The final results of the 2022 Ourlads All-Rookie team was derived from two components. One, a compilation of how many times a player ended up on weekly all-rookie teams. Two points for first team, one point for honorable mention. Two, opinion that includes production, situation, and opportunity. We fill the roster the same way we do the weekly teams. One of everything, but now with two honorable mentions. This makes it more exclusive than say an All-Pro team but also considers the metric of volume of players to choose from.
Brock Purdy – SF / Round 7
This was a close call between Purdy and PIT quarterback Kenny Pickett. The latter dropped back twice as many times as the former, and we all know the gap in quality of the teams these two played on. While Pickett’s ride was longer and bumpier, it was not enough to stay above Purdy. The 2022 NFL Draft’s Mr. Irrelevant came into the starting lineup week 13 and proceeded to go 6-0, score 15 touchdowns (13 passing / 2 rushing), and threw just three interceptions. While the system did him a few favors, Purdy was the steady presence SF needed at quarterback to win that division. His accuracy, ball placement, and decision making looked like it belonged to a guy that has been in the league for a decade.
Honorable Mention: Kenny Pickett / PIT - Round 1 … Bailey Zappe / NE - Round 4
Tyler Allgeier / ATL – Round 5
This was a back and forth battle all season. It started off with Breece Hall performing head and shoulders above the rest before he tore his ACL. Then Dameon Pierce started to take over before Kenneth Walker shined when Rashaad Penny went down. Allgeier gets the narrow victory after leading the group with 4.9 yards per carry and just fifteen yards shy of leading the group in rushing. His greatest trait, yards after contact, ranked fourth best in the entire league on a per-carry basis. His late-season surge got him over the hump and just past Pierce, who mightily struggled down the stretch. Both were the weekly All-Rookie back three times, while Allgeier finished Honorable Mention three times, Pierce twice.
Honorable Mention: Dameon Pierce – HOU / Round 4 … Kenneth Walker – SEA / Round 2
Garrett Wilson / NYJ – Round 1
From the beginning of the season, Wilson has been a notch above the rest of the rookie receivers. He led the group in receptions (83) and yards (1,105). His 2.4% drop percentage was the lowest among qualified receivers as well. The consistency (had a catch in every game) and versatility (222 snaps from the slot / 385 out wide) sets him up for evolving into the league’s next big thing at receiver. He was named to the weekly All-Rookie team six times (nobody else was higher than three) and he was named honorable mention once. The Stefon Diggs comparison I put on him last spring is on track.
Honorable Mention: Chris Olave / NO - Round 1 … Drake London / ATL - Round 1
Cade Otton / TB – Round 4
Otton was a week one starter for the Bucs and finished with the most catches among rookies at the position. Tom Brady often looked his way late in games when the game was close. His greatest impact, however, was arguably found in the trenches. His run blocking was the best I saw among the contenders for this spot. Otton made the weekly All-Rookie team four times, a league high, and honorable mention once.
Honorable Mention: Chigoziem Okonkwo / TEN - Round 4 … Daniel Bellinger / NYG - Round 4
Ikem Ekwonu / CAR - Round 1
It was a wild and inconsistent year for the rookie tackles. Ekwonu’s season started opposite Myles Garrett, a game that led to two allowed sacks. Not once did he allow multiple sacks the rest of the way and had 11 games where he did not allow one. Ekwonu was the league’s top rookie run blocker among all positions and had a six week-stretch of play where he was playing some of the best football we saw in the trenches from rhe entire league this season. He was considered the highest ceiling-tackle in the class last year and it looks like he is going to be the first one to reach it. He also led the rookie group in points derived from the weekly teams.
Honorable Mention: Abraham Lucas / SEA – Round 3 … Tyler Smith – DAL / Round 1
Cole Strange NE / Round 1
There were 18 weeks in the NFL regular season. Strange was either on the All-Weekly Rookie Team or was listed as honorable mention in half of them. What was considered to be the biggest head scratcher from the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Strange proved that Bill Belichick may know a thing or two about this yet again. He allowed just three sacks on the year and was penalized just six times.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Linderbaum / BAL – Round 1 … Cordell Volson / CIN - Round 4
Aidan Hutchinson - DET / Round 1
This was the one position where the season’s top three rookies were also the top three drafted last April. Hutchinson’s production and full-season impact stood out. He led all rookies with 11 sacks and 42 pressures and even added three interceptions for the ascending Lions as they just missed out on the playoffs. Hutchinson was rookie of the week at Edge three times and was named honorable mention a league-high five times.
Honorable Mention: Kayvon Thibodeaux – NYG / Round 1 … Travon Walker – JAX / Round 1
Jordan Davis - PHI / Round 1
Davis was the first tackle taken and even though he missed four games and only played 40+% of a game’s snaps once, he ended up at the top. The weak rookie DT class did contribute to this a little, but PHI’s rotation up front needed Davis throughout the year several times. He had eight pressures on 112 pass rush snaps. That rate is not far off from the best interior pass rushers in the NFL and Davis’ greatest strength is found on run defense where his dominant size and power can take over. He was on the All-Rookie Team four times and named honorable mention once.
Honorable Mention: Travis Jones – BAL / Round 3 … John Ridgeway – WAS / Round 5
Quay Walker - GB / Round 1
This one wasn’t close. Walker was a week one starter for GB, leading the team and all NFL rookie linebackers with 121 tackles. He also forced three fumbles, broke up five passes, and added two sacks along with ten pressures. His versatility allowed for the team to use him in multiple alignments, including 75 snaps as a rush end. Walker was the top rookie at the position five different weeks and was honorable mention another three times.
Honorable Mention: Malcolm Rodriguez – DET / Round 6 … Devin Lloyd – JAX / Round 1
Sauce Gardner / NYJ – Round 1
From week one and through the entire season, in a rookie cornerback group that was one of the best we have ever seen, Gardner was on another level. He finished as an Ourlads' First Team All-Pro. We simply just don’t see this at cornerback. Gardner was number one in the NFL in passer rating when targeted. He was number one in the NFL in completion percentage allowed. He was number one in the NFL in pass break ups. Throughout the year he was on the Weekly-All Rookie Team six times and honorable mention twice.
Honorable Mention: Tariq Woolen / SEA – Round 5 … Kader Kohou / MIA – UDFA
Kerby Joseph / DET – Round 3
This ended up being a tight and interesting decision that required some extra digging. A case could be made for any of the top three, but I ended up leaning toward Joseph because of the playmaking. He intercepted four passes and forced two fumbles. He added 82 tackles and showed physical play. Joseph did all of this after not playing a single snap the first three weeks. The league high 36 missed tackles by Pitre hurt him and Brisker simply allowed too much in coverage. All three were named top rookie safety three times this season.
Honorable Mention: Jalen Pitre / HOU – Round 2 … Jaquan Brisker / CHI – Round 2