Week 7 of the NFL season brought us some new faces to the weekly top five NFL rookies list. One face we won’t be seeing for the rest of the season, unfortunately, is New York Jets running back Breece Hall, who was lost to a torn ACL and meniscus in Sunday’s win over the Broncos. Hall had a real shot at winning Offensive Rookie of the Year.
1. Kenneth Walker III — Seahawks, RB
The former Michigan State star has looked explosive and decisive the last two weeks. For a Seahawks team that finds itself surprisingly in first place at 4-4 after seven weeks, Walker has provided that home run threat out of the backfield. In his past two games he’s rushed for 265 yards and three touchdowns, on 44 carries. Even more impressive is the 15 broken tackles he’s forced over those two weeks. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett loves this rookie and he hasn’t been shy about letting it be known.
“This kid is unbelievable. A star in the making.”
— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) October 24, 2022
2. Sauce Gardner — Jets, CB
Through the first seven weeks Gardner is arguably the best rookie corner in the league. He’s also making a case for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Jets are 5-2, and it’s because their defense is able to pressure QBs with Sauce playing man to man so effectively. And when they want to play more coverage, he’s great in zone. He was targeted 10 times against the Broncos, allowing just one catch for 16 yards. For the second straight week he had three pass breakups. His play against Broncos star wideout Cortland Sutton was a thing of beauty.
Most passes defended this season
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 24, 2022
3. Jaquan Brisker — Bears, Safety
Brisker was everywhere in the Bears’ huge Monday night road win over the Patriots. Targeted five times, the frosh allowed just two grabs for 11 yards. But it was his impressive one-handed pick that made the “SportsCenter” Top 10.
The former Penn State star has been a pleasant find for a very underrated and hard-playing defense.
One-handed!@JaquanBrisker gets the INT. 🙌
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2022
4. Dameon Pierce — Texans, RB
Pierce has been quite a find for the rebuilding Texans. The former Florida Gators star continues to make the most of his touches in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offense. On Sunday the powerfully built runner tallied 92 yards on 20 carries, with 61 of those coming after contact. This season Pierce has rushed for 504 yards and three touchdowns. He’s averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
Lovie stayed true to his comments last week when he said this:
“The lead tailback needs to get at least 20 carries.”
5. Jack Jones — Patriots, CB
Jones continues to shine as the Patriots’ boundary corner. His instincts and ball skills are what jump off the screen. Jones didn’t allow a catch against the Bears but was only targeted once. Some of that’s respect for him, and some of it is Chicago’s putrid passing game.
Bill Belichick has had a knack for finding quality defensive backs throughout his tenure in NE, and Jones looks to be the next.