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NFL rookie rankings: Cowboys, Bears, Falcons dominate final list

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With the 2016 NFL regular season at an end, Daniel Jeremiah revisits his rookie rankings and identifies the top 25 first-year pros in the league today.

NOTE: The ranking below reflects changes from Jeremiah's list at the season's three-quarter mark.

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1

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

Elliott had a phenomenal rookie campaign. He led the NFL in rushing and was voted to the Pro Bowl. There are some evaluators around the league who believe he already is the best running back in the league.

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2

Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys

If not for his teammate, Prescott would be the obvious choice for the top spot on this list. He played nearly flawlessly the entire season while helping the Cowboys secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Like Elliott, he also will represent the Cowboys in the Pro Bowl.

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3

Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers

1

Bosa led all rookies with 10.5 sacks despite missing the first four weeks of the season. He has incredible technique and raw power. He has the potential to lead the league in sacks in the near future.

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4

Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs

1

Hill has been a playmaker in just about every way imaginable. He finished the season with six receiving touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns and three return touchdowns. He has added an explosive element to the Chiefs squad.

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5

Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jaguars

3

Ramsey matched up with the opponent's best wide receiver throughout his rookie campaign. He provided excellent coverage and finished the season strong, recording two picks (one returned for a touchdown) and a forced fumble in his final three games.

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6

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

1

Thomas led all first-year receivers in yards (1,137) and touchdowns (nine). He is an outstanding route runner, and I've been very impressed with his work after the catch.

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7

Jordan Howard, RB, Bears

9

Howard enjoyed a fantastic rookie campaign, rushing for 1,313 yards and six touchdowns. He provided a much-needed identity for the Bears' offense, and his physical running style is ideal for the NFC North.

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8

Jack Conklin, OT, Titans

2

Conklin was a dominant run-blocker this fall, while also performing admirably in pass protection. He isn't the swiftest of athletes, but his mauling style is a perfect fit for the Titans' offensive approach.

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9

Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles

9

Wentz had a roller-coaster season, but overall, he showed tremendous promise. This was supposed to be a redshirt year for the No. 2 overall pick; instead, he started all 16 games for the Eagles. He played really well at the end of the season, thanks in large part to the return of right tackle Lane Johnson.

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10

Keanu Neal, S, Falcons

3

Neal finished the season with 106 tackles and forced an amazing five fumbles. He added some much-needed speed and explosiveness to the Falcons' defense.

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11

Deion Jones, MLB, Falcons

6

Jones led all rookies with 108 tackles and provided several big plays for the Falcons' defense. He picked off three passes, returning two for scores. He is the perfect modern NFL linebacker, because of his ability to run and cover.

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12

Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jaguars

1

Ngakoue finished the season with eight sacks and produced several other quarterback pressures this fall. He relied on quickness and a relentless motor to get after opposing signal-callers.

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13

Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants

7

The Giants needed to find a running mate for Odell Beckham, and Shepard was the perfect fit in that role. He tortured nickel cornerbacks in the slot with his quickness and precise route running. He finished the season with 65 catches and eight touchdowns.

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14

Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers

1

Henry quietly had a very impressive rookie campaign. He was a dependable target for Philip Rivers, racking up 478 yards and eight touchdowns. His role should've been even more prominent in this system, and I expect that to change next season.

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15

Cody Whitehair, C, Bears

3

Whitehair started all 16 games for the Bears, and he showed the ability to develop into a multi-year Pro Bowl interior lineman. He isn't flashy, but showed this season he's dependable.

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16

Taylor Decker, OT, Lions

1

Decker, who started all 16 games at left tackle for the Lions, deserves a lot of credit for the team's improved play up front. He will get caught out of position at times, but overall, he played winning football.

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17

Laremy Tunsil, OG, Dolphins

3

Tunsil played out of position this fall (LG), but he was a main reason for running back Jay Ajayi's breakout season. He has the ability to make rare blocks at the second level because of his athleticism.

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18

Ronnie Stanley, OL, Ravens

NR

Stanley missed four games earlier this season, but when he was in the lineup, he played very well. He had sound technique and played with excellent awareness.

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19

DeForest Buckner, DE, 49ers

NR

Buckner was one of the lone bright spots for the 2-14 49ers. He has rare size and showed tremendous upside as a pass rusher, finishing the season with 73 tackles and six sacks.

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20

Emmanuel Ogbah, OLB, Browns

NR

Ogbah has outstanding size and length for the position and was very active for the Browns' defense. He has double-digit sack potential.

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21

Rob Kelley, RB, Redskins

2

Kelley was one of the biggest surprises in this rookie class. He ran extremely hard and put up respectable numbers: 704 yards, 4.2 yards per carry and six touchdowns.

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22

Ryan Kelly, C, Colts

NR

The Colts' offensive line played much better in the second half of the season, and Kelly deserves a lot of credit for the improvement. He is very smart and stout in the middle, and should pair up well with Andrew Luck for the next decade.

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23

Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

NR

I wish the Titans would've given Henry more touches this season, but he made the most of his opportunities. He averaged 4.5 yards per rush and collected five touchdowns on just 110 carries.

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24

Leonard Floyd, LB, Bears

15

Floyd was inconsistent in his rookie campaign, but he flashed some big-time athleticism coming off the edge. He finished the season with seven sacks.

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25

Artie Burns, CB, Steelers

NR

Burns continued to improve throughout the season, playing at a very high level down the stretch. He has ideal size, length and ball awareness.

Dropped out: Noah Spence, DE, Buccaneers (previously No. 10); Joe Thuney, OG, Patriots (No. 21); Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Buccaneers (No. 22); Su'a Cravens, ILB, Redskins (No. 23); Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals (No. 24); Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs (No. 25).

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