NFL News & Analysis

Grading all 31 first-round picks after Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season

2TC4T6T Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson (7) celebrates a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Atlanta. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 29-25. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

• Bijan Robinson was the lone first-rounder to earn a 70.0-plus grade on 10 or more snaps in Week 14: He finished with just 34 yards on 10 carries and scored on a play where the Buccaneers had only nine defensive players on the field. He added 54 receiving yards, most of which came on a jet sweep that set up his touchdown run.

• Steelers tackle Broderick Jones flashes more promise: Jones had his best overall performance as a right tackle While he allowed three hurries, none were particularly dominant.

• It's never too early to gear up for the 2024 NFL Draft: PFF has you covered throughout the college football season. Click here for our 2024 big board.

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutes

Week 14 was tough for the first-round class, with Bijan Robinson being the only player among the group to play at least 10 snaps and earn a 70.0-plus grade.

Nevertheless, we’ll continue to track the rookies' progress and principal opponents.

Pick No. 1: Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young

Overall Rookie Grade: 49.1 (Rank: 7/7)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 14 Snaps: 80
Week 14 Grade: 52.1

Young’s nightmarish rookie season continued in New Orleans. He completed just 13 of his 36 pass attempts and finished the day with a 46.3 passing grade. Though his supporting cast isn’t helping much, Young ranks dead last in completion percentage among quarterbacks with at least 300 dropbacks. He has also fumbled in eight of his 12 starts. He has made some nice plays with his legs recently, but his struggles with inaccuracy and ball security are highly concerning.

Pick No. 2: Houston Texans: QB C.J. Stroud

Overall Rookie Grade: 81.5 (Rank: 1/7)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 14 Snaps: 48
Week 14 Grade: 42.9

New York’s stout defense and injuries to Tank Dell and Nico Collins caused Stroud to play his worst game of the season. Stroud was fortunate to finish with zero interceptions in his box score, as the Jets dropped three balls thrown right at them. Stroud was clearly rattled by a Jets pass rush that pressured him nearly half the time. Unfortunately, that pressure also created a hit on Stroud that forced him into concussion protocol. Week 14 was one to forget for Stroud and the Texans.

Pick No. 3: Houston Texans: Edge Will Anderson Jr.

Overall Rookie Grade: 80.5 (Rank: 1/14)
Principal Opponent: Max Mitchell
Week 14 Snaps: 41
Week 14 Grade: 66.2

Anderson led Houston with four pressures but also committed a bad roughing the passer penalty that handed the Jets momentum on their second touchdown drive. He also had little impact in the run game, making this just his second game of the year without a tackle or a stop. All in all, Anderson had a mediocre day, but Houston’s defense needed a spectacular effort to stay within striking distance of New York.

Pick No. 4: Indianapolis Colts: QB Anthony Richardson

Overall Rookie Grade: 52.2 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 14 Snaps: 0
Week 14 Grade: N/A

Richardson suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5 and is out for the season.

Pick No. 5: Seattle Seahawks: CB Devon Witherspoon

Overall Rookie Grade: 83.3 (Rank: 1/19)
Principal Opponent: George Kittle
Week 14 Snaps: 7
Week 14 Grade: 87.4

Witherspoon made a terrific pass breakup on an in route from George Kittle but was injured on the play. He didn’t return and finished the day playing just seven snaps.

Pick No. 6: Arizona Cardinals: OT Paris Johnson Jr.

Overall Rookie Grade: 55.4 (Rank: 4/6)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 14 Snaps: 0
Week 14 Grade: N/A

The Cardinals were on a bye this week.

Pick No. 7: Las Vegas Raiders: Edge Tyree Wilson

Overall Rookie Grade: 44.4 (Rank: 13/14)
Principal Opponent: Christian Darrisaw
Week 14 Snaps: 37
Week 14 Grade: 64.2

Wilson’s 64.2 grade against Minnesota represents his second-best mark of the season. He tallied a career-high four pressures and his third career sack. Interestingly, two of those pressures came when Wilson was lined up as a defensive tackle. It seems he is acquiring a feel for using his strength when rushing the passer. If he can learn to use that power in the run game, he could become the dangerous force generally associated with his draft slot.

