Home / frontnfl / 2018 NFL Rookie Report: Week 14
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus/White Wolf Editing

2018 NFL Rookie Report: Week 14

Some previously overlooked rookies continue to impress heading into the quarter-mark of the season. [Note: the ranking from my final 2018 Big Board is listed in parenthesis]


Josh Allen, Bills QB (2)

Last week (@ MIA)

18/33 (54.6%), 231 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT // 9 carries, 135 yards

Season stats

52.9%, 1,223 yards, 5 TD, 7 INT // 57 carries, 389 yards, 4 TD

When you combine Josh Allen’s ability to throw frozen ropes with his top-end athleticism, he can do things on a football field that almost every other quarterback could only dream of. If not for kneel downs a couple weeks ago, Allen would have been the only signal-caller in NFL history to have back-to-back 100-yard games, and it’s scary that he’s defying expectations with the worst supporting cast in the league around him. Once the rookie masters his passing mechanics—the final throw that should have been caught by Charles Clay in last week’s loss was wobbly because his footwork wasn’t in synch—his sky-high ceiling should be reached as a perennial MVP candidate. We’ll see how Allen does against his buddy Sam Darnold on Sunday for the first matchup between new division rivals.


Jaire Alexander, Packers CB (8)

Last week (v ARI)

1 tackle, 1 pass defended // 2 punt returns, 25 yards

Season stats

49 tackles, 1 interception, 10 passes defended, 0.5 sack, 2.5 tackles for loss // 2 punt returns, 25 yards

The Cardinals mostly avoided Jaire Alexander in Week 14, but he did allow a big play to Christian Kirk in one-on-one coverage. However, Green Bay’s first-round pick remains not only one of the best rookies in the league, but also one of the best corners in general this season. And against Arizona, he finally got a chance to return punts, including a nice 24-yard return to set up a short scoring drive. Alexander will get his biggest best of the season this weekend against Julio Jones and the Falcons.


Christian Kirk, Cardinals WR (11)

Last week (@ GB)

3 receptions, 54 yards // 1 carry, 23 yards // 3 punt returns, 14 yards

Season stats

43 receptions, 590 yards, 3 TD // 3 carries, 35 yards // 21 punt returns, 164 yards

As stated, Christian Kirk was able to get a deep ball against Jaire Alexander in a battle between the rookies, and it was another example of his deceptive route-running and ability to put a double-move on a defender. Unfortunately, Kirk was placed on injured reserve with a broken foot, but Arizona has to be thrilled about his outlook entering 2019 as the team’s No. 1 wideout; and anyone that doesn’t think the Texas A&M product was an absolute steal in the second round should know that he has the blessing of Larry Fitzgerald.


Mike Gesicki, Dolphins TE (13)

Last week (v BUF)

No statistics recorded

Season stats

18 receptions, 156 yards

Rookie struggles continued for Mike Gesciki as he wasn’t targeted on 40% of the offensive snaps played, and he has just two receptions for ten yards since the start of November. Perhaps the six-foot-six weapon will be a bigger factor down the stretch for a playoff run, but he probably won’t emerge until 2019.


Kerryon Johnson, Lions RB (14)

Last week (v LAR)

DNP – knee

Season stats

118 carries, 641 yards, 3 TD // 32 receptions, 213 yards, 1 TD

Detroit’s rookie runner looks on track to miss his third consecutive game, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him eventually shutdown when Detroit is officially eliminated from playoff contention. I hope that’s not the case, though, as Johnson could realistically have a shot at 1,000 rushing yards if he can return by Week 15, and he has arguably been the team’s best player this year.


Josh Jackson, Packers CB (18)

Last week (v ARI)

2 tackles, 1 pass defended

Season stats

40 tackles, 6 passes defended, 1 tackle for loss, 1 TD

Coming off his fourth start in a row on the outside, Josh Jackson looks to be getting more comfortable with more reps, and he has a chance to lock up a starting cornerback job in 2019 and beyond now that Kevin King (hamstring) has been placed on injured reserve. This week, I think we might see Jackson on Mohamed Sanu because he can match his size, but all three of Julio, Sanu, and Calvin Ridley would be a difficult draw.


Nick Chubb, Browns RB (19)

Last week (@ HOU)

9 carries, 31 yards, 1 TD // 3 receptions, 41 yards

Season stats

131 carries, 694 yards, 7 TD // 12 receptions, 133 yards, 2 TD

Despite barely playing for the first two months of the season, Nick Chubb already has nine total touchdowns and is closing in on 1,000 total yards for what has been a very impressive rookie campaign. This might be our only opportunity to see Chubb face off with All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly in a cross-conference matchup, so we’ll see if the Panthers can stop the rookie’s four-game touchdown streak.


Lorenzo Carter, Giants OLB (21)

Last week (v CHI)

DNP – hip 

Season stats

30 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 2 deflections

Lorenzo Carter missed his first career game in last week’s win over the Bears, so we’ll see if he can return for Week 14 and provide a boost to New York’s pass rush down the stretch as they attempt to run the table (@ WAS, v TEN, @ IND, v DAL) and finish 8-8.


Anthony Miller, Bears WR (28)

Last week (@ NYG)

1 reception, 1 yard, 1 TD

Season stats

30 receptions, 399 yards, 6 TD // 3 carries, 15 yards

I said before the season that Anthony Miller was a threat for 800-900 yards and 6-8 scores as a rookie, and while the former probably won’t happen, the latter has already been reached thanks to a game-tying trick play touchdown pass from Tarik Cohen against New York. It wasn’t enough to get a win, but Miller has a chance to showcase his talent in front of a national audience on Sunday night against the Rams in a big NFC clash.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *