2018 All-Rookie Team: Josh Rosen, Bradley Chubb will thrive

After intensely studying all of the top prospects leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, I'll admit to having a little football withdrawal at the moment. The draft has been in the books for almost two weeks, but it's never too early to project which players will emerge as stars on their new teams. While everyone expects first-round picks to make an immediate impact based on their exceptional talent, there are plenty of players drafted outside of the first round who also make their mark as rookies.

With that in mind, here's an early look at my All-Rookie Team for the 2018 season:


Quarterback: Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals (Round 1, No. 10 overall). Despite being the last of the Tier 1 quarterbacks to come off the board, Rosen lands in the best spot to showcase his talents as a natural passer.

Running back: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Round 1, No. 2). Barkley not only lives up to the hype as the best player in the draft, but he immediately emerges as the "go-to guy" on the NFL's most explosive offense.

Running back: Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos (Round 3, No. 71). Just because Freeman enters the league as a third-round pick, that doesn't mean he's not positioned to be an immediate impact player. The ex-Oregon standout spits out 100-yard games like an ATM machine as the perfect companion to Case Keenum in the Broncos' backfield.

Wide receiver: James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers (Round 2, No. 60). AFC North opponents quickly learn that Washington is more than capable of torching one-on-one coverage as an explosive big-play threat.

Wide receiver: Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (Round 2, No. 47). The Cardinals' new WR2 should pile up big numbers opposite Larry Fitzgerald as the designated "chain mover" in the team's new scheme. Kirk shows the skeptics that he is more than a slot receiver by ringing up yards and scores as a perimeter playmaker.

Tight end: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Round 2, No. 49).Eagles coach Doug Pederson quickly finds a way to take advantage of Goedert's playmaking talents as a "jumbo" slot receiver.

Offensive tackle: Isaiah Wynn, New England Patriots (Round 1, No. 23). Despite lacking prototypical dimensions as a blind-side tackler, Wynn more than holds his own against elite rushers off the edge.

Offensive tackle: Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers (Round 1, No. 9). The ex-Notre Dame standout shines as a plug-and-play starter on a vastly improved offensive line.

Offensive guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts (Round 1, No. 6). GM Chris Ballard quickly changed the tone of the offensive line by plugging the ultra-rugged interior blocker into the starting lineup. The Colts not only improve the pass protection around Andrew Luck, but they show more grit and grime as a running squad.

Offensive guard: Will Hernandez, New York Giants (Round 2, No. 34). The G-Men become a more physical running team behind Hernandez's stout presence at the point of attack.

Center: James Daniels, Chicago Bears (Round 2, No. 39). The revamped Bears' offensive lineup features not only a more explosive set of perimeter playmakers, but a punishing O-line spearheaded by Daniels in the middle.


Edge: Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos (Round 1, No. 5). Chubb is a lock for 10-plus sacks playing opposite Von Miller. He is an explosive rusher who flashes violent hands and powerful combat skills turning the corner on the way to the quarterback.

Edge: Harold Landry, Tennessee Titans (Round 2, No. 41). The ex-Boston College star can turn the corner like a sports car while also flashing an array of moves that could make him an immediate difference maker as a situational rusher.

Defensive tackle: Da'Ron Payne, Washington Redskins (Round 1, No. 13). The Redskins' defense surges up the charts with a rock-solid run-stopper in the middle, plugging holes at the point of attack.

Defensive tackle: Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Round 1, No. 12). Vea gives the Bucs a destructive 1-2 punch on the defensive interior. He doesn't impact the game as a pass rusher, but his ability to clog holes on early downs sets the table for Gerald McCoy's pass-rush exploits in obvious passing situations.

Linebacker: Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos (Round 4, No. 106). With Von Miller and Chubb controlling the game on the edges, Jewell sucks up running backs like a vacuum cleaner as the Broncos' designated hitter in the middle.

Linebacker: Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears (Round 1, No. 8). Coordinator Vic Fangio unleashes Smith as a sideline-to-sideline playmaker in the middle of the Bears' defense, and Smith quickly becomes the centerpiece of what suddenly looks like a championship-caliber unit in the Windy City.

Linebacker: Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills (Round 1, No. 16). Sean McDermott needed to find an athletic, blue-collar player on the second level. Edmunds fits the bill as a versatile defender with a no-nonsense attitude and an NFL-ready game.

Cornerback: Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers (Round 1, No. 18). The ultra-competitive cover corner thrives in defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's blitz-heavy scheme. He gets his hands on a ton of balls and makes a run at the interception title as a rookie.

Cornerback: Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns (Round 1, No. 4). It's hard to lock down elite receivers as a rookie, but Ward shows the football world that his speed, athleticism and technique make him the exception to the rule.

Safety: Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers (Round 1, No. 17). James immediately steps into the enforcer's role as the "MOF" (middle of the field) bully between the hashes. He pummels receivers running over the middle while also racking up sacks as a situational blitzer from the second level.

Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (Round 1, No. 11). The Swiss Army knife in the Dolphins' secondary thrives as a safety/nickel corner during his rookie season. Fitzpatrick shines as a designated ball hawk in a scheme that allows him to attack the ball from a variety of spots on the field.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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