News & Analysis

2018 NFL rookie rankings through Week 12

By William Moy
Nov 28, 2018

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Oct 14, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) makes a touchdown reception as Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) tackles him during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

With bye weeks behind us and the holiday season on the horizon, we are rapidly approaching the final stretch of the 2018 season – which means it is nearly time to dish out PFF’s Rookie of the Year award. Just like we have every Wednesday, we once again update you on where the rookies currently stand, top-10 and honorable mentions included.

There have been 120 cornerbacks who’ve played at least 150 defensive snaps this season, among them, Ward ranks 11th in terms of overall grade, and his 84.4 coverage grade ranks fourth. Ward has been put to work this season, as the 82 targets into his coverage are the third-most any corner has seen so far, but he’s done a good job making plays when the ball does come his way. Out of the 56 cornerbacks who’ve had at least 50 targets into their coverage this season, Ward ranks 17th with an 18.3 playmaker index (PMI looks at how often a coverage defender either breaks up a pass or makes an interception relative to the number of targets into their coverage). Opposing quarterbacks have just a 67.0 passer rating when targeting Ward this season, the seventh-lowest surrendered by any of those 56 cornerbacks.

Moore’s 82.9 coverall grade ranks 14th out of the 132 wide receivers who’ve seen at least 100 offensive snaps this season, and along with Keenan Allen, he’s one of just two receivers who currently have a receiving grade north of 80.0 while also possessing a rushing grade of at least 70.0. Moore has shown solid hands so far as a pro, as he’s tied for 14th among receivers with a 95.0 catch percentage, and he’s certainly been productive when he’s on the field. Moore ranks sixth among receivers with an average of 2.48 yards per route run, and his 128.3 WR rating ranks 11th. 

The first of two running backs in the top-10 this week, Barkley currently ranks sixth out of 66 qualifying running backs, and along with Austin Ekeler, he’s one of just two backs who currently own grades north of 80.0 as both a runner and receiver. The second overall pick ranks sixth among players at the position with a 77.5 Elusive Rating (ER distills the success and impact of a runner with the ball independently of the blocking in front of him by looking at how hard he was to bring down), he ranks fifth with an average of 3.54 yards after contact per attempt, and he leads all backs with 25 forced missed tackles as a receiver.

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