NFL Week 8 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 the guys have been better than expected, some worse and some are doing exactly what we thought. Here are the best rookies from week eight of the NFL season.


Derek Carr

Oakland Raiders

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

Carr continues almost unchallenged as the best rookie quarterback so far and Sunday was just another example of his ability. He continued to looked poised for the most part and made a handful of good throws and good decisions. He really is a fun watch because of how much he can do on the field. His progress has been awesome throughout the season and I am incredibly excited about him as the future and I am sure the Raiders are as well.

Oct 26, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

Jerick McKinnon

Minnesota Vikings


McKinnon continues his streak of good games. He had a good day running between the tackles and creating at the second level. He also had a big day picking up yards after contact. McKinnon has all the talent in the world and the Vikings have to be thrilled he has picked up the position as quickly as he has.

Oct 26, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (31) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Minnesota Vikings defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bishop Sankey

Tennessee Titans

72nd Overall Prospect, 3rd Running Back, 2nd Round Grade

It was a pretty slow week for running backs when Sankey and his 35 yards makes this list. However, his numbers really do not reflect his performance. He showed off good vision and decisiveness when he had the ball in his hands. The issue was the Texans defensive line creating some serious issues for the Titans. I think Sankey is going to be very good, but when teams are loading the box against a rookie QB in his first start, it will be hard to get any yards.

Wide Receiver

Sammy Watkins

Buffalo Bills

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

Sammy, like the rest of his team, spent much of Sunday dismantling the Jets. Watkins had another huge day, including a very “Sammy Watkins” type of touchdown where he caught a short pass, jetted through a very small hole and burst into the open for a long touchdown. Seeing his game translate to the NFL and so quickly has been as surprising as it is awesome. He will be a stud for a very long time in Buffalo.

John Brown

Arizona Cardinals

 182nd Overall Prospect, 25th Wide Receiver, Early 6th Round Grade

Speed kills. Brown was a bottle rocket on Sunday, where his speed and quickness was just too much for the Philadelphia defensive backs. He had some great catches, including the game winning, 51 yard touchdown pass where he burned the entire defense, extended to make a tough catch and kept his balance on the way to end zone. He was amazing and as clutch as a receiver could be. A lot of people thought the Cardinals reached when they took Brown in the third round, but those people look like fools now.

Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) catches a 75 yard touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams (26) defends during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Tight End

Jace Amaro

New York Jets

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

Despite the Jets getting manhandled, Amaro still managed to have himself a good day. He ran good routes and caught the ball every time he was targeted. He even had a decent day blocking against a talented Buffalo front. The Jets have to be thrilled about getting him in the second round. He has easily been their best rookie at this point.

Offensive Tackle 

Taylor Lewan

Tennessee Titans

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

Despite facing a monstrous Texas defensive line, Lewan continued his success and is establishing himself as the best rookie offensive tackle over the last few weeks. His length and quickness were apparent and he had a handful of good plays in the passing and running game. He can still have big mechanical issues that get him into trouble, but his consistency is much improved since college. Titans look to have gotten a very good player.

Seantrel Henderson

Buffalo Bills

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

Henderson had a very good day against a talented Jets front, especially in pass protection. His incredible ability was on full display again. He had some negative run plays, but considering he was a 7th round pick and outperforming a lot of guys taken ahead of him, the Bills have to be pleased with him.

Offensive Guard 

Zack Martin

Dallas Cowboys

31st Overall Player, 5th Offensive Lineman , 1st Round Grade

Martin continues his strong season after a fantastic showing by the rookie out of Notre Dame. He had a great day pass blocking against an aggressive Washington front. He also had a decent day getting push in the run game, paving the way for Demarco Murray like he has all season. Martin has been very good at guard for Dallas and I expect his play to continue.

Brandon Linder

Jacksonville Jaguars

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

One of the best performances by any guard this year, Linder had himself a day against the Dolphins. He had a great day moving in the running game and was awesome in pass protection. This performance came against one of the best defensive lines in the league, too. The Jaguars looked to have gotten  steal in Linder.


Luke Bowanko

Jacksonville Jaguars


Another good game for the rookie out of Virginia. Bowanko had a rough day in pass protection, but really stood out to me run blocking. He is a tenacious player and is very smart. He has been improving weekly this year. The Jaguars have a lot of youth up front and the strong performances from their rookie interior linemen has to be encouraging for them.

Interior Defensive Line

Aaron Donald

St. Louis Rams

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

Donald continues to be the best player on the Rams defensive line this season. There, I said it. I really underestimated how effective his quickness would be in the NFL and how consistently he could be faster than the guy in front of him. He has been dominating in the run game all season and Sunday was no different. He looked awesome against the run and chipped in some pressure in the passing game. Big game from a possible DROY contender.

