Rookie Reviews: Week 4

Written by Will Spencer on October 8, 2009



The final scores are in the books and Draft Breakdown is here to update you on how some of the top rookies in the 2009 draft performed in week 4 of the NFL season.


Matthew Stafford – QB – Lions
Stafford seems to get better each week. This week, he was able to play well against an aggressive Bears defense. Stafford finished the game going 24 of 36 for 296 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The QB suffered a knee injury towards the end of the game and is questionable for week 5.


Johnny Knox – WR – Bears
Once again, Knox is showing his talent. While he didn’t have a huge day as a wide receiver, he did return a kickoff 102 for a touchdown. Apparently, Devin Hester isn’t the only solid return man in Chicago.


Alex Mack – C – Browns
Even in the loss, the Browns offense is starting to show signs of life. Alex Mack has a tough job, anchoring the offensive line for Cleveland and had a change at the quarterback position this week. The Browns were able to produce 146 yards on the ground and 249 yards through the air.


Mohamed Massaquoi – WR – Browns
Massaquoi wasn’t the first WR taken by the Browns in this year’s draft, but he’s certainly making the biggest impact so far. This week against the Bengals, Massaquoi blew up. The former Georgia wideout pulled in 8 receptions for 148 yards in the loss to Cincinnati. With Braylon Edwards now shipped out to New York, Massaquoi finds himself with more responsibility.


Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR – Raiders
We usually don’t point out many poor performances, but Heyward-Bey continues to disappoint in Oakland. The former Terp only had 1 grab for 18 yards against Houston, giving him a whopping total of TWO for the season.


Derek Cox – CB – Jaguars
The corner from William & Mary had another strong performance this week. Against the Titans, Cox recorded 7 tackles, deflected two passes and grabbed one interception, his second of the season. The 7 total tackles by Cox were also a team high.


Kenny Britt – WR – Titans
Britt seems to be improving each week and might be the new favorite target of Kerry Collins. The former Rutgers standout recorded 7 catches for 105 yards in the loss to Jacksonville.


Hakeem Nicks – WR – Giants
While he didn’t do a whole lot in this game, Nicks’ returned to action with a bang this week. Nicks only had 1 catch, but it went for a 54 yard touchdown. Look for Nicks to get more involved in the offense as he returns to 100% after injury.


Michael Oher – OT – Ravens
Even in the loss, this was a huge game for Oher. Not only did Oher perform as well as he has all season, when starting LT Jared Gaither went down with a neck injury, Oher had to switch from RT to LT during the game. From all accounts, Oher didn’t miss a beat.


Dannell Elerbe – LB – Ravens
The UDFA out of Georgia got the first start of his young career this week, filling in for the injured Tavares Gooden. While Ellerbe made some rookie mistakes, he impressed team mates and coaches with 5 total tackles in the game.


Brian Orakpo – DE – Redskins
Last year’s Bronko Nagurski Award winner had another strong outing against the Bucs. The former Longhorn recorded 7 total tackles and his second sack of the season.


Vontae Davis – CB – Dolphins
The first of two corners taken in the ’09 draft by the Dolphins, Davis finally made his presence known. In the 2nd quarter, Davis picked off a Trent Edwards pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. Davis also recorded 2 tackles in the win.


Mark Sanchez – QB – Jets
This week, Sanchez hit the “rookie wall.” The Saints put a lot of pressure on the former USC QB causing mistakes. Final numbers for Sanchez weren’t pretty: 14 of 27, 138 yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 INTs, and 1 lost fumble that was recovered for a Saints touchdown.


Larry English – OLB – Chargers
English had his best performance of the season against Pittsburgh this week. He recorded 2 tackles, 1 sack and a forced fumble in the loss to the Steelers on Sunday night. The way the Chargers defense has been playing, they’re going to need more big defensive plays from their first round pick.


Phil Loadholt – OT – Vikings
Loadholt has quietly been having one of the best seasons so far by rookie offensive tackles, outperforming first round picks like Jason Smith and Andre Smith so far. Loadholt had another solid game, helping the Vikings cruise to victory with 334 total yards on offense and zero sacks allowed.


Clay Matthews – LB – Packers
While Matthews didn’t have a huge game, he did have a huge play. In the 2nd quarter, Matthews was involved in a tackle on Adrian Peterson on the sideline. However, Matthews made the heads-up play of ripping the ball from Peterson’s hands, and returned the fumble 42 yards for a touchdown. Clay also recorded 4 total tackles in the loss.

Some other highly touted rookies that are still missing in action or failing to make an impact: Jason Smith, Tyson Jackson, Andre Smith, BJ Raji, Michael Crabtree, Aaron Maybin, Malcolm Jenkins, Josh Freeman, and Evander Hood.

Will Spencer

Will is the founder and President of Draft Breakdown & has been scouting draft prospects since 2002. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including the USA Today Draft Preview Magazine, the official website of the Baltimore Ravens, Ravens Insider and The Orange and Brown Report. Will has previous playing experience as a defensive end in the AFA, is currently a member of the Football Writers Association of America and graduated from the SMWW Football Scouting course in 2009. See all posts by Will Spencer.