Yesterday, I checked in on where the Ravens’ rookies are at mid-way through the season, and noted that of the team’s seven draft picks, none have yet to make much of a serious impact.
The Ravens’ first draft pick, linebacker Sergio Kindle, suffered a season-ending head injury back in late-July. Their second pick, defensive tackle Terrence Cody, battled a knee injury early in the season, and has made just one tackle so far this year.
Of the Ravens’ remaining rookies, only tight end Ed Dickson and wide receiver David Reed have stood out on either offense or special teams.
But the Ravens aren’t alone in that regard. In fact, very few teams around the league have gotten any major contributions from their rookies, even some teams who picked in the top-10.
(Here’s the list of this year’s rookies courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, and you can see that stats that each first-year player has posted this season.)
The obvious exceptions here are Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who was taken with the No. 1 overall pick this year, and Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, selected right behind Bradford.