Elite Rookie Rankings Week 12

Twelve weeks into the season we're starting to get a feel for what the rankings mean for the 2013 1st round draft class. At this point 1 through 8 are rookies having excellent to good seasons. 9 through 15 are having up and down seasons, but with splashes of excellence. 16 through 20 feels like a mediocre year with occassional moments of promise, and 21 or lower feels like a bad year. This week Xavier Rhodes is the surprise top rated 1st round pick due to his stellar performance in the tie against the Packers. Below are the updated standings for the year:


1. Sheldon Richardson, DE for the Jets, originally drafted 13th: He had yet another outstanding week and will almost assuredly end the year #1 in these rankings. Non first round picks Eddie Lacy and Kiko Alonso are likely his competition for NFL rookie of the year, and Richardson would get my vote. He's just been dominant all year long. He had 9 tackles, 3 for a loss and a half sack. He's just a complete NFL player already just 12 games into his rookie season, and he's already deserving of a Pro Bowl.

2. Eric Reid, S of 49ers, originally drafted 18th: His defensive unit shut down RGIII to perfection but Reid specifically didn't have an amazing game. Just a solid 5 tackles and a defended pass.

3. Alec Ogletree, LB of Rams, originally drafted 30th:  He arguably had his best game of the season and it bumps him up a spot. He had 11 tackles and a defended pass. He was all over the field constantly finding the ball. I was most impressed by his physicality in goal line runs where he showcased superior strength. That's not the part of his game he's known for, but he's had a terrific all around season.

4. Star Lotulelei, DT of Panthers, originally drafted 14th: He drops a spot by having a very quiet week by his standards. He was surprisingly pushed around by the Dolphins' interior and not dominant in the trenches as we've come to expect. He had 1 tackle.

5. Desmond Trufant, CB of Falcons, originally drafted 22nd: Despite the loss, holding Drew Brees to 17 points is no easy feat and Trufant played a huge part in that. He had 5 tackles and 3 defended pass. I read today that Trufant is tied for the NFL lead in defended passes. As bad as the Falcons have been Trufant has been a real bright spot. He's clearly their cover corner of the future.

6. Kenny Vaccaro, S of Saints, originally drafted 15th: In his return from a concussion he was critical to helping the Saints hold the Falcons to 13 points. His run defense in particular is quite good. He had 9 tackles and a defended pass.

7. Travis Frederick, C of Cowboys, originally drafted 31st: Also up a spot, he was good against the Giants despite giving up a sack. The Cowboys were able to move the football on the whole and Frederick continued his impressive season.

8. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR of Vikings, originally drafted 29th: He's up a spot after having another solid game. 8 catches for 54 yards but his best value continues to be on kick returns where he had a 57 yarder this week. This was his biggest involvement in the passing game to date, though, so perhaps they will start to use him more.

9. Tyler Eifert, TE of Bengals, originally drafted 21st: He's up a spot during his bye week.

10. DeAndre Hopkins, WR of Texans, originally drafted 27th: Another disaster game for the Texans and it drops Hopkins four spots. He was targeted four times and rewarded the Texans with 1 catch for 8 yards. He's had some good games this year but this was as bad as he's had. A very up and down season for Hopkins.

11. Ziggy Ansah, DE/LB of the Lions, originally drafted 5th: He's up four spots in his first game back from ankle problems. It was a welcomed return as his elite pass rushing skills rewarded the Lions with two sacks.

12. Tavon Austin, WR of Rams, originally drafted 8th: He's up a spot and continues to rise up the rankings after being near the bottom most of the early part of the season. He had 2 catches for 39 yards but the big play was his 65 yard reverse that went for a touchdown. He's consistently making big plays each week now and forcing opposing defenses to account for him.

13. Matt Elam, S of Ravens, originally drafted 32nd: He had 4 tackles and helped completely shut the Jets' offense down to 3 points.

