Rookie Meter: First-year wideouts taking it slow

Posted Sept. 18, 2012 @ 7:24 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

We knew this year’s class of rookie receivers didn’t have a Julio Jones-A.J. Green-type combo that we saw last year. Through two games, though, the rookie receivers are having trouble making any kind of impact whatsoever. 

The top rookie receiver, Justin Blackmon, had zero catches in Week Two on four targets. The second receiver taken, Cardinals WR Michael Floyd, has zero catches in two games. 49ers first-rounder A.J. Jenkins has been inactive, and there’s no indication he’ll be playing any time soon. WR Kendall Wright had a touchdown in Week Two but is hardly putting up huge numbers. 

The leading receiver in terms of catches and yards among rookies through Week Two is a tight end, Coby Fleener. It’s not easy for a rookie wideout to take home offensive rookie honors, especially in a year like this with two stud quarterbacks, but through two weeks it has been far from a banner year for rookie receivers, who clearly need a little more time to acclimate to the NFL game than Jones and Green did a season ago.

The rookie quarterbacks all bounced back in Week Two, and Brandon Weeden is the only one who remains winless, though he threw for 322 yards and two scores.

This week’s Rookie Meter honoree for a performance by a player not on our list: Ravens PK Justin Tucker, who hit field goals of 48, 51 and 56 yards on Sunday.

Now, onto the Week Two Rookie Meter.

1. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (first round, second overall)
Last week’s ranking: 1

In a close loss to the Rams, RG3 completed 20-of-29 throws for 206 yards, one touchdown and one interception, good for a passer rating of 86.3. He also had 11 carries for 82 yards and two scores on the ground.

2. Colts QB Andrew Luck (1, 1)
Last week’s ranking: 2

Luck’s three completions at the end of Sunday’s game set up Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal for Luck’s first NFL win. He completed 20-of-31 passes in the game for 224 yards and two touchdowns.

3. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (1, 31)
Last week’s ranking: 3

In the Bucs’ wild, back-and-forth game against the Giants, Martin had 20 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown. He did not record a catch, though was targeted three times.

4. Browns RB Trent Richardson (1, 3)
Last week’s ranking: 7

T-Rich exploded in Week Two after a tough NFL debut. He had 19 carries for 109 yards and a 32-yard touchdown run. He also had four catches for 36 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown catch and run.

5. Patriots DE Chandler Jones (1, 21)
Last week’s ranking: 4

Jones had five tackles, a tackle for loss, a QB hit and one forced fumble in the Patriots’ loss to the Cardinals. He was on the field for 91 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

6. Buccaneers SS Mark Barron (1, 7)
Last week’s ranking: 6 

Barron totaled 10 tackles and two passes defensed in Tampa Bay’s loss to the Giants.

7. Redskins RB Alfred Morris (6, 173)
Last week’s ranking: 8

Morris continues to be the Redskins’ workhorse back, finishing Sunday’s loss to the Rams with 16 carries for 89 yards, and a rushing average of 5.6 yards.

8. Panthers LB Luke Kuechly (1, 9)
Last week’s ranking: 5

Kuechly had five tackles in Carolina’s win over the Saints. He was on the field for only 37 percent of defensive snaps against the Saints’ spread offense.

9. Colts TE Coby Fleener (2, 34)
Last week’s ranking: NR

Fleener had two catches for 16 yards on four targets on Sunday and actually leads all rookies with eight catches for 98 yards through two games.

10. Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower (1, 25)
Last week’s ranking: NR

Hightower had five tackles, including one for a loss, in the Patriots’ loss to Arizona.

On the cusp (in alphabetical order):

Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon (1, 5) 
Bills CB Stephon Gilmore (1, 10) 
Jets WR Stephen Hill (2, 43)
Rams CB Janoris Jenkins (2, 39) 
Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (2, 46) 
Vikings S Harrison Smith (1, 29) 
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (1, 8) 
Browns QB Brandon Weeden (1, 22) 
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (3, 75) 
Titans WR Kendall Wright (1, 20)

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