• QB Dorian-Thompson Robinson: The UCLA product sparked the Browns and was one of three Cleveland rookies to earn an 80.0-plus grade in the game.
• C Luke Wypler: He stayed clean on 29 pass-blocking snaps and made a few nice blocks in the run game en route to an 80.4 grade.
• LB Claudin Cherelus: The undrafted free agent stood out in coverage, allowing only 20 yards on four targets.
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
After an almost six-month wait, NFL football is back. That means we have fresh PFF grades and data to look at. Preseason football provides an extended glimpse of rookies, 28 of whom played 20 or more snaps in the Hall of Fame Game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
These were the rookies with the highest grades from that contest.
PFF Grade: 81.7
The former UCLA star brought life to the game when he took the field, immediately sparking the Browns' offense on a long touchdown drive. He went 8-for-11 as a passer on the night, but two of those three incompletions were a result of dropped passes, giving Thompson-Robinson a 90.9% adjusted completion percentage. He impressed as a runner, too, rushing for 36 yards on six carries — one being a kneel-down — and forcing a missed tackle.
2. C Luke Wypler, Cleveland Browns
PFF Grade: 80.4
Wypler’s debut performance in a Browns jersey will have done little to quell the belief by many that he was a steal in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He saw 55 snaps, with all of those coming in the middle of the Browns’ offensive line. Wypler didn't allow any pressure from 29 pass-blocking snaps and was arguably even better as a run blocker. He earned an 84.3 PFF run-blocking grade and made some impressive blocks on reaches and at the second level.
3. CB Caleb Biggers, Cleveland Browns
PFF Grade: 80.0
Another undrafted free agent to make this list, the former Boise State Bronco didn’t allow a reception from his 18 snaps in coverage despite being targeted three times. That included causing an incompletion on an out route to Jason Brownlee at the end of the first half to force the Jets into a longer field goal attempt.
4. CB Cameron Mitchell, Cleveland Browns
PFF Grade: 79.4
A fifth-round pick for the Browns this year out of Northwestern, Mitchell had a solid night in coverage. He was on the field for 15 coverage snaps and saw two targets, giving up one reception for 10 yards and forcing an incompletion.
5. LB Claudin Cherelus, New York Jets
PFF Grade: 72.0
An undrafted free agent out of Alcorn State, Cherelus had an impressive night in coverage at linebacker. He was targeted four times on 23 snaps in coverage, and the three receptions he allowed went for just 20 yards. Cherelus made a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on two of those plays.
6. OT Dawand Jones, Cleveland Browns
PFF Grade: 69.9
Jones played every snap on offense for the Browns and had an impressive outing as a pass blocker. Across 40 pass-blocking snaps, he didn’t allow any pressure, though he did lose one rep without pressure being registered. He made some nice blocks in the run game, too, but was also called for two holding penalties, one on a screen and the other on a run.
7. EDGE Deslin Alexandre, New York Jets
PFF Grade: 69.8
An undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh, Alexandre was most impressive against the run, earning a 73.1 PFF run-defense grade, with his only tackle as a run defender resulting in a defensive stop. He was less impressive as a pass rusher, recording just one hurry from 14 pass-rushing snaps.
8. C Joe Tippmann, New York Jets
PFF Grade: 68.2
The Jets made Tippmann the 44th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, and his 46 snaps on the night were the most of any player on the Jets' offense. He was good enough as a run blocker, earning a 64.0 PFF run-blocking grade, but it was his work as a pass blocker that boosted his grade. He didn't surrender any pressure from 24 pass-blocking snaps.