Who knew I would be writing this article at the quarter pole and not have any game tape about Johnny Manziel? That is pretty nuts. That being said, so many other rookies have performed well above expectations, and I am excited to see how 2014 closes out.
The Vikings are a hot mess this year, thanks to Adrian Peterson’s legal troubles, and injuries to top offensive guys and defense too. In his game and a half of play, Teddy has been stellar, with a 92.7 QB rating, 467 yards and 1 TD. He has yet to throw an interception either, which usually plague rookie QBs. His ankle injury may be of some concern, but he has earned the value he is getting from collectors.
The Jaguars really found a diamond in the rough with Hurns, who is currently sitting at 12 receptions, 254 yards and 3 TDs. On a horrible team with Chad Henne as your QB during the first 3 games, that is pretty impressive. It shouldnt be surprising that Kelvin Benjamin, a first rounder, is leading the rookies in many categories, but it is shocking that number two is Hurns. Collectors have been trying to find the minimal amount of cards that are available for him, and as a result, the value has been through the roof for someone who wasnt drafted.
Although the Panthers are struggling, he is having quite the start to the season. Newton has been hurt, and that has put the team in a hole, but KB is still doing well. Tied with Hurns for the rookie lead in TDs, his 329 yards leads all rookie receivers. Only Brandin Cooks has more receptions at 23, but he has far fewer yards. Benjamin has shown to be quite the red zone threat, which is a drastic need for the Panthers with no other good receivers on the roster.
Similar to Hurns, Bortles has jumped from the frying pan and into the fire. The Jaguars are terrible for the umpteenth year in a row, and that hasnt stopped him from playing well above expectations. He has 3 TDs and 476 yards in a game and a half of work, and like Bridgewater, has made the most of what he has been given. He does have 4 picks, but that might be more of a measure of the situations he is in and the quality of his receivers than anything. Collectors are on board regardless, and his future looks bright despite playing for a team in the black hole of hobby value.
The only Rookie QB to start from the beginning, Carr has struggled on another terrible team. His QB rating may only be 75.2, but he has put his team in a position to win a few times. Because he has more stats on paper, he is easier to judge, but he will be out for the next few weeks with knee and ankle sprains likely. Collectors have cooled a bit on his cards, but they are still above expectations overall.
I dont think anyone thought that West would be the rookie we are talking about at this point in the season. He has put up some solid numbers as part of the Browns RB by committee, including 2 TDs. Now that Ben Tate is likely to return, his role could be diminished, but he is worth a shot with the cheap prices out there.
I think Watkins was one of the prospects I have been most excited to watch over the season, as he is prone to making exciting plays look easy. He has 200 yards and 2 TDs, which is a bit below where I think we were expecting, but his upside remains tremendous. That is where collectors are continuing to latch on, as its clear that Sammy has the talent to be great in this league.
Okay, I cant resist talking about Manziel a little bit, even if he has barely played. I think that he is still the most valuable RC in the class, but his prices have come down a bit. Hoyer is still the top QB on the roster until he isnt, and that might be longer than anyone expected. Manziel will play, dont get me wrong, but I think his impact will be decreased as the season rolls on without him as the starter.
It is crazy how time flies, and I am actually sad that 25% of the NFL season is already over. When all is said and done, one of these guys will be ROY, and its still not clear who that might be. Going to be a lot of fun to see how this shakes out.