After releasing our grades on all 32 first-round rookies earlier in the week, we at PFF have put together our list of the 10 highest-graded rookies following Week 1.
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10. C Erik McCoy, New Orleans Saints – 75.1
Manning the center spot along one of the best offensive lines in the entire league, Erik McCoy shined with the second-highest overall grade from a center in Week 1. He posted a 70.0-plus grade as a run-blocker and pass-blocker against the Houston Texans’ defensive front to kick off his NFL career. With Drew Brees reaching near-retirement age, a solid offensive line is a must-have, and McCoy is only making matters better for New Orleans’ Super Bowl aspirations.
9. DI Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills – 80.3
Questions persisted regarding Ed Oliver’s ability to rush the passer effectively at the next level, but he shot all that down in Week 1, recording a 79.5 pass-rush grade, five pressures and a 21.9% pass-rush win rate. Along with that, Oliver made some noise in run defense, as he had a 76.5 run-defense grade and one run stop. Prior to the draft, PFF Senior Analyst Steve Palazzolo broke down how Houston’s scheme held back Ed Oliver’s pass-rush production in college. Oliver rushed the passer as a nose tackle more than any other draft-eligible interior defensive lineman but was more efficient at non-nose tackle alignments. Oliver played only two pass-rush snaps at nose tackle while playing 30 at other alignments on the line in Week 1. Consequently, it’s obvious Buffalo recognizes Steve’s point and is giving Oliver a higher chance to succeed in the NFL.