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2019 NFL Rookie Report: Week 15

The ranking from my 2019 NFL Draft Big Board is listed in parenthesis.


Josh Allen, Jaguars DE (1)

Last week (v LAC)

2 tackles

Season stats

36 tackles, 9.0 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 2 forced fumbles

Aside from Sunday being the franchise’s final home game in Oakland, a big storyline for the Raiders this weekend is Allen going up against them after they decided to draft Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell over him with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s unfair for Ferrell to be criticized so early in his career, but Jacksonville’s first-round pick closing in on double-digit sacks has caused the media and fans to put a focus in on the selection. Hopefully the Jags at least show some fight.


Christian Wilkins, Dolphins DL (3)

Last week (@ NYJ)

5 tackles

Season stats

49 tackles, 1.0 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 2 passes defended

Wilkins has now recorded at least five tackles in half of his games this season (excluding when he was ejected in the first quarter back in October), and Miami continues to play extremely hard for head coach Brian Flores. It sounds like Giants running back Saquon Barkley is close to 100%, so Week 15 should be a fun matchup as the Dolphins try to slow him down.


Deandre Baker, Giants CB (6)

Last week (@ PHI)

1 tackle, 3 passes defended

Season stats

44 tackles, 6 passes defended, 1 tackle for loss

Baker was phenomenal in Monday night’s loss to the Eagles, breaking up more passes (three) than he allowed completions (one), so the rookie will hope to continue playing well over the final three games. And with Janoris Jenkins—who was likely a bad influence on the young cornerback group—now gone, Baker is the team’s clear No. 1 corner.


Dexter Lawrence, Giants DL (7)

Last week (@ PHI)

3 tackles, 1 pass defended

Season stats

34 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defended, 1 blocked kick

For the most part, New York did a great job defending the run last week until Boston Scott had success in the second half, but Lawrence played well again as an anchor up front. Even against a big offensive line for the Eagles, Lawrence really stood out because of the way he can move at nearly 350 pounds, and there is no reason the Giants shouldn’t dominate Miami in the trenches on Sunday.


A.J. Brown, Titans WR (9)

Last week (@ OAK)

5 receptions, 153 yards, 2 touchdowns // 1 rush, 13 yards

Season stats

39 receptions, 779 yards, 6 touchdowns // 2 rushes, 11 yards

Josh Jacobs is the frontrunner for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but don’t sleep on Brown as a candidate if he can finish strong and get over 1,000 yards for the contending Titans. Last week, Oakland has no answers for the second-round pick, who is now averaging an insane 12.8 yards per target. The Texans would be wise to shade coverage in Brown’s direction on Sunday.


Brian Burns, Panthers OLB (10)

Last week (@ ATL)

2 tackles

Season stats

21 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 touchdown

The change in coaching staff led to more playing time for Burns against Atlanta (his snap rate of 48% was the highest since Week 9), but the entire team struggled in a 40-20 defeat. Back at home this week, Burns will try to get after the elusive Russell Wilson, and I actually like his chances because Seattle’s quarterback can sometimes hold onto the ball longer than he should.


Daniel Jones, Giants QB (18)

Last week (@ PHI)

No statistics recorded

Season stats

61.6%, 2,374 yards, 18 TD, 11 INT // 39 attempts, 241 yards, 2 TD

Jones (ankle) missed Monday night’s game against the Eagles and has already been ruled out for Week 15. The No. 6 overall pick is expected to return this season, but at this point, it might be unlikely we ever see the entire New York offense at full strength with Evan Engram (foot) also out again.


Justin Layne, Steelers CB (19)

Last week (@ ARI)

No statistics recorded

Season stats

2 tackles

Layne’s first career tackle came in October on Sunday Night Football, so we’ll see if he can record another for a primetime clash versus Buffalo. Special teams could have a big impact in a possible slugfest.


Jaquan Johnson, Bills S (23)

Last week (v BAL)

No statistics recorded

Season stats

4 tackles

Defensive snaps are highly unlikely for Johnson and the aforementioned Layne barring an injury, but both teams are going to be focused and play with high intensity in all three phases on Sunday night.


Chase Winovich, Patriots DE (32)

Last week (v KC)

3 tackles

Season stats

20 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 1 touchdown

Winovich wasn’t able to bring Patrick Mahomes down for a sack in Week 14, but he’s now recorded at least one quarterback hit in eight games this season, which is impressive considering his limited playing time. The former Michigan standout will try to get to Andy Dalton this weekend.


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