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NFL.com All-Rookie Team includes Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Ed Oliver

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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001086886/article/2019-nfl-allrookie-team-defense-nick-bosas-the-clear-droy

 

2019 NFL All-Rookie Team, defense: Nick Bosa's the clear DROY

 
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  • By Chris Wesseling
  • Around the NFL Writer
  • Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 03:35 p.m.
  • Updated: Dec. 11, 2019 at 04:17 p.m.
  •  

 

 

After rolling out the offensive side of my All-Rookie Team last week, it's time to reveal the defensive selections.

EDGE RUSHERS: Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers; Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars

Bosa's sack numbers have taken a nosedive since a midseason stretch of show-stealing dominance, but anyone who watched him crash the pocket on Drew Brees last week can tell you he's still a relentless force to be reckoned with every single snap. Tied with his brother Joey for second-most tackles for loss (15) in the NFL, Nick may no longer be among the favorites for Defensive Player of the Year. Make no mistake, though: He's running away with the rookie award. Allen's numbers have seen a similar second-half downturn on a face-planting Jaguars defense, but he still stands out for his rare blend of size, physicality and athleticism. There simply aren't many edge rushers alive capable of matching the Week 13 two-play sequence versus the Buccaneers in which Allen stalked Dare Ogunbowale from behind on a third-down reception and then corralled a scrambling Jameis Winston on fourth down for the drive-ending sack.

Pass rusher has been one of the most impressive positions for this rookie class, as Oakland's Maxx Crosby, Carolina's Brian Burns and New England's Chase Winovich have also shown promise suggesting future stardom.

INTERIOR LINEMEN: Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants; Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills

Already the most consistently disruptive force on the Giants' defense, Lawrence has joined second-year Bucs standout Vita Vea in laying waste to the notion that 340-pound behemoths are gridiron dinosaurs no longer worthy of high draft picks. Oliver has been a man possessed since his midseason benching, recording four sacks in the last four games. A reeling Bills defense facing an identity crisis a month ago has surged back into second place in points per game (16.3) and third place in total yards per game (296.8).

Jeffery Simmons of the Titans merits a mention, as well, adding a midseason shot in the arm to a team that has won six of its last seven.

LINEBACKERS: Devin Bush, Pittsburgh Steelers; Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Cole Holcomb, Washington Redskins

Much like ballhawking savior Minkah Fitzpatrick, Bush has shown a nose for the football with four fumble recoveries and a pair of interceptions for the best Steelers defense since Troy Polamalu took home Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2010. After an early-season disappearing act, White began to play with confidence and impressive closing speed as a sideline-to-sideline, seek-and-destroy menace versus the Cardinals in Week 10. He went on to capture NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for November, following a five-game stretch that featured 46 tackles, 2.5 sacks, five QB hits, one interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. Stout against the run, Holcomb has overtaken Bush as the leading rookie tackler (90). If this hypothetical All-Rookie squad ever took the field, we'd replace him with Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke on passing downs.

CORNERBACKS: Sean Murphy-Bunting, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, New Orleans Saints

We were spoiled last year with Cleveland's Denzel Ward and Green Bay's Jaire Alexander flashing playmaking ability while avoiding the typical target worn on the backs of most rookie cornerbacks. This year's rookie crop has been a mix of inconsistent penalty magnets (Rock Ya-Sin, Colts; Greedy Williams, Browns; Nik Needham, Dolphins) and every-down players gradually getting exposed across the long season (Byron Murphy, Cardinals; Deandre Baker, Giants). Murphy-Bunting and Gardner-Johnson may be the pick of the litter from a group of early-season afterthoughts emerging as weekly contributors in the second half of the 2019 campaign. The former has teamed with fellow rookie Jamel Dean in an improving Bucs secondary, while the latter has been an upgrade on P.J. Williams in the slot.

SAFETIES: Juan Thornhill, Kansas City Chiefs; Taylor Rapp, Los Angeles Rams

While run defense remains a problem in Kansas City, Thornhill has teamed with Tyrann Mathieu to transform a porous pass defense that might have cost the Chiefs a shot at the Super Bowl title last season. The second-round pick finally got a signature play to match his week-to-week consistency, jumping Tyrell Williams' in-cutting route for a pick-six early in the Week 13 victory over the Raiders. The Rams' defense has been among the stingiest in football since Rapp and Jalen Ramsey joined the starting lineup in Week 7, replacing John Johnson and Marcus Peters, respectively. If we throw out the Week 12 Monday night meltdown at the hands of the juggernaut Ravens, Wade Phillips' defense is allowing just 10.5 points per game over that span. For perspective, the Patriots' historically great defense has allowed 12.9 points per game on the season.

