ROY rankings

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    ROY rankings

     

    Kiper: NFL Rookie Rankings This week, Mel goes 30 deep, with Kiko Alonso taking the top spot Updated: November 7, 2013, 11:52 AM ET By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN  I wrote up Kiko Alonso in my 2013 draft guide as one of the top six inside linebackers in the draft. I thought he was hurt a little bit because, although he has outstanding athleticism, he didn't work out at the combine, which inevitably provides a bump to the best athletes. He also had only one year as a full-time starter at Oregon. But one of Alonso's great skills at Oregon was his ability to "sift through the trash" (scouting phrase) and deal with traffic. In other words, he was able to see the ball and make plays through blocking havoc and contact, maintaining his balance and quickness.

     

     

     

    I think those skills have made the transition easier for him. The game, and the traffic, just doesn't seem to move too quickly for him, just as it didn't at Oregon. So far this season, the Buffalo Bills have benefited. Although Alonso might lack experience, he plays with great instincts and has that extra set of eyes to make plays amid all the chaos.

     

     

    This week, he moves to the top of my Rookie Rankings, barely edging out another AFC East star.

     

     

    Again, the usual parameters:

     

     

    • The rankings reflect play over the whole season, not just the previous Sunday.
    • Positional value matters, but overall performance and impact on the team matter more.
    • I do ask: Would this player be a starter on most teams? (I think that hurts QBs some).
    • Total snap count matters. Staying on the field is important because you get taken off to conceal weaknesses.

     

     

    With the rules in place, here we go. This week, I've ranked a total of 30 and included a dozen others I considered.

     

     

     

     

     

    Alonso

     

     

    1. Kiko Alonso, ILB, Buffalo Bills: Continues to perform at a consistently high level week in and week out. Through Week 9, he's third in the NFL in total tackles, with 89 (just one behind leaders Vontaze Burfict and Sean Lee), and has four interceptions, which is most on the team, plus he gets a bonus because he literally has not come off the field for the Bills' defense, so he has played nearly 700 snaps. He is not playing perfect football, but he's been a huge part of the defensive rise for Buffalo.

     

     

     

     

     

    Richardson

     

     

    2. Sheldon Richardson, DT, New York Jets:The front seven for the Jets has keyed that team's success, with Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson providing a dominant one-two punch. In fact, it's a three-man show with Damon Harrison in the midst of a breakout season. It's splitting hairs between Alonso and Richardson, but I'll give the top spot to Alonso this week, as he's been on the field for about three more games' worth of snaps. On a per-snap basis, Richardson has been more dominant.

     

     

     

     

     

    Lotulelei

     

     

    3. Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina Panthers: Not just a clogger who frees up Luke Kuechly to flow to the football, Lotulelei has also been a disruptive force with his incredible combination of quickness and power. As I charted him the past few weeks, I've seen him put pressure on the quarterback, not just on ßopposing running backs. The interior of the Panthers' D-line has gone from weakness to strength in one year, and Lotulelei's presence is a big reason.

     

     

     

     

     

    Vaccaro

     

     

    4. Kenny Vaccaro, S, New Orleans Saints:Makes his presence felt in a variety of ways, whether it be on the blitz, in coverage or making tackles in space. He had flashes but was inconsistent early in the season -- making a big play, then missing a tackle on the next -- but he has improved his performance in coverage and, especially, as a run defender in recent weeks. And again, this is a player who doesn't come off the field for a greatly improved defense.

     

     

     

     

     

    Lacy

     

     

    5. Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Has emerged as one of the elite running backs in the NFL, already drawing comparisons to the Seattle SeahawksMarshawn Lynch. What Lacy does so well is blend his power with an ability to make defenders miss. Trent Richardson came out of Alabama and hasn't adapted well to the NFL in part because he doesn't make people miss or find running lanes that aren't obvious. But Lacy does both and is eighth in the NFL in rushing, even after missing time to a concussion.

     

     

     

     

     

    Bernard

     

     

    6. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals:He continues to be an outstanding change-of-pace option for the Bengals, providing a huge boost to the attack as a runner and as a receiver. He has combined for 628 total yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and hauling in 30 receptions out of the backfield. Bernard is also already in competition withAdrian Peterson for the highest degree-of-difficulty TD run of the season after a brilliant one against Miami. He just needs more touches.

