Here is a just-past-mid-season report on the rookies around the league who were speculated about, lusted over, or connected with the Cowboys pre-draft. Not meant to stoke any flames, I'm happy with Claiborne, I just got curious how the others are doing. Here's what I found in some limited searching. Feel free to fill in any blanks or give a more complete report on any of them or those I left out. Obviously its very early for anything more than a snap judgement on any of them, but here it is.
One note for those of you pining for a center, no rookies have seen significant playing time at center so far.
- solid season so far, one of the few bright spots for the Buc's secondary.
- maybe the best rookie safety so far, very good, especially against the pass, for Minnesota. Team leader already.
- out for most of the season with a fractured knee.
- Has been arguably the Eagles best defensive lineman against the run (maybe a dubious distinction, given the state of the Eagles defense). Pretty good start for Cox. Very good game against the Cowboys.
- Has been the backup nose tackle for most of the season for the Chiefs. Still a work in progress, struggling with consistency, but has progressed a little faster than thought.
- Still raw and learning, showing enough to have the Rams encouraged, showing the dreaded potential.
Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones
(both Patriots). Hightower has been very good all over the field, in coverage, as a pass rusher and run stopper. Jones has been better: 6 sacks through nine games and consistently disruptive as a pass rusher, and solid against the run. Mentioned as a first-half defensive rookie of the year by SI. A coup by the Pats.
- has been fined $20,000 so far by the Ravens for weight issues. Has mixed time at linebacker and defensive end in sub packages, has been decent as a run stopper (well, it IS the Ravens, so he's been relatively decent).
- has played about half the Bears defensive snaps so far. 2.5 sacks., started fast and hasn’t produced much since then.
- Very good start as a pure pass rusher for Seattle. Seven sacks through the first 10 games. Needs to bulk up to play the run, but has consistently pressure the passer. Good pick for the Seahawks.
- decent start for the Packers, 2 sacks in six games as a rotational linebacker until a knee injury ended his season.
- Has played both as an outside linebacker and defensive end in some packages for the Texans, fighting for playing time, has had some flashes so far as a rotational player, with three sacks.
– fast start for Carolina, leads the team in tackles and interceptions.
- hasn't made much impact for the Chargers, disappointing as a pass rusher so far.
(listed as a palate cleanser), UDFA for Cincinnati, has been surprisingly good, both on and off the field (so far).
Offense (the OL edition)
- starting for the Bills at left tackle, has played solidly.
- got his first start at guard in game eight (due to injury) and has gotten solid reviews since then, credited with helping Atlantas improved running game.
- has started every game for the Bengals at guard and has gotten very good reviews, and has been especially good in the run game.
- has gradually played more as the season has progressed for the Lions, as a sixth lineman/tight end in the run game.
- even before his knee injury and surgery in the preseason, he was admittedly struggling in adjusting to the pro game., second string on the Steelers depth chart. The team is unsure of his return this season.
– starting at guard for Carolina, going through rookie struggles.