Another week in the books, and there were plenty of candidates for this article as the NFL’s strange season continues with surprising victories, comebacks, and streaks being broken. Let’s take a look at three rookies who stood out amongst the pack:
Chris Olave, Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints
Saints fans would probably struggle to find any positives in their team’s performance against the Carolina Panthers, but if you had to pick something, it would have been their rookie Wide Receiver’s performance.
Olave hauled in nine receptions off thirteen targets, a number that shows how quickly he’s established a rapport with Jamies Winton. He has now taken his total for the season to 17 receptions for 268 yards, which is enough to lead all rookie wide receivers. Though it is unlikely that he continues at this pace for the entire season, the Saints will be delighted that he has transferred his skills to the professional game so quickly.
Jalen Pitre, Safety – Houston Texans
Fourth-rounder Jalen Pitre missed interception in the Texans’ season opener against the Indianapolis Colts may have lit a fire inside the former Baylor standout that cannot be extinguished, and without his play in the loss against the Chicago Bears this past week, the scoreline could have been a lot uglier.
Pitre had a breakout game with key plays throughout this game. His first interception came in the first quarter as he was heading towards the ground. His second stopped a key drive for the Bears in the fourth quarter, and finally he added a sack to his stat line on the Bears’ next drive. Though his effort was ultimately unrewarded, the positive signs are there for the future.
Devin Lloyd, Linebacker – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars have not shied away from putting their young team at the forefront of their plans, and one player that is thriving in Florida is Linebacker Devin Lloyd. Having displayed the sideline to sideline abilities that were highly touted in the lead up to the draft, Lloyd has taken to NFL life like a duck to water.
If you add his stats against the Los Angeles Chargers of 5 solo tackles, 3 passes defended, and an interception to Lloyd’s stat sheet, it is ludicrous. 24 tackles, a league-high six passes defended, two interceptions and a targeted passer rating of 28.2. Sheesh