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PFF's First-Rounders in Review

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  • PFF's First-Rounders in Review

    Stumbled on this on another board, thought I would share it here. It is PFF so take it for what it's worth. I do think they got our players right.

    First-Rounders in Review
    Khaled Elsayed | October 22, 2014

    Seven weeks in and we’re building quite the sample size of tape on the rookies who looked to take the lead by storm. Some are already earning recognition for their performances while others have gone largely unnoticed.

    Well one week after we posted our race for Rookie of the Year we’re going one step further and giving you grades and snap counts on each and every single rookie first round pick.

    1. Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans, OLB
    Grade: +0.7
    Snaps: 23
    Analysis: Injury has taken Clowney from the public eye, helping to temper expectations but also managing to disappoint football fans eager to see how he would fare. One stop and just 23 snaps to show for his rookie year thus far.

    2. Greg Robinson, St. Louis Rams, OG
    Grade: +2.1
    Snaps: 137
    Analysis: Looked lost in preseason with positional flip flopping much to his detriment. That saw him start the season on the bench, but the usual output from Davin Joseph has seen him start the past two weeks. Robinson has looked good and that’s encouraging.

    3. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, QB
    Grade: -12.5
    Snaps: 317
    Analysis: It hasn’t been pretty. With Chad Henne struggling, the team had to put Bortles out on the field knowing he was going to take his lumps and hope he will benefit from it in the long run.

    4. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills, WR
    Grade: -0.2
    Snaps: 461
    Analysis: An average grade for anything but an average performance. Watkins has either been very good or very bad as he has tantalized with his talent. Watkins has benefited from the more steady play brought by Kyle Orton.

    5. Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders, OLB
    Grade: +16.6
    Snaps: 395
    Analysis: Zero sacks and so Mack is struggling right? Wrong. Mack has positive marks rushing the passer where his 16 combined hits and hurries suggest a sack is coming soon. However, its the run game where he’s really really starred. A truly promising start.

    6. Jake Matthews, Atlanta Falcons, OT
    Grade: -27.8
    Snaps: 350
    Analysis: Now, nobody knows just how hurt Matthews is and how much that ankle is affecting him. What we do know is that he doesn’t look good out there right now. These past three weeks have been tough to watch, propelling Matthews to the lowest grade of all tackles. Not what Atlanta had hoped for.

    7. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR
    Grade: +1.0
    Snaps: 239
    Analysis: The Bucs were likely expecting a bigger impact from Evans, with six rookies currently recording more yards. A lot of that owes to how bad the Bucs have generally been on offense, but there’s not been enough eye catching by the Bucs’ first-round pick.

    8. Justin Gilbert, Cleveland Browns, CB
    Grade: -4.1
    Snaps: 207
    Analysis: There’s been some good and some bad so far for Gilbert who has fit into the Browns’ sub-package defense as an outside corner. Since coming back from the bye, Gilbert has taken a noticeable step forward.

    9. Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings, OLB
    Grade: +3.4
    Snaps: 464
    Analysis: There was once a feeling that he might limited to more of situational role, but Barr has emerged as an every down player who is particularly effective coming forward. He’s still developing his coverage skills but is producing.

    10. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions, TE
    Grade: +1.5
    Snaps: 188
    Analysis: Just 20 targets and 10 receptions on his resume at this point, Ebron may develop into an athletic mismatch but right now he’s not much of a factor.

    11. Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans, OT
    Grade: +6.9
    Snaps: 148
    Analysis: Lewan wasn’t expected to start this year but an injury to Michael Roos has seen that change. While losing a player like Roos is never ideal Lewan has fit in nicely, allowing just three quarterback disruptions.

    12. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, WR
    Grade: +3.2
    Snaps: 165
    Analysis: It says a lot for the talent of Beckham that he could miss so much offseason work and yet hit the ground running like he has. With three touchdowns already and a game-turning intervention against Atlanta, right now the Giants look like they’ve hit the jackpot.

    13. Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams, DT
    Grade: +15.5
    Snaps: 223
    Analysis: The team couldn’t have him coming off the bench any more, with his incredible ability to penetrate forcing his promotion to the starting lineup. Already ranked No. 2 overall in our defensive tackle rankings, Donald is dominating.

    14. Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears, CB
    Grade: +1.5
    Snaps: 372
    Analysis: Fuller was a front-runner for Rookie of the Year with his stellar outing against the Jets, but has regressed with three of his four games since then earning a negative mark in coverage.