DEFENSIVE BACK: Darnell Savage, Green Bay Packers

Savage will have to clean up his tackling to start gaining Pro Bowl recognition, but he's been a godsend in coverage, adding much-needed range, closing speed and ball skills to the back end of Mike Pettine's improved Packers defense. Colts rookie Khari Willis looks like a keeper, as well, aligning in the box, at free safety, along the defensive line, in the slot and even out wide as one of the most versatile defensive backs in football.

SPECIALISTS

PUNTER (TIE): Jake Bailey, New England Patriots; Jamie Gillan, Cleveland Browns

This is simply too close to call in a rare season that features two rookies among the five most effective punters in football. Christened the "Scottish Hammer," Gillan has been more decorated, capturing AFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors in September. Bailey has been just as impressive, capturing the heart of special teams aficionado Bill Belichick for his ability to pin returners against the sideline inside the 20-yard line. How close are these two punters? According to Pro Football Focus, they have nearly identical numbers in net average (41.5 for Gillan vs. 41.2 for Bailey), return yardage (145 for Gillan vs. 142 for Bailey), percentage returned (28.8 for Gillan vs. 32.9 for Bailey) and downed punts (11 each). Although Bailey has landed more punts inside the 20-yard line (35 vs. 26), Gillan holds the edge in nickname, goldilocks and biceps.

 

OFFENSIVE ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

Last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year race was largely fought between a pair of running backs, with the Giants' Saquon Barkley pulling away from the Broncos' Phillip Lindsay in the stretch run -- and ultimately withstanding a late surge from Browns QB Baker Mayfield. This year's derby has featured a more diverse field, with favorites trading places throughout the first three months. Let's examine the 2019 All-Rookie Team on offense.

QUARTERBACK: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Even with the 2019 draft's No. 1 overall pick coming off his worst single-game performance of the season, Arizona has to rank among the most elated three-win clubs in recent memory. We've never seen a quarterback like Murray, a 5-foot-10 smooth-as-jazz Spiderman with a lightning-quick wrist flick spinning accurate deep balls from angles and platforms that clumsier passers simply can't access. How many quarterbacks would the Cardinals swap straight up for Murray, forfeiting the opportunity to experience his unique brand of excitement over the next decade? I bet the answer can be counted on one hand.

While Murray's skill set and potential stand alone among rookie field generals, Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew might have given him a run for his money on this list had he not been unfairly relegated to the bench in favor of a business decision. I fed the Minshew game tape into The George Michael Sports Machine, which spit out the following composite score: 31% Tony Romo, 19% Jake Delhomme, 17% Baker Mayfield, 11% Mark Sanchez, 7% Doug Flutie, 5% Greg McElroy, 3% Randall "Pink" Floyd, 3% "Pistol" Pete Maravich, 2% Marty McFly, 1% Detective Rust Cohle, 0.8% Uncle Rico, 0.2% Dwight Yoakam.

RUNNING BACK: Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders

The favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, Jacobs has already established a new franchise rookie rushing mark while operating as the tone-setting focal point of Jon Gruden's offense from the day he stepped foot on RingCentral Coliseum's infield dirt. Carolina's Christian McCaffrey is the only back with more 100-yard rushing performances than Jacobs' five this season. Cleveland's Nick Chubb is the only back with a higher rushing grade from Pro Football Focus. No other rookie runner is within 450 rushing yards of Jacobs' 1,061. A downhill runner who seemingly tilts the field in his favor, Jacobs has defied comparison to this point in his young career. For what it's worth, I see an intriguing blend of Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and current Cardinals afterthought David Johnson.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins; D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

Boasting 4.35 speed and unmatched instincts, McLaurin was hyped as the best special teams prospect in years. Instead, he immediately claimed the Redskins' No. 1 receiver job and utilized those wheels to burn veteran cornerbacks with a full route tree that nobody saw coming. He's been a top-12 wideout this season, per Pro Football Focus, delivering 646 yards (15.4 yards per reception) and five touchdowns in a dysfunctional aerial attack with no other player above 300 yards or two scores. More of a straight-line, go-route specialist, Metcalf has posted similar numbers (705 yards, five touchdowns, three fumbles) on the receiving end of MVP candidate Russell Wilson's pretty passes.

