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Top 25 NFL rookies of 2018: Saquon Barkley leads final rankings

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With the regular season in the books, former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah has reviewed his notes to rank the top 25 rookies of 2018.

NOTE: Arrows reflect changes from DJ's rookie rankings entering the final quarter of the season.

1
Saquon Barkley
RB
Giants

It'll be a tight race for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but Barkley has already established himself as a top-three running back in the league.

2
Baker Mayfield
QB
Browns
3

Mayfield set the rookie record for TD passes (27) and brought life to a dormant franchise this fall.

3
Derwin James
S
Chargers
1

James' versatility and playmaking skills were on display throughout the entire season.

4
Darius Leonard
LB
Colts
1

Leonard stuffed the stat sheet (163 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and two picks) the entire season, and his much-needed speed transformed the Colts' defense into a playoff unit.

5
Bradley Chubb
OLB
Broncos
1

Chubb came close to breaking Jevon Kearse's rookie sack record (14.5; Chubb finished with 12) and he is poised to be a perennial Pro Bowler in the near future.

6
Quenton Nelson
OG
Colts
3

Nelson is already the most dominant player at his position, earning a Pro Bowl berth in his rookie campaign.

7
Phillip Lindsay
RB
Broncos
1

Lindsay's production dipped late in the season (he also missed the last game with a wrist injury), but he rightfully earned a spot in the Pro Bowl for his productive fall.

8
Leighton Vander Esch
LB
Cowboys
2

LVE was a highlight machine for the Cowboys' defense. His range and cover ability are off the charts.

9
Nick Chubb
RB
Browns
1

Chubb should've been given more opportunities earlier in the season, based on his outstanding second half of the year.

10
Denzel Ward
CB
Browns
3

Ward quickly emerged as a player capable of mirroring the NFL's top wide receivers.

11
Roquan Smith
LB
Bears

Smith has been a perfect fit in Vic Fangio's attacking defense. He plays downhill and arrives with bad intentions.

12
Lamar Jackson
QB
Ravens
13

Jackson helped turn around the Ravens' season with his explosive running ability and occasional big strikes in the passing game.

13
Sam Darnold
QB
Jets
NR

Darnold missed a few games due to a foot injury in the middle of the season, but he returned to finish the year in style by playing his best football.

14
Josh Allen
QB
Bills
10

Allen used his legs and big arm to keep the Bills competitive despite a very suspect offensive line and nondescript weapons in the passing game.

15
Tremaine Edmunds
LB
Bills
4

Edmunds has rare size for his position and he was ultra-productive for the Bills this fall.

16
Mike McGlinchey
OT
49ers
4

McGlinchey wasn't a flashy pick, but he's provided stability at right tackle for the 49ers.

17
Calvin Ridley
WR
Falcons
4

Ridley is already one of the top No. 2 WRs in the NFL and should produce double-digit touchdowns on a yearly basis.

18
Jaire Alexander
CB
Packers
4

Alexander's competitiveness was evident during his days at Louisville and it has helped him as a top-tier cornerback in his rookie season.

19
Anthony Miller
WR
Bears
2

Miller is an excellent route runner who has a knack for creating separation from defenders.

20
Sony Michel
RB
Patriots
4

Michel has a unique combination of speed and power. He helped change the identity of this Patriots offense from finesse to physical.

21
Donte Jackson
CB
Panthers
3

Jackson is very explosive and his ball skills are excellent.

22
Fred Warner
LB
49ers

Warner's instincts, range and reliability were impressive this fall. He helped offset the loss of Reuben Foster.

23
B.J. Hill
DE
Giants
NR

Hill provided the Giants with some interior pass rush. His combination of power and quickness jumps off the tape.

24
Michael Dickson
P
Seahawks
NR

Dickson, a Pro Bowler as a rookie, is already the top punter in the NFL.

25
Braden Smith
T
Colts
NR

Smith has been a little up and down this fall, but he has shown tremendous upside as both a capable pass protector and a people-mover in the run game.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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