    15. Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers, LB
    Grade: -2.9
    Snaps: 129
    Analysis: A sprained MCL has limited his time, missing action since Week 3. Before that he wasn’t setting the world on fire despite the loaded the box score.

    16. Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys, OG
    Grade: +7.0
    Snaps: 495
    Analysis: This rookie has been getting better every week. Martin is a big reason why the Cowboys’ offensive line has taken such a big step forward. Four positively-graded games in a row and is sixth overall in our guard rankings.

    17. C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens, LB
    Grade: +8.2
    Snaps: 478
    Analysis: He’s proven to be exactly what the team needed, adding a whole new dimension to the Ravens’ run D. It’s there where he leads all inside linebackers with his +8.9 grade, with Mosley being extremely active through the first seven weeks of the season.

    18. Calvin Pryor, New York Jets, S
    Grade: +2.9
    Snaps: 388
    Analysis: Pryor looks better against the run than in coverage, with his impact really felt when he gets close to the line of scrimmage. He owns the best ranking of all rookie safeties so far.

    19. Ja’Wuan James, Miami Dolphins, OT
    Grade: -2.3
    Snaps: 433
    Analysis: It looked like he was getting found out with his effort versus Green Bay being a disappointment. James bounced back nicely against Chicago to continue what has been a largely quiet start. That’s good for a rookie tackle.

    20. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints, WR
    Grade: -2.8
    Snaps: 348
    Analysis: Cooks made an excellent start in Week 1 but has struggled to make much headway since then. He’s averaging just 8.2 yards per reception on the year and is having a quieter start than what the team would have expected.

    21. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay Packers, S
    Grade: +0.9
    Snaps: 363
    Analysis: This rookie has been brought along by the Packers to the point of making his first start against the Panthers this week. The gameplan is working.

    22. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns, QB
    Grade: 0.0
    Snaps: 5
    Analysis: The Browns have got what they wanted out of him this year. Brian Hoyer is playing steady football and they don’t have to rush Manziel into the starting lineup. The upshot are five snaps, one attempt and no completions.

    23. Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs, OLB
    Grade: -1.0
    Snaps: 32
    Analysis: Ford has been out-snapped by six other 3-4 rookie outside linebackers and he can’t really blame injury. At this point he hasn’t looked up to an every-down role and with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali on the field he’ll struggle to get pass-rushing looks. Clearly one for the future.

    24. Darqueze Dennard, Cincinnati Bengals, CB
    Grade: -0.6
    Snaps: 34
    Analysis: What can you say about a defensive back who has played 34 snaps? Well, he’s picked up a sack and been beaten for a touchdown. There you go.

    25. Jason Verrett, San Diego Chargers, CB
    Grade: +8.2
    Snaps: 209
    Analysis: No rookie cornerback has graded out as well with Verrett sitting fourth overall in his positional rankings. That’s even more impressive considering his limited snap count.

    26. Marcus Smith, Philadelphia Eagles, OLB
    Grade: -1.0
    Snaps: 50
    Analysis: Drafted to play on the edge but a woeful preseason and injuries saw him filling in at the inside linebacker spot. The Eagles have invested in him so they will need to develop him but given the guys ahead of him on the depth chart, hard to see him making much impact.

    27. Deone Bucannon, Arizona Cardinals, S
    Grade: -7.7
    Snaps: 260
    Analysis: It hasn’t really worked out for Bucannon who has been deployed as a bitzer to little success and struggles in coverage. He did improve this week after a poor showing against Washington.

    28. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers, WR
    Grade: -2.9
    Snaps: 418
    Analysis: Benjamin was not eased into things as he was immediately established as the top target in Carolina. He’s since rewarded the team with five touchdowns but at times still looks a little raw. Still, a much-needed boost to the wide receiver group.

    29. Dominique Easley, New England Patriots, DT
    Grade: -5.6
    Snaps: 147
    Analysis: It’s true that he hasn’t really done an awful lot so far. The pressure has been rare and he’s too easily moved in the run game. It might take some time to get him up to full fitness and form.

    30. Jimmie Ward, San Francisco *****, S
    Grade: -4.3
    Snaps: 199
    Analysis: Ward has been slotted into the *****’ sub-package defense and has, Brandon Marshall aside, not done a terrible job. Still, that outing sticks out like a sore thumb on his seasonal production.