Tennessee's A.J. Brown and San Francisco's Deebo Samuel merit mention as run-after-catch dynamos already emerging as the most dangerous playmakers in their respective wide receiver rooms.

FLEX: Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

The tailback trio of Buffalo's Devin Singletary, Chicago's David Montgomery and Philadelphia's Miles Sanders deserve consideration, but "Hollywood" gets the nod as the difference-making field-stretcher in Baltimore's historically productive offense. Lamar Jackson's lone consistent downfield threat, Brown has hauled in 36 passes for 520 yards and six trips to paydirt. With Brown and star tight end Mark Andrews doing the heavy lifting, no other Ravens wide receiver has managed more than 25 catches or 300 yards.

TIGHT END: Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings

It's a major upset that neither Iowa Hawkeyes standout claimed this spot, but Denver's Noah Fant has been one of the most mistake-prone starters at any position and Detroit's T.J. Hockenson wasn't much better before landing on injured reserve with an ankle ailment sustained on Thanksgiving Day. Smith has been better than advertised as a blocker while helping to fill the receiving void left by Pro Bowl wideout Adam Thielen's extended absence due to a hamstring injury. Bills fans can't be blamed for thinking Dawson Knox has been just as good. With no clear-cut stud at tight end, this is coin-flip territory.

TACKLES: Jawaan Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars; Tytus Howard, Houston Texans

Veteran pass rushers began the season taking advantage of Taylor as a Day 1 starter, but he hasn't been charged with a sack since Week 6. The second-round pick joins guard Andrew Norwell as the only Jaguars to play every snap this season. Billed as a high-upside project out of Alabama State, Howard ended up solving Houston's long-standing problem at right tackle before an MCL tear ended his season last week. Fellow first-round picks Andre Dillard and Kaleb McGary have disappointed in Philadelphia and Atlanta, respectively.

GUARDS: Elgton Jenkins, Green Bay Packers; Dalton Risner, Denver Broncos

Aaron Rodgers has credited this year's offensive line as one of the most reliable of his career, with Jenkins taking over as the starter in Week 3. While former All-Pro David Bakhtiari has mixed in a few clunkers this season, Jenkins is a rock in pass protection. Risner has been the bright spot on an underperforming Broncos offensive line that has otherwise continued to baffle team architect John Elway.

CENTER: Erik McCoy, New Orleans Saints

Already one of the NFL's steadiest all-around centers, McCoy has been an upgrade over retired veteran Max Unger in the running game as well as pass protection. He gets the nod over less-consistent Vikings center Garrett Bradbury, who has struggled at times to keep Kirk Cousins clean. With McCoy in the pivot, joining the stalwart tackle tandem of Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, the Saints' O-line nucleus stacks up with the cream of the crop.

SPECIALISTS

KICKER: Joey Slye, Carolina Panthers

Slye earned Carolina's kicking job by drilling a series of field goals beyond 55 yards in training camp. That prodigious leg has carried over to the regular season, as he was Pro Football Focus' top-rated kicker before a Week 12 meltdown which included three misses at New Orleans. That outlier aside, he's rivaling Matt Prater and Justin Tucker as the most dangerous deep kicker in the league.

RETURNER: Deonte Harris, New Orleans Saints

Undrafted out of obscure Assumption College, Harris has pulled off a convincing impression of former Chiefs return ace Dante Hall ever since the preseason docket opened in August. Coach Sean Payton must have told each broadcast team assigned to the Saints that he has the most electric return man in football, a whirling dervish averaging 9.3 yards on 25 punt returns.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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10 minutes ago, bitonti said:

looking at these all rookie linemen 2019 was a not so hot OL class 

Sure, but we all pretty much knew this heading into the 2019 class, hence why we knew our only options were to take a defensive player OR trade down.

That being said, it is interesting that the OL rookie team featured only one first rounder in Howard (1.23).  Taylor (pick 2.35), Risner (2.41) Jenkins (2.44) and McCoy (2.48) all were 2nd rounders.  Too bad we didn't have a 2nd rounder AND Macc hated drafting OL.  

