• Drake London off to hot start: London was the only rookie receiver to post an 80.0-plus overall grade in Week 2.
• Devin Lloyd getting involved: The Jaguars linebacker was all over the place in Week 2, recording three defensive stops, an interception and two pass breakups.
• Dallas getting solid LT play: Tyler Smith is holding his own at left tackle. He finished Week 2 with the highest grade among rookie linemen after allowing only one pressure on 36 pass-blocking snaps and faring well as a run-blocker.
Estimated Reading Time: 13 mins
The 2022 NFL regular season is underway, and we will be checking in weekly on the first-round rookies – grading their performances as well as highlighting who their principal individual opponent was in each game.
Here’s how the group fared in Week 2.
Overall Rookie Grade: 68.7 (2/12)
Principal opponent: BRADEN SMITH
Week 2 Grade: 68.6
Week 2 SNAPS: 45
Walker is an obvious handful for opposing blockers on every snap. He gave the Colts‘ tight ends, in particular, a torrid time trying to block him on the edge in run plays, and he was also able to hold his position against tackles when that was the assignment. As a pass-rusher, there were a couple of flashes, but three total pressures across 27 rushing snaps is a return the Jaguars will expect to improve over time.
2. Detroit Lions: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Overall Rookie Grade: 56.4 (Rank: 9/12)
Principal opponent: CHARLES LENO JR.
Week 2 Grade: 57.7
Week 2 SNAPS: 60
Hutchinson again spent his snaps moving from one side of the line to the other, facing a second consecutive difficult challenge to begin his NFL career. He fared much better statistically in this game against Washington, racking up three sacks by halftime, but the nature of those plays spoke more to his motor than his ability to dominate a blocker one-on-one. Two of the sacks weren’t clean wins and owed to the quarterback moving into his path, and the third was unblocked. Still, the Lions' pass rush was formidable and Hutchinson was a key and valued component of it this week.
Overall Rookie Grade: 43.1 (Rank: 15/17)
Principal opponent: COURTLAND SUTTON
Week 2 Grade: 29.4
Week 2 SNAPS: 68
Stingley had an extremely eventful game against the Broncos this week. At one point, there was a three-play sequence in which Russell Wilson targeted Courtland Sutton with Stingley in attendance each time. Those plays resulted in a big pass interference penalty, a pass that was inches from a touchdown and then a pass breakup in the end zone. Overall, Stingley was targeted 10 times, giving up six catches for 87 yards, but he did have two pass breakups. His overall coverage numbers also ignore multiple coverage penalties.
Overall Rookie Grade: 64.6 (Rank: 7/17)
Principal opponent: AMARI COOPER
Week 2 Grade: 54.6
Week 2 SNAPS: 62
Gardner showed the first real signs of defensive frailty in his entire career playing cornerback. He gave up his first touchdown on a coverage breakdown in the red zone and was an inch from giving up another on a pass Donovan Peoples-Jones couldn’t quite bring in. Overall, Gardner allowed four catches for 33 yards, with all four moving the chains or scoring.