    31. Bradley Roby, Denver Broncos, CB
    Grade: -1.5
    Snaps: 338
    Analysis: Roby has spent time chiefly in the slot and has gotten by so far without ever looking like a liability. He did give up his first touchdown this week but his three pass break-ups are more of what Broncos fans want to see.

    32. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings, QB
    Grade: -5.3
    Snaps: 245
    Analysis: Bridgewater started off hot and impressed with his composure. However, as those around him have struggled he has as well since his introduction against Atlanta. Bridgewater needs help from his line and receivers but has the look of a rookie with his most recent efforts.

Related Topics


  • Nick
    PFF: Rams vs Jags Refocused
    by Nick
    Refocused: Los Angeles Rams 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 17

    The first half-minute or so of Sunday’s Rams-Jaguars game featured 14 points, with Pharoh Cooper returning the opening kick 103 yards for a score and Jaguars HB Leonard Fournette scoring on a 75-yard run only a few game seconds later.

    The two teams totaled 31 first-quarter points before letting off the gas and only scoring 13 combined the rest of the way, ending with a 10-point Rams win. With that, we give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

    1. DI Aaron Donald, 91.7 overall grade

    2. LB Mark Barron, 86.3 overall grade

    3. RB Todd Gurley, 83.7 overall grade

    4. LG Rodger Saffold, 83.5 overall grade

    5. C John Sullivan, 81.4 overall grade

    You don’t need to force a lot of missed tackles to cause a lot of trouble, and Gurley’s performance against Jacksonville was a demonstration in that. With the Rams operating a zone-heavy rushing attack, the emphasis was always going to be on his cuts to cause the speedy Jags problems and boy did it. Gurley had just one broken tackle but his consistent ability to find the right gap and maximize yardage out of it was crucial.

    It was a largely unspectacular day for Goff, who had no “big-time throws” and the only turnover-worthy play fell into the arm punt category on a long third-down heave. Instead he took what the defense gave him, played it safe and let his rushing attack, defense, and special teams do the heavy lifting. There’s a skill in managing a game against an opponent who has made life hard for more established quarterbacks, and the composure Goff showed is a reminder of how far he has come from his rookie year.

    We have gotten to the point where anything under a 90 overall grade is a disappointing game for Donald. Against the Jaguars, he did not disappoint, completely dominated the Jaguars offensive line to the tune of 2 sacks, 2 hits, and 6 hurries on 41 pass-rushing snaps.

    For the second week in a row, Barron was all over the field. This week, it was to the tune of 8 tackles with 6 stops, three in the run game and three in the pass game. While there are points where Barron is overwhelmed due to his size as a safety at linebacker, this week he was able to use his size as an advantage to make plays rather than getting blocked out of them.

    1. WR Marqise Lee, 89.4 overall grade

    2. LB Telvin Smith, 84.0 overall grade

    3. S Barry Church, 83.2 overall grade

    4. Edge Calais Campbell, 83.1 overall grade

    5. S Tashaun Gipson,...
    -10-16-2017, 03:35 PM
  • RamWraith
    Week 5: Rams Report Card
    by RamWraith
    Sunday, Oct. 09 2005

    Grading the Rams after their 37-31 loss to the Seattle Seahawks:

    Bulger overcame a slow start and played well enough over final 3 quarters.
    Grade: B-

    Running back
    Jackson should've gotten the ball more; no touches for Faulk. Grade:

    Holt played through a bruised knee; Rams didn't get much going deep.
    Grade: B-

    Offensive line
    Rams didn't handle blitz well, or pressure up the middle. Grade: C-

    Defensive line
    Pass rush was sporadic; allowed 100-yard rusher for 2nd straight game.
    Grade: C-

    Nothing special here. TEs and RBs caught 11 passes for Seahawks. Grade:

    A comedy of errors - and big plays - for the second week in a row. Grade:

    Special teams
    Best of times (Johnson's TD); worst of times (Hodges' punts, McDonald's
    fumble). Grade: C-

    Something - anything - must be done to improve the pass defense. Why not blitz?
    Grade: D
    -10-10-2005, 05:50 AM
  • Rambos
    Not much action, so Jackson gets 'D'
    by Rambos
    Report Card: Not much action, so Jackson gets 'D'

    Grading the Rams after their 17-16 loss to the San Francisco *****:


    Bulger didn't see a couple of open receivers but otherwise did an admirable job, given the beating he took from the *****' pass rushers.

