2023 NFL Rookie Inventory Watch: Jayden Reed Rising, Jaxon Smith-Njigba Falling


By way of two weeks, the NFL rookie class is getting its bearings.

Early on, Bijan Robinson seems like an absolute star, whereas the early-round receivers have struggled for probably the most half. Then there’s the quarterbacks, with C.J. Stroud garnering stats but in addition some empty numbers.

We checked out all of the rookies and gave our assessments of 10, together with 5 shares rising, three falling and two holding regular.


Jayden Reed, WR, Inexperienced Bay Packers

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Final Week: Not rated

Reed was a second-round pick of Michigan State, with the Packers anticipating him to struggle for the beginning function reverse Christian Watson.

Whereas Watson has missed time with a hamstring damage, Reed has stepped up. On Sunday towards the Falcons, the 23-year-old caught 4 passes for 37 yards, together with two touchdowns.

Inexperienced Bay is counting on a litany of younger receivers and tight ends this 12 months, and Reed has completed a pleasant job within the early going.

Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams

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Final Week: Rising

If any individual requested you to put cash on Nacua to be the most effective receiver on this rookie class, what odds would you’ve wanted?

It seems, Nacua is taking that mantle with ease by way of the primary two weeks. The fifth-rounder from BYU has been outright improbable, catching a mixed 25 passes for 266 yards towards the Seahawks and 49ers.

The Rams wanted somebody to step up with Cooper Kupp on injured reserve, and Nacua has stuffed the void.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

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Final Week: Holding regular

Powerful to have a significantly better day than Robinson, who noticed his utilization improve towards the Packers.

Robinson exploded for 124 speeding yards on 19 carries, together with 4 catches and 48 receiving yards on 5 targets within the 25–24 victory. The Falcons have been anticipating nice issues from their first-round pick of Texas, and Robinson has delivered.

By way of two video games, Robinson is on tempo for two,167 complete yards from scrimmage.

Jalin Hyatt, WR, New York Giants

Final Week: Not rated

After getting just one goal and 0 receptions in his NFL debut, Hyatt confirmed his expertise towards the Cardinals.

Serving to the Giants get well from a 28–7 deficit, Hyatt caught two passes for 89 yards, together with a 58-yard bomb to begin the second half. At Tennessee, Hyatt was a deep menace for quarterback Hendon Hooker. He’s displaying the power to develop into one on the subsequent stage as nicely.

Marvin Mims Jr., WR, Denver Broncos

Final Week: Not rated

Mims Jr. barely performed in Denver’s season-opening loss to the Raiders, however he made his presence felt early and infrequently towards the Commanders.

The second-round choose lit up Washington for a pair of deep-ball receptions, hauling in two catches for 113 yards and a landing. Mims additionally supplied punch within the return recreation with a 45-yard jaunt on a Tress Manner punt.

The Broncos are 0–2 and headed to Miami, however Mims is a shiny spot.

Jalen Carter, DT, Philadelphia Eagles

Final Week: Not rated

Carter has been some of the disruptive defenders within the league thus far, rookie or in any other case. Based on Professional Soccer Focus, the No. 9 choose ranks third in quarterback pressures behind solely Micah Parsons and Aidan Hutchinson.

Final 12 months, Philadelphia led the league with 70 sacks and nonetheless used its first two picks on Georgia’s Carter and edge rusher Nolan Smith. Thus far, the strikes have paid off, with Carter trying like a star.


Quentin Johnston, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Final Week: Not rated

In contrast to his AFC West counterpart above, Johnston has didn’t make an affect thus far.

A primary-round pick of TCU, the thought was Los Angeles might dominate on the perimeter with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Johnston. As a substitute, Johnston has struggled to search out himself on the professional stage, totaling simply three catches for 16 yards on 5 targets.

Sitting at 0–2, maybe the Chargers ought to take into account making an attempt to function their speedy rookie extra typically.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Final Week: Not rated

Smith-Njigba was the primary receiver taken within the draft, however he’s but to do a lot for the Seahawks. Regardless of becoming a member of a loaded room with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Smith-Njigba hasn’t gotten simple seems, solely amassing eight catches for 47 yards.

Maybe Smith-Njigba will escape quickly with the Panthers and Cardinals on the schedule over the following month.

Myles Murphy, DE, Cincinnati Bengals

Final Week: Not rated

Murphy has completed nothing in his first two video games with the Bengals. After enjoying solely 13 snaps in a 24–3 loss to the Browns in Week 1, he failed to succeed in the stat sheet towards the Ravens in one other defeat.

With Joe Ossai injured, it appeared Cincinnati may need a possibility for its first-round choose. As a substitute, the second has confirmed little in the best way of positives for Murphy. 

Holding regular

C.J. Stroud, QB, Houston Texans

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Final Week: Holding regular

This might sound harsh contemplating Stroud had a terrific line towards the Colts, throwing for 384 yards on 8.2 yards per try with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

So why isn’t Stroud’s inventory rising? As a result of 241 of these passing yards got here as soon as the Colts have been main 31–13 within the third quarter. It was rubbish time towards a weak protection.

Stroud is doing wonderful, however let’s not overstate the field rating.

Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Detroit Lions

Final Week: Holding regular

The assumption going into the season was Gibbs can be a significant weapon for the Lions. By way of two video games, he’s proven ample expertise when given the ball, however these moments have been uncommon.

On Sunday, Gibbs carried seven occasions for 17 yards, however caught seven passes for 39 yards on 9 targets. Sooner or later, it appears inevitable for Gibbs to get a much bigger share of the workload alongside David Montgomery.


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