Going into week 6 I was excited about the prospect of this rookie class taking another step forward after some early season inconsistencies. I was not disappointed. The league produced some monster games from some 2nd round and late 1st round picks. As we move towards the mid-season mark, roles are being more clearly defined for rookies.
The Dolphins, despite being 3-3 and a game out of the division lead, made an announcement this week they will be starting Tua Tagovailoa in week 8. A move that is very reminiscent of the 2004 New York Giants pulling Kurt Warner in favor of Eli Manning despite being 5-4 and in contention. Fitzpatrick is playing better than Warner was at that stage in the season however, I am sure the bye week played a factor to give Tua and the offense an extra week to prepare. I am hoping Tua performs well, because a Dolphins Chargers week 10 match up between the 2020 6th pick Justin Herbert and 5th pick Tua Tagovailoa is very intriguing.
TC56 TOP 5 ROOKIES
- RB – D’Andre Swift – 5’8” 212 – Georgia – 2nd Round pick (35th overall) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (W, 34-16)
Game day Stats: 14 Carries / 116 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns
In week 1 Swift encountered a nightmare scenario that every player who puts on a helmet dreads. With a chance to be the hero, Swift was targeted in the end zone late in the game. Matt Stafford delivered the ball to a wide open Swift and he disappointingly dropped and the Lions lost the game. If the true measure of a football player is how they handle adverse situations than Swift has a hell of a career ahead of him. In week 6 he was the featured back for the Lions and he certainly made a statement. The Georgia product ran with power, hit the holes hard, and got into the end zone twice to help his team win Sunday afternoon. If Swift can continue to progress he can give the Lions some stability offensively and put some more numbers in the win column.
Performance Rating: 4.2
Next Game: at Atlanta Falcons 1:00pm Sunday
2. WR – Justin Jefferson – 6’1” 202 – LSU – 1st Round pick (22nd overall) vs. Atlanta Falcons (L, 40-23)
Game day Stats: 9 receptions / 161 receiving yards / 2 touchdowns
Lets do a little comparison. Justin Jefferson through 6 games has 28 receptions for 537 yards and 3 touchdowns. That is pretty impressive for any receiver let alone of rookie. Now compare that to a Vikings rookie from 22 years ago and it takes it to another level. Randy Moss, in 1998, through 6 games caught 27 passes for 527 yards and 6 touchdowns. The numbers are incredibly similar. Randy Moss went on to have one of the greatest rookie seasons (69 receptions 1313 yards and 17 touchdowns) in NFL history and followed that up with a Hall of Fame career. As Bill Parcells used to say “let’s not put him in Canton just yet” but the early returns are tremendous for this young wide out.
Performance Rating: 4.1
Next Game: Bye
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:
3. RB – CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE – LSU – 5’7” 207 – 1st ROUND (32ND OVERALL) vs. Buffalo Bills (W, 26-17)
Game day Stats: 26 carries / 161 rushing yards / 10 first downs
When you are the Super Bowl Champions you tend to find yourself featured in a lot of prime time national broadcasts. The bright lights and attention seems to suit Clyde Edwards-Helaire just fine. Edwards-Helaire was running with purpose against the Bills Monday evening. He converted 10 of his carries into first downs. His performance showed that the Chiefs can play any style they want. Clyde also has proved the same thing. Whether you want him to carry the load, be a receiver, or be a decoy he is going to get the job done.
Performance Rating: 4.0
Next Game: at Denver Broncos 4:25pm Sunday
4. DB – Jeremy Chinn – 6’3” 221 – Southern Illinois – 2nd round pick (64th overall) vs. Chicago Bears (L, 23-16)
Game Day Stats: 5 tackles / 1 interception / 2 pass break ups
Chinn is an old school safety. He is big, physical, and an excellent tackler. Chinn has not only led the Panthers in tackles (49 tackles) but also all rookies as well. Chinn grabbed his first interception of the season and broke up two other passes. Chinn’s style of play and size allows him not only to be a solid coverage player but also able to work from the box and be involved in the pressure packages. In reality i am hoping Chinn becomes elite for nickname purposes….Chinnsanity, Chinn check (after a big hit), Jeremy smoking Chinn’s today! Chris Berman would have a field day and the possibilities are endless.