It also didn't help that Jonah Williams got hurt before the season.  

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18 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

 Deebo Samuel merit mention as run-after-catch dynamos already emerging as the most dangerous playmakers in their respective wide receiver rooms.

Weird, I remember someone saying he'd be the next big game breaker in the NFL. 

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21 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Veteran pass rushers began the season taking advantage of Taylor as a Day 1 starter, but he hasn't been charged with a sack since Week 6

Weird, I remember someone saying Taylor was the only OL worthy of being taken in the 1st round.

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File this under no sh*t. 

As if most of us didnt see this coming 5 minutes before we made the pick. 

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1 minute ago, JTJet said:

File this under no sh*t. 

As if most of us didnt see this coming 5 minutes before we made the pick. 

🤕

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14 minutes ago, JTJet said:

File this under no sh*t. 

As if most of us didnt see this coming 5 minutes before we made the pick. 

 

12 minutes ago, DJF71 said:

I sure wish we had a chance to draft Josh Allen or Ed Oliver.

 

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53 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Sure, but we all pretty much knew this heading into the 2019 class, hence why we knew our only options were to take a defensive player OR trade down.

That being said, it is interesting that the OL rookie team featured only one first rounder in Howard (1.23).  Taylor (pick 2.35), Risner (2.41) Jenkins (2.44) and McCoy (2.48) all were 2nd rounders.  Too bad we didn't have a 2nd rounder AND Macc hated drafting OL.  

It also didn't help that Jonah Williams got hurt before the season.  

their all rookie team right tackle Howard (The only first rounder) is also on the IR 

 

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Geez.  There were two guys I really wanted in last year's draft (and I'm not one of those real Draft gurus), Josh Allen and Elgton Jenkins.  Jenkins can play Center.  I really, really wanted either him or Erik McCoy.

Crazy that we're back in the same boat needing the same exact positions that include Edge and Center.  Now, get me this guy...

 

maxresdefault-7.thumb.jpg.95eb87870aaff2bd66d01b91e40ea026.jpg

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<insert articles when Jamal and Leo made the all rookie teams to assess your level of hypocrisy>

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This is all the more reason Douglas has a huge big strike against him already if the schefter story was true about teams bidding for Q and one team putting together a monster packages of picks.

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12 minutes ago, Pac said:

<insert articles when Jamal and Leo made the all rookie teams to assess your level of hypocrisy>

And then what happened?

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54 minutes ago, Beerfish said:

This is all the more reason Douglas has a huge big strike against him already if the schefter story was true about teams bidding for Q and one team putting together a monster packages of picks.

He’s on my sh*t list until he can show he can make NFL level moves. So far he’s whiffed badly on pretty much all his decisions. The Q thing is nuts, anyone comes with anything like a first he should be a goner.

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1 hour ago, Jetsfan80 said:

And then what happened?

1 became an all pro and another got traded for a decent return because Macc proved adept at finding DLmen rendering Williams' services no longer necessary.

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I can’t argue- really thought QW was the “ safe pick”

I knew you couldn’t go wrong with Oliver but if the Jets took him he would’ve been is good as he is now. Their front 7 is much better and that’s helping him too.

 

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3 hours ago, JiF said:

Weird, I remember someone saying Taylor was the only OL worthy of being taken in the 1st round.

You nailed that one. A lot of posters were against drafting him. 

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Mac should be fired for his bad drafting!

oh...he was fired already.  

hopefully Douglas does better.  Very frustrating 

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"RETURNER: Deonte Harris, New Orleans Saints

Undrafted out of obscure Assumption College, Harris has pulled off a convincing impression of former Chiefs return ace Dante Hall ever since the preseason docket opened in August. Coach Sean Payton must have told each broadcast team assigned to the Saints that he has the most electric return man in football, a whirling dervish averaging 9.3 yards on 25 punt returns." Told you in preseason; kid is so fast college teams kicked out of bounds, no point. Another high quality example that a fan with an internet connection and eyeballs would have done a better job than Coffee Boy. 

Otherwise, re New York Jets, WHY DID THE BEST PLAYER IN THE DRAFT REFUSE TO BENCH AT THE COMBINE?

 

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