Week 5 is over, and the NFL is entering the second half of the regular season. The league has seen wild swings and incredible parity, with rookies playing a major role in the unexpected success of some teams. As we approach Week 6, let's take a closer look at the most outstanding rookies from the 2023 NFL Draft and how they've quickly become NFL stars.
Brian Branch has been everything that the Lions were hoping he was when they drafted him in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft. He never should have fallen as far as he did and he has proved that through five games. Branch is always around the ball and has quickly become a leader of the Lions' defense. It should surprise no one if he is in consideration for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors at the end of this season.
Gonzalez has been one of the best rookie cornerbacks in the league this season. However, he recently suffered a season-ending labrum injury. In his short stint this year, he showcased why he was so highly touted coming into the 2023 NFL draft. He has everything that you could possibly want in a cornerback and should be one of the best defensive players in the league for years to come.
Flowers has been a valuable addition to the Ravens' offense. He has caught 29 passes for 317 yards in five games. Flowers is a quick and elusive receiver with good hands. He has also shown a knack for making plays after the catch. He is exactly the type of receiver that Lamar Jackson has been missing for the last few years. Flowers has a real chance to become what Brandin Cooks was as a player for the last decade.
Anderson has been one of the most disruptive rookies in the league this season. Anderson is a fast and athletic EDGE with good football instincts. He is a force to be reckoned with when rushing the passer. There is no reason why Anderson Jr. shouldn't be in NFL DPOY conversations over the next few years.
Robinson has been one of the most productive rookies in the league this season. He has rushed for 364 yards and has two receiving touchdowns in five games. Robinson is a versatile running back with great speed and power. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield. Bijan is already one of the best running backs in the NFL.
Nacua has been a breakout star for the Rams this season. He leads all rookies in receptions with 63 and receiving yards with 572. Nacua is a physical receiver with good speed and hands. He has also shown a knack for making big plays downfield. Puka has proved that he is a star and a fantastic weapon for Matthew Stafford and the Rams' offense.
Carter has been one of the most dominant rookies in the league this season. He has 20 pressures and 3.5 sacks in five games. Carter is a powerful and athletic defensive tackle with good pass-rushing skills. He already is one of the best interior players in the entire league.
Achane has been one of the most explosive rookies in the league this season. He leads all NFL players in rushing yards per carry with a ridiculous 12.1 ypc. Achane is one of the fastest players to ever play running back and is getting comparisons to former Titans stud Chris Johnson. Needless to say, Achane has been absolutely dominant so far this season.
Not only has LaPorta been the best rookie tight end from his class, he has been the best tight end in the NFL this season so far. LaPorta has 25 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns through five weeks.
He is one of the best players in the league after the catch and he is a huge reason why the Lions are 4-1 to start the season. By the end of this season, he will be easily considered one of the biggest steals of the 2023 NFL draft class.
Stroud has been one of the best rookie quarterbacks in the league this season. He has thrown for 1,461 yards, 7 touchdowns, and no interceptions in five games. Stroud is a big and athletic quarterback with a strong arm. He is also a good decision-maker. He recently broke Dak Prescott's record for most pass attempts without an interception to start his career.
Stroud is the clear frontrunner for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He has been the most impressive rookie in the league this season, and he has helped the Texans turn their franchises woes around.