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    Rookie Report: A Brief Look at the 2025 First Rounders Through Week 9


    Dacder
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    1. Matt Ballard - Arizona Cardinals

    Minicamp grade: 9.44

    Stats: 254 of 429, 2904 yards, 16 td, 10 int, 82.37 QBR

    Notable PFF Performances: 

     

    Ballard might not have the best efficiency stats, but he’s also been asked to do a LOT for a fairly bad team. Overall, he’s shown a ton of promise, and with some experience under his belt and an upgraded supporting cast I’m sure Ballard will prove himself worthy of his draft position in due time. 

     

    1. Leonard England - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Minicamp grade: N/A

    Stats: 45 tackles, 5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR

    Notable PFF Performances: (9.01)

     

    The Buccaneers are still bad, but at least they are dramatically improved from their sorry state a season ago. A big part of that resurgence has been England, who is having one of the best rookie seasons from a defensive player in history. Frankly, he’d seem like a lock for DROTY if not for the next guy drafted.

     

    1. Branden Valentine - Houston Texans

    Minicamp grade: N/A

    Stats: 17 tackles, 6 INT, 5 PD, 1 TD

    Notable PFF Performances: (9.61), (9.72), (8.98)

     

    Branden Valentine has been electric. With three highest graded PFF performances and leading the league in INTs, Valentine is not only the current favorite for DROTY, he has a serious case for DPOTY. Unfortunately his play hasn’t been enough to make the Texans competitive, but he is definitely a massive bright spot on their season. 

     

    4 Los Angeles Chargers   Samuel Barfield 

    Minicamp grade: 7.89

    Stats: 27 receptions for 316 yards, 1 TD, 1 drop

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    The Chargers are having a remarkable year, but surprisingly their #4 pick is only a small part of it. The Chargers offense is very clearly run focused, and whether it’s because of that or because he is taking time adjusting to the NFL, Barfield has had a pretty quiet season so far. 

     

    5 Cleveland Browns Deontray Clay

    Minicamp grade: 8.89

    Stats: 28 receptions for 276 yards

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    The other WR taken in the top 5, Clay, is also having a disappointingly quiet year so far. Unlike Barfield though, he does not have the excuse of a run heavy offense. To be fair, he is competing with a good WR corps for targets, but Browns fans have to be hoping Clay starts contributing more soon. 

     

    6 Carolina Panthers Akiem Pryor 

    Minicamp grade: N/A

    Stats: 14 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Pryor has had a pretty quiet season individually so far, but at least the Panthers pass defense seems improved with him. While has hasn’t been a game breaker, he seems like a solid piece for the Panthers to build around in years to come. 

     

    7 Houston Texans A'Shawn McNair

    Minicamp grade: 8.84

    Stats: 8.32 pass block rating, 8.23 run block rating 

    Notable PFF Performances: OT A'Shawn McNair (8.82)

     

    The traditionally excellent Texans offensive line has grown decrepit in recent years, and their core members that remain are on their last legs. McNair has helped offset that and while the Texans Oline is not exactly amazing it’s at least pretty solid, giving hope that McNair can be a star in the future. 

     

    8 Dallas Cowboys Matthew Jones 

    Minicamp grade: 9.51

    Stats: 8.48 pass block rating, 8.21 run block rating 

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Another upgrade to a traditionally dominant Oline, Jones has seemingly fit in well with the unit that is nearly top 5 in pass blocking. His run blocking might need some work, but Dallas has reason to be happy with their pick so far. 

     

    9 Cincinnati Bengals Robert Davies 

    Minicamp grade: 8.78

    Stats: 8.21 pass block rating, 8.39 run block rating 

    Notable PFF Performances:

    The Bengals have always struggled heavily at OLine, but now their struggles are at least limited to the pass game. Unfortunately, the team is fairly pass heavy, but at least they have some talented pieces to build around on the OL.

     

    10 New York Jets Charlie Becker 

    Minicamp grade: N/A 

    Stats: 8.60 pass block rating, 8.16 run block rating

     

    Notable PFF Performances:

    While it’s hard to tell how much of the Jets’ OLine success is due to Becker, it remains true that with his addition they are a top pass blocking unit in the NFL, though their run blocking needs some serious work. 

     

     

    11 Jacksonville Jaguars Jordan Cunningham 

    Minicamp grade: 9.20

    Stats: 50 receptions for 559 yards, 4 TD

    Notable PFF Performances: (7.93)

     

    With all the wide receiver talent taken in the 1st round in 2025, it is the tight end Jordan Cunningham who has come out of the gate as the clear best receiver from the draft. His receiving yards are third among tight ends behind only the phenom Curtis Henry and a resurgent Darren Jones. 

