Week 9 Rookie Class Rankings: Odell Beckham, Deone Bucannon Make Late Charge for Top Rookie Honors

The NFL season is more than half over, and our rookie rankings haven’t changed much the last few weeks. But with injuries to some of the top players (Jason Verrett, Ryan Shazier) players getting their chance after returning from injury (Odell Beckham), and others just hitting their peak now (Greg Robinson, Deone Bucannon), there’s still much to be gathered from the 2014 rookie class.

Rank-(LW) – Team

1-(3) Minnesota Vikings
Teddy Bridgewater pulled off the win over the Redskins, playing mistake-free football and relying on the run game to guide the team to a win. Anthony Barr continues to show signs that he could be the 2014 class’s best defensive player.

2-(2) Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles has gotten better, and as long as his confidence hasn’t been shaken, starting him won’t be deemed a mistake. Allen Robinson is still garnering heavy target numbers, and he’s forming a nice relationship with Cecil Shorts in the offense.

3-(1) St. Louis Rams
Tre Mason is still fighting for carries in the timeshare, but he’s clearly the best back in St. Louis. Greg Robinson is now the team’s left tackle, and was solid there against the 49ers. He should be fine the rest of the way. Aaron Donald has been the best interior DL for the Rams, and allowed for defensive end production

4-(4) Buffalo Bills
With the Bills on bye, they’ll stay in the top-five due to the performances this year by Sammy Watkins (offensive rookie of the year contender), Preston Brown (defensive rookie of the year favorite), and Seantrel Henderson (starting right tackle).

5-(5) Carolina Panthers
Kelvin Benjamin couldn’t separate from the Saints cornerbacks, only gathering two catches on 10 targets. He’s had back-to-back poor games. Trai Turner was out for the Panthers, while Kony Ealy continues to get solid snaps behind Charles Johnson

6-(7) New York Giants
Andre Williams is playing adequately, but it’s clear he’s a backup only long-term in the NFL. Odell Beckham had a monster game against the Colts and, despite the loss, the Giants have clearly found their number one receiver for the future. Weston Richburg had another poor game in run and pass blocking at left guard.

7-(9) Oakland Raiders
Derek Carr didn’t play all that well despite the close score, and he’ll continue to rely on sporadic run production, special teams and defensive support. Khalil Mack is the Raiders clear-cut best defensive player, and he’s been able to influence games as well as produce.

8-(22) Arizona Cardinals
John Brown has become one of the consistent options in the offense, and he’s a big part of the gameplan, whether or not he’s reeling in catches. Deone Bucannon is asked to cover receivers, tight ends and be an enforcer in the run game, and his value to this team is huge.

9-(8) Cleveland Browns
Terrence West may have seized the starting job in Cleveland after receiving more carries/touches than Ben Tate in the team’s narrow win.. Joel Bitonio continues to be the team’s best offensive lineman after Joe Thomas. Justin Gilbert is still playing rotational duty for the Browns, but he’s been solid as an outside and slot corner.

10-(12) Baltimore Ravens
CJ Mosely wasn’t to blame for the team’s pass defense woes, and continued his strong season, particularly in run defense. Lorenzo Taliaferro got touches, but didn’t play well vs. the Steelers.

11-(10) Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams is a key part of the offense, probably entrenched now as the team’s #3 option in the passing game. HaHa Clinton-Dix missed tackles two weeks ago, and he’ll need to improve there after the bye.

12-(6) Chicago Bears
Kyle Fuller struggled his last time out against the Patriots, so they’ll hope the bye helped fix some of those issues. Same goes for Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson.

13-(16) Cincinnati Bengals
Jeremy Hill seized his opportunity, with Bernard out, rushing for over 150 yards and thoroughly impressing against the mediocre Jaguars run defense. He’s clearly become more than just a spell to Bernard, and should start again Thursday night.

14-(14) Dallas Cowboys
Zach Martin again had a tremendously successful day again, and continues to be a key part of the running game success., the team’s highest rated PFF offensive lineman last week vs. Arizona Devin Street saw just four snaps, battling still with Dewayne Harris for the 4th receiver.

15-(15) New Orleans Saints
Brandin Cooks came back down to Earth after a remarkable Week 8 performance. Still, he’s proven to be a schemed-against receiver, which is exactly what New Orleans was hoping for.

16-(11) Atlanta Falcons
Jake Matthews continues to struggle at left tackle for Atlanta, and they’ll hope to clean up some of his issues during the bye week.

17-(17) Miami Dolphins
Both Jarvis Landry and Ja’Wuan James both played very well in the team’s 37-0 blowout win over the Chargers. Landry seems to be the team’s number two receiver now, and James is the team’s best offensive lineman the past few weeks.

18-(29) Tennessee Titans
After a mediocre first start, Zach Mettenberger got a week to further prepare for the starting job in Tennessee. He’ll need Bishop Sankey and Taylor Lewan to continue to improve for him to have success.

19-(28) Washington Redskins
Ryan Grant saw just four snaps. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland is the team’s best defensive back the last few weeks, and they ask him to cover the opposing team’s best receiver.

20-(18) Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Matthews gathered a touchdown from Mark Sanchez, and he may turn into Sanchez’ s favorite receiver early on, as he has the most experience with the now former second-stringer.

21-(19) Tampa Bay Bucs
Coming off the bye week, Mike Evans gathered two touchdowns on seven catches, turning into Mike Glennon’s go-to-guy. We’ll see what his production does with Josh McCown back as the starter.

22-(23) Denver Broncos
The entire Broncos secondary had a poor game, including Bradley Roby, who let up a touchdown to Brandon LaFell. However, he played well against LaFell in every other match-up they had, and had an interception in the game.

23-(20) New York Jets
Jace Amaro saw just 34 snaps and not a pass thrown his way, so it’s unclear what his role in the offense will be moving forward. Calvin Pryor played just 19 snaps for the Jets against the Chiefs.

24-(13) San Diego Chargers
Jason Verrett and Jeremiah Attaochu are both out still for the Chargers, who didn’t score a point and gave up against the Dolphins.

25-(21) Pittsburgh Steelers
Ryan Shazier was reinjured against Baltimore. No sign on exactly when he’ll return.

26-(24) Seattle Seahawks
Justin Britt struggled mightily against the Raiders, as the Seahawks offensive line woes continued.. Kevin Pierre-Louis received 15 snaps, and was active in coverage and as a rusher.

27-(25) Detroit Lions
Eric Ebron has been out the past few weeks, so hopefully he can return for next week’s game as the Lions return from their bye week.

28-(26) Houston Texans
Alfred Blue got 7 seven carries against the Eagles, and he’ll be closely watched whenever Arian Foster gets hurt. Tight end CJ Fiedorowicz is the team’s top blocking tight end, getting 20 snaps, with all but three being as a blocker. It seems Jadeveon Clowney will now return the following week.

29-(27) San Francisco 49ers
Carlos Hyde saw just six less snaps than Frank Gore, but received just two carries. He’s being used more than go as a pass blocker. Bruce Ellington saw just one catch on four snaps.         

30-(32) New England Patriots
Dominique Easley saw 32 snaps in back-up duty, but didn’t excite at all during those, and only received credit for one hurry. Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t get any action, but with the way Brady is playing, Garoppolo might get another chance at mop-up duty.

31-(30) Indianapolis Colts
Jack Mewhort struggled mightily against the Giants, along with the rest of the offensive line (especially the interior). After a big Week 9, Donte Moncrief saw just one catch on one target.

32-(31) Kansas City Chiefs
Zach Fulton
remained adequate at right guard, and remains an adequate, but not great, starter.