     

     

     

     

     

    Reed

    7. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: I might have him a little high, but part of that is because he already has such a huge role in the offense. He is fast becoming Robert Griffin III's favorite target, a guy RG III knows will come down with the clutch grab in key situations. All he needs now is more targets because his catch rate is extremely high. Reed has 38 catches but on just 49 targets. This is the type of player who could become a regular 75-catch performer.

     

     

     

     

     

    Ogletree

     

     

    8. Alec Ogletree, OLB, St. Louis Rams: The speed and athleticism just jump out at you when you watch Ogletree play. He's around the action a great deal, showing range and versatility to affect the game on any down. He might be too high if you discount for mistakes, but he doesn't come off the field and is helpful in coverage. If Ogletree can become more of a downhill force against the run, and limit his missed tackles, he could become a good one.

     

     

     

     

     

    Mathieu

     

     

    9. Tyrann Mathieu, S, Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals' defensive structure allows Mathieu to wreak havoc and come through with difference-making plays. And he can make those plays all over the field. He's second on the team in tackles and tackles for loss, plus he has picked off two passes. I think the sample size is great enough that we can say Arizona got a steal.

     

     

     

     

     

    Fluker

     

     

    10. D.J. Fluker, OT, San Diego Chargers: Has been a solid all-around performer at right tackle for the Chargers, proving to be a key reasonPhilip Rivers has enjoyed such an outstanding year so far. Fluker broke into the league matched up against J.J. Watt, and, although that was a struggle, he's been better since, improving his run blocking (which we expected to be good) but also holding up well as a pass-blocker. Did you see him flying down the field to make a block against Washington?

     

     

     

     

    Next 20

     

     

    11. Eric Reid, S, San Francisco 49ers: Third on the team in tackles, he leads the Niners with three interceptions. Steady rookie campaign.

     

     

    12. Marcus Cooper, CB, Kansas City Chiefs: He would be higher, but he is on the field for only about 60 percent of downs. Breakout star.

     

     

    13. Travis Frederick, C, Dallas Cowboys: When he's not trying to contain Dontari Poe, he's been pretty good.

     

     

    14. David Bakhtiari, OT, Green Bay Packers:Protecting Seneca Wallace isn't the same as protectingAaron Rodgers but will be just as vital for this offense.

     

     

    15. Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets: He's well below average among starting QBs, but he's been resilient and gets past his mistakes.

     

     

    16. Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: Has been Rivers' favorite WR target over the past five weeks.

     

     

    17. Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys: With 477 yards so far, Williams has a realistic shot to get to 1,000 in his rookie season.

     

     

    18. Larry Warford, OG, Detroit Lions: Has performed well enough to be higher, losing just a little ground on positional value.

     

     

    19. Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams: He has emerged as the true No. 1 back in St. Louis. Exceptional at staying square and bouncing off contact.

     

     

    20. Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Cleveland Browns:Leads all rookies in sacks, but there hasn't been much else. This year's Bruce Irvin.

     

     

    21. Desmond Trufant, CB, Atlanta Falcons: Up and down, but has been basically as good as Asante Samuel. A future No. 1 corner.

     

     

    22. Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona: Still has just that one big game (Week 8), but I expect a lot more. Run or pass threat.

     

     

    23. Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers: Lotulelei gets the attention, but Short is very good when he's on the field.

     

     

    24. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions: An above-average run defender, he really needs to deepen his portfolio with pass-rush moves.

     

     

    25. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Hasn't caught more than three passes in a game in more than five weeks. But needs targets.

     

     

    26. Aaron DobsonNew England Patriots: The totals are starting to pile up as he gains confidence, and as he gains Tom Brady's trust.

     

     

    27. Chris Jones, DT, New England Patriots: Hit-or-miss, but, when he penetrates, he causes problems, thus the 5.0 sacks.

     

     

    28. Kyle Long, OG, Chicago Bears: A steady run-blocker, he just gives up more pass pressure than a good guard should.

     

     

    29. Eric Fisher, OT, Kansas City Chiefs: Had his best game of the year against Buffalo. Who said a move to the right was so easy?

     

     

    30. Jordan Mills, OT, Chicago Bears: Gets credit for surviving as a starter, but pass protection is now a big concern.

     

     

    Next in line

     

     

    Lane Johnson, OT, Philadelphia Eagles; Marlon Brown, WR, Baltimore RavensEJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills; Micah Hyde, Green Bay Packers; Cordarrelle Patterson,Minnesota VikingsLe'Veon BellPittsburgh Steelers;;Kayvon WebsterDenver BroncosJoe Vellano, New England Patriots; Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals; Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills; Sam Martin, P, Detroit Lions; Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints; Sio MooreOakland Raid

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pcmIV. Show pcmIV's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    Reiss says NE put in a waiver claim for Cooper, but lost out to KC.  I can't even imagine the uproar if we had added another Rutgers guy.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from tcal2-. Show tcal2-'s posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to pcmIV's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Reiss says NE put in a waiver claim for Cooper, but lost out to KC.  I can't even imagine the uproar if we had added another Rutgers guy.