     

    12 Miami Dolphins Patrick Ross 

    Minicamp grade: 8.99

    Stats: 26 tackles,1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PD, 1 TD

    Notable PFF Performances:(9.12)

     

    While Phins fans are probably pretty disappointed in their season by and large, Ross remains a big bright spot, as he seems to be the clear second best corner in the draft this year. While he isn’t the ballhawk that Valentine is, his shutdown corner skills will be a cornerstone of the Miami defense for years to come. 

     

    13 New York Giants Blake Barrett 

    Minicamp grade: 8.09

    Stats: 52 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FR

    Notable PFF Performances: (9.45), (8.83)

     

    Barrett has been one of the best players of the draft class, even if his stats aren’t as sexy as some other players’. He has been a massive boon to a previously poor Giants run defense, and his pass defense hasn’t been half bad either. Barrett is the kind of player a defense can be built around for years to come and the Giants have got to be happy with him. 

     

    14 Green Bay Packers Julius Wesley Jr. 

    Minicamp grade: 9.09

    Stats: 177 rushes for 842 yards, 6 touchdowns, 2 fumbles

    Notable PFF Performances: (9.25)

     

    Wesley Jr was one of the most interesting picks of the draft, as he in an immensely talented back being added to an already explosive offense, and so far JWJ has not disappointed. He’s #3 in rushing yards with good efficiency stats and scoring as well, adding a new dimension to a deadly offense. 

     

    15 Minnesota Vikings Isaiah Jenkins Jr. 

    Minicamp grade: 7.50

    Stats: 18 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 PD

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    While Jenkins Jr hasn’t exactly torn up the field, it would seem he’s acted as a solid second corner for the Vikings, a position they’ve needed for years now. Their much improved pass defense from a couple seasons ago has to make fans fairly happy with this pick. 

     

    16 Denver Broncos Kahiau Afamasaga

    Minicamp grade: 7.89

    Stats: 36 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 PD

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Afamasaga was a slightly controversial pick thanks to Cameron Jonah’s continued existence, but Afamasaga has wrestled the starting position from Jonah and thus far he has played relatively well. While he’s not doing anything flashy he’s playing solidly in a solid defense and that’s good for any 1st rounder. 

     

    17 San Francisco 49ers Grant Barclay 

    Minicamp grade: 7.87

    Stats: 18 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 PD

    Notable PFF Performances:(2.94)

     

    Barclay was pretty widely considered to be an underwhelming first pick and unfortunately so far he has done nothing to invalidate that analysis. The first pick on the board with a “worst pff grade”, and without much in the way of stats, it’s hard to believe the 49ers are happy with Barclay as it stands. 

     

    18 Atlanta Falcons Byron Suggs 

    Minicamp grade: 7.89

    Stats: 141 of 249, 1745 yards, 12 TD, 2 INT, 91.22 rating; 38 carries for 204 yards, 2 TD

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    While there are probably better players from this draft class, nobody has been as impactful on their team as Byron Suggs. The transition from Fisher/Luck to Suggs has catapulted the Falcons from a team mired in mediocrity to one of the best in the NFL this year. After years of mediocrity at the QB position the Falcons finally have their guy. 

     

    19 New Orleans Saints Gabriel Sanders Jr. 

    Minicamp grade: 7.55

    Stats: 27 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PD, 1 TD

    Notable PFF Performances: (2.50)

     

    The second player on this list with a worst PFF grade, Sanders Jr has been struggling on a pretty abhorrent Saints defense, and it doesn’t help that the teams front office has been fairly inactive. While Sanders Jr is by no means the worst player on the defense, his struggles are not a good sign for the Saints faithful. 

     

    20 Los Angeles Rams Isaiah Simpkins 

    Minicamp grade: 7.04

    Stats: 22 tackles, 1 TFL

    Notable PFF Performances: (3.08)

     

    Simpkins continues the trend of slightly disappointing players drafted in the late teens and onwards, as his complete lack of stats other than tackles and worst player grade do not give high hopes to Rams fans that he’ll be the stud going forward they were hoping for. 

     

    21 Cleveland Browns DeMaurice Slone 

    Minicamp grade: 8.04

    Stats: 31 receptions, 295 yards, 2 TD, 3 drops

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    While Slone is competing with a very talented WR room for targets, his drop rate and lack of stats are certainly concerning to Browns fans everywhere, though he’s by no means a bust right now, and his high minicamp grade give reason to have patience. 

     

    22 Kansas City Chiefs Sam Duvall 

    Minicamp grade: 7.01

    Stats: 8.42 pass block rating, 8.12 run block rating

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    The Chiefs’ season has been beyond disappointing so far, but it’s hard to blame Duvall. While maybe the Chiefs could have found someone better, Duvall does not seem to be the problem, given that the Chiefs offense is probably still the best in the NFL. Maybe this should have been a defensive player but Duvall himself has been fine. 

