NFL Rookies: Top 15 highest-graded players after Week 6

2RYYJF4 Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) and cornerback Lance Boykin (18) react after playing against the New York Giants in an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

RB De’Von Achane leads the pack: Achane has forced 0.39 missed tackles per attempt and has moved the chains on 39.5% of his carries, both of which are league-leading marks.

CB Devon Witherspoon cracks the top three: After producing two more forced incompletions this past week, Witherspoon brings his season total to six — second-most in the NFL — while allowing just a 62.0 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks.

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


Members of the 2023 draft class are primed and ready to face down the bright lights of the NFL stage. Whether they were drafted first or 259th, the best will rise to the top when the games are played.

These are the 15 highest-graded rookies after NFL Week 6.

1. RB De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins: 93.6

Prior to Week 6, Achane (knee) was placed on the IR and isn’t expected to return until after the Dolphins’ Week 10 bye. That will leave this offense down one of the league's most elusive and explosive backs. Achane has forced 0.39 missed tackles per attempt and has moved the chains on 39.5% of his carries, both of which are league-leading marks.

2. DI Jalen Carter, Philadelphia Eagles: 91.8

Unfortunately, Carter (ankle) was inactive this week after sustaining an injury during practice. But even after missing a game, he still ranks top-five at his position in a plethora of categories, including sacks (4), total pressures (23), pass-rush win rate (20.5%) and pass-rushing productivity (10.5).

3. CB Devon Witherspoon, Seattle Seahawks: 84.4

Witherspoon has quickly become a key piece to this Seattle defense. After producing two more forced incompletions this past week, Witherspoon's total now stands at six — second-most in the NFL — and he has allowed just a 62.0 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks. But not only has Witherspoon excelled in coverage, he’s also an effective blitzer, as he has totaled four pressures in his last two games.

4. WR Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams: 82.2

After two weeks with Cooper Kupp back in the lineup, Nacua is starting to slightly lose his footing within this offense. While he is coming off his worst single-game performance of the year in terms of production, his stretch to start the season still places him at or near the top of many receiving categories. His 16 receptions of 15 or more yards still ranks in the top six after totaling zero such plays this past week.

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5. CB Joey Porter Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers: 81.9

With the Steelers on bye in Week 6, Porter didn’t have a chance to build off his breakout performance in Week 5 when he produced a position-leading 91.4 grade and finished with an interception on his only target in coverage.

6. WR Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs: 81.8

Rice saw an increased snap share in Week 6, resulting in his biggest performance of the season. He caught all four of his targets for 72 yards, with two of those receptions going for 20-plus yards. He now has six explosive plays of 15 or more yards on the season, tied with Travis Kelce for second-most on the team, while his 2.75 yards per route run leads this Chiefs offense.

7. CB Christian Gonzalez, New England Patriots: 80.8

Gonzalez (shoulder) again qualifies for this list despite going down in Week 4, solely because of his fantastic play in September. He managed to force three incompletions and allow just a 67.5 passer rating on throws into his coverage, a top-10 mark among corners.

8. EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Houston Texans: 80.3

Anderson had the most productive pass-rushing day of his young career in Week 6, putting up an impressive 84.6 grade. The 2023 top-three pick totaled eight pressures and a 28.9% pass-rush win rate — season-highs — with five pressures coming after being matched up with Ryan Ramczyk.

9. CB Brian Branch, Detroit Lions: 79.7

Branch (ankle) missed his second straight game in Week 6, but he still ranks among the 10 highest-graded rookies of 2023. Before his injury, Branch had been playing spectacularly in all facets of his game. In Weeks 3 and 4, he earned a top-10 grade in coverage (90.2) and run defense (89.2).

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10. DI Keeanu Benton, Pittsburgh Steelers: 78.3

Benton is the second Steelers defender to make this list, and it is due to his ability as a run defender on the interior. He has earned a 72.0-plus run-defense grade in three of his five games this season. Over his last two outings, Benton has earned his highest percentage of positive graded plays in a single game, exceeding 23% in each.

11. WR Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos: 77.3

The Broncos offense was largely ineffective on Thursday Night Football, which understandably extended to Mims, who was blanked in the box score for the first time in his career. He saw no targets on just eight routes run but still boasts top-three ranks in yards per route run (3.97) and yards per reception (23.1).

12. WR Tank Dell, Houston Texans: 77.2

Dell (concussion) was ruled out for the Texans' Week 6 matchup with the Saints. While he may not jump off the box score often, he has earned quality grades in recent weeks. Over his last three games, Dell has surpassed an 82.0-plus receiving grade twice, with his quarterback producing a 130.7 passer rating when targeting him.

12. LB Ivan Pace Jr., Minnesota Vikings: 77.2

With the return of Brian Asamoah to the lineup, Pace saw his role significantly reduced this week despite his fantastic start to the season. Even still, Pace managed to contribute whenever called upon. He rushed the passer — his strength this season — only twice, yet he still managed a QB hit.

14. RB Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks: 75.6

Charbonnet may not be a sizable presence in the run game, but he has been making waves as a pass-blocking back. Just 13 backs this season have allowed no pressures on at least 10 pass-pro snaps, and Charbonnet is one of them. His 85.8 pass-blocking grade ranks sixth at the position.

15. TE Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions: 75.0

LaPorta may have earned his lowest PFF grade of the season in Week 6, but he has built up a solid rapport that has earned him the last spot on this list. He has produced fantastically as a pass-catcher this season, ranking in the top five in receiving grade, contested catches and explosive plays at the tight end position.

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