Pick No. 8: Atlanta Falcons: RB Bijan Robinson

Overall Rookie Grade: 70.4 (Rank: 7/8)
Principal Opponent: Lavonte David
Week 14 Snaps: 56
Week 14 Grade: 75.1

Down three starting offensive linemen for the majority of the game, Robinson and the Falcons struggled to run the ball against Tampa Bay. He finished with just 34 yards on 10 carries and scored on a play where the Buccaneers had only nine defensive players on the field. He made up for that lack of production with 54 receiving yards, most of which came on a jet sweep that set up his touchdown run. Robinson continues to impact games in multiple ways.

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Pick No. 9: Philadelphia Eagles: DI Jalen Carter

Overall Rookie Grade: 83.8 (Rank: 1/12)
Principal Opponent: Tyler Smith
Week 14 Snaps: 35
Week 14 Grade: 29.1

Carter’s scoop-and-score touchdown was the highlight of Philadelphia’s night in Dallas, but he endured his worst day as a pro otherwise. It was his first game with a sub-60.0 grade and his first game creating no pressure. Even more troubling was his 28.9 run-defense grade. He earned a negative grade on five of his 14 run-defense snaps as Dallas overpowered him inside.

Pick No. 10: Chicago Bears: OT Darnell Wright

Overall Rookie Grade: 61.0 (Rank: 2/6)
Principal Opponent: Aidan Hutchinson
Week 14 Snaps: 71
Week 14 Grade: 62.9

Wright fared much better in his rematch with Aidan Hutchinson and the Lions than in the first meeting in Detroit. His 75.9 pass-blocking grade was a season high. He allowed two pressures, but neither of them came from Hutchinson across their 17 pass-rush matchups. He did commit a holding penalty on Derrick Barnes as Justin Fields escaped the pocket. Wright's 10 penalties are tied for fourth most among all offensive players.

Pick No. 11: Tennessee Titans: G Peter Skoronski

Overall Rookie Grade: 61.8 (Rank: 3/11)
Principal Opponent: Zach Sieler
Week 14 Snaps: 71
Week 14 Grade: 52.5

Skoronski tied a season high with five pressures allowed against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football, earning his second-lowest pass-blocking grade (49.6) of the year as a result.

Pick No. 12: Detroit Lions: RB Jahmyr Gibbs

Overall Rookie Grade: 71.6 (Rank: 5/8)
Principal Opponent: Tremaine Edmunds
Week 14 Snaps: 41
Week 14 Grade: 56.7

Gibbs burst through the right side of an unbalanced offensive line for a 36-yard gain late in the first quarter. Otherwise, he compiled just 46 total yards on his 13 other touches. He also had a crucial drop on a swing screen that he very well could have scored on. Despite some inconsistency in workload and production, Gibbs currently leads all rookie running backs in receptions and ranks second in rushing touchdowns.

Pick No. 13: Green Bay Packers: EDGE Lukas Van Ness

Overall Rookie Grade: 62.4 (Rank: 4/14)
Principal Opponent: Andrew Thomas
Week 14 Snaps: 14
Week 14 Grade: 72.1

Van Ness has recorded five quarterback pressures over the past three weeks after notching seven over the first 11 weeks. He managed one quarterback hurry and one positively graded run-defense play in Week 14.

Pick No. 14: Pittsburgh Steelers: OT Broderick Jones

Overall Rookie Grade: 65.2 (Rank: 1/6)
Principal Opponent: Anfernee Jennings
Week 14 Snaps: 70
Week 14 Grade: 68.4

Jones had his best overall performance as a right tackle and his best performance in pass protection this year against New England. While he allowed three hurries, none were particularly dominant. His work in the run game wasn’t stellar, and it showed, as Pittsburgh ran the ball 10 times to the right side for just 19 yards. Jones has made steady progress over the past few weeks, but it may not be enough to save a sinking Steelers offense.

Pick No. 15: New York Jets: Edge Will McDonald IV

Overall Rookie Grade: 68.9 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: Laremy Tunsil
Week 14 Snaps: 13
Week 14 Grade: 52.1

McDonald picked up his second career sack, corralling Davis Mills as he stepped up into the pocket. That play was McDonald’s lone pressure across eight opportunities. He also earned a negative grade on one of his five run-defense snaps, though it’s getting increasingly difficult to judge McDonald’s progress since he continues to play such a small sample of snaps.