     

    23 Pittsburgh Steelers Tyler Burnett 

    Minicamp grade: N/a

    Stats: 8.41 pass block rating, 8.25 run block rating

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    The Steelers are a bit of an enigma as a team, but one position group that is undoubtedly solid for them is OLine, and Burnett has done a good job filling in his rookie year and playing fairly well. 

     

    24 Los Angeles Chargers D.J. Chavis 

    Minicamp grade: 8.09

    Stats: 19 tackles, 3 PD, 1 FR

    Notable PFF Performances: (2.55)

     

    Chavis had a great minicamp grade, and has had some decent performances, but with a worst grade and a lack of stats the Chargers are probably hoping he steps up and begins playing to his potential sooner rather than later. 

     

    25 Miami Dolphins Keenan Roberson 

    Minicamp grade: 7.72

    Stats: 106 carries, 509 yards, 2 TD, 1 fum, 21 receptions, 189 yards, 1 TD, 1 drop

    Notable PFF Performances: (8.25), (9.32)

     

    It took a while before the Phins were willing to hand Roberson the keys to the run game, but since getting them he’s been on a tear with multiple best performances. The team as a whole may be struggling, but their rookie RB is not. 

     

    26 Atlanta Falcons Deon Kirksey

    Minicamp grade: 8.15

    Stats: 27 receptions, 379 yards, 2 TD, 1 drop

    Notable PFF Performances: (9.25)

     

    Kirksey has served well as a complimentary piece to help Byron Suggs in his rookie year at quarterback, and while Kirksey hasn’t had a ton of stats, the team must be fairly pleased with his performances as a whole given their offense’s run first identity. 

     

    27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Josh Pennington

    Minicamp grade: 7.45

    Stats: 8.28 pass block rating, 8.09 run block rating

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Pennington is part of the worst OLine in football, but it’s not really his fault given that the team’s only veteran presence has been injured all year. Pennington isn’t playing particularly well, either, but he’s not been the problem.

     

    28 Detroit Lions Isaac Tyson 

    Minicamp grade: 7.89

    Stats: 80 of 148, 1000 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 74.17 QBR, 16 carries for 71 yards, 2 TD

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Tyson has been just barely good enough to keep the Lions near the top of the NFC, but his actual performances have been fairly mediocre. If he can step up then the Lions have a great chance at the superbowl, but as of now he is still struggling to adjust to the NFL. 

     

    29 Las Vegas Raiders Aaron Hunt 

    Minicamp grade: 9.23

    Stats: 8.42 pass block rating, 8.29 run block rating

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Aaron Hunt might have been the best pick of this entire draft. Despite being a late rounder he’s been transformative for the Raiders offensive line play. Despite that, the team is struggling heavily, but Hunt himself is very good. 

     

    30 Los Angeles Rams Tyler Matthews 

    Minicamp grade: 6.97

    Stats: N/A

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Matthews is, as far as I can tell, the only first round pick from this draft who has not gotten any playing time yet. For that reason analysis is difficult, but frankly it’s not a great sign that he’s stuck sitting behind Leigh Davey. 

     

    31 Baltimore Ravens Reshard Hinton

    Minicamp grade: 7.25

    Stats: 18 tackles, 0.5 sacks,  3 PD

    Notable PFF Performances: 

     

    Hinton hasn’t really done much playmaking individually, and the Ravens’ defense isn’t quite as strong as in past years, but given how raw of a talent he is it’s hard to say the Ravens should be unhappy with his play so far. If he can continue to develop without being a liability I’d call that a win for Baltimore. 

     

    32 Philadelphia Eagles Lukas Shapiro 

    Minicamp grade: 6.64

    Stats: 21 receptions, 300 yards, 1 TD, 1 drop

    Notable PFF Performances:

     

    Shapiro hasn’t been amazing, but given how run focused his offense is he’s been fine for a late first rounder. The Eagles will be hoping he continues to develop in order to assist whoever their next quarterback will be, given that AT seems to be nearing the end of his years as a starter. 

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    Suggs and Kirksey have been nothing but incredible for us this season.  Can't be happier with our 1st rounders so far.

     

    Suggs is doing enough as a facilitator to keep us winning even though he definitely has room for improvement.

     

    Kirksey is playing exceptionally as a WR2 and playing to his strengths.  At one point this year, he was top 5 in YPC among eligible WRs.  Stretching the field just like he was advertised.   

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    we're perfectly happy with Simpkins and while his stats aren't eye popping and he's had some rookie struggles because CB is probably the second hardest position in the league to come in and start at as a rookie, he was on PFF's top 16 CBs by QB Rating allowed list, which tells us he's doing his job well.

     

    As for Matthews, we have a lot of pass rushing depth and while he's not involved right now, he hasn't really needed to get involved and we felt that allowing him time to grow and develop while playing rotationally (because he's playing EDGE in our defense, which also is where Bruce and Williamson play, he's not seeing as many snaps as he could). 

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