• Devin Lloyd remains active in all facets: While the Jaguars linebacker missed five tackles, he also made five defensive stops.
• Ikem Ekwonu‘s best game yet: The Panthers tackle recorded one of the best grades of all linemen in Week 5.
• Chris Olave produces before leaving game: The Saints wideout caught four of the six targets thrown his way for 54 yards and a score before exiting in Week 5.
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
We will be checking in on the first-round rookies throughout the 2022 NFL season, grading their performances as well as highlighting who their principal individual opponent was in each game.
Here’s how the group fared in Week 5, as well as their overall PFF grade for the season.
Overall Rookie Grade: 62.8 (Rank: 12/27)
Principal Opponent: Tytus Howard
Week 5 Snaps: 47
A foolish personal foul penalty late in the game extended a Houston drive and effectively cost Jacksonville any chance at a win, and that was pretty much as close as Walker came to the quarterback this week. Across 17 pass-rushing snaps, he tallied only one hurry. Still, he was once again better against the run.
2. Detroit Lions: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Overall Rookie Grade: 63.7 (Rank: 11/27)
Principal Opponent: Trent Brown
Week 5 Snaps: 57
Hutchinson had a mixed game this week against the Patriots but did make two defensive stops in the run game. While he recorded just one pressure — the same as Travon Walker — he had three more pass-rushing wins that didn’t get a chance to become pressure, giving him a pass-rush win rate more than three times higher this week.
Overall Rookie Grade: 50.4 (Rank: 22/33)
Principal Opponent: Marvin Jones Jr.
Week 5 Snaps: 74
Stingley snagged a key interception in the end zone after Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence tried to force a pass that wasn’t really on, and he also broke up a critical pass on Jacksonville's final drive. Overall, he allowed six catches for 97 yards into his coverage from nine targets, but his positive plays were important ones.
Overall Rookie Grade: 67.3 (Rank: 10/33)
Principal Opponent: Jaylen Waddle
Week 5 Snaps: 67
Gardner's hit on Teddy Bridgewater‘s first dropback knocked the veteran out of the game, forcing the Dolphins to turn to seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson through the air. Gardner took advantage by allowing three catches for 26 yards into his coverage and picking off one of the targets for an interception.
5. New York Giants: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
Overall Rookie Grade: 71.9 (Rank: 3/27)
Principal Opponent: Elgton Jenkins
Week 5 Snaps: 51
Thibodeaux didn’t have a great matchup this week given his opponent, but he was able to come away with four pressures thanks in large part to creative pressure packages from the Giants' scheme. Two of his four pressures came against either a tight end or a wide receiver, with a third coming against the backup left tackle and the final one being a breakdown in communication within the protection. He still deserves credit for capitalizing on those opportunities.