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Published: Feb. 10, 2017 at 05:54 p.m.
Updated: Feb. 20, 2017 at 12:24 p.m.

Next Gen Stats all-rookie team

See the numbers of the standout all-rookie team

24 Photos Total

  • Quarterback: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys 24

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Quarterback: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

    One of Dak Prescott's standout strengths from the regular season was his ability to be mobile and improvise. For the 2016 regular season, Prescott not only traveled outside the pocket often - 18.1 percent of his pass attempts - but was successful doing so. Prescott was one of the top quarterbacks in highest passer rating when compared to other league QBs who travel outside the pocket fairly often (defined as 15.0 percent or more passes outside the pocket). Prescott ranked 2nd in passer rating with a 103.6 mark, trailing only Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (118.7 passer rating).

  • Running back: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys 23

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Running back: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

    While Ezekiel Elliott is mostly known for his explosiveness when carrying the ball, he was not limited to production on the ground, as he was also a threat through the air. With an average of 12.1 yards per reception, Elliott had the highest yards per reception average out of the backfield of any other running back with a minimum of 30 backfield targets during the regular season.

  • Running back: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears 22

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Running back: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

    With veteran RB Matt Forte's departure, Chicago leaned on rookie Bears RB Jordan Howard to take over their ground game for the 2016 season. Howard bested Forte's rookie season franchise rushing record (1,238 rushing yards) with his 1,313 rushing yards, which was also the 2nd highest for all running backs this season behind Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (1,631 rushing yards). While Elliott had more rushing yards, he did so with more carries (322, 5.1 yards per carry) vs. Howard's 252 carries (5.2 yards per carry) during the regular season. Howard was one of the most efficient backs in the league with his carries, traveling 3.61 yards per every rushing yard gained, just edging out Elliott to rank at 3rd lowest/best in the league.

  • Wide receiver: Sterling Shepard, New York Giants 21

    Ric Tapia/Associated Press

    Wide receiver: Sterling Shepard, New York Giants

    With Giants receivers Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. primarily lining up out wide, Sterling Shepard found more of a home in the slot as he was aligned there on 83.0 percent of his plays during the regular season, with only 15.0 percent out wide. Shepard was targeted 93 times from the slot, hauling in 60 of them, which put him at the 4th most receptions from the slot among wide receivers this regular season. Additionally, his 8 touchdowns from the slot were the most of any receiver in the league.

  • Wide receiver: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints 20

    Bill Feig/Associated Press

    Wide receiver: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

    Five receivers (including four in the first round) were drafted ahead of Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, yet it was Thomas who had the best rookie season of any wide receiver from the 2016 draft class. Thomas had 1,137 receiving yards, nine touchdowns and 92 receptions on the season. Of his 92 receptions, 82 of them came from out wide, which placed him at 3rd in most receptions from out wide among wide receivers this regular season, behind Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham.

  • Center: Cody Whitehair, Chicago Bears 19

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Center: Cody Whitehair, Chicago Bears

    Originally a right tackle in college, Cody Whitehair moved to left guard, back to right tackle and finally to left tackle for his last two seasons. The Bears used that versatility to their advantage this season, moving Whitehair from left guard (where they had him in the preseason) to center (where he had had no previous experience) after signing former Packers G Josh Sitton. With Whitehair as a strong run blocker, he assisted in making rookie teammate RB Jordan Howard one of the most efficient running backs in the league this season. Howard finished 3rd in the league in running back efficiency, traveling 3.61 yards for every rushing yard gained (minimum 150 carries).

  • Linebacker: Antonio Morrison, Indianapolis Colts 18

    Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

    Linebacker: Antonio Morrison, Indianapolis Colts

    Colts LB Antonio Morrison only totaled 43 tackles on the season, but he was drafted in the 4th round out of Florida because of his speed and sideline to sideline ability. That was demonstrated by his average distance to tackle (18.2 yards), which ranked 3rd among all inside linebackers during the 2016 season (minimum 40 tackles).

