The jockeying between the top two picks of April’s draft, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, will go on all year and throughout their careers. In Week One, RG3 jumped ahead.
In the biggest upset of the weekend, Griffin led the Redskins over the Saints and looked like a seasoned veteran, not a rookie making his NFL debut in a hostile Superdome environment. Luck, for one week at least, took a back seat after throwing three picks against the Bears.
Week One is all about overreactions, but RG3’s performance certainly made him worthy of the top spot on this week’s Rookie Meter, and this list will fluctuate often throughout the season, so fans of Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon — don’t fret.
On a day marked by rookie QBs, RG3 was the only one who left Week One with a win. Ryan Tannehill threw three picks, Brandon Weeden threw four and Russell Wilson couldn’t punch it in for Seattle late near the goal line.
Of two teams that had a pair of first-round picks, the Buccaneers and Browns, the Bucs certainly looked smart for their moves to get Mark Barron and Doug Martin, as both were solid contributors in Tampa's win. Vikings first-rounders OLT Matt Kalil and S Harrison Smith also played well in their debuts.
The Rookie Meter will honor a rookie not on the meter who had a strong week, and for Week One, that goes to Vikings PK Blair Walsh. The PFW Special-Teams Player of the Week, Walsh converted all four of his field goals, including a 55-yarder to force overtime and the eventual 38-yard game-winner.
Now, onto the Week One Rookie Meter:
1. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (first round, second overall)
Last week’s ranking: 2
RG3 completed 19-of-26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, including an 88-yard score to WR Pierre Garcon. Griffin’s passer rating was 139.9. He also rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries in the upset win over the Saints.
2. Colts QB Andrew Luck (1, 1)
Last week’s ranking: 1
Luck completed 23-of-45 passes for 309 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in the Colts’ loss to the Bears. He was sacked three times and had a passer rating of 52.9.
3. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (1, 31)
Last week’s ranking: 4
Martin rushed for 95 yards on 24 carries and caught all four passes thrown his way for 23 yards in the Bucs’ win over the Panthers.
4. Patriots DE Chandler Jones (1, 21)
Last week’s ranking: 6
Jones had five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, which fellow rookie LB Dont’a Hightower scooped up for a touchdown. Two of Jones’ tackles were stops for no gain.
5. Panthers LB Luke Kuechly (1, 9)
Last week’s ranking: 3
Kuechly had four tackles in the Panthers’ loss to the Buccaneers.
6. Buccaneers SS Mark Barron (1, 7)
Last week’s ranking: 9
Barron had three tackles and two passes defensed, including one on a third-down pass, in the Bucs’ win. He also had a punishing hit on Panthers WR Steve Smith.
7. Browns RB Trent Richardson (1, 3)
Last week’s ranking: 5
Richardson was held to 39 rushing yards on 19 carries (2.1-yard rushing average) in Cleveland’s loss to the Eagles. He had one catch for five yards on three targets.
8. Redskins RB Alfred Morris (6, 173)
Last week’s ranking: NR
Morris had 28 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns as the Redskins’ starting back in their season-opening win.
9. Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon (1, 5)
Last week’s ranking: 7
Blackmon had three catches for 24 yards on six targets in Jacksonville’s loss to the Vikings.
10. Jets WR Stephen Hill (2, 43)
Last week’s ranking: NR
Hill had five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns on six targets in the Jets’ win over the Bills. On one of his touchdowns, he beat fellow rookie Stephon Gilmore, the Bills' first-round pick, down the sideline for the score.
On the cusp (in alphabetical order):
Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne (1, 6)
Colts TE Coby Fleener (2, 34)
Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower (1, 25)
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (2, 45)
Rams CB Janoris Jenkins (2, 39)
Vikings S Harrison Smith (1, 29)
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (1, 8)
Giants RB David Wilson (1, 32)
Broncos DE Derek Wolfe (2, 36)
Titans WR Kendall Wright (1, 20)
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