free safety Husain Abdullah (39) during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jerick McKinnon

Minnesota Vikings


McKinnon had an outstanding day despite the team losing. All of his immense physical talents were on full display as he looked fast and powerful. The Vikings are really hurting right now on offense, but McKinnon is the spark they need to lean on and support their rookie quarterback.

Wide Receiver

Sammy Watkins

Buffalo Bills

24th Overall Prospect, 3rd Wide Receiver, 1st Round Grade

Watkins’ season has been inconsistent, but he had an outstanding game against the Vikings. He looked fast, played incredibly smart, and showed off his awesome hands. He ran his routes well and was incredibly aware of the football for most of the game. To put the cherry on top, he had a beautiful walk off touchdown grab on the border of the end zone. Stud.

Oct 19, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) catches the game tying touchdown during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo beats Minnesota 17 to 16. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Benjamin

Carolina Panthers

112th Overall Prospect, 17th Wide Receiver, 3rd Round Grade

Benjamin had a fantastic game in which he strung together good play after good play. He looked great at the catch point, did a good job to get open and had a touchdown grab to tie it up in a bow. Benjamin has been maddeningly inconsistent in games this year, but hopefully this performance is a sign of things to come.

Tight End

Jace Amaro

New York Jets

59th Overall Prospect, 5th Tight End, 2nd Round Grade

Amaro did not have the game that many were hoping he would have coming off his Broncos game, but he still turned in a decent performance. He had a couple plays where he ran good routes to get open. He was not involved a lot though and had a iffy dropped pass. I am a big fan of Amaro and what he has done this season as he has stood out in a woefully underperforming rookie tight end class.

Offensive Tackle 

Taylor Lewan

Tennessee Titans

43rd Overall Prospect, 6th Tackle, 2nd Round Grade

Taylor Lewan followed up a good first start with another good showing against Washington. He had a solid day in pass protection and looked powerful in the running game. He is an outstanding athlete with physical tools galore, but he looks like he is really putting everything together on the field. Huge development for the future of Tennessee.

Seantrel Henderson

Buffalo Bills

57th Overall Player, 9th Offensive Tackle, Second Round Grade

Henderson had another good showing this season, exhibiting his awesome ability and imposing his will on the Vikings defense. He moved well in the running game and flashed ability to bully guys there and he had a decent day in pass protection, showing off his length. Henderson was a steal in the 7th round and he looks like he can be the player many thought he could be if he could get past his off the field issues.

Offensive Guard 

Joel Bitonio 

Cleveland Browns

12th Overall Player, 3rd Offensive Lineman, 1st Round Grade

This was Joel Bitonio’s worst game of the season and he still played well! He had some issues in the passing game going against a fantastic interior pass rusher in Sen’Derrick Marks, but he was able to win a few snaps and bullied the Jaguars in the run game. Bitonio continues to be an asset to the team, especially with Alex Mack going down. Despite being an offensive lineman, Bitonio needs to be in the discussion for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Brandon Linder

Jacksonville Jaguars

199th Overall Player, 16th Interior Offensive Lineman, 6th Round Grade

Even with Bitonio’s performance, it was Linder who was the best guard in the game on Sunday. He had a good day in pass protection, keeping his quarterback clean for the entire game, but he had an even better game run blocking. His strength in the running game was a big part of Jacksonville taking their first win because of how good they were on the ground. Jacksonville has to be ecstatic with how their rookie offensive linemen are playing.


Corey Linsley

Green Bay Packers


Linsley had another good game for Greenbay, looking good in the running game, showing off his quick feet and awareness. He has been the best rookie center this season and the Packers have to be thrilled with the value they got with him.

Interior Defensive Line

Aaron Donald

St. Louis Rams

46th Overall Prospect, 7th IDL, Early 2nd Round Grade

Donald absolutely dominated the Seattle Seahawks offensive line on Sunday. His quickness was just too much in pass protection or in the run game. The Hawks’ line was completely overmatched and Donald had his best game of the season. If Donald can consistently rush the pass like he did on Sunday, he is going to end up looking like a steal at the 13th overall pick.

Zach Kerr

Indianapolis Colts

97th Overall Prospect, 11th IDL, 3rd Round Grade

Kerr had a very good game in the defensive line rotation for the Colts. His athletic ability was on display when he was rushing the passer and working against the run. Kerr has impressive quickness and strength for a man his size and it showed when he was on the field. To make things better, Kerr notched his first career sack. It was highway robbery getting a guy as talented as Kerr in undrafted free agency, but the Colts got lucky with Kerr and are seeing early returns.

