Of the notable rookie performances that I didn’t see coming in week 1, Terry McLaurin sits near or at the top of the list. Not somebody I was overly high on after reviewing his college film, but showed up for the Redskins who have limited options at the wide receiver position.
Still not sure where to take this column on a weekly basis. Maybe I’ll start looking ahead to 2020 rookies at some point, but for week 1, here are some thoughts on what we saw from the most notable performers.
- Shows flashes, but inconsistent with his effort.
- Uses hands well at the line and down field, but can get hung up running routes with more physical corners.
- One of the better catch radius of this draft class. Has top end speed, but the acceleration doesn’t show off the line.
Week 1 Evaluation
- Acceleration off the line still didn’t look special, but showed an extra gear about 7-10 yards down field that shows up on his touchdown.
- The touchdown was a broken play for the Eagles as they brought pressure and didn’t get home without safety cover over top, but Terry still burned Darby for the score.
- Showed some of his catch radius and ability to adjust to poorly thrown balls.
- Later in the game, he burned Sidney Jones down the field again, but gets overthrown as he got bumped off his route and threw the timing off just enough.
- Still don’t believe he’s any kind of top WR, but for the Redskins, he may be the best option available. Paul Richardson did match him for targets though.
- Despite the lackluster 40 time, Jacobs showed good acceleration through the line and the ability to get around the corner.
- He will take guys head on and has the ability to power through them or push a pile.
- He’s not a running back that is overly elusive, but does show a nice hesitation and side step move that is his best option.
- Doesn’t perform well when he’s met in the backfield, but can be a handful if he gets up to speed and onto the linebackers.
- Unsure if his top end speed will play up enough at the next level to finish big plays and out run.
- Has decent hands, but best suited for typical check down routes more so than downfield.
- Prefer both Singletary and Montgomery from a pure skill standpoint, but Jacobs has the opportunity to be the #1 back out of the gate for his team.
Week 1 Evaluation
A lot of places are probably telling you that he looked amazing and you’ve heard his stat about reaching 100 yards in his first game hundreds of times by now. A lot of what I saw was in line with my pre-season work. If anything, the performance was a little bit disappointing as he didn’t show any effective power running until later in the game.
- He did run hard and battled for yards, but just didn’t break many tackles.
- He laid the boom on defenders just like in college, but they brought him down or slowed him enough for others to get there.
- When he did manage to make a defender miss or pull away from a tackler, the acceleration wasn’t there to make more out of it.
- His first touchdown run, he jumps the pile and gets met in the air, but spins and reaches the ball across the goal line.
- His second touchdown, he did show some balance staying on his feet, but just kind of banged around inside until he ended up in the end zone.
- His best run of the day was the last one where he gets up to speed quickly and hits the hole with authority. He pushes through a couple arm tackles and drags another defender for a first down.
- My biggest takeaway isn’t an adjustment in my evaluation for Jacobs, but that he has the job to himself and Gruden appears to be ready to run him into the ground. 43 snaps compared to 9 for Jalen Richard and 5 for DeAndre Washington.
- Routes are smooth with breaks that most tight ends don’t show.
- Has the look of a wide receiver.
- Smart finding open areas both in short yardage and down the field.
- Tough after the catch runner that can be a handful to bring down.
- Versatile tight end that can runs as a wide out or stay in an block.
Week 1 Evaluation
- Showed his versatility lining up all over the field, in the slot, off the line, out wide, and from the fullback spot.
- Had a big gain from the split fullback position where the linebacker read run and then couldn’t chase TJ down.
- On his touchdown, he gets behind the linebackers that are in zone coverage underneath, and finds an open area to sit down in the back of the end zone.
- Routes are clean and you can definitely mistake him for a big wide receiver out on the field.
- He tied Kenny Golladay for 2nd on the team in targets behind Amendola. Jesse James only had 1 target. 64 snaps was 3rd most for a receiving threat on the team behind only Golladay and Marvin Jones.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown
- Ridiculous top end speed and acceleration.
- Aggressive stutter steps and double moves that defenders struggle to adjust against.
- Hands are questionable when he has contact at the point of reception.
- Electric in the open field and uses his speed to outrun or make guys miss.
- Fluid down field route running.
- Limited route tree in college.
Week 1 Evaluation
- First catch was a long TD was on a slant route and Marquise pulls through the tackle and shows off his speed to score.
- 2nd catch was also a long TD. Defense in zone coverage and Hollywood just runs through everyone. Nobody turns to get him until it’s too late.
- Brown’s deep threat pushed corners way off and got a quick toss on a short comeback route.
- Showed some elusiveness on his catch down inside the 10 and made multiple defenders miss.
- Last pass attempt to Brown was incomplete. LJax buys time and we see Brown breakdown into the scramble drill with a nice double move, but gets overthrown.
- Still a very limited route tree of different down field go routes and underneath crossing work.
- Was high on Brown’s big play ability coming into the year and he did not disappoint. As with most big play threats, I’m sure there will be some let down weeks, but as you saw in game 1, he can take just about any pass to the house.
- Elusive behind the line and in the open field.
- Has to adjust to the mental clock for the pros after having all day to throw in college.
- Not a precision passer as he will miss the placement on throws at every level.
- Keeps his eyes down field as he moves around in the pocket or scrambles behind the line.
- Will make the hero throw at times when he should throw it away or check it down.
- Height is a concern as he had a number of passes batted down even in college.
Week 1 Evaluation
- First run was backed up against his goal line, run/pass option (RPO) that he keeps and gets out from the shadow of the goal posts.
- Showed his quickness and elusiveness buying time.
- Still holds ball and doesn’t get rid of it as he tries to make the big play.
- It’s a cliche and all of that, but he looked like a rookie qb in his first game.
- Missed his spots on multiple passing attempts.
- At least a couple of throws he probably shouldn’t have made.
- Looked best in the 2 minute drill and he was getting the ball out quickly.
- Best throw of the game is in overtime when he tosses a deep ball to Fitzgerald out on the borders.
- Crucial pass batted down in overtime.
- Inside the 10 in overtime, pressure was on him. 2nd and goal, the Cardinals call a RPO and the play was doomed from the start. On 3rd and goal, Kyler’s elusiveness plays up and he eventually tosses the ball away, but was lucky not to take a costly sack.
- Good and bad here with Kyler as he made a few throws when it really mattered, but I saw somebody who is still acclimating to the speed of the pro game.
- Lions defense became predictable in the 2nd half and especially later in the game, the Cardinals adjusted the game plan to give Kyler some easier reads and throws closer to the line.
Some other rookies
- Dare Ogunbowale – Lead the Tampa running backs in snaps and appears to have a pretty clear role as the passing down backs at least.
- Hunter Renfrow – Somebody has to take some targets here other than Tyrell Williams. I don’t believe JJ Nelson, Dwayne Harris, or Ryan Grant is the answer.
- Preston Williams – Watch his touchdown in the back of the end zone. Better than the toe tap at the end was the break in the route that broke the defenders ankles. Had a shot at a 40 yard touchdown, but safety came over top and broke it up.
- Noah Fant – 5 targets was 3rd on the team and Fant is a freak of nature.
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