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All-Rookie Team - WEEK 9

Dave Syvertsen, Senior Draft Analyst
11/14/2023 8:41PM ET

QB

CJ Stroud / HOU (Round 1)

Take the name “Rookie” out and let’s call this All-NFL team. Stroud is still the name that gets inserted into this spot. This can go down as the best rookie performance we have ever seen from a quarterback in the Texans' comeback win over the Buccaneers. 32/40 for 470 (all time record) yards and 5 touchdowns netted him a 147.8 passer rating (also an NFL record). The way in which he pulled this off was just as impressive. Stroud came from three different deficits in this game, one of which was with :46 left from their own 25-yard line. He proceeded to surgically complete five straight passes for 75 yards, the final one being a 15-yard strike into the end zone to fellow rookie Tank Dell to take the lead with :06 remaining. This will go down in history.

Honorable Mention: Aidan O’Connell / LV

 

RB

Keaton Mitchell / BAL (UDFA)

Since Lamar Jackson has been a starter for the Ravens, the Baltimore backfield has been a revolving door of productive backs from unlikely sources. In both 2019 and 2020, Gus Edwards (undrafted) was the second leading rusher among backs. In 2021, veteran journeymen Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray were number one and two among the team’s backs. And fourth rounder Justice Hill has been a steady and productive backup when needed since 2019. Next up? The 191-pounder Mitchell, who entered Week 9 without a single career rushing attempt. He ran for 138 yards on 9 carries, including his first career touchdown.

Honorable Mention: Bijan Robinson / ATL

 

WR

Tank Dell / HOU (Round 3)

In Stroud’s record setting performance, there must have been some elite production from his pass catcher’s, right? Three players had 100+ receiving yards and four scored. Just one of them had two touchdowns. Dell’s 6 catch, 114 yard game with two second half scores displayed his elite movement traits both off the line and near the boundaries. He saw a near split in alignment between the slot and out wide proving the 165-pounder can do it from anywhere as he has all season.

Honorable Mention: Dontayvion Wicks / GB

 

TE

Luke Musgrave / GB (Round 2)

Musgrave was not known for traditional Y-tight end alignments coming out of Oregon State but the team has been putting him there for half of his snaps this season. The blocking has improved but that is not why they drafted the matchup nightmare. He caught 3 passes for 51 yards and scored the first touchdown of his career on a nice catch and run to seal the win over the Rams.

Honorable Mention: Michael Mayer / DAL

 

 

OT

Broderick Jones / PIT (Round 1)

This is Jones’ second All-Rookie Team and this is the second position he’s earned it at. His first start at right tackle saw him allow just one pressure on 34 drop backs with solid run blocking, especially on the move. They used him as a lead blocker on trap blocks and the plus-athlete got out in front and put a couple defenders on their backs. The versatility he has shown in year one is huge.

Honorable Mention: Dawand Jones / CLE

 

OG/OC

Matthew Bergeron / ATL (Round 2)

Bergeron won the starting left guard spot right away and has had his fair share of rookie ups and downs. But he has played in every single snap this season and his best pass pass protection showed up against Minnesota. He pitched a shutout and was beat in the running game just two times.

Honorable Mention: Sidy Sow / NE

 

EDGE

Tuli Tuipulotu / LAC (Round 2)

The Chargers front made life miserable for Jets' quarterback Zach Wilson, accruing 41 pressures as a team. Tuipulotu had 7 of them (with 2 sacks) which surprisingly is not a season high for one of the best day two values of the 2023 Draft class. His presence was felt in the running game as well adding 3 more tackles. The every down threat is winning with his hands and use of leverage and has been a welcomed complement to veterans Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.

Honorable Mention: Lukas Van Ness / GB

 

DT

Adetomiwa Adebawore / IND (Round 4)

One of the most impressive specimens in the 2023 Draft class has been quiet throughout the first half of the season, struggling to get on the field much. He played a career high 21 snaps, 14 were pass rushes, and totaled 3 pressures including a sack where he split a double team and chased down Bryce Young. He is also a key part to their kickoff coverage unit and displayed his speed by tracking down the returner from behind to prevent a potential touchdown.

Honorable Mention: Dante Stills / ARZ

 

LB

Amari Burney / LV (Round 6)

Burney played in just his second game of the season and is one of their sub package pass defenders. His movement traits fit in to roles as both a pass rusher and in coverage. He had 2 pressures against the Giants and 5 tackles in their dominating home win. Head Coach Antonio Pierce, a former linebacker, had some nice things to say about him after the game.

Honorable Mention: Ivan Pace Jr / MIN

 

CB

Emmanuel Forbes / WAS (Round 1)

The start of Forbes’ rookie season did not go well and he was benched. But his 48 snaps against New England were the most since week 4 and it was the best he played all year. That is a good sign of mental toughness which is a requirement to play corner in the NFL.  He broke up 3 passes and added 3 tackles.

Honorable Mention: Akayleb Evans / MIN

 

S

Alex Cook / CAR (UDFA)

Cook, picked up after spending the preseason with the Giants, stepped in for the injured Von Bell and played every snap, finishing with 7 tackles (5 of which were stops) and displayed great coverage against the Colts.

Honorable Mention: Jartavius Martin / WAS