    GRADE: A minus


    It looked like Jackson missed a couple of run reads, and some pass rushers on blitz pickup, as well.

    GRADE: D


    Holt's fumble through the end zone, plus drops by Bruce and Klopfenstein marred what otherwise was a strong day by the pass catchers.

    GRADE: C+


    Some rough moments on blitz pickup were expected, but ***** had too much inside penetration, particularly vs. the run.

    GRADE: D


    Rams were stout against the run with notable exception of Gore's second TD run; Ryan and J. Hall made their presence felt.

    GRADE: A minus


    Played more consistently than last week, even without injured Tinoisamoa (ankle), but made no big plays.

    GRADE: C +


    ***** had some success with crossing patterns over the middle, but depleted secondary played well; Bartell had a big sack.

    GRADE: B +


    Massey's recovery of muffed punt set up Rams' only TD; but blocking on kickoff returns was nonexistent, and D. Hall's muffed punt proved fatal.

    GRADE: C minus


    Defense rebounded strongly from last week's second-half meltdown; offensively, why weren't there more passes over the middle to combat *****' edge blitzes?

    GRADE: C minus
    -09-17-2007, 08:49 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Report Card: High marks for secondary
    by RamWraith

    Grading the Rams after their 13-9 victory over San Francisco:


    Bulger's been sharper, but no turnovers for second game in a row was huge.

    GRADE: B minus

    Running back

    Jackson pounded away on the ground against a pretty good run defense; several negative plays late cost him 100 yards.

    GRADE: B


    Rams couldn't get anything going downfield with no pass plays over 17 yards, but Bruce and Holt made clutch grabs early.

    GRADE: B minus

    Offensive line

    There were some coverage sacks, but also some breakdowns that resulted in six sacks of Bulger.

    GRADE: C minus

    Defensive line

    Carriker was a force in the middle as Rams shut down Gore and *****' running game; more pressure still needed against the pass.

    GRADE: B


    Witherspoon notched his team-high fourth sack and made key fourth-down stop; Tinoisamoa, Chillar and Draft all contributed.

    GRADE: B +


    Atogwe's INT on last play of day sealed the deal; Hill had first INT of season and three pass breakups.

    GRADE: A

    Special teams

    Hall's 29-yard punt return set up victory-preserving field goal; botched kickoff by Wilkins led to ***** field goal.

    GRADE: B


    Ugly or not, it's all about finishing, and the Rams found a way to finish, making this a small step forward.

    GRADE: B minus
    -11-19-2007, 06:48 AM
  • BarronWade
    Walterfootball on the Rams draft grade (every pick gets a grade)
    by BarronWade
    iight i know some of us hate walterfootball for there comments on the Rams of late but here is the Grade they gave us on each pick!

    2009 NFL Draft Picks:

    2. Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
    In the NFL, you need a quarterback; you need to protect your quarterback; and you need to get to the other quarterback. The Rams couldn't take Mark Sanchez because they have too much money invested in Marc Bulger, and cutting/trading him would result in a huge penalty. So, this was a no-brainer. (Pick Grade: A)

    35. James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State
    James Laurinaitis becomes a leader of this defense. He was one of the top players available. It certainly looks like Billy Devaney knows what he's doing. (Pick Grade: A)

    66. Bradley Fletcher, CB, Iowa
    Yet another solid pick by the Rams. I didn't have Bradley Fletcher in the third round of my mock re-draft, but he certainly could have been there. St. Louis is taking solid value and addressing positions of dire need. I love what Billy Devaney has done thus far. (Pick Grade: A)

    103. Dorell Scott, DT, Clemson
    Wow, I'm not used to the Rams drafting so well. Unlike some other teams, the Rams understand that you have to either take high positional and/or draft value. (Pick Grade: A)

    160. Brooks Foster, WR, North Carolina
    You knew the Rams were going with a receiver at some point in this draft after cutting Torry Holt. This is Brooks Foster's draft range. Solid pick. (Pick Grade: B)

    196. Keith Null, QB, West Texas A&M
    New regime means new quarterback. Steve Spagnuolo wanted a developmental quarterback in the later rounds. (Pick Grade: B)

    211. Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Texas
    The Rams had to find an insurance policy for the suddenly oft-injured Steven Jackson. The value was right for Chris Ogbonnaya in Round 7. (Pick Grade: B)
    -04-26-2009, 03:01 PM