NFL Week 9 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 nine of the NFL season.


Teddy Bridgewater

Minnesota Vikings

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

Putting together his second good game in a row, Bridgewater showed great poise all day and came up in big moments for his team. He displayed that fantastic pocket movement and mental cool that made him such a great prospect in the first place. He still needs to work on his deep accuracy a bit, but he showed pinpoint throwing ability in the short to intermediate area. His progress throughout the season has been very encouraging and I am very excited to see him continue to get better.

Nov 2, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws during the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

Jeremy Hill

Cincinnati Bengals

212th Overall Prospect, 12th Running Back, 6th Round Pick

Hill had a huge break out game, running over the Jaguars defense for over 150 yards and two scores. He showed off his power, which was one of his biggest assets coming out, but also showed off impressive top end speed and a little big of wiggle. I was not a fan of his selection so high in May, but he is showing off new things and if this game is any indicator, he will be a big player going forward.

Jerick McKinnon

Minnesota Vikings


In a week where few rookie running backs shone, McKinnon managed to have a decent game to put himself on the list. It was not nearly what he has been doing recently, but it was still a fine performance. He showed off good quickness and leg drive for a good part of the game, but was rarely able to get to the second level, due in part to poor offensive line play. He has been on a role as of late, so the Vikings should hope that he can continue his good performances and even get back to the form he showed the last few weeks.

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30th Overall Prospect, 4th Wide Receiver, 1st Round Grade

Evans had a huge day on Sunday against the Browns. His dominating size was just too much in the red zone as he hauled in two scores in traffic. For the rest of the game, he did a good job using his vertical speed to get separation down the field. He did have a key pass interference penalty that hurt the teams chances late in the game, but overall he had a great day.

Taylor Gabriel

Cleveland Browns


Despite being an undrafted free agent, Gabriel is quietly having himself a very good rookie season in Cleveland and Sunday was no different for him. He looked quick all day, running great routes, getting open and doing a good job catching the ball. Obviously, his best play of the game came on Brian Hoyer extending a play and Gabriel getting vertical after he had run his route, Hoyer preceded to hit Gabriel deep for the go ahead touchdown. For what looked like a bleak situation at receiver coming into the season, there has to be a lot of optimism about Gabriel’s play.

Nov 2, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (18) scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Tight End

Austin Sefarian Jenkins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

86th Overall Prospect, 6th Tight End, 3rd Round Grade

This was a bad week overall for rookie tight ends, but Jenkins managed to have himself a decent day. He did not get much opportunity to impact as a receiver, but he had a good day blocking. You would think the Bucs would involve the gigantic tight end in the passing game a bit more, so hopefully that is a staple going forward.

Offensive Tackle 

Ju’Wuan James

Miami Dolphins

105th Overall Prospect, 14th Tackle, 3rd Round Grade

Like the rest of the team, James absolutely mauled the Chargers on Sunday. He looked good in the passing game for the most part, showing off good strength and quickness, but where he looked very good was run blocking. His size and strength were too much for the Chargers defenders as he bullied them around and paved the way for the running game. James has been a huge surprise this season relative to what I thought he would be and it is great to see.

Greg Robinson

St. Louis Rams

18th Overall Player, 3rd Offensive Tackle, 1st Round Grade

This was a classic game from the talented rookie tackle. He had a few plays where he dominated the guy across from him, sending them flying and he had a few plays where he looked really lost. His good plays are really, really good, but his lack of consistency is frustrating, but certainly something you would expect. He is still getting comfortable at tackle after getting moved back and forth from inside to outside, but his flashes are encouraging.

Offensive Guard 

Zack Martin

Dallas Cowboys

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

Martin had another very good game on Sunday, looking superb in pass protection for much of the day. He is an incredibly smart player with consistent technique and a high motor and all of that was on display. He had his plays in the running game, but he makes this list mainly off of a good day protecting the quarterback.

Joel Bitonio

Cleveland Browns

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

After what would be a down week for him, Bitonio rebounded with a strong game against a tough defensive front. He looked outstanding protecting the passer and had some big time plays against all world stud, Gerald McCoy. Bitonio was outstanding on Sunday and looks to be back to his early season form.


Luke Bowanko

Jacksonville Jaguars


Getting better and better each week, Bowanko had a good outing against the Bengals in which he kept his quarterback completely clean. Bowanko had a great day in pass protection, holding his assignment very well and playing to the whistle. He did not look as strong in the running game, but definitely had a good day there as well. He has been improving steadily this year and the Jaguars offense looks better for it.

Interior Defensive Line

Aaron Donald

St. Louis Rams

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

Not his best game, but Donald still made an impact on Sunday’s game. The strength of the 49ers line was often too much for him as he got pushed around in the running and passing game, but his quickness still shone through on a few plays. He did a decent job getting after passer, having his signature splash plays. Hopefully he can get back to being more consistent next week.

