NFL Rookies: Top 15 highest-graded players through Week 14

Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs center Creed Humphrey (52) and guard Joe Thuney (62) on the line of scrimmage against the Denver Broncos during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There was some jostling in the exact order, but this is the first week where there have been no changes to the 15 players below. If you are looking for the most impactful rookies this season, here they are:

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1. C Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

PFF overall grade: 90.4

Humphrey is not only the highest-graded rookie, but he’s so far and away the highest-graded center in the NFL this season. Jason Kelce’s 84.7 overall grade ranks second among centers, giving Humphrey one of the largest gaps of any position in the NFL.

2. LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

PFF overall grade: 83.9

With each passing game, Parsons not only cements himself further for Defensive Rookie of the Year but enters the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. His 55 pressures rank ninth-most among defenders in the NFL. Of the rest of the top 10, every single other player has rushed the passer at least 88 more times this season.

3. QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots

PFF overall grade: 83.0

It was a bye week for Mac Jones, but he can enter rarified air in PFF grading history with a strong finish. He currently boasts the fourth-highest-graded season from a rookie quarterback, but with a strong final four games, he could easily pass Robert Griffin III’s 83.7 back in 2012 and move up to second behind Russell Wilson’s 89.7.

4. S Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins

PFF overall grade: 81.6

Just like Antoine Winfield Jr. a year ago, it’s safe to say Holland is already among the best and most versatile safeties in the league. You have to go back to Week 7 to find the last time he earned a below-average game grade.

5. T Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers

PFF overall grade: 79.9

Against the Giants' middling edge-rushers, Slater almost pitched his third shutout of the season. In the end, he settled for one total pressure allowed for the fourth time this season. He’s already playing at a pro-bowl level.

6. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland Browns

PFF overall grade: 79.7

Outside of injuring Lamar Jackson, it was a far quieter game for JOK this time around against the Ravens. Quieter doesn’t necessarily mean bad, though. On his three targets, he allowed a grand total of 11 yards. He’s yet two allow more than 16 yards in a game all season.

7. T Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions

PFF overall grade: 79.1

Sewell’s slow climb up this list continues. They’ve found a winning formula with him at right tackle as the rookie continues to open up holes. He’s already one of the best in the league at zone combo blocks working up to the second level. This past game against Denver, he earned a career-high 91.0 overall grade.

8. WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

PFF overall grade: 78.7

With the new 17-game schedule putting several season-long NFL records on notice, one that looks like a formality at this point is the rookie receptions record. Waddle is already 15 receptions away from Anquan Boldin’s rookie record of 101 in 2003. He’s had more than that in every four-game stretch this season.

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9. CB Nate Hobbs, Las Vegas Raiders

PFF overall grade: 78.6

Yet another week where much of the Raiders defense gets torched while Hobbs escapes unscathed. He allowed only one catch for five yards on 39 coverage snaps against the Chiefs Sunday.

10. TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

PFF overall grade: 77.8

Sunday was a great bounce-back game for Pitts and the entire Falcons offense against Carolina. He caught five of his six targets for 61 yards, including going 2-for-3 in contested situations. His 12 contested catches this season are the most of any tight end in the league.

11. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

PFF overall grade: 77.0

The full Ja’Marr Chase experience was on display Sunday against the 49ers. You live with yet another drop — nine now on the season — and a called back touchdown because Chase’s two touchdowns to lead them back in the fourth quarter were special athletic plays.

12. Edge Kwity Paye, Indianapolis Colts

PFF overall grade: 76.2

Paye is still very much the inconsistent guy we saw at Michigan. While he can clown some lesser tackles, he’s only had multiple pressures in five games this season. That being said, the fact that his athletic flashes are still there bodes well for his future.

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13. WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

PFF overall grade: 75.7

Yet another player on a bye this week. Smith has been able to get open fairly reliably this season, but we have seen his size come into play at the catch point. He’s managed to go only 6-of-19 in contested situations this season.

14. RB Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

PFF overall grade: 73.6

The lone running back representative on this list, Williams has only seemingly gotten stronger as the season has worn on. He now leads the entire NFL with 53 broken tackles despite ranking 16th with 155 rushing attempts.

15. G Trey Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

PFF overall grade: 73.4

After a strong first nine weeks of the season, Smith is in danger of losing his spot on this list with how he’s played the past four games. Over that span, he’s earned only a 52.8 overall grade and allowed nine pressures.


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