Ndamukong Suh—DT—Detroit Lions
Suh was once again flat out dominant this past week versus the Washington Redskins. With 5 tackles, 2 sacks (giving him 6.5 on the year) and a 17 yard fumble return for touchdown, Suh has easily placed himself amongst the leaders for rookie of the year. Not only that, but don’t be surprised if Suh, a first round pick from Nebraska, makes the Pro Bowl as well. Any pre-draft talk of Gerald McCoy being the better player has blown away, as Suh looks every bit of future All-Pro.
LeGarrette Blount—RB—Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s not my favorite thing to have to write about a player in back-to-back weeks, but Blount’s performance on Sunday versus Arizona can’t be ignored. He carried the ball 22 times for 120 yards (a 5.5 yards per carry average) and 2 touchdowns. The undrafted free agent from Oregon showed a combination of power and speed which included a career long 48 yard run. Blount also recorded his first 2 career receptions. It’s quite possible that the revolving door of running backs post-Warrick Dunn in Tampa Bay may finally have come to an end.
Eric Berry—DB—Kansas City Chiefs
Berry looks to finally be hitting his stride for Kansas City. After an excellent game last week, he backed up his performance with 10 tackles and another interception on Sunday versus Buffalo. Granted it was against Buffalo, but Berry was every bit the force that Kansas City had hoped when selecting him in the 1st round out of Tennessee. With Kansas City off to such a nice start, Berry may be able to creep himself up in the rookie of the year race.
Jared Veldheer—LT—Oakland Raiders
I actually find it amazing when rookies from such small schools can step into the NFL and become impact players. But I believe that’s exactly what Jared Veldheer has done. The 3rd round pick from Hillsdale has helped Oakland become one of the best running teams in the NFL. And in his third career start this past week versus Seattle, Veldheer allowed no sacks while helping his team compile 239 yards rushing on 39 carries (6.1 per carry). Oakland is now second in league at 168.5 rushing yards per game, and Veldheer has been a major factor in the surge.
Devin McCourty—CB—New England Patriots
New England just flat-out knows how to draft. McCourty is already the 5th Patriot rookie featured in our rookie reviews column this year! On Sunday versus Minnesota, McCourty had his best game of the season with 5 tackles, 3 passes defended, and an interception with a 37 yard return. The rookie 1st round pick from Rutgers now has an interception in back-to-back weeks and is slowly becoming a rock in what has been at times a suspect Patriots secondary. Look for more Patriots rookies in upcoming columns I’m sure.
Sam Bradford—QB—St. Louis Rams
Yes, once again Bradford had a good game. Maybe I should leave it at that. But while it seems repetitive to keep talking about Bradford, it’s easy to forget how rare it is for a rookie to be this solid. What impressed me the most about Bradford this past week versus Carolina, was his 78.1 completion percentage on 25 of 32 passing. Incredible accuracy from the 1st round pick out of Oklahoma. His performance included 191 yards passing and 2 touchdowns, good for a 112.4 QB rating. What else can be said?
Shout-Outs To: Kam Chancellor, S, Seattle Seahawks (1st career sack), O’Brien Schofield, LB, Arizona Cardinals (1st career tackle), Myron Lewis, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1st career tackle and pass defended), Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina Panthers (1st career receiving touchdown), Frank Zombo, LB, Green Bay Packers (1st career forced fumble), Keiland Williams, RB, Washington Redskins (1st career rushing touchdown), Phil Costa, G, Dallas Cowboys (1st career start), Sean Lissemore, DT, Dallas Cowboys (1st 3 career tackles and .5 sack), Lamarr Houston, DE, Oakland Raiders (1st career forced fumble), Jeremy Ware, CB, Oakland Raiders (1st career tackle and pass defended), Jon Asamoah, G, Kansas City Chiefs (1st career start), Kendrick Lewis, S, Kansas City Chiefs (1st career forced fumble), Kyle McCarthy, S, Denver Broncos (1st 2 career tackles), Rennie Curran, LB, Tennessee Titans (1st 2 career tackles), Larry Hart, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars (1st career sack), Aaron Morgan, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars (1st career tackle), Pat Angerer, LB, Indianapolis Colts (1st career forced fumble), Jerry Hughes, DE, Indianapolis Colts (1st career tackle), Javarris James, RB, Indianapolis Colts (1st 3 career carries), Mike Newton, DB, Indianapolis Colts (1st career tackle),