Edge Defender

Khalil Mack

Oakland Raiders

5th Overall Player, 2nd Linebacker, 1st Round Grade

Khalil Mack continues his path of destruction with a good game against the Cardinals. He had an outstanding game in run defense and notched some good plays rushing the passer as well. Mack has been an outstanding player thus far and should be getting serious consideration to take home Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Oct 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) encourages the crowd to cheer during a break in the action against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Lynch

San Francisco 49ers

75th Overall Prospect, 6th Edge Defender, 2nd Round Grade

Lynch continues to play well as he is playing more snaps. He had a decent game against Denver on Sunday, having a solid day rushing the passer, including a good sack. He was not playing well against the run, but still gets the nod this week for his work in the passing game. His progress is really encouraging.


Anthony Barr

Minnesota Vikings

94th Overall prospect, 9th Linebacker, Early 3rd Round Grade

Barr had another solid game. He played the run very well and looked alright in coverage, but where he really stood out was rushing the passer. His speed was too much at times for the Bills line and it showed as he was constantly disrupting the play when he had a chance to. Barr is an outstanding defensive weapon that can do it all and Mike Zimmer has to be pleased with what he is getting out of the rookie.

Christian Kirksey

Cleveland Browns

133rd Overall prospect, 15th Linebacker, Early 4th Round Grade

Despite not playing a majority of the snaps, Kirksey played a good game when he saw the field. He looked aggressive against the run and moved well in coverage. I have really enjoyed watching Kirksey this season and hope the Browns can put him on the field more

Telvin Smith

Jacksonville Jaguars

29th Overall Prospect, 3rd Linebacker, 1st Round Grade.

For the first few games of the season, the game seemed too fast for Smith and he suffered because of it. Despite people continuously pushing narratives that it was his size that was holding him back, it was clear on Sunday that he just needed to get comfortable with the position. Oh my goodness, Telvin Smith. Smith absolutely took over the game on Sunday, looking incredible in coverage, attacked the line of scrimmage in the run game and made plays rushing the passer, using his speed to create pressure. He absolutely dominated the field and filled up the box score. Smith was one of my favorite picks in the draft, getting stolen in the 5th round, and now he is paying massive dividends for the Jaguars.

Oct 19, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith (50) makes a cut on Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joel Bitonio (75) as he returns an interception in the fourth quarter of their game at EverBank Field. The Jacksonville Jaguars best the Cleveland Browns 24-6. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports


Phillip Gaines

Kansas City Chiefs

83rd Overall prospect, 11th Corner, 2nd Round Grade

Despite not seeing the field much, Gaines made a great impact when he did. He displayed his good athletic ability and ended up looking very good in coverage, not allowing a single reception thrown his way and came up with a good pass defensed. Gaines was a good value pick for the Chiefs and he could start being a major impact player on defense sooner rather than later.

Bashaud Breeland


113th Overall Player, 13th Corner, 3rd Round Grade

Breeand turned in a good game on Sunday against the Titans. His physicality showed up in coverage where he looked pretty good and he had a good day defending the run. Breeland was a very physical player in college and an outstanding run defender and he is showing off those skills early and often for Washington.


Calvin Pryor

New York Jets

183rd Overall Player, 20th Safety, 6th Round Grade

After weeks of woeful play, Pryor had himself his best game of the season against New England. He looked incredibly confident in coverage and did not hesitate at all and looked much better for it. He also had his signature good plays against the run, coming down hill and having a big play in the backfield. He was not tested much, but hopefully this is an indication of where Pryor is heading. I am sure Rex Ryan would love some competence on the back end.

Ha Ha Clinton Dix

Green Bay Packers

9th Overall Player, 1st Safety, 1st Round Grade

Dix had another good day in coverage, but did not have a great day overall. He moved well and flowed to the ball in coverage but he was not overly impressive defending the run. He needs to show he can play in all facets of the game if he wants t be successful as a moveable chess piece in a defense.

Rookie Of the Week: Telvin Smith

Smith had by far the best game of all the rookies this week. He absolutely dominated the Cleveland Browns and was a big part of why the Jaguars came away with their first win of the season. Smith’s speed and intelligence were evident on Sunday and I am sure that Gus Bradley ,as well as the rest of us, are looking forward to seeing Smith improve and build on his great performance.

Oct 19, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) fumbles after being hit by Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith (50) in the 3rd quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports