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2019 NFL Rookie Report: Week 4

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


Josh Allen, Jaguars DE (1)

Last week (v TEN)

4 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Season stats

10 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble

It’s been over a week since Allen was on the field, but he was able to showcase his talent on national television as the Jaguars got to Marcus Mariota nine times in a Thursday Night Football victory. One of Allen’s two sacks resulted in a forced fumble, as he used his speed to get right tackle Jack Conklin off-balance and then showed his length/power by pushing him backwards with an inside move before swiping the ball out of Mariota’s hand. Allen looks like a force already, and he will have a chance to add to his sack total against a sub-par Denver offensive line.


Christian Wilkins, Dolphins DL (3)

Last week (v DAL)

5 tackles

Season stats

12 tackles

Wilkins was a big reason Miami played the Cowboys tough in the first half last week, so if he can hold his own against Zack Martin and Travis Frederick, he can play against anyone. I doubt Wilkins has ever been 0-3 in his life, but his leadership and positivity during a trying season will help establish the culture necessary to turn into a winner when the pieces are all there. For what it’s worth, I actually like how Miami can match up against the Los Angeles receivers this week when the Chargers come to town, and holding up in coverage may lead to Wilkins generating pressure up the middle.


Deandre Baker, Giants CB (6)

Last week (@ TB)

7 tackles

Season stats

12 tackles

As expected, Baker was tasked with defending Chris Godwin in Week 3, and he was up for the challenge, as the emerging star receiver caught just three passes for 40 yards. Of course, Mike Evans (8/190/3) doing so much damage on Janoris Jenkins led to fewer targets in Godwin’s direction, but Baker did his part and should continue to gain confidence. This week, he should see plenty of Paul Richardson, so the rookie will need to be ready to turn on the jets to not get beat deep.


Dexter Lawrence, Giants DL (7)

Last week (@ TB)

2 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 blocked kick

Season stats

7 tackles, 1.0 sack

Most of the “experts” called Lawrence a one-dimensional run-stuffer, but his performance on Sunday showed he is the total package for a six-foot-four, 342-pound defensive lineman. Not only did he block a PAT in what turned out to be a 32-31 victory, but he also got his first career sack, which came in the second half as New York’s defense held the Bucs to just three points. Lawrence will now hope to stop Adrian Peterson and the Redskins in Week 4.


A.J. Brown, Titans WR (9)

Last week (@ JAX)

1 reception, 4 yards

Season stats

7 receptions, 129 yards

Tennessee’s passing attack struggled to get going last Thursday night against the Jaguars, and Brown was held to just one reception on five targets. The rookie mostly struggled to separate from Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, but he was open for a potential downfield shot with Ramsey on him at one point (Mariota didn’t pull the trigger). The Titans should try to manufacture some underneath touches for Brown this week against an Atlanta defense that allows the short stuff.


Brian Burns, Panthers OLB (10)

Last week (@ ARI)

4 tackles, 1.0 sack

Season stats

9 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 tackle for loss

Burns was extraordinarily slippery against the Cardinals last week, and the only thing that stopped him from having a multi-sack game was Kyler Murray’s mobility saving the Arizona offensive line. Carolina’s first-round pick has also showed great effort to pair with his natural pass-rushing skills, and he will only continue to improve this year. Next up is a matchup against the shaky Houston line.


Daniel Jones, Giants QB (18)

Last week (@ TB)
23/36 (63.9%), 336 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT /// 4 attempts, 28 yards, 2 TD

Season stats

26/40 (65.0%), 353 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT /// 5 attempts, 33 yards, 2 TD

The Giants went with Jones to provide a spark for the offense, and he didn’t disappointment in last week’s 18-point comeback for his first NFL win (and start). I said in the previous rookie report that Jones “just needs to be himself and make plays (including as a scrambler/runner) for an offense that lacks weapons,” and that’s exactly what happened as he took matters into his own hands with two rushing touchdowns—most notably the game-winner. Even without Saquon Barkley (ankle) in the lineup, Jones will be in a good spot to keep it going against the Redskins on Sunday.


Justin Layne, Steelers CB (19)

Last week (@ SF)

No statistics recorded

Season stats

No statistics recorded

Layne wasn’t able to get in the box score or play any defensive snaps in Week 3, but he was at least active for his first NFL game, so we’ll see if he eventually carves out a role this season. As stated last week, Layne would be a great pairing with Minkah Fitzpatrick in the secondary, as both guys are long, athletic, and can force turnovers.


Jaquan Johnson, Bills S (23)

Last week (v CIN)

No statistics recorded

Season stats

No statistics recorded

Johnson remained a healthy inactive last week, and things are unlikely to change for a battle between 3-0 teams for first place in the AFC East when the Patriots come to town.


Chase Winovich, Patriots DE (32)

Last week (v NYJ)

1 tackle, 0.5 sack

Season stats

4 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 tackle for loss

He has actually seen his snap count decrease through three games (57% > 42% > 26%), but Winovich now has 2.0 sacks in his young career, and getting pressure could be huge this week in what projects to be a close, low-scoring game against the Bills. When he’s on the field, the rookie just needs to be careful that Buffalo doesn’t use his aggressiveness to their advantage by running a quarterback draw/counter with Josh Allen in a key situation.


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