How the NFL Rookie First-rounders have Fared so Far

In today’s NFL, the average career length of a first-round draft selection is 9.3 years, nearly three times longer than that of an average NFL player. Naturally, expectations are high for any first-round draft selection, as teams look to find the next hall-of-famer. The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft contained a plethora of surprises. Five weeks into the season, some of the top rookies have separated themselves from the bunch, while others have under-performed their first-round status.

The biggest excitements of the 2018 Draft were the quarterbacks, but among the five first-round QBs, none of been outstanding. Darnold was a top prospect entering the NFL Draft. Many NFL analysts and experts have viewed Darnold as the most “sound” rookie QB. Josh Allen was drafted as an ongoing project rather than a polished NFL starter. He was drafted in the first round mainly due to his wildly strong throwing arm rather than his technique. Josh Rosen was drafted as the cleanest passer in the Draft. While all three quarterbacks are still getting into the rhythm of the NFL, they are yet to record good numbers. Sam Darnold, who threw an interception on his first NFL play, has recorded a poor TD-INT ratio of 7-6. Josh Allen has been terrible in the NFL so far. His completion percentage has been an atrocious 53.3%, and he thrown only two TDs in four starts. Josh Rosen has been affected by the Cardinals’ terribleness on both sides of the ball. Despite playing behind a terrible o-line, Rosen has won a game in his second start. That doesn’t excuse his 49.2% completion rate. The first overall draft pick Baker Mayfield took the League by storm in his first game. Baker Mayfield impressively led the Cleveland Browns to their first NFL win in over a year. He recorded a high 73.9% completion rate in 23 attempts. Since then, he’s thrown 3 TDs and 3 INTs.

Despite generally disappointing performances from the first-round quarterbacks, many other rookies have played well so far. On the offensive side of the ballgame, Saquon Barkley (RB, 2nd overall) and Calvin Ridley (WR, 26th overall) have shone brightly. Barkley has scored 4 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving touchdowns in six games, while also displaying highlight-reel runs every game. Calvin Ridley has been a great #2 receiver for the Falcons. Ridley is on track to have over 60 receptions this year, not to mention the 6 TDs he has already scored for the Falcons.

Many of the defensive rookies have also played very well. Denzel Ward (CB, 4th overall), Tremaine Edmunds (LB, 16th overall), and Derwin James (S, 17th overall) have fared well so far. Denzel Ward, the star cornerback for the Browns, has wreaked havoc all over the football field. He had two interceptions in his debut against offensive powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers. He also had a crucial forced fumble against the Jets, and without such a play, the Browns may have never come back to win. He had another INT in the Browns’ win against Baltimore. Tremaine Edmunds has also beat up NFL offenses so far, recording 38 tackles, one sack, and two forced fumbles in five weeks of football.┬áThe final standout first-rounder is Derwin James. He recorded three sacks and an interception so far. His ability to defend against top offensive teams is a positive sign for the young safety.

While some rookies have played well in an ever-growing League, others have not gotten many opportunities yet. Vita Vea (DT, 12th overall), Billy Price (C, 21st overall) and Hayden Hurst (TE, 25th overall) have experienced injuries early on in their careers and have not made impacts on the field. We are only six weeks into the season, and we are yet to see some of these future stars integrate with their teammates and get used to the hard-hitting NFL stage. There is still a lot of football to look forward to for these young first-round picks.


“2018 NFL Draft.” Sporting News. Accessed September 24, 2018.


“Pro Football Statistics and History.” Accessed September 24, 2018.
Featured image from:
Beer, Jeff. “This Is Where Top NFL Rookies Go on Their First Business Trip.” Fast Company. May 22, 2018. Accessed October 13, 2018.

The Cleveland Browns Right Now


The Browns have played decently in the opening two weeks of the 2018 season, despite playing against two Superbowl contenders, the Steelers and the Saints. HOWEVER, like always, they’ve found a way to NOT WIN.

Their rushing offense has looked above average, with Carlos Hyde and Tyrod Taylor leading the rushing core in terms of ypg. Nick Chubb has made some plays here and there too.

The passing game has been mediocre, partly because of some atrocious mistakes by Tyrod Taylor. However, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Antonio Callaway has looked pretty dangerous.

The offense has been average. The defense has been where the Browns have shone. The defense may have conceded many yards, but thanks to INTs and forced fumbles, the Browns turnover differential is a +6 in only two weeks of football. That stat goes to show the Browns defense’s success. Denzel Ward has especially played well.

Despite an average offense and good defense, Zane Gonzalez, the Browns’ placekicker, has greatly cost Cleveland. He had a game-winning field goal blocked by T.J. Watt in week 1 which he couldn’t control. Putting that aside, he subsequently missed an extra point in week 2 against the Saints, and went on to miss a game tying 52 yard FG. If not for those crucial misses, the Browns would’ve won for the first time in a year.

I slightly feel bad for this guy. He seemed heartbroken after the Saints game, where he sat on the Browns bench, tearing up, before being consoled by a Saints player. But we can’t forget that kicking IS HIS JOB. He was DRAFTED as a kicker, yet, he has only made 2 out of his 5 attempted FGs, costing the game against the Saints. The Browns need to find a solution quickly.

Overall, the Browns have come neck-and-neck with two TOP-TIER football teams. Cleveland seems like an 8-8 record team, but they need to fix up the ugly kicking situation.


“Cleveland Browns Stats at” Accessed September 17, 2018.
“Zane Gonzalez.” ESPN. Accessed September 17, 2018.

Featured image from:

“Internet Explodes after Browns Miss Kicks vs. Saints.” Accessed September 17, 2018.