Rookie Report Card: Preseason Week 1

Each week throughout the preseason I will grade rookies on a scale of A-F. I will also include their progression, being positive(+) or negative(-). If there is not enough to go on for one week, or a player comes out of nowhere the progression will end up in a neutral category. My grading system will be based off watching all 16 games each week!

Running Backs:

Bishop Sankey, TEN:

Stats: 13 Att for 37 yards, 3 Rec for 38 with 1 TD.

Sankey entered the game in the second quarter, as Eddie George started raving about him throughout the game. He managed a few solid runs despite the weather being disastrous. I also saw him pick up a blitz real nicely, giving me comfort that he can be a three down back the Titans wanted him to be. For his first NFL game, totaling 75 yards on 16 touches with a TD it’s hard not to be impressed.

Grade: A   Progression: +

Carlos Hyde, SF:

Stats: 5 Att for 39 yards.

Hyde was not in the game for too long, however he made his presence felt immediately. He looked like a running back ready to take over for a aging Frank Gore. He showed excellent vision and the ability to run between the tackles. If he keeps this up throughout the preseason Gores job is in jeopardy.

Grade: A   Progression: +

Andre Williams, NYG:

Stats: 7 Att for 35 yards.

Williams looks like a Tom Coughlin running back. Big strong bruising type, the guy you don’t want to tackle. There’s already talk of a committee backfield with him and Rashad Jennings, and I agree. Although Williams may have more value in standard leagues, a single injury could vault him into must start territory.

Grade: A   Progression:+

Lache Seastrunk, WAS:

Stats: 12 Att for 63 yards.

Although Seastrunk was not in the game until the 4th quarter, he made his coaching staff take another look at him this week. His first run went for 19 yards and showed great burst, with excellent lateral movement. He is low on the depth chart as of now, but if he can continue to impress he will push Roy Helu for the 3rd down back.

Grade: B+   Progression: +

Jeremy Hill, CIN:

Stats: 6 Att for 36 yards.

It’s important to note that Green Ellis looked good in this game too, so Hill’s role might not be what everyone is thinking. Outside of Giovani Bernard, I won’t be looking to draft another Bengal running back. However Hill did look good hitting holes in the short amount of time he was in.

Grade: B   Progression: +

Devonta Freeman, ATL:

Stats: 10 Att for 50 yards & 1 Rec for 57.

Not a lot of impressive plays for Freeman until the 4th quarter when he ripped off 57 yards on a wheel route. Miami’s defense looked poor against the run, and the end result was each Atlanta running back having success. I need to see more from Devonta, to start moving him up the draft boards.

Grade: B-   Progression: +

Terrence West, CLE:

Stats: 10 Att for 22 yards & 1 Rec for 13.

West’s college tape really didn’t impress me, and this performance reinforced that. After averaging a measly 2.2 ypc and losing a fumble, I think it’s safe to say he lost ground to Ben Tate as the Browns starting running back.

Grade: F   Progression: –

Our neutral category for running backs include: James White, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Charles Sims, Juwan Thompson. I will be monitoring all of these running backs closely in the next week to see if they can repeat results or get more playing time.

Wide Receivers:

John Brown, AZ:

Stats: 5 Rec for 87 yards.

Might be time to write a entire article on how much I like John Brown. He has been compared to Marvin Harrison more than once, and has looked great throughout all off season. He had a very good 1st NFL game totaling 87 yards which could have been even better if he was not brought down by a defender for a deep pass interference call. Brown was consistently open and showed off his good hands more than once. With his rapport with Palmer already developed, he is shaping up to be a draft day steal since he is going undrafted in most leagues!

Grade: A+   Progression: +

Bradin Cooks, NO:

Stats: 5 Rec for 55 yards with 1 TD.

Every route I saw Cooks run was pristine. He is really showing his understanding of the Saints offense and should emerge as a great weapon for Drew Brees this season. His touchdown catch was nothing short of sensational when he made a cutback on a dime. His ADP is going to keep rising as a result, which will make it hard to land him in drafts.

Grade: A+   Progression: +

Kelvin Benjamin, CAR:

Stats: 1 Rec for 29 yards with 1 TD.

Thought to be the most raw receiver in this year’s top group of rookies, he’s out to prove all the scouts wrong. He is off to a good start as he caught a deep TD pass against the Bills starting CB Stephon Gilmore. Not much else to go on in this game, as he was overthrown on his other deep route.

Grade: B   Progression: +

Sammy Watkins, BUF:

Stats: 3 Rec for 21 yards.

All the hype surrounding Watkins this summer and yet it has not showed in game action. I truly believe E.J. Manuel is a bust and will hold Watkins back. That accompanied by a team looking to pound the rock, Sammy is looking like a player to avoid come draft day.

Grade: D   Progression: –

Mike Evans, TB:

Stats: Big fat zero

Evans who is only 20 years old looked lost in his preseason debut. He came up empty on his only two targets of the day, and truly lacked confidence. We must see major improvement from Evans to even consider drafting the 6′ 5″ 231 lb receiver.

Grade: F   Progression: –

Jordan Matthews, PHI:

Stats: 4 Rec for 14 yards.

The first bad sign for Matthews is he saw zero starter snaps. When he was in, he dropped three of his seven targets. This is a player that has to produce for Philadelphia, and if he doesn’t that receiving core is in trouble. I hope to see better results from Jordan next week!

Grade: F   Progression: –

Our neutral category for wide receivers include: Cody Latimer and Charles Johnson. I will be monitoring both of these wide outs closely in the next week and will look to add more to the list.

Posted on August 12, 2014, in Articles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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