Justin Ellis

Oakland Raiders

149th Overall Prospect, 17th IDL, 4th Round Grade

Justin Ellis had a huge game and played a big part in keeping it close with the former Super Bowl champions. He moves incredibly well for such a large person and that was evident as he did a good job disrupting the passing game and had a very good day against the run. It is really shocking that the Raiders are winless with the play of their rookie class, but it should definitely get the franchise excited about the future.

Edge Defender

Jonathan Newsome

Indianapolis Colts

181st Overall Player, 20th Edge Defender , 6th Round Grade

Newsome had a big day for the Colts on Monday, using his speed and quickness to make a huge impact as a pass rusher. He had a big day, notching 2 sacks along with a few more play disruptions. Not only did he look good rushing the passer, he had a decent game against the run as well. Newsome is not an ever down player, but he definitely a guy who can and has come into a rotation and make an impact.

Nov 3, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Peyton Hillis (33) is stopped short of goal line by Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) and linebacker Jonathan Newsome (right) at MetLife Stadium. Indianapolis Colts defeat the New York Giants 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Aaron Lynch

San Fransisco 49ers

75th Overall Player, 6th Edge defender, 2nd Round Grade

Aaron Lynch continues his very good season in San Fransisco. He is still getting a light snap count, but he is making the most of those snaps and impacting the agate as a pass rusher. He has great athletic ability and it is evident every time the ball is snapped as he used his quickness and strength to cause issues on Sunday for the Rams. The 49ers have a wealth of pass rushers, but Lynch should still be able to make an impact even when Aldon Smith comes back from suspension.


Anthony Barr

Minnesota Vikings

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

Anthony Barr continues to impress playing the off ball linebacker position. His speed is a huge asset to him and it showed on Sunday. He looked solid in coverage and against the run, using his speed to chase down plays. Where he makes his money though, is rushing the passer. He does not rush very much during the game, but when he is able to blitz, his speed is just too much and he consistently generates pressure. He is a multifaceted weapon on defense and it is so much fun to see Zimmer use him all over the place.

Chris Borland

San Fransisco 49ers

76th Overall Player, 7th Linebacker, 2nd Round Grade

Borland is getting more involved on defense and he is certainly making his presence felt. His instincts are top notch and he is an explosive, downhill athlete that had a huge impact in the running game on Sunday. He showed that he is a great fit inside that 3-4 defense as he was constantly attacking the line of scrimmage and registered 12 stops (Per Pro Football Focus). He will obviously get pushed down the depth chart when Navarro Bowman returns from injury, but Borland has displayed that he can be an impact player when called upon.

November 2, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Tre Mason (27) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Chris Borland (50) during the second quarter at Levi

CJ Mosley

Baltimore Ravens

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

Despite the Ravens defense getting thrown all over on Sunday night, Mosley turned in another good game. He had his issues in coverage, as did the rest of the Ravens, but he still showed good ability coming up against the run. His instincts are as good as most linebackers in the NFL and it shows on almost every play. He had his issues on Sunday, but I am very confident about him going forward.


Bashaud Breeland


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

Breeland is awesome. No way around it at this point. He has been specatular the last few weeks and Sunday was no different. His physicality in coverage is very good and a big part of his success and he is a phenomenal run defender. He had a big outing on Sunday coming up with two big passes defended and registering some big plays against the run. Washington has to be ecstatic about his play because he is by far and away their best defensive back.

Malcom Butler

New England Patriots


Butler had a a very good game despite playing limited snaps for he Patriots. He looked very fluid in coverage and played very smart, even coming up with 2 passes defended. The Patriots have a loaded defensive backfield, but if Butler continues to play like he did on Sunday, it would be hard to keep him off the field.


Deone Bucannon

Arizona Cardinals

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

Only two rookies got on the field enough to really make the safety rankings, but Bucannon still had himself a a decent day. He looks a lot better against the run than he has all season and looked decent working in coverage. I still think that playing him closer to the line of scrimmage is not his strength, but he is no doubt improving each week.

Tre Boston

Carolina Panthers

180th  Overall Player, 19th Safety, 6th Round Grade

A new name on these rankings, Boston justifies his place on this list with a good day playing against the run. He looked confident and played fast coming downhill to attack the play. His speed is a huge part of his game and it was evident last Thursday. In coverage, the game is still a bit fast for him, but he moved very well and had a few good plays. Boston has big time upside so it will be interesting to see if he can build on a strong showing.

Rookie Of the Week: Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy had one of his best games of the season so far and made all the right plays at all the right times. He is still the same poised, intelligent and accurate passer that made so many love him coming out of Louisville and truly looks like the guy in Minnesota. His progress from here will be very exciting to watch.