NFL preseason week 1 ratings for first-round rookies: Who stood out, disappointed and surprised in his NFL debut

What kind of analyst would I be if I didn’t rate first-round rookies after their first preseason game? A disappointment. And I’m not here to disappoint but to give you, reader, what you want. Now, of course, don’t read these scores too much. We’re just an exhibition outing in these players’ professional careers — or in the case of the jaguars and Raiderstwo competitions in.

But now that it’s legit NFL film to see, notes to hand out, game meaningless or not.

These are preseason ratings for first-round rookies. Before we begin, if a rookie is not listed, it is either because he did not play in his respective team’s opening game or, for various reasons, was unable to qualify. have an impact at all, bad or good. .

1. Travon WalkerEDGE/DL, Jaguars

Rating: A-

Most of Walker’s runs were blocked immediately, but he was a solid passer against the run, forced a fumble against the Browns when he crashed from the back and fired a waiting call on Cleveland’s starting left tackle Jedrick Wills. His sack in the Hall of Fame game was more down to Jarrett Stidham attempting to rush right past him than an individual Walker win. He had another knock on Stidham on an outside sprint that was more impressive. All in all, for a raw but bizarre athletic specimen, the Jaguars should be decently pleased with the initial feedback on Walker so far this preseason.

2. Aidan HutchinsonEDGE, the Lions

Category B

Hutchinson had two tackles on 10 snaps in his preseason debut for the Lions, one being a tackle for loss. No pressure though. Hopefully we can see some more of the No. 2 overall pick before the regular season begins.

5. Kayvon ThibodeauxEDGE, giants

Category B

Thibodeaux was not credited with any official pressure during the pre-season opener against the patriots but was damn close a few times. His first snap was a push-pull on New England’s right tackle that brought the blocker to the turf. Thibodeaux didn’t pop out of the gates but didn’t seem out of place in the face of professional talent.

6. Ikem EkwonuTO, Panthers

Rating: A-

Mainly clashing Climb Sweatshirt and Efe Obada – two super long athletic rushers – Ekwonu was tough at the point of attack, winning all but one of his reps in pass protection. He also got up and under those defenders in the running game on most occasions. Good start for the first offensive tackle off the board.

seven. Evan NeelOT, Giants

Grade: C+

Neal’s debut could have gone better. Deep Rush Anfernee Jennings got the better of him with a variety of moves in a few one-on-one clashes. The former Alabama star was taken aback by these rehearsals. For the run and screen game, Neal was snappy and in control, executing what appeared to be his mission.

9. Charles CrossTO, sea ​​hawks

Rating: A-

The silky passing streaks that made Cross a top-10 selection were on full display against the Steelers during the weekend. Of course he didn’t see TJWatt screaming around the corner, but he was sudden and powerful in his shots mainly against Derrek Tuszka, not allowing pressure, although a few were close.

ten. Garrett WilsonWR, Jets

Grade: B+

Wilson was in a rush to beat the press and generate a separation relatively early in his runs in the first pre-season game against the Eagles. He caught two passes for 25 yards. Nothing to worry about for his debut.

13. jordan davisDT, Eagles

Rating: C

Davis played as I expected — flashed a bit against the run, fending off the Jets’ center on one play and swimming past him on another, but wasn’t a factor as a passer. I will say, though, that his size alone gets a lot of attention inside the opposition offensive line.

14. Kyle HamiltonS, crows

Grade: C+

I’ll start with the bad – Hamilton missed three diving tackle attempts against the Titans. Otherwise, he displayed deep dynamic covering ability, often obliterating throwing lanes as they materialized due to his smooth footwork at his intimidating height. If dive attempts turn into clean, controlled closes, Hamilton will be fine.

17. Sion JohnsonAND, Chargers

Rating: A-

Outside the gate, Johnson looked like a seasoned vet, mostly because the Chargers ran frequently, and Johnson’s incredibly low center of gravity and natural power are often showcased to open up lanes for the ground game. His anchor was solid in the pro pass, except for a burst of zeal at the end of the first quarter and a bull rush that began to overwhelm him late in the game. Overall, a positive start for the rookie right guard.

19. Trevor PenningTO, Saints

Rating: D+

In the pre-season opener against the Texas, Penning was hit with the harsh reality that he no longer blocks against FCS outside rushers. He gave up five presses on just 27 pass-blocking snaps and mostly looked bad tempered against any type of defender using any type of rush. Consolation: he moved people in the racing game.

20. Kenny PickettQB, Steelers

Category B

I saw a tweet that the Steelers turned their offense into 2021 dolphins offense once Pickett entered the contest, and after watching the movie, that’s essentially true. From half-rolls with first reads in the flat, to quick checks, to wide receiving screens, the Steelers didn’t ask their first-round pick to do much in his preseason debut. That’s not to say it was a flop of a rookie performance. He was decisive and precise with the ball and connected on an impressive split shot near the sideline early in the fourth quarter.

23. Kaiir ElamBC, Invoices

Category B-

It was a clean start at Orchard Park for the rookie corner, beyond passing interference when he was caught peeking into the backfield on a passing play. Other than that, Elam’s cover was sticky and he had a pass breakup. For a predominantly male corner playing in a zone-heavy scheme, Elam was smooth but unspectacular.

24. Tyler SmithAND, Cowboys

Rating: A-

After watching the Tulsa film extensively to focus on Smith during the pre-draft process, the Cowboys’ first-round pick debut as a professional went almost exactly to plan. He was apparently a bit lost on occasion, even coming up against the cross or tackle. But he fought like hell and showed raw, veteran-like strength in direct man-to-man scenarios, in the pro pass, and for the running game. There was apparently a failed mission through a gap in him which led to pressure. Other than that, I love the way Smith played against the Broncos.

26. Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Jets

Rating: C

Johnson saved his best rush for…the first. Yeah, his first pass-rush snap, from the “wide nine” roster against Lane Johnson, was his most impressive of the afternoon against the Eagles, rolling back the established right tackle. Other than that, Johnson looked like a sharp and long first-round pick, but he was held in check.

29. weird coleET, Patriots

Category B

First, Strange gets extra points for making his Patriots debut in the preseason. A very New England inside blocker from him. Seriously, though slightly sloppy, Strange didn’t look out of place at left guard on his 13 snaps, and the tenacious finish he presented to [Les Snead voice] UT-Chattanooga was evident against the Giants defensive linemen.

30. Georges KarlaftisEDGE, Chiefs

Rating: A-

Karlaftis eliminated the entire arsenal of pass-rush moves against the Bear and was highly effective, registering three snaps in which he was tasked to get after the quarterback. He looked explosive and cocked his arms well at the point of attack. Karlaftis won with a one-armed bull rush, an outside speed rush and a swim later in the match. He was washed a few times against the run, but made a dandy debut.

31. Daxton HillS/CB, bengals

Grade: B+

Hill was ubiquitous in his first pre-season game, logging 40 snaps and barely looking lost or out of place. Midway through the second quarter, he reacted quickly to a throw down the middle and nearly had an interception. He missed a tackle.

32. Lewis CineS, vikings

Category B

Just as he showed in Georgia, Cine swept through coverage against the Raiders at lightning speed to begin his journey through the preseason. He had a solo tackle down a lower lane and didn’t see the ball thrown much in his direction.

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