The Week 3 NFL rookie report card looks at some of the most memorable performances from the week. While the 2021 NFL Draft was underwhelming, there have been some outstanding performances from the rookie class so far.
NFL rookie report cards
After Drake London and Garrett Wilson shined in Week 2, it was a fourth-round pick’s turn to get in on the action. Additionally, a first-round cornerback played well in a tough matchup, and the offensive tackle class is making an impression.
But after years of being spoiled, this class hasn’t quite found its footing like the 2020 and 2021 classes did.
Packers WR Romeo Doubs: A
Nevada’s playmaker made quite an impression against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Getting on Aaron Rodgers’ good side is never a bad idea, and Doubs’ 87.5% reception rate will undoubtedly put him in the MVP’s good graces.
Doubs went 8-of-8 against Tampa Bay, tacking on 73 receiving yards and a TD along the way. He fumbled on his first reception, but the ball stayed within his frame, and he recovered it. Doubs could make a massive difference as the season progresses on a team lacking high-end receiving talent.
Jaguars LB Devin Lloyd: B
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been outstanding aside from a Week 1 stumble against the Washington Commanders. Devin Lloyd has been a fine addition to a Jaguars defense that added a lot of outside talent during free agency.
Lloyd and Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez currently lead all rookies in stops with eight. Lloyd’s interceptions have been gifts, but he’s also broken up four passes early in the NFL season, leading all rookies. That is a continuation of what made Jacksonville covet him in the NFL Draft out of Utah.
Giants OT Evan Neal: F
Giants fans have seen this movie before. Andrew Thomas struggled mightily as a rookie. On Monday Night Football, Neal was introduced to the NFL by DeMarcus Lawrence, who nearly had four sacks in the first half alone.
But, like Thomas, there is no need to worry about Neal long-term. The Cowboys’ defensive front has been unbelievable so far in 2022. Lawrence is one of the best pass-rush technicians in the NFL, so it’s no surprise he took advantage of the rookie.
Texans S Jalen Pitre: A
Jalen Pitre has arguably been the most impressive rookie in the NFL. His versatility allows Lovie Smith the freedom to use him as he pleases. Pitre has split time between the box, free safety, and the slot early in his NFL career.
Although the Texans came up short against the Bears, Pitre was flying around the field. He intercepted Justin Fields on an ill-advised throw, and his four stops against Chicago would rank him in the top 10 over the first three weeks of the season.
Cowboys OT Tyler Smith: B
Tyler Smith has been the best rookie offensive tackle in the NFL, which is something that we couldn’t have seen coming with the Hubble Space Telescope before the season. The Cowboys tackle has yet to allow a sack on the season through three games. And while he still has a few technical issues in pass protection, he’s improved drastically since his days at Tulsa.
But run blocking is what has made him special. The Cowboys’ rushing attack was outstanding against the Giants in Week 3, and Smith was helping consistently open holes on the defensive front.
Rapid fire NFL rookie report card grades
It’s time for some quick hitters.
Eagles DT Jordan Davis: B
Jordan Davis took advantage of Carson Wentz Sunday. The quarterback is known for his propensity to hold onto the ball to make huge plays while also running himself into sacks. Davis collapsed the pocket a few times against Washington, while the rest of the defensive line finished with nine sacks against Wentz.
Jets CB Sauce Gardner: B
Sauce Gardner is going to be incredibly good. He’s played some sound football so far as a rookie. He had a difficult assignment against the Bengals but allowed just 2 catches on 4 targets.
Ravens OC Tyler Linderbaum: B
There is no less-surprising development than Tyler Linderbaum having a good start to his NFL career. He hasn’t allowed a sack so far as a rookie, and despite being undersized, he hasn’t had any major issues with power, either.
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