The 2022-23 NFL season is upon us, and after all of the jostling for position in the draft, pundits and fans can begin to judge which rookies have made an immediate impact and which have something to prove.
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Here we look at some of the best NFL rookies to keep an eye on this season.
Hall came to prominence with Iowa State as a powerful and dynamic running back and has made an enormous impact in his rookie season with the Jets. Equally comfortable as a rusher or receiver, Hall has added an extra dimension to the Jets’ offense, dovetailing with Mike Carter to help the Jets to a 3-2 record after week 5. His 197 total yardage was crucial to the Jets overwhelming the Dolphins 40-17.
The Saints have endured a tough start to the new season but have one of the season’s bright spots in the shape of wide receiver Chris Olave. Olave was the 11th pick in the draft’s first round after impressing for Ohio State and has gone on to thrive in a pass-heavy offense. With QB Jameis Winston regularly looking for the big play, you can expect to see Olave rack up some heavy numbers throughout the season.
The Jaguars look to have hit the jackpot with their first-round draft picks. Travon Walker has made a strong start, but linebacker Devin Lloyd has eclipsed his fellow rookie with his performances in the Jaguars’ defense. As well as performing strongly as a run defender, Lloyd has picked up two interceptions in his first five weeks as a pro footballer showing that he also has an instinct for finding the football in defense.
Considering the former Florida State running back was a fourth-round pick by the Texans (107th pick overall in the 2022 draft), Pierce’s impact on the Texans’ offense has been immense. His 412 rushing yards in the first five weeks are the most of all rookies in the NFL by a significant distance and have made him the focal point of the Texans attack. Not only that, but his three touchdowns show that there’s an end product to come with the defense-busting rushes. Expect Pierce to figure highly in the rookie-of-the-year talk at the end of the season.
The Jets’ impressive performance in the draft is underlined by the performance of Garrett Wilson as a wide receiver. Whether he’s got 2021 rookie Zach Wilson or the experienced arm of Joe Flacco seeking him out, Wilson has already begun to rack up some impressive numbers. As his relationship with his QB beds in, Jets fans can strap in and watch as Garrett Wilson’s explosive pace burns up the yardage across the NFL.