Performance Rating: 3.8
Next Game: at New Orleans Saints 1:00pm Sunday
5. DB – Michael Ojemudia – 6’1” 200 – Iowa – 3rd round pick (77th overall) vs. New England Patriots (W, 18-12)
Game day Stats: 7 tackles / 1 pass break up / 2 forced fumble
Ojemudia was unheralded coming out of Iowa. Most of the attention was paid to top 10 picks Jeff Okudah and CJ Henderson. Ojemudia has proved his worth and could end up having a better year than both of them. He is a willing tackler with good instincts for he ball. The Iowa defensive back also made a huge play stripping the ball away from a Patriots receiver which set up Denver’s final field goal. Ojemudia will get tested when Kansas City comes to town next week.
Performance Rating: 3.7
Next Game: vs. Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 Sunday
NEW YORK GIANTS
LB – Tae Crowder – 6’3” – 235 – Georgia – 7th round pick (255th overall) vs. Washington (W, 20-19)
Game day Stats: 10 total tackles / 1 fumble recovery / 1 touchdown
The final pick in the NFL Draft is always referred to as Mr. Irrelevant. On Sunday late in the 4th quarter Tae Crowder was anything but irrelevant for the New York Giants. With the scored tied at 13 all, Washington’s offense was looking to get into field goal range to win the game. On the 7th play of the drive Giants outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell sacked Kyle Allen and jarred the ball loose. Crowder, being in the right place at the right time, scooped up the football and took off 43 yards for what turned out to be the game winning touchdown. This score gave the Giants their first win of the season and Coach Joe Judge his first win as a Head Coach. A feel good story all around.
Note: Unfortunately, Crowder was put on IR this week.
Performance Rating: 3.5
Next Game: at Philadelphia Eagles 8:25 Thursday
Week 6 2020 Draft Class Match up Results:
New York Giants OT – Andrew Thomas vs. Washington DE- Chase Young
- This match up was a dud. Chase Young was coming off an injury and played decent. Andrew Thomas was benched for being late for a meeting during the week and only played 22 snaps. Young wins this one by default.
Detroit Lion CB – Jeff Okudah vs. Jacksonville Jaguars CB – CJ Henderson
- This one goes to CJ Henderson. It was close. Okudah was targeted 9 times for 7 completions. Henderson was only targeted 5 times for 3 completions. Henderson has already built up a reputation as a defensive back you don’t throw towards. Okudah is still getting tested after a couple of rough games early on.
Week 7 2020 Draft Class Match ups:
Carolina Panthers DT – Derrick Brown vs. New Orleans Saints OG Caesar Ruiz
- Brown has been solid but hasn’t had a huge impact game. Ruiz played center at Michigan but will be the starting right Guard the Saints on Sunday.
Los Angles Chargers QB – Justin Herbert vs. Jacksonville Jaguars CB CJ Henderson
- Justin Herbert has played big time football in the last two weeks before the Chargers bye. Will he challenge CJ Henderson this week?
Week 6 Throwback Draft Class Battle Results:
2015 & 2016 Draft Class:
Buffalo Bills WR – Stefon Diggs vs. Kansas City Chiefs WR – Tyreek Hill
- The Chiefs came out running the football on this night and did so effectively. Tyreek Hill was used sparingly. Diggs had a touchdown but did not play his best game. Draw
Week 7 Throwback Draft Class Battle:
#1 picks Ohio clash:
Cleveland Brown QB – Baker Mayfield vs. Cincinnati Bengals QB – Joe Burrow
- Baker and Burrow playing for the Browns and Bengals should be a good rivalry for the next decade. Baker has had an up and down season so far and Burrow has been navigating himself through the NFL landscape. If you take a QB number 1 and it hits your franchise is set for the foreseeable future however, if it is a flop you can set yourself back at least 5 years. The jury is still out on both signal callers but both will be judge against each other residing in the same state.