Pick No. 16: Washington Commanders: CB Emmanuel Forbes

Overall Rookie Grade: 52.9 (Rank: 15/19)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 14 Snaps: 0
Week 14 Grade: N/A

The Commanders were on a bye this week.

Pick No. 17: New England Patriots: CB Christian Gonzalez

Overall Rookie Grade: 80.8 (Rank: 2/19)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 14 Snaps: 0
Week 14 Grade: N/A

Gonzalez suffered a torn labrum in Week 4 and is likely out for the season.

Pick No. 18: Detroit Lions: LB Jack Campbell

Overall Rookie Grade: 53.7 (Rank: 3/5)
Principal Opponent: Darnell Mooney
Week 14 Snaps: 42
Week 14 Grade: 65.2

For the third straight week, Campbell improved his run-defense grade, posting a 76.2 mark — his best since Week 6. He has been playing a much higher percentage of snaps as Detroit’s middle linebacker in recent weeks and looks far more comfortable getting downhill. His six tackles against Chicago tied a season high, and he made three run stops in the process.

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Pick No. 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DI Calijah Kancey

Overall Rookie Grade: 48.5 (Rank: 10/12)
Principal Opponent: Chris Lindstrom
Week 14 Snaps: 57
Week 14 Grade: 40.1

Kancey continues to struggle in the run game. He posted a 35.0 run-defense grade this week, nearly identical to the 34.5 mark he earned the first time he faced Atlanta. Kancey’s day in run defense was eventful, with five positively graded plays and seven negative ones. His best work came when avoiding cut blocks, but he is still too easily sealed when facing zone schemes. Kancey now owns the lowest run-defense grade at the position (29.2). On the bright side, he did pick up his fourth sack of the season.

Pick No. 20: Seattle Seahawks: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Overall Rookie Grade: 62.4 (Rank: 12/15)
Principal Opponent: Deommodore Lenoir
Week 14 Snaps: 42
Week 14 Grade: 47.9

Smith-Njigba had a quiet day just a week after what seemed like a breakout against Dallas. All four of his receptions came behind the line of scrimmage on his way to 25 receiving yards after the catch. He also dropped a pass over the middle as he tried to avoid a Dre Greenlaw hit. Smith-Njigba carries the fifth-lowest average depth of target among qualified receivers and has caught just two of his 11 contested opportunities. Seattle has struggled all year to create open looks for Smith-Njigba downfield.

Pick No. 21: Los Angeles Chargers: WR Quentin Johnston

Overall Rookie Grade: 59.2 (Rank: 13/15)
Principal Opponent: Fabian Moreau
Week 14 Snaps: 60
Week 14 Grade: 66.0

Johnston hauled in three receptions for a season-high 91 yards, the vast majority of which came on two consecutive perfect passes from Easton Stick in the fourth quarter. Johnston may be finding himself as a vertical threat. His three longest receptions of the year have come in the past two games. With Justin Herbert’s status in doubt, Johnston will continue to have to find ways to improve no matter who is throwing the ball.

Pick No. 22: Baltimore Ravens: WR Zay Flowers

Overall Rookie Grade: 74.7 (Rank: 5/15)
Principal Opponent: Ahkello Witherspoon
Week 14 Snaps: 70
Week 14 Grade: 65.6

Flowers continues to come through for Baltimore. He caught a late go-ahead touchdown and the subsequent two-point conversion with just over a minute to go in regulation. He finished the day with six catches and 60 yards but also dropped two passes. Regardless, he has now scored three crucial touchdowns in Baltimore’s past two games and leads the team in receiving yards by a wide margin.

Pick No. 23: Minnesota Vikings: WR Jordan Addison

Overall Rookie Grade: 67.8 (Rank: 10/15)
Principal Opponent: Jack Jones
Week 14 Snaps: 69
Week 14 Grade: 53.0

Addison’s day in Las Vegas was about as ugly as that of the rest of the offensive players. He caught just two passes for 27 yards. He made arguably the biggest play of the game, though, when he beat Jack Jones on an out route to get Minnesota into field goal range. Minnesota’s quarterback situation is as fluid as ever. Addison currently ranks second among rookie receivers in yards.

