Top 5 Rookies Following Week 6 | Kansas Chiefs WR Rashee Rice Is Patrick Mahomes’ New Weapon

Six weeks in to the NFL season, and here are the top rookies around the league. 

Rashee Rice, Chiefs, WR

While Rice’s overall numbers may not jump off the screen, the former SMU standout is beginning to look like the Chiefs’ top guy at wide receiver. In last Thursday’s 19-8 win over the division rival Denver Broncos, Rice had four receptions for 72 yards. Through six games Rice has 21 receptions for 245 yards and two touchdowns. 

The more impressive stat is Rice’s six explosive plays, meaning he’s got six receptions that gained at least 20 yards. The expectancy is as he continues to learn the offense he’ll be featured even more in the Chiefs attack. Following Thursday’s win, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had this to say about his rising pass catcher:

“Yeah, listen, he’s been getting better every week. I think you guys see that. He’s explosive and strong after the catch. That’s why.”

C.J. Stroud, Texans, QB

Another week and another winning performance from Stroud as he led the Texans to a 20-13 win over the Saints to get to 3-3. In the game the former Ohio State standout didn’t light it up stats-wise, but he played professional quarterback in leading his team. Stroud went a modest 13 of 27 for 199 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, which happened to be his first of the season. Stroud is currently the Rookie of the Year favorite, and, unless he falls off, he’ll be hard to unseat. 

Through six games Stroud has passed for 1,660 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception. He’s been instrumental in the surprising .500 Texans start under first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans. 

Zay Flowers, Ravens, WR

The Ravens are sort in the same position as the Chiefs. Blessed with a great tight end (Mark Andrews) and searching for a true No. 1 wide receiver. That seems to be where the speedy and dynamic Flowers is heading. With Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham Jr., hampered by nagging injuries, quarterback Lamar Jackson has started to build a rapport with Flowers, who had six catches for 50 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s London win over the Tennessee Titans 

For the season the former Boston College standout has 35 receptions for 367 yards. Those numbers account for 47 percent of the Ravens’ wide receiver production thus far this season. 

Dawand Jones, Browns, Tackle

Jones, the former Ohio State standout, has been a godsend for the Browns, especially with starter Jack Conklin lost for the season. Each week Jones has shown an ability to raise his play against various pass rushers, including doing his best to negate reigning DPOY Nick Bosa this past weekend in the Browns’ 19-17 upset win over the previously unbeaten Niners. While Bosa some made plays, Jones did a good job overall. He says he put in extra work to prepare for Bosa. 

“Like I said, I needed to make sure I prepare well,” Jones said this week. “I went, got some reps with [Browns defensive end] Myles Garrett after practice, before practice, just make sure I understand where I’m getting a rush at.”

Bryce Young, Panthers, QB

The 2023 No. 1 overall pick has struggled to begin the season, but in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins the former Alabama standout had his best game this season. Bryce Young went 23-for-38 for 217 yards and one touchdown, maybe even more impressive was he didn’t throw an interception after tossing two horrific ones the previous week. 

The Panthers are 0-6, meaning Young is on a team that will likely be behind most weeks, therefore affording him the opportunity to put up some nice numbers. This week head coach Frank Reich gave up play-calling duties, so maybe that’ll help jumpstart Young.

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