As we rank the frosh weekly, we will be looking to see who hits that proverbial rookie wall and who’s still going strong. Some rookies have already asserted themselves as future NFL stars.
The NFL is lost in the sauce.
1. Sauce Gardner — Jets, CB
During his 33-game collegiate career Gardner didn’t allow a single touchdown, and while that’s highly unlikely to continue in the NFL, he’s quickly earning the reputation of being a lockdown corner that quarterbacks shouldn’t test.
After giving up a 42-yard catch to Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis on the first play of the game, Gardner responded with three passes defensed and a huge interception. His last pass defense was on a Josh Allen scramble where Allen threw the football 65 yards in the air, and all Sauce did was trust his technique and make the game-saving pass breakup. The Jets defense is becoming an elite unit, and Sauce is a huge reason why.
2. Tyler Allgeier — Falcons, RB
The former BYU Cougars star has brought a new level of physicality and toughness to the “Dirty Birds” run game. He’s also provided them with a nice receiving option out of the backfield and teamed with Cordarelle Patterson to give Atlanta a nice solid duo. Throw. in dual-threat Marcus Mariota under center and you’ll see why head coach Arthur Smith’s group is no easy out.
In Sunday’s tough last-second loss to the Chargers, Allgeier rushed for 99 yards on just 10 touches. For the season he has 425 yards while boasting a 4.5 yards per carry average.
Smith said this about his talented rookie:
“He’s got what I call good spatial awareness.”
3. Dameon Pierce — Texans, RB
Pierce has been a shining star all season for the rebuilding Texans. In Thursday night’s loss to the undefeated Eagles, Pierce single-handedly kept his team in the game. The former Florida Gator rushed for 139 yards on 27 carries. But it was the 102 yards after contact that stood out most. This season he ranks third in the NFL with 50 broken tackles.
In case you forgot, Dameon Pierce never received more than 106 carries in a single collegiate season pic.twitter.com/ogKAjUgBjv
— Underdog Fantasy (@UnderdogFantasy) November 4, 2022
4. Kerby Joseph — Lions, S
The ballhawking former Illinois safety has brought that same intensity and play-making to the Motor City. On Sunday he baited Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers into two key red zone picks that turned away some of Green Bay’s best scoring opportunities of the day at Ford Field. He also added 10 solo tackles.
For his efforts Joseph was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Kerby Joseph with teach tape on how to play a bender from #3 vertical in Stubbie. Gorgeous stuff, though hard to pull off unless you got really good burst. Luckily, he does. pic.twitter.com/YCytAXIZZX
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) November 7, 2022
5. Chris Olave — Saints, WR
With a depleted wide receiver corps missing Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, Olave still posted quality numbers against a really good Baltimore Ravens defense. The former Ohio State Buckeyes star caught six passes for 71 yards. For the season he’s tallied 43 receptions for 618 and two touchdowns.