With the impact rookies had last week on week one, I thought it would be a good idea to put together my rookie power rankings. This will be updated each week until the Rookies of the year are decided.
1. Matt Forte RB Bears: Many people thought Forte would have an early impact, but nobody thought he would play like he did against the Colts. Forte ran for 123 yards on 23 carries including a 50 yard touchdown. Look for Forte to have another big game against the Panthers this week.
2. Eddie Royal WR Broncos: Royal had the most surprising performance out of any rookie in week one. Royal shined on the national stage torching the Raiders for 146 yards on 9 receptions along with a touchdown. Look for Royal to continue playing well but don’t expect those kind of stats each week.
3. Chris Johnson RB Titans: When the Titans selected Johnson in the first round in April’s draft, many people were criticizing the Titans for not drafting a receiver. Well so far Johnson is doing a good job of proving them wrong. Johnson had 93 rushing yards in his NFL debut along with 34 receiving yards and a touchdown. Look for Johnson to have another huge week against the Bengals in week two.
4. DeSean Jackson WR Eagles: This offseason, Donovan McNabb wanted the Eagles to bring in some more playmakers. From the looks of things, they found one in Jackson. Jackson had 6 catches for 106 yards in his NFL debut and also had 97 return yards including a 60 yard punt return. Look for Jackson to continue having a big impact on the Eagles offense.
5. Matt Ryan QB Falcons: Even though it was against the Lions defense, Ryan looked very sharp in his NFL debut going 9 of 13 for 161 yards and a touchdown. Ryan was very sharp and looked poised in the pocket. If the Falcons continue winning, look for Ryan to be in serious contention for Rookie of the year.
6. Felix Jones RB Cowboys: From watching “Hard Knocks” this season, it looked like Felix Jones would be a star in the making. After seeing his NFL debut, it doesn’t seem that far fetched. On 9 carries Jones ran for 62 yards and a touchdown. Look for Jones to continue making a big impact by complimenting Marion Barber as they make up one of the best 1-2 punches in the league.
7. Joe Flacco QB Ravens: Don’t turn the ball over:check, Beat a division rival at home in your NFL debut: check. For those two reasons, Ravens fans are now wacko for Flacco. Flacco was solid throwing for 129 yards and 15 completions including a 38 yard touchdown run that will be shown on highlight reels throughout the season. If Flacco continues to not turn the ball over, the Ravens could become a darkhorse in the AFC.
8. Keith Rivers LB Bengals: Even though he missed most of training camp, Rivers put up big numbers in his NFL debut. He led the team with 10 tackles and showed the ability and instincts that should make him a leader of the Bengals defense for years to come.
9. Kevin Smith RB Lions: Smith didn’t have Matt Forte like numbers in his NFL debut, but he showed why he could have a big impact as a rookie this season. Smith ran for 48 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut and also added 4 receptions for 32 yards. With the lack of competition in the backfield, Smith should be getting the majority of the carries this season.
10. Darren McFadden RB Raiders: McFadden was expected right away to come in and have a huge impact. He was solid though as he ran for 46 yards on 9 carries. With the way the Raiders offense struggled last week, look for them to get McFadden the ball early and often this week. He has nowhere to go but up on the list.
On the bubble: Jonathan Stewart RB Panthers, Rashard Mendenhall RB Steelers, Sedrick Ellis DT Saints, Jerod Mayo LB Patriots, Ray Rice RB Ravens, Tim Hightower RB Cardinals, Jamaal Charles RB Chiefs, Kenny Phillips S Giants, Steve Slaton RB Texans