NFL News & Analysis

NFL Rookies: Top 15 highest-graded players through Week 10

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) reacts before a game against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The names on PFF's list of highest-graded NFL rookies will be familiar at this point. There is a clear tier of impact players in this rookie class, and they are on the one side of the football, as six of the top seven players on this list play on offense.

Here are PFF's highest-graded rookies through NFL Week 10.

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1. C Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

PFF overall grade: 90.5

Humphrey is yet another prime example of why scouting can be so difficult. The Chiefs center was passed on 62 times last April, even by his own team when they drafted Nick Bolton five picks before Humphrey heard his name called. The Packers drafted center Josh Myers the pick prior.

Now, Humphrey is the highest-graded center in the NFL and shows no signs of slowing down.

2. QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots

PFF overall grade: 87.0

Jones is fresh off a masterful performance against the Browns. He went a nearly flawless 19-of-23 for 198 yards, three scores and three big-time throws. Jones hasn’t been asked to carry too heavy a load for the Pats offense, but he’s executing at another level compared to this rookie class.

3. T Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers

PFF overall grade: 82.2

Another week and another single pressure allowed. The Chargers left tackle has been exactly what Justin Herbert needed as the rookie has yielded multiple pressures in only three of his nine games this season.

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4. Edge Kwity Paye, Indianapolis Colts

PFF overall grade: 79.6

The corner has been turned — just ask Jawaan Taylor. Paye now has 16 pressures over his previous two games after only eight pressures in his first six. When he can pin his ears back, it’s a scary sight for opposing defensive linemen.

5. TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

PFF overall grade: 79.5

Still without Calvin Ridley, the Falcons offense was a shell of itself on Sunday against the Cowboys. However, Kyle Pitts still showed up, with four catches for 60 yards to account for over half of Atlanta’s passing total.

6. G Trey Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

PFF overall grade: 79.1

Smith is already developing a reputation as one of the nastiest pulling guards in the NFL. You do not want to see this freight train rumbling at you if you’re a linebacker. He’s still a work in progress in pass protection, though, and allowed five pressures on Sunday night for the third time this season.

7. WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

PFF overall grade: 77.9

After back-to-back standout performances, Smith now sits atop this rookie receiver class in PFF grade. He’s been Jalen Hurts‘ go-to guy the past two weeks, with four catches for 66 yards and two scores in a win over the Broncos Sunday.

8. CB Nate Hobbs, Las Vegas Raiders

PFF overall grade: 77.6

Even after a hot start to the year, Hobbs was not above getting torched by Patrick Mahomes, just like the rest of his teammates Sunday night. He yielded the most yards he’s allowed in a single game all season with 70.

9. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

PFF overall grade: 76.6

Chase’s inconsistency has been something to monitor ever since the preseason. With 835 yards and seven touchdowns already, it’s amazing to think how many yards he’s left on the table. Chase has dropped six of his 50 targets and gone only 5-of-17 in contested situations.

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10. Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins

PFF overall grade: 76.3

Holland put on an absolute show last Thursday night to vault himself up this list. He blitzed an absurd 22 times and got home for six pressures. His versatility has been a weapon for Brian Flores to deploy, and he’s been very impactful of late.

11. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

PFF overall grade: 76.3

Another Dolphin making this list proves that this season hasn't been all for naught, even if the record doesn’t show it. Waddle is a chain-moving machine, with 60 catches and 35 combined first downs and touchdowns to lead the rookie class.

12. Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

PFF overall grade: 73.3

Parsons simply finds ball carriers. Against the Falcons, he notched his seventh sack of the season and added three more defensive stops. His 28 total pressures rank second in the rookie class, yet he’s been primarily an off-ball linebacker.

13. S Trevon Moehrig, Las Vegas Raiders

PFF overall grade: 72.8

Moehrig was seemingly the only member of the Raiders secondary who didn’t resemble burnt toast by the end of Sunday night football. He continues to be reliable in a single-high role and came away with a pass-breakup on his lone target against the Chiefs.

13. TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

PFF overall grade: 72.8

Heralded for his reliability this season, Freiermuth was anything but in the Steelers' tie against the Lions. In overtime alone, the rookie dropped two passes and then capped it off with the game-ending fumble.

15. Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers

PFF overall grade: 72.6

Mitchell continues to star when given the opportunity. The 49ers ground out a win over the Rams on Monday night, and Mitchell’s 91 yards on 27 carries was a big reason why. He now has 560 rushing yards in only seven games.


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