  • Linebacker: Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons 17

    Kevin Terrell/Associated Press

    Linebacker: Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons

    Falcons LB Deion Jones is mostly known for his speed, which made him a 2nd round pick for the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons in last year's draft. Jones showed off his sideline to sideline speed as he had the highest average distance to tackle (17.0 yards) among all rookie linebackers this season with at least 50 tackles.

  • Linebacker: Emmanuel Ogbah, Cleveland Browns 16

    Al Messerschmidt Archive/Associated Press

    Linebacker: Emmanuel Ogbah, Cleveland Browns

    Browns LB Emmanuel Ogbah totaled 5.5 sacks during his rookie season, which tied for 3rd in the league among all rookies. However, on average, Ogbah was one of the closest rookie defenders to the quarterback when rushing the passer as he had the 2nd best average separation from the quarterback at the time of release (4.35 yards).

  • Tight end: Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers 15

    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Tight end: Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

    While Antonio Gates primarily lined up in space (wide and slot) this season (18.0 percent wide, 43.0 percent slot, 36.0 percent tight), Hunter Henry spent most of his time in the tight end alignment (67.0 percent tight, 9.0 percent wide, 21.0 percent slot). Henry was most effective from the tight end alignment, ranking 8th in highest yards per catch average (12.64 yds) among tight ends in that category for the regular season.

  • Tackle: Jack Conklin, Tennessee Titans 14

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Tackle: Jack Conklin, Tennessee Titans

    Titans T Jack Conklin played up to his first-round status and improved the Titans right side of the offensive line, which was only about league average in 2015. Conklin played right tackle throughout the season and seemed to have improved that side of the line tremendously. As shown in the chart below, now only did the right side of the Titans offensive line jumped to within the top 5 best this season, but they halved their sacks allowed from that side of the line, from 30.5 in 2015 to 14.5 during the 2016 season.

  • Cornerback: Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars 13

    Rick Wilson/Associated Press

    Cornerback: Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey had one of the best seasons not only among rookies, but all cornerbacks in 2016. Ramsey allowed a 77.2 passer rating in coverage, which was the 10th best among all #1 cornerbacks this season.

  • Cornerback: James Bradberry, Carolina Panthers 12

    James Bradberry/Associated Press

    Cornerback: James Bradberry, Carolina Panthers

    Panthers CB James Bradberry emerged as a viable replacement for the departed CB Josh Norman in the Carolina secondary. Bradberry allowed only a 69.6 passer rating in coverage, which was the 12th best mark among all #1 cornerbacks in the league this season.

  • Guard: Joe Thuney, New England Patriots 11

    Damian Strohmeyer/Associated Press

    Guard: Joe Thuney, New England Patriots

    Patriots G Joe Thuney started all 16 games for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, helping an offensive line that was one of the best at protecting pocket-passer QB Tom Brady. Not only did the left of center separation allowed improve from last season, but they cut their sacks allowed in half, from 23.0 in 2015 to just 11.0 in 2016.

  • Safety: Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons 10

    Kevin Terrell/Associated Press

    Safety: Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons

    Falcons rookie SS Keanu Neal was drafted by Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn due to his ability to travel quickly downhill and attack opposing receivers and rushers. Neal did just that during the 2016 regular season, ranking 4th in most tackles among safeties this season with 102 tackles. With those tackles, he finished 4th in fastest time to tackle (4.83 seconds vs. 5.26 seconds NFL average with a minimum of 40 tackles) and also 3rd in lowest average distance per tackle (17.0 yards vs. 20.3 yards NFL average, minimum 40 tackles) among all safeties, demonstrating his ability to close quickly on the ball carrier and take good angles to the football.

  • Guard: Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins 9

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Guard: Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins

    Dolphins G Laremy Tunsil stepped in to start at left guard for the Miami Dolphins and immediately helped improve a mediocre unit, specifically on the left side. Miami improved their separation allowed from the quarterback on the left side of the line (left of center) this season as compared to last (5.10 yards to 5.37 yards), also allowing less sacks from that side of the center (21.0 in 2015 to 17.0 in 2016).