    [/QUOTE]


    Wouldn't we have dibs over KC since they have a better record?

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from pcmIV. Show pcmIV's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to tcal2-'s comment:

    Wouldn't we have dibs over KC since they have a better record?



    Cooper was cut during the preseason so last year's record would have been used I think.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from tcal2-. Show tcal2-'s posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to pcmIV's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to tcal2-'s comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Wouldn't we have dibs over KC since they have a better record?

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Cooper was cut during the preseason so last year's record would have been used I think.

     

    [/QUOTE]


    I don't know but that would make sense.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to pcmIV's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Reiss says NE put in a waiver claim for Cooper, but lost out to KC.  I can't even imagine the uproar if we had added another Rutgers guy.

    [/QUOTE]

    I think at that point we were all just laughing at all the Rutgers guys. It's funny though he's the only Rutgermon B didn't get and he might turn out to be the best of the lot (at least or this year)

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from pcmIV. Show pcmIV's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    I think at that point we were all just laughing at all the Rutgers guys. It's funny though he's the only Rutgermon B didn't get and he might turn out to be the best of the lot (at least or this year)



    He's having a nice year, but the Chiefs have a ridiculous pass rush.  Heck look at the last 5 QBs they've gone up against.  Fitzpatrick, Pryor, Keenum, Campbell, Tuel.  Not exactly a murderer's row.  Dunno if he'd look as good in another situation.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    Where is Sudfeld?

    I thought he emerged.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Mel Kiper.

    Bwahahha

    awabahahh

    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I usually don't take that guy too seriously, but hey, he picked three Patriots in the top 40.  If I remember right, the Pats didn't pick anyone until pick 52, so getting three guys in the top 40 seems pretty good, no?

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Mel Kiper.

    Bwahahha

    awabahahh

    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I usually don't take that guy too seriously, but hey, he picked three Patriots in the top 40.  If I remember right, the Pats didn't pick anyone until pick 52, so getting three guys in the top 40 seems pretty good, no?

    [/QUOTE]

    I suppose. But, what does that say about his pre draft analytical skills?   

    This is like NAS telling Bruins fans Zach Hamill is the next Adam Oates.  It's somewhat embarrassing.

     

    [/QUOTE]


    What's embarrassing is that you think they should all be tied for first because BB drafted them. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    The point is that Kiper has been doing this for 35 years, and agree with him or not, he is an expert on NFL talent. He has access to every snap each rookie has played, and has actually watched each player. 

    Again, no one has to agree with him, but the guy has a very informed opinion, and puts his opinion out there for all to snip at.

    The funny part is that a guy like Harvey has the nerve to tell all he is a expert. He has never seen Jones play in person, never seen him practice. He has seen Alonso the one time the pTas played the Bills. He has seen Richardson maybe twice this year. Yet Harvey is the expert? Give me a break

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from rtuinila. Show rtuinila's posts

    Re: ROY rankings


    Mel Kyper is considered an expert because of his unceasing self promotion and his longevity. I've read where his real accuracy is worse than a rookie weather forcaster's. I don't take what he says too seriously like Prolate.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Paul_K. Show Paul_K's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    Kiper lists 42 rookies and the Patriots started picking with draft pick #51.  So, I might expect zero Patriots among the top 42.  Three of them?

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    If Chris Jones had played all of the season, he'd have to be top 10 at this point. Unless, of course, you don't rate unheralded players that high. 

     

    He's been nothing short of outstanding. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: ROY rankings

    In response to zbellino's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    If Chris Jones had played all of the season, he'd have to be top 10 at this point. Unless, of course, you don't rate unheralded players that high. 

     

    He's been nothing short of outstanding. 

    [/QUOTE]

    He has been a pleasant surprise when the team was desperate. He is not a good fit for this defense playing multiple sub packages. His weakness against the run is something other teams have been game planning for, and Vellano having similar deficenicies does Jones no favors. He is a nice 4th or 5th option next year in a rotation playing on passing sub packages

     

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