Rookie of the Year Player for all 32 Teams


USA Today Sports

Written by: Roy Countryman


AFC

Steelers: Terrell Edmunds, S (1st Round)

Versatile Safety, who at times will be lined up in coverage in the deep third, but for the majority of the time should play a key factor as a pseudo-LB on sub packages. Good athleticism, but what has impressed his coaching staff, even more, is his intelligence and poise.

Browns: Denzel Ward, CB (1st Round)

Ward will get tossed right into the fire to take on the top WR assignment on a week to week basis. Great athleticism, and improving technique may allow him to be a cornerstone in this ever-improving Browns D.


Ravens: Kenny Young, LB (4th Round)

Will start off initially as a special teams contributor, but Young put forth a strong effort in the preseason to unseat the incumbent ILB in Baltimore. He possesses good speed and an ability to quickly diagnoses plays, which could lead to him starting sooner rather than later.


Bengals: Jessie Bates III, FS (2nd Round)

One of the best ballhawks in last years draft, and can make an impact from the deep third of the field. Needs to tighten up his tackling from time to time, but he is the main reason Cincinnati was comfortable with releasing George Iloka.


Patriots: Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB (5th Round)

A preseason star for the Patriots who showed a real knack for flowing to the ball. Showed great tackling mechanics as well as good play recognition, which will always put you in Bill Belichick's good graces.


Jets: Sam Darnold, QB (1st Round)

The face of the franchise that New York has been so desperate for. Has all the ingredients to be great, as long as he tightens up some of his footwork and has some weapons develop around him.


Bills: Tremaine Edmunds, LB (1st Round)

A pup of a prospect who just turned 20 a few months ago. A true freak athlete that has the ability to bang inside, pass rush outside, or turn and cover TE’s. Showed tremendous presence during the preseason, and will be one the faces of this defense for years to come.


Dolphins: Jerome Baker, LB (3rd Round)

A speedy, run and hit LB who will immediately allow Adam Gase to matchup against opposing teams’ TEs. Has good instincts to diagnose plays and close on ball carrier.


Chargers: Uchenna Nwosu, OLB (2nd Round)

Gus Bradley did it again. He found his perfect chess piece a la Bruce Irvin in Seattle. Nwosu is actually better than Irvin when asked to drop into coverage. Has a wide variety of pass rush moves, and heavy hands to impact the running game. Had a true knack for getting his hands up into passing lanes in college.


Chiefs: Armani Watts, S (4th Round)

Watts would have been named a starter at safety for the Chiefs if not for being bitten by the injury bug. Showed at Texas A&M the ability to make plays both as a big hitting run enforcer or on the ball.


Raiders: P.J. Hall, DT (2nd Round)

Small-school standout who is a tightly wound coil of power. Will rock C’s and OG’s back on their heel with his explosive get off. Will be used in a rotation with fellow rookie DL Maurice Hurst, which should allow him not to hit the rookie wall.


Broncos: Royce Freeman, RB (3rd Round)

Rock solid RB who also will make his presence felt in the passing game. Was a true workhorse at Oregon, and I have no hesitations about him going over a thousand rushing yards and multiple TDs.


Texans: Jordan Akins, TE (3rd Round)

Former Minor League Baseball player who shows off his athleticism by running a variety of routes and making plays on the football. Should turn into one of DeShaun Watson’s best friends in the red zone.


Titans: Rashaan Evans, LB (1st Round)

Tough and athletic LB who also would have been an initial starter at ILB if not for being nicked during the preseason. Stacks up tackling numbers and can leak out and cover RBs out of the backfield.


Jaguars: Leon Jacobs, LB (7th Round)

Long, lean, and athletic LB who will no doubt pick up some big tackling numbers due to the talent playing around him and in front of him. Ascending talent who didn’t start a lot in college.


Colts: Darius Leonard, LB (2nd Round)

Small-school prospect who should have no problem translating his versatile skill set to the NFL. Plays with terrific play speed and aggression.


NFC

Cardinals: Josh Rosen, QB (1st Round)

Blue Chip QB prospect who has all the ingredients to be a franchise QB, but will need to be kept clean. Throws a terrific deep ball and will, in my opinion, start more games than Sam Bradford this year.