  • Defensive lineman: Maliek Collins, Dallas Cowboys 8

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Defensive lineman: Maliek Collins, Dallas Cowboys

    Cowboys DL Maliek Collins proved to be effective as a pass rusher from the Dallas interior defensive line. Averaging 4.28 seconds from snap to sack, Collins recorded the fastest average time to sack among rookie interior defensive linemen and was also 5th among all interior pass rushers in fastest average time to sack.

  • Defensive lineman: Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville Jaguars 7

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Defensive lineman: Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Yannick Ngakoue was second in lowest average separation from the QB inside the pocket with 4.19 yards versus the NFL rookie average of 4.55 yards NFL rookie average (minimum 100 pass rushes). He was also second in separation from the QB overall with 4.35 yards vs. 4.97 NFL rookie average. Of rookies who rushed the passer a minimum of 100 pass plays, Ngakoue had the second most sacks with 8.0 sacks when rushing the passer.

  • Defensive end: Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers 6

    Ryan Kang/ NFL

    Defensive end: Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers

    Even after missing the first 4 games of the season tending to a hamstring injury, Chargers DE Joey Bosa proved to be the league's best rookie defensive end. Over his remaining 12 games, Bosa posted 10.5 sacks, the 2nd-highest total in the span (Falcons OLB Vic Beasley had the most with 13.5 sacks). Bosa was voracious in his pursuit of the quarterback, averaging only 4.44 yards of separation between he and the quarterback, the lowest separation among all rookie defensive linemen (minimum 200 pass rushes).

  • Defensive end: Noah Spence, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    Defensive end: Noah Spence, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    With an average of just 3.85 seconds to sack, Noah Spence had the fastest average time to sack among all rookies with at least 5 sacks, which also ranked as the 8th best among all players this season.

  • Defensive tackle: Rodney Gunter, Arizona Cardinals 4

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    Defensive tackle: Rodney Gunter, Arizona Cardinals

    Cardinals DT Rodney Gunter was a surprise pick in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL draft after many pundits labeled him as a late round draft pick. However, Gunter proved himself as one of the most underrated interior pass rushers during his rookie season. Of all players to pass rush on at least 100 plays, Gunter averaged 4.33 yards of separation from the quarterback at the time the ball was released, which was the best separation among not only all rookie interior defensive linemen, but across all rookie positions (minimum 100 pass rushes).

  • Tackle: Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions 3

    Detroit Lions/Associated Press

    Tackle: Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions

    Lions T Taylor Decker was a 16-game starter from the playoff-bound Detroit Lions at left tackle, protecting QB Matthew Stafford's blind side. Decker was part of a Lions offense that jumped up in rankings this season as compared to last in terms of separation allowed from the quarterback when he was inside the pocket and his time to throw was less than 2.50 seconds.

  • Safety: T.J. Green, Indianapolis Colts 2

    Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

    Safety: T.J. Green, Indianapolis Colts

    Colts FS T.J. Green was heralded in the pre-draft process for his elite speed. Green finished 9th among all safeties (and 8th among all FS) in largest average distance to tackle at 22.6 yards (minimum 40 tackles), demonstrating his ability to show off his range. Green's wheels were on display in Week 17 as he was nearly able to chase down Jaguars RB Corey Grant on his 57-yard touchdown run. Green reached a top speed of 22.34 MPH, which was the 3rd fastest top speed reached by a safety this season.

  • Punt returner: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs 1

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Punt returner: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

    Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill was undoubtedly the top return man in football during his rookie season as he held the two fastest speeds on a kick return and two of the top 5 fastest speeds on a punt return. On Hill's 105-yard kickoff return that was called back against the Houston Texans in Week 2, Hill reached a top speed of 23.24 MPH. It was not only the fastest speed reached by a ball carrier this season, but it was the 2nd fastest speed reached by any player during a game (Rams DB Cody Davis reached 23.3 MPH covering a kickoff in Week 1, which was the only speed faster than Hill's).

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