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Divisional Round Rookie Report

Rookie report

Whether they are high draft picks, late-round value picks or undrafted free agents, let's take a look at how the NFL rookies faired during the divisional round. Here’s this week’s report:

Stock Up Players

WR: Ja’Marr Chase - Chase had a phenomenal playoff debut and followed it up with another great performance. As a key part of the Bengals playoff run, he caught 5 balls for 109 yards, as he finished with a grade of 71.7 on Sunday, compared to a season grade of 82.9. 

OL: Creed Humphrey - Humphrey has been a key player all season long for the Chiefs offense. He finished with a regular season grade of 92.3. On Sunday, he had a down game for his standards, but still allowed just one pressure and blocked well in the run game. He earned a grade of 65.2. 

DL: Gregory Rousseau - Rousseau and the Bills defense did not finish the season how they would have liked but that should not take away from the game and season he had. Rousseau had 5 pressures and a 24% win rate in the pass rush. He finished with a grade of 72.0 on Sunday compared to 72.6 for the season, 

DL: Naquan Jones - Jones was undrafted but has made a huge impact for the Titans DL this season. He had a regular season grade of just 47.7 for the season. However, he played well on Saturday, as he had 2 pressures, 0.5 sacks, and played well in the run game too. He earned a grade of 67.2.

DB: Talanoa Hufanga - Hufanga has been in and out of the lineup for the 49ers but has played well when on the field, earning a season grade of 65.3. His biggest impact came on special teams where he recovered a blocked punt for a score to tie the game up in the 4th quarter. A couple of plays later, he had tight coverage on Davante Adams on third down to get the ball back to the offense. He earned a grade of 69.3. 

Stock Down Players 

OL: Trey Smith - Smith has been a great player for the Chiefs OL this season but struggled against the interior of Buffalo’s defense. Despite earning a season grade of 72.5, he finished with a grade of 50.3 on Sunday. He allowed 2 sacks, 8 pressures, and gave up a pressure percentage of 14.3.

OL: Spencer Brown - Similar to Smith, Brown has put together a very nice rookie season and looks to be the future starting RT in Buffalo for years to come. That said, he allowed 6 pressures and a 14.6 pressure percentage. He finished with a grade of 30.3 compared to 61.3 for the season. 

OL: Josh Myers - Myers has been a starter over the past few weeks and played alright as he earned a grade of 59.1 for the season. Saturday did not go as well, as he did not run block very well and finished with a grade of 48.0. 

DL: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka - Tryon-Shoyinka has had a lot of success this season as a pass rusher, sacking the QB 7 times during the season. He earned a grade of 55.2 for his regular season performances but earned just a 38.6 on Sunday, as he was not able to generate any pressure against a beat-up Rams OL. 

DB: Elijah Molden - Molden played really well throughout the regular season against both the run and pass, as he earned a grade of 67.1 for the season. In Saturday’s loss, he allowed 4 catches for 46 yards on 4 targets, finishing with a grade of 44.5.

Divisional Matchups

Going into the conference championship, there are some noteworthy matchups of rookies that will be worth keeping an eye on. 

Cameron Sample and Tyler Shelvin VS Creed Humphrey & Trey Smith - Not much different than last week, the combination of Humphrey and Smith on the Chiefs OL is one that we will not want to take our eyes off of. This matchup may not be as high profile as last week, but Sample, who has been more of a situational pass rusher, and Shelvin, more of a run defender will do their best to win over the trenches against these two.