Seahawks: Rasheem Green, DE (3rd Round)

Versatile DL who played all over the defensive front at USC. Pete Carroll will have him doing the same in this reimagined defense. Has vice grips for hands, long arms, and knows how to shed blockers with his technique. Should put up 8+ sacks in this aggressive front.


49ers: Dante Pettis, WR/PR (2nd Round)

Will initially make his impact on special teams, but with his slipperiness in the open field, it will only be a matter of time until Kyle Shanahan will unveil Pettis as his version of DeSean Jackson in SF.


Rams: Micah Kiser, LB (5th Round)

A throwback style, grinding ILB who, 20 years ago, would have been a first-round pick. All Kiser did at Virginia was tackle everything in site, and when he gets his chance to unleash some tackling aggression playing behind Aaron Donald and Co. he should put up gaudy tackling numbers.


Bears: Anthony Miller, WR (2nd Round)

Very detailed route runner who knows how to win his routes, and will become a security blanket for Mitch Trubisky. Also has the speed to win deep down the field, which gives him all the more opportunities to contribute.


Packers: Oren Burks, LB (3rd Round)

With all the injuries to the Packers LB corps, Burks included, he may be the best athlete of them all. Showed impressive instincts in the preseason, and with some experience could grow into a key cog for the defense into the future.


Lions: Kerryon Johnson, RB (2nd Round)

Has three-down potential, but with the other RBs in the room, he may be relegated to making an impact outside of the 20-yd lines. Glides in and out of cuts for a taller back and runs with impressive power and forward lean.


Vikings: Mike Hughes, CB/KR (1st Round)

Will make an impact on the return game with his good vision and ability to make defenders miss, but should get a chance to play some nickel initially. His loose ankles and fluid hips should allow him to blanket slot-type WR’s.

Cowboys: Michael Gallup, WR (3rd Round)

Big-bodied WR who will bully DBs in and out of routes, and will be heavily leaned upon by Dak Prescott to develop into a top target. Has sneaky long speed, but his bread and butter is his strong hands making combat catches.


Eagles: Dallas Goedert, TE (2nd Round)

With Brent Celek retiring and Trey Burton leaving via FA, Goedert will now take up residence in the highly attractive spot in a Doug Pederson offense as the #2 TE. Has mismatch potential in the red-zone and has the speed to make play up the seam.


Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB (1st Round)

The best player in last year’s draft will leave a lasting impact on the offense not only this year but for years to come. Complete RB, who will make plays both as a runner and receiver.


Redskins: Da’Ron Payne, NT (1st Round)

Strong as an ox nose tackle who will help tighten up the sieve that is known as the Redskins run D. Can two gap and anchor, and has enough quickness to get skinny and slip past OGs to pressure the QB.


Saints: Tre’Quan Smith, WR (3rd Round)

Long and freaky athletic ability that is starting to translate into numbers on the field. Made some big plays in the preseason, and he has gained Drew Brees’ trust. Could supplant Cameron Meredith as the #2 WR soon.


Buccaneers: Ronald Jones, RB (2nd Round)

Listed as the #4 RB initially on Tampa’s depth chart, but I promise you it will be short lived. You plug in the tape at USC, and this RB would be running wild, both inside and outside the tackles. Has speed to take it the distance. Yes, he has his warts in pass protection, but in a tandem backfield, he could help put up some crooked numbers.


Falcons: Calvin Ridley, WR (1st Round)

Polished WR who should help lighten the load for his fellow Alabama alum Julio Jones. Nuanced route running and speed to burn should give Matt Ryan another option for this potent offense.


Panthers: Donte Jackson, CB (2nd Round)

Riverboat Ron had high praise for this young CB throughout training camp and the preseason. Has tremendous speed and will compete at the catch point. He also isn’t afraid to come up and scrap in the run game.


NFL Offensive ROY: Royce Freeman, RB (Denver Broncos)

Runner Up: Sam Darnold, QB (New York Jets)

3rd Place: Saquon Barkley, RB (New York Giants)


NFL Defensive ROY: Rasheem Green, DE (Seattle Seahawks)

Runner Up: Uchenna Nwosu, LB (Los Angeles Chargers)

3rd Place: Tremaine Edmunds, LB (Buffalo Bills)

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