Pick No. 24: New York Giants: CB Deonte Banks

Overall Rookie Grade: 51.1 (Rank: 17/19)
Principal Opponent: Dontayvion Wicks
Week 14 Snaps: 68
Week 14 Grade: 68.0

Banks allowed only 40 receiving yards on 10 targets into his coverage, including making one sensational pass breakup.

He also made a season-high nine tackles.

Pick No. 25: Buffalo Bills: TE Dalton Kincaid

Overall Rookie Grade: 66.3 (Rank: 2/4)
Principal Opponent: Mike Edwards
Week 14 Snaps: 60
Week 14 Grade: 55.7

Kincaid saw a hefty seven targets despite Dawson Knox‘s return. He hauled in five of those for just 21 yards as Buffalo continued to run him on a plethora of short routes. His best play was an acrobatic catch during a scramble drill to convert a fourth down. As expected when he was drafted, Kincaid hasn’t been much of a blocker. He earned three negative grades as a blocker in the screen game, though he was a bit better in the run game.

Pick No. 26: Dallas Cowboys: DI Mazi Smith

Overall Rookie Grade: 49.6 (Rank: 9/12)
Principal Opponent: Landon Dickerson
Week 14 Snaps: 13
Week 14 Grade: 49.6

Smith had an opportunity to prove himself after Johnathan Hankins departed early with an injury. Unfortunately, he came away empty-handed on eight pass-rush snaps and didn’t show much fight in the run game. Albeit on a reasonably limited sample, Smith carries a bottom-10 run-defense grade. If Hankins is out for any period of time, Smith will need to step up in a relatively weak spot in Dallas’ defense.

Pick No. 27: Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Anton Harrison

Overall Rookie Grade: 54.4 (Rank: 5/6)
Principal Opponent: Za’Darius Smith
Week 14 Snaps: 76
Week 14 Grade: 48.7

Officially, Harrison allowed only three pressures against a ferocious Browns defense, but he was beaten eight other times in pass protection. Trevor Lawrence tried to alleviate the problem by releasing the football quickly. Harrison, meanwhile, was repeatedly overpowered by Za’Darius Smith and was also late to pick up a couple of stunts. Since Week 8, Jacksonville has the lowest-graded offensive line in football, and Harrison’s recent struggles are one of several reasons why.

Pick No. 28: Cincinnati Bengals: Edge Myles Murphy

Overall Rookie Grade: 55.0 (Rank: 11/14)
Principal Opponent: Bernhard Raimann
Week 14 Snaps: 23
Week 14 Grade: 43.1

Murphy finished Week 14 with a team-low 43.1 overall grade. He didn’t generate any pressure on 14 pass-rush snaps and earned three negative grades, along with two positive ones, in the run game. His most egregious error was an offside penalty late in the first quarter. Murphy continues to struggle to gain momentum in a reserve role.

Pick No. 29: New Orleans Saints: DI Bryan Bresee

Overall Rookie Grade: 46.6 (Rank: 11/12)
Principal Opponent: Nash Jensen
Week 14 Snaps: 44
Week 14 Grade: 57.2

Bresee had his best day as a pass-rusher against Carolina, generating seven pressures and a career-best 79.2 pass-rush grade. Bresee’s quickness and hand usage were a nightmare for Carolina’s interior linemen. Although he was the Saints’ best pass-rusher, he was also their lowest-graded run defender. Bresee was pushed out of his gap a couple of times and missed a tackle on Chuba Hubbard.

Pick No. 30: Philadelphia Eagles: Edge Nolan Smith

Overall Rookie Grade: 47.0 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: Tyron Smith
Week 14 Snaps: 21
Week 14 Grade: 30.1

Smith was given an extended look in Dallas, playing 21 snaps, but produced a poor 30.1 overall grade. He generated a late hurry on Dak Prescott as he rolled out of the pocket but also allowed Jake Ferguson to run free up the seam during his lone target in coverage. Smith should continue to get looks as the Eagles try to catalyze their struggling defense, but he’ll have to prove he can perform on a heavier workload.

Pick No. 31: Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Overall Rookie Grade: 52.0 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: Dion Dawkins
Week 14 Snaps: 6
Week 14 Grade: 30.4

Anudike-Uzomah played just six snaps against Buffalo. His only noteworthy play was losing contain on a Ty Johnson run, though he was bailed out by a nice tackle from Mike Edwards. Anudike-Uzomah has played just 46 snaps across his past eight games.


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