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2022 NFL Season: Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 6

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (1) celebrates defeating the Green Bay Packers by wearing a cheesehead on the field following the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Sauce Gardner again dominates: The New York Jets cornerback allowed just one catch for eight yards on six targets in Week 6.

Devin Lloyd earns lowest grade of young career: The Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker recorded just a 30.8 mark after getting lit up in coverage.

Evan Neal puts together best effort yet: The New York Giants tackle surrendered two pressures on 32 pass-blocking snaps and fared well in the run game.

Estimated reading time: 10 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 6, as well as their overall PFF grade for the season.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia

Overall Rookie Grade: 62.8 (Rank: 12/26)
Principal Opponent: Matt Pryor
Week 6 Snaps: 68

For the second week in a row, Walker had a critical penalty in a high-leverage situation that extended the drive for the opposition and affected the game. This week, he also recorded three pressures and three defensive stops across an extensive workload of 68 snaps. He also dropped into coverage eight times, two fewer than Josh Allen on the other side.

2. Detroit Lions: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Overall Rookie Grade: 63.7 (Rank: 11/26)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 6 Snaps: Bye

Hutchinson and the Detroit Lions were on a bye this week.

3. Houston Texans: CB Derek Stingley Jr. LSU

Overall Rookie Grade: 50.4 (Rank: 22/34)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 6 Snaps: Bye

Stingley and the Texans were on a bye this week.

4. New York Jets: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati

Overall Rookie Grade: 73.2 (Rank: 10/34)
Principal Opponent: Allen Lazard
Week 6 Snaps: 65

Gardner had arguably his best game as a professional, even if replay removed his fortuitous pick-six early in the game. He finished with the best coverage grade on the team, allowing just one catch for eight yards despite facing six targets. Gardner broke up three passes and looks every bit a shutdown cornerback.

5. New York Giants: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

Overall Rookie Grade: 69.0 (Rank: 3/26)
Principal Opponent: Ronnie Stanley
Week 6 Snaps: 49

Thibodeaux had the critical strip-sack on Lamar Jackson late in the game to get the ball back for the New York Giants and seal another upset win. His overall grade for the game (59.2) was just average, in part because he split time between the left and right side of the line and had virtually no joy against Ronnie Stanley on one side.


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