14. Barkevious Mingo, LB of Browns, originally drafted 6th: He's down three spots this week. He was ok rushing the passer but had no stats. He did hit Big Ben one but he' continues to be very hit or miss each week.

15. Xavier Rhodes, CB of the Vikings, originally drafted 25th: He's up four spots getting graded as the best 1st round pick for week 12. He had 4 tackles and 4 defended passes. He was a lockdown corner this week and perhaps he's turning a corner. The Vikings have to feel good about what he'll develop into for years to come based on this performance.

16. Kyle Long, G of Bears, originally drafted 20th: Down two spots, this was not a good game for Long. He had a penalty and was poor run blocking in particular. The Bears averaged just 3.1 yards per carry.

17. Lane Johnson, T of the Eagles, originally drafted 4th: Down a spot during his bye week.

18. D. J. Fluker, T of Chargers, originally drafted 11th: He had an injury scare at the end of his game but is apparently ok. His play was decent as he blocked OK in helping the Chargers upset the Chiefs.

19. Dion Jordan, DE of Dolphins, originally drafted 3rd: He's up two spots, that's worth something. He struggled most of the game but he at least got a sack. That's why the Dolphins drafted him 3rd, so it was nice to see him actually get to the quarterback for a change.

20. Justin Pugh, G/T of the Giants, originally drafted 19th: He was an utter disaster earlier in the year but he's slowly improving his standing in the rankings by having steady performances. I know the Giants are happy to see some improvement. He played well against the Cowboys.

21. Jarvis Jones, LB of the Steelers, originally drafted 17th: He's down four spots and continues to be largely disappointing. He had 2 tackles and a defended pass, but he was drafted to rush the passer and he was really neutralized in that department. Too often he is getting blown up and not handling blocks that well.

22. Sharrif Floyd, DT of Vikings, originally drafted 23rd: Also down two spots, he played poorly and had 1 tackle. He's been a non factor all season for the Vikings.

23. Datone Jones, DE of Packers, originally drafted 26th: He had 2 tackles which is a lot for him, but was poor rushing the passer.

24. Chance Warmack, G of the Titans, originally drafted 10th: His run blocking was poor and he had two penalties. His play keeps getting worse and worse as the season progresses which makes me wonder if he's not 100%. Maybe the toll of an NFL season is getting to him.

25. D. J. Hayden, CB of the Raiders, originally drafted 12th: He stays put for now but he'll likely end 30th on this list by season's end because he was placed on IR with a groin injury. The Raiders defense is playing much better without him, I must say.

26. E. J. Manuel, QB of Bills, originally drafted 16th: He was on a bye.

27. Dee Milliner, CB of Jets, CB of Jets, originally drafted 8th: He had 2 tackles and a defended pass but was beat deep. Not a good game. He continues to be a liability.

28. Eric Fisher, T of Chiefs, originally drafted 1st: He did not play this week due to an "injury". My theory is he was benched, but the Chiefs didn't want to deal with the distraction of admitting they blew the top overall pick amidst a playoff run, so they made up some injury to excuse his horrific year. He's been by far the worst starter on the team and they've won despite him. I do think the Chiefs were just careful to avoid the media circus.

29. Sylvester Williams, DT of Broncos, originally drafted: He played the run ok and had a tackle. That is more involvement than usual for him.

30. Bjoern Werner, DE/LB of Colts, originally drafted 24th: He had a tackle and a defended pass. His defense gave up 40 points to the Cardinals in a loss, though, so that probably tells you all you need to know.

31. Luke Joeckel, T of the Jaguars, originally drafted 2nd: Out for the year with an injury.

32. Jonathan Cooper, T of Cardinals, originally drafted 7th: Due to a season long injury, he will occupy this spot all season.

Who's Hot:

Ziggy Ansah +4

Xavier Rhodes +4

Dion Jordan +2

Justin Pugh +2


Who's Not:

Jarvis Jones -4

DeAndre Hopkins -4

Barkevious Mingo -3

Andrew Juge

About Andrew Juge

I like the Saints. A lot.