NFL News & Analysis

NFL Rookies: Top 15 highest-graded players through Week 11

Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

We're 11 weeks into the 2021 NFL season, and I believe this is officially the first time we haven’t seen a new name pop up on PFF's list of the 15 highest-graded rookies.

The front-runners for both the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year Award are well established at this point, so let’s get to it.

Here are PFF's highest-graded rookies through NFL Week 11.

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1. C Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

PFF overall grade: 91.1

Humphrey continues to look like a seasoned vet in the middle of the Chiefs' offensive line. If offensive linemen got their due, he’d be your front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He’s given up more than one pressure in only two of his 11 games this season.

2. QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots

PFF overall grade: 86.9

Jones just does what’s asked of him without making mistakes. With Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase slowly falling off their record-shattering paces, Jones looks to be gaining steam as a Rookie of the Year candidate. He’s earned only two below-average game grades all season long.

3. T Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers

PFF overall grade: 82.6

It’s not just time to discuss Slater’s merits as a Pro Bowl left tackle; it's time to talk about possible All-Pro Honors, as well. The Chargers rookie is the sixth-highest-graded tackle in the league, but he is also the highest-graded player among tackles who have started every game this season.

4. Edge Kwity Paye, Indianapolis Colts

PFF overall grade: 81.3

Over the last three weeks, Paye has been a completely different player from the one we saw in the first half of the season. He’s earned his three highest pass-rushing grades over that span, and he added another sack plus forced fumble against the Bills this weekend. If you don’t count the hybrid Micah Parsons, Paye has been easily the most impressive rookie edge defender.

5. CB Nate Hobbs, Las Vegas Raiders

PFF overall grade: 79.6

While the rest of Las Vegas seemingly crumbles around him, Hobbs continues to be reliable from the slot. This past week he allowed only 11 yards to bring his total to 243 yards on 354 coverage snaps this season.

6. LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

PFF overall grade: 78.9

Parsons is already and unequivocally a dude. His 92.6 pass-rushing grade is tied with Myles Garrett and Maxx Crosby for the highest of any defensive player in the NFL. Parsons ate Andrew Wylie’s lunch this past weekend, tallying seven pressures, including two sacks and a forced fumble. Just give him Defensive Rookie of the Year now.

7. TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

PFF overall grade: 78.2

The Falcons' offense has gone in the tank the past two weeks and, unsurprisingly, so has Pitts’ production. Ever since his back-to-back 100-yard games earlier this year, Pitts has managed 164 yards in four games since. He needs Calvin Ridley back to take the focus off him.

8. WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

PFF overall grade: 78.1

The Eagles' emphasis on the run game of late hasn’t necessarily led to more production from DeVonta Smith, but it certainly has led to better production. Philadelphia’s offense has gotten far more favorable pass looks of late. Smith has averaged 3.24 yards per route run over the last three weeks compared to 1.48 in the first eight.

9. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

PFF overall grade: 76.9

While Chase added his eighth score of the season on Sunday in a Bengals win, his contested-catch woes have continued. After going 0-2 against the Raiders, Chase has now missed his last nine contested-catch opportunities.

10. G Trey Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

PFF overall grade: 76.3

Smith had one of his best outings in pass protection this past weekend against the Cowboys. It was only his second game all season where he didn’t allow a single pressure. Already one of the best run-blocking guards in the league, strides in pass pro would go a long way for the rookie.

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11. S Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins

PFF overall grade: 76.2

Holland has been playing some inspired football of late after a slow start to the year. While he was lost on the Jets' long touchdown to Elijah Moore Sunday — and was partially responsible — he also came away with a pass-breakup on an early third down in that game.

12. WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals

PFF overall grade: 75.2

Moore was the beneficiary with Kyler Murray out against the Seahawks this past weekend. Moore got pumped 11 targets with an average depth of -1.0 yards downfield. He caught all 11 for 51 yards, with three going for first downs.

13. WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

PFF overall grade: 75.1

Waddle continues to be Tua Tagovailoa’s go-to chain-mover in the Dolphins offense. He caught 8-of-9 targets in their win over the Jets for 65 yards, with four of them going for first-downs.

14. T Samuel Cosmi, Washington Football Team

PFF overall grade: 74.6

Cosmi finally made his return this past weekend against the Panthers, but it was short-lived. He was forced to leave the game once again, this time with a hip injury. It’s not thought to be serious, but it is unfortunate to see a promising rookie year derailed by injuries.

15. S Trevon Moehrig, Las Vegas Raiders

PFF overall grade: 73.3

Moehrig made yet another play this past weekend from his usual single-high alignment with a pass-breakup on Ja’Marr Chase. He now has four pass breakups and an interception on the season, tied for the most combined picks and pass breakups of any rookie safety in the league.

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