2018 NFL rookie rankings: Top 25 newcomers entering Week 1

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With the 2018 regular season set to kick off on Thursday, former pro scout Daniel Jeremiah has reviewed his notes from the most meaningful preseason snaps and training camp to rank the top 25 rookies in the NFL today.

1
Sam Darnold
QB
Jets

Darnold was the most impressive rookie passer during the preseason. He earned the starting job with his sound decision-making, accuracy and mobility.

2
Saquon Barkley
RB
Giants

Barkley barely played in the preseason (six total snaps), but he showed his talent on his very first carry. He will be a home run hitter for the Giants this fall.

3
Derwin James
S
Chargers

James was all over the field during the preseason. He can match up with tight ends in the passing game and he's an enforcer against the run.

4
Bradley Chubb
OLB
Broncos

I still can't believe Chubb fell to the Broncos with the fifth pick of the draft. He's already shown glimpses of dominance as a point-of-attack run defender and pass rusher.

5
Josh Jackson
CB
Packers

Jackson has continued to do what he did in college at Iowa: locate the football and make plays. His instincts are outstanding.

6
Baker Mayfield
QB
Browns

Mayfield was extremely accurate and his pocket presence jumped off the screen during the preseason. He won't begin the season as the Browns' starter, but I imagine we'll see him inserted into the lineup before the season is over.

7
Quenton Nelson
OG
Colts

Nelson can move people in the run game and he has the anchor to hold up versus power rushers. He should quickly emerge as one of the NFL's best interior linemen.

8
Josh Rosen
QB
Cardinals

Rosen didn't win the starting job, but he was impressive in the preseason. He anticipates well and throws a beautiful ball.

9
Marcus Davenport
DE
Saints

Davenport missed the early portion of training camp with a thumb injury, but he made his presence known as soon as he took the field. He has a rare blend of size, power and agility.

10
Minkah Fitzpatrick
S
Dolphins

Fitzpatrick is mature beyond his years and his position flexibility is a big asset for the Dolphins' defense. I love his size and playmaking skills.

11
Michael Dickson
P
Seahawks

I don't normally include a punter on these lists, but Dickson has been too good to ignore. He might already be the most talented punter in the NFL.

12
Christian Kirk
WR
Cardinals

Kirk is a marvelous route runner and he also adds value in the return game. The second-round pick will end up being a steal in this draft class.

13
Royce Freeman
RB
Broncos

Freeman has already been named the Broncos' starter and he's poised for a big year. He runs with patience, balance and toughness.

14
Rasheem Green
DE
Seahawks

Green has shown the ability to generate pressure from the outside and the interior. He is a perfect fit in Pete Carroll's defense.

15
James Washington
WR
Steelers

The Steelers have a special gift when it comes to evaluating/drafting/developing wide receivers. Washington plays much bigger than his size (5-foot-11, 213 pounds) and he will provide some highlight-reel plays this fall.

16
Darius Leonard
LB
Colts

Leonard is an explosive linebacker and his range has been very impressive. He gives the Colts some much-needed speed and playmaking at the position.

17
Josh Allen
QB
Bills

Allen flashed some big-time throws and impressive mobility during the preseason. Unfortunately, the Bills' porous offensive line put him in a rough spot in Week 3 of the preseason.

18
Harold Landry
OLB
Titans

Landry looks like the same guy we saw at Boston College -- when he was healthy. He has Gumby-like flexibility coming off the edge and could eclipse double-digit sacks this season.

19
Uchenna Nwosu
LB
Chargers

Nwosu was one of my favorite players to follow during the preseason. He's an explosive blitzer and continues to improve in coverage.

20
Will Hernandez
OG
Giants

Hernandez is a mauler in the run game and he's held up well in pass protection. He has Pro Bowl potential.

21
Dallas Goedert
TE
Eagles

The Eagles have a lot of weapons on offense, but Goedert has earned quality playing time with his preseason performance. His catch radius is enormous.

22
Shaquem Griffin
LB
Seahawks

Griffin is a tackling machine on both defense and special teams. He has elite sideline-to-sideline speed and his motor is always running hot.

23
Courtland Sutton
WR
Broncos

Sutton has displayed a unique ability to track and adjust to the ball down the field. Given his great size (6-4, 216), he should be a force in the red zone.

24
Mason Cole
C
Cardinals

Cole has been a steady hand in the preseason, taking over for an injured starter (A.Q. Shipley) at center. He has position flexibility, but he's in the right spot right now.

25
Michael Gallup
WR
Cowboys

Gallup will likely emerge as Dak Prescott's favorite target during the 2018 season. He runs clean routes and attacks the football.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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