The 2017 rookie class has anywhere between zero and nineteen regular season games under their collective belts, or they will after today’s Monday Night Football tilt between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.
Two of the more accomplished first round rookies from the 2017 class, OLB T.J. Watt and TE O.J. Howard, play tonight. No worry, there are plenty of candidates to fill up the rotation. Allow us to check in on some of the other rookies from last season.
Still Got It – Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Yeah, the whole “Mahomes setting the world on fire” thing isn’t going away. The Chiefs entered Week 3 averaging 40 points a game and had an off day, only scoring 38. Much of that came on the right arm of Mahomes, who looks to be in complete control of his team’s offense.
The scary part? The Chiefs missed a few plays and left some points on the field. The defense did show some cracks, so the Chiefs aren’t necessarily invincible. But at least for now, Mahomes continues to look like he is.
Still Not It – Chicago Bears QB Mitch Trubisky
The good news? Trubisky is finding some yardage in his starts and he logged the 4th highest yardage total of his career in Week 3. The bad news? He passed for 220 yards against a bad Cardinals team in Week 3.
For how easy Mahomes is making things look right now, Trubisky is making them look equally hard. It’s not necessarily physical either. Trubisky looks rushed when he’s not working off a script, which leads to sloppiness and missed throws.
There’s plenty of time for the Bears’ young QB to clean things up, this is only the start of his third season playing since high school. But the growing pains are very real.
Sending Flowers – Minnesota RB Dalvin Cook
Cook bounced back from an early 2017 injury to take the field with the Vikings in each of their first two games. Cook was able to force 10 missed tackles against the 49ers in Week 1, he must have felt like he was back at Florida State with the poor blocking.
Fast forward to Week 3 and Cook missed Minnesota’s shocking upset loss to the Buffalo Bills with a lame hamstring. Here’s hoping it’s a minor tweak and Cook will be back on the field for Week 4. The Vikings suddenly need him after a 1-1-1 start.
Showing Promise – Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams
Two touchdowns for Williams this week! Finally! It was a rough rookie season for Williams, but he’s finally back in the fray and looking like his old self.
The two touchdown receptions for Williams against the Rams were great. But just as important, he’s proving to be the same big play target he was at Clemson. Williams won a vertical throw for his first score and is currently averaging over 17 yards per catch on the season.
The NFL is better with a good “Mike Williams” at wide receiver. We need you, Mike.
Still Got It – New York Jets Safety Jamal Adams
Adams has been a very versatile piece, playing as advertised ever since the Jets selected him in the top ten overall. Adams has found multiple ways to make a play, logging an interception, a sack and a forced fumble through the first two games of the season.
Adams’s presence and energy isn’t hard to find of the field, he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite players to watch on Sundays.
Still Not It – San Francisco 49ers DL Solomon Thomas
It’s been a tough start for Thomas. The 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft logged over 50% of his team’s snaps for the first time in Week 3, as good an indication as there’s been that he may get his chance to prove himself on the field.
One problem: he didn’t make any noise with the extra snaps. He was shook up at one point and continues to play in a 50-50 timeshare with Cassius Marsh. Thomas didn’t put a single stat in the box score on Sunday and wasn’t very disruptive to make the “unseen” plays either.
Sending Flowers – New York Giants TE Evan Engram
Evan Engram’s day against the Texans was a short one: he logged 1 catch for 19 yards before leaving with a knee injury and not returning. The Giants have him scheduled for an MRI but Engram did make it sound as though he escaped without major injury.
That’s good news for Engram and good news for football fans. Engram is one of the more electric young players in the league and his presence makes the Giants a fun offense to watch….when the line keeps Eli upright.
Get well soon, Evan!
Showing Promise – Cleveland Browns DL Larry Ogunjobi
The Browns won for the first time in 20 tries last Thursday. The buzz went to 2018 rookie Baker Mayfield but Ogunjobi was a pretty big piece of the happenings.
Ogunjobi consistently collapsed the pocket against the Jets, preventing Sam Darnold from getting comfortable in the pocket as the team tried to ice the game. This was his first game of the season without a sack, but the pressure was consistent. So, too, was Ogunjobi’s pursuit: he finished the game with 8 tackles.
Coming out of the University of Charlotte, it’s understandable that Ogunjobi’s rookie season was an adjustment. But look out now!