People expect first round and even second-round rookies in the NFL Draft to flourish right away when they reach the NFL. This is why they are drafted early, but it is not common when a guy found after the second round shines instantly in the NFL. Here are the few that have shown great flashes thus far this season.
Gardner Minshew, QB Jacksonville Jaguars
Minshew Mania! The sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State is looking like a steal. The rookie came in the first week when Nick Foles was injured and did not disappoint. He has 15 touchdowns and leads rookies in passing yards per game through week 14. His 2,500 passing yards are second only behind first overall pick Kyler Murray. Minshew has brought a new swagger to Jacksonville and has the whole city rallied behind him. His game has translated very well to the NFL and his pocket presence and accuracy is one of the best in the rookie classes. It looks like Jacksonville might have found their franchise Quarterback in Minshew.
Terry McLaurin, WR Washington Redskins
Scary Terry McLaurin is having a breakout rookie season with the Redskins. The wideout from Ohio State went in the third round of the draft and is playing like an early first-round pick. Even though it is only his rookie year he is already possibly the best player on his team. His 46 receptions are third among rookies and his 703 yards are second. In his most recent game against the Packers, he might have even had the catch of the year (Picture Above) when he caught it with one hand in between two defenders. McLaurin has gotten better as the year progressed and now his buddy Dwayne Haskins is the starter which could mean we could see the lethal college connection back together and even better on the main stage.
Maxx Crosby, DE Oakland Raiders
Who saw this monster out of Eastern Michigan coming? The Raiders got a gem in the fourth round with Maxx Crosby. He currently has 7.5 sacks which are good for the third most only behind second overall pick Nick Bosa and the seventh pick Josh Allen. His 29 total tackles lead all rookies on the defensive line and earned him national recognition. Earlier in the year, he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following a four sack game against the Bengals where he also forced a fumble. It looks like Gruden and Mayock made a great pick here and it looks like they have their defensive cornerstone.
Mack Wilson, LB Cleveland Browns
Mack Attack! A fifth-round selection out of Alabama is playing like a Dawg this season. Wilson has been everything Cleveland has asked him to be since Kirksey suffered a season-ending injury. He has been a versatile playmaker and has been everywhere on the field from the secondary and the opponents’ backfield. His 62 tackles are good for fourth out of the rookies this season. Wilson has also tallied a sack to his name and a forced fumble. Wilson has relentless energy and does not slow down until triple zero’s, something Cleveland desperately needs. John Dorsey hit the ball out of the park on this pick and Cleveland will enjoy him for the next several years.
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