Dominique Easley

New England Patriots

4th Overall Prospect, 1st IDL, 1st Round Grade

Easley still does not look like his pre-injury self, but he still had a good game against the Bears on Sunday. He got moved around a bit too much in the running game, but had his plays against the pass. His quick first step flashed a few times and he was able to get some pressure and notched his first career sack against the Bears. There has been steady improvement from Easley and when he gets back to full health, he will be something else.

Edge Defender

Khalil Mack

Oakland Raiders

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

Mack had his best game of the season on Sunday, and that is really saying something considering the dominant season he has had. People (lazy, lazy people) want to bring up the fact he has zero sacks as a reason he has not played well, but that is as stupid as it is lazy. He was constantly in the backfield on Sunday, absolutely wrecking the Browns running game and getting very good pressure rushing the pass. He had 5 QB hits and 1 hurry in the passing game on Sunday (Per That is an outstanding day rushing the passer. Mack is already one of the best players in the league this season. It is amazing he lasted to the 5th overall pick in the draft.

Oct 26, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Jim Dray (81) makes a catch as Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) and Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Sio Moore (55) defend during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns beat the Raiders 23-13. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Jadaveon Clowney

Houston Texans

1st Overall Player, 1st Edge defender, 1st Round Grade

After missing the the beginning of the season with an injury, Clowney finally saw the field since week one. He does not look like his full self and his snaps are limited, but when he is on the field, it is evident. He did a very good job working against the run on Sunday and got some pressure in the passing game. This was a small sample size, but Clowney being back is incredibly exciting.


Anthony Barr

Minnesota Vikings

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

Barr had a fantastic day. He had a fantastic day in coverage despite giving up a touchdown. He looked fluid and played very smart. He looked good rushing the passer again, his speed just too much for offensive lines as he notched a sack. Against the run, he had a very good game, working well in space to attack and stop the run. To put icing on the cake, Barr had a walk off forced fumble, recovery and touchdown in over time. He was clutch as he was good.

Oct 26, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) breaks the tackle of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) for a 27-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to win the game as the Vikings beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-13 in overtime at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Preston Brown

Buffalo Bills


What a day for the former 3rd round pick. To my complete surprise, Brown had a superb day in coverage, functioning very well in zone and man, picking off Geno Smith in a dramatic fashion. To complement his great day in coverage, Brown played very well in the run game as well. Initially, I thought Brown was a two down run stopper in the NFL, but he looks like so much more at this point.

CJ Mosley

Baltimore Ravens

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

Mosley had an outstanding performance in a loss to the Bengals. He looked great in coverage, even coming up with a pick, had a good day against the run and even looked good on blitzes. He is an all around stud and it was evident on Sunday. It really is surprising that he fell all the way to the 17th pick in the draft.

Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Ryan Hewitt (89) makes a catch and is brought down by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Bashaud Breeland


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

Breeland is on a roll, improving on a good game against Tennessee and having a great game against the Cowboys. He looked incredibly physical all game against a very good group of receivers including making some plays against all-world stud, Dez Bryant. Breeland had big time coverage all game and came away with some clutch passes defended. Despite getting thrust into starting duty, Breeland looks like he belongs.

Justin Gilbert

Cleveland Browns

141st Overall Player, 15th Corner, 4th Round Grade

After starting out the season on a bad foot, Gilbert has been flashing more and more through the weeks. On Sunday, he had his best game to date. His speed was very apparent on the field, and had plenty of situations where he had good coverage and plead the ball well. He did give up a touchdown on the day, but he held his ground for much of the game. His progress has been encouraging and I am sure the Browns feel the same way.


Deone Bucannon

Arizona Cardinals

96th Overall Player, 8th Safety, 3rd Round Grade

Buccannon had his best game to date, turning in a good day in coverage against the Eagles. His speed and range was quite evident, as was his smarts. He had a big play towards the end of the game where he dominated Zack Ertz in the end zone to prevent a game winning touchdown grab. I still think Bucannon is better suited playing over the top, as he has issues closer to the line of scrimmage, but he still turned in a good game.

Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals strong safety Deone Bucannon (36) breaks up a pass intended for Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Ha Ha Clinton Dix

Green Bay Packers

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

A rough day against the run, Ha Ha still looked good in coverage. His range was on full display, but he sometimes is thinking too much instead of actually going, which can hurt against a fast Saints offense. It was not his best game, but he still performed well enough to stand out this weekend.

Rookie Of the Week: Khalil Mack

Who else? Mack had another dominant performance and has established himself as one of the best outside linebackers in the league. It would be criminal for anyone else to walk away with this label this week. If Mack continues his reign of terror, there is no way the Defensive Rookie of the Year award can be kept from him.