In addition to reviewing snap counts and PFF grades from the 2021 NFL rookie class after Week 10, let’s also focus in on the most and least impactful rookie classes so far. For the teams that won't be in playoff contention this season, it’s at least encouraging when the future is bright.
Below are the franchises with the most and fewest snaps from rookies this year.
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Most Rookie Snaps
New York Jets: 2,633 Snaps
While Zach Wilson’s struggles have been well documented, the rest of the Jets' offensive rookies have flashed big time. Guard Alijah Vera-Tucker has earned a 78.0 run-blocking grade midway through the season. Running back Michael Carter is averaging over 50 receiving yards in each of his past five games. Elijah Moore has also come on strong of late with 195 yards over his past three games.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 2,473 Snaps
The Steelers attempted to rebuild their offensive line overnight in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for them, that has gone about as well as you’d expect, with both center Kendrick Green and left tackle Dan Moore Jr. earning grades in the mid-50s. The good news is that running back Najee Harris and tight end Pat Freiermuth look like stalwarts for years to come.
Detroit Lions: 2,374 Snaps
The Lions had an absurd 10 different rookies play at least 15 snaps against the Steelers in Week 10. With an obviously depleted roster heading into this season, they’ve been trying out every youngster they have to see what works. While a lot of it hasn’t, first-rounder Penei Sewell has come on strong of late with four straight above-average grades.
Fewest Rookie Snaps
Seattle Seahawks: 284 Snaps
This number should worry every Seahawks fan. It was inevitable with how small their rookie class was, but they didn’t expect to bottom out to a 3-6 record. Cornerback Tre Brown has been the lone bright spot for them. He’s taken over for Tre Flowers as the starter and been a legitimate upgrade with a 66.3 coverage grade.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 298 Snaps
This was always going to be the case with a loaded Super Bowl roster staying intact for another year. The only surprising thing has been first-rounder Joe Tryon-Shoyinka’s relative ineffectiveness after a monstrous preseason. He’s played 241 snaps yet earned only a 52.5 grade so far.
Minnesota Vikings: 515 Snaps
While this was a bit of a surprise early in the season, given their double-digit draft class, the Vikings' rookie group is turning around in a big way in recent weeks. Both left tackle Christian Darrisaw and safety Camryn Bynum have come on strong of late. Darrisaw already looks like arguably their best left tackle since early Matt Kalil, with six pressures allowed in five games, while Bynum has earned a 90.5 overall grade in two starts in Harrison Smith‘s stead.
Week 10 Rookie Snaps and PFF Grades