NFL Rookie Watch: Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins Tops in Offense

DeAndre Hopkins
Here are the best and worst rookies through week two of the NFL season, focusing in on the offense.

The Good
DeAndre Hopkins– WR, Houston Texans (1st round, 27th pick)
Without a doubt, Hopkins is not only the best offensive rookie through week two, he’s been one of the best wideouts in the league. Hopkins ranks 14th in reception yards and is averaging 15.3 yards per reception. He’s has caught 63.2% of passes thrown to him without a drop. One knock on Hopkins is his blocking could use a little bit of work and he isn’t very elusive after the catch.

Tyler Eifert– TE, Cincinnati Bengals (1st round, 21st pick)
Like Hopkins, Eifert has been one of the best tight ends early in the 2013 season. Though only participating in 98 snaps, he’s showing a good combination of efficient blocking and good hands. Eifert has caught 80% of passes thrown to him (no drops) and is second to Miami Dolphins’ Charles Clay (67 yard catch) for longest reception with a 61 yard reception. Averaging 14.1 yards per reception, 68 of his 114 receiving yards have come after the catch; he’s even drawn two missed tackles.

Giovani Bernard– RB, Cincinnati Bengals (2nd round, 37th pick)
Another rookie emerging in Cincinnati, Bernard is making a push to become the starter in the Bengals’ backfield. He’s got just 12 carries but averages five yards per attempt. With BenJarvus Green-Ellis struggling to produce consistent runs, Bernard could get more carries as the season progresses. Getting better at blocking will put him on the fast track to stardom in Cincinnati.

Andre Ellington– RB, Arizona Cardinals (6th round, 187th pick)
Yes, Ellington has only played 26 downs but he’s made the most of his time on the field. He has the most yards per carry (5.0) as well as the longest run (16 yards) of all Cardinals’ backs. In four carries and three receptions, he’s drawn two missed tackles and has shown signs of breakaway speed. Ellington is buried in the Cardinals depth chart but keep an eye out for him.


The Bad
Kenbrell Thompkins– WR, New England Patriots (Undrafted)
Thompkins has been a frustrating target for Tom Brady, catching 30% of passes thrown at him. He only has one dropped pass but the majority of the time he’s been targeted, he’s run a bad or incorrect route. Thompkins has 89 receiving yards and 14.8 yards per reception, but those numbers should be much higher considering he’s been targeted 20 times. Expect his opportunities to further decrease when Rob Gronkowski returns. With Brady’s QB rating stooping to 45.6 when targeting Thompkins, it goes without saying that it’ll be hard for Brady to trust him consistently.

Geno Smith– QB, New York Jets (2nd round, 39th pick)
Smith has been serviceable for the Jets in their first two weeks but has been incredibly inconsistent. He’s proven he’s got a strong arm and can make smart, accurate throws but he’s also made some plays that have killed the offense. His absymal 55.2 QBR is the worst among all starters. He’s thrown four interceptions to just one touchdown and has been sacked nine times–the majority of which are his fault. Its unfair to chastise Smith this early but you have to think that his time is running short as a starter.

Terrance Williams– WR, Dallas Cowboys (3rd round, 46th pick)
Though he’s caught 71.4 of passes thrown at him, Williams drops Tony Romo‘s QBR to 57.7. He had a particularly bad game against the Giants in week one but improved a bit in week two. Williams has some work to do if he wants to compete for serious playing time. His routes have been sloppy and he could use some work on his blocking. His yards after catch indicate he needs to get better separation from his defenders and he needs to work on becoming more elusive.

Montee Ball– RB, Denver Broncos (2nd round, 58th pick)
Ball was expected to battle Knowshon Moreno for playing time in 2013, but he’s struggled in his first two games. Ball has 20 carries for just 40 yards, averaging just one yard after contact and suffering one fumble. He’s caught both passes thrown to him (51 yards) but has shown no signs of elusiveness. With Moreno cementing himself as the starter, its going to take a lot of hard work for Ball to convince his coaches that he should be on the field more.

BY MICHAEL AUGUSTINE ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

Follow Michael @AugieSports on Twitter.

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About J.P. Scott

Owner and editor of Know It All Football, contributor to AthlonSports.com and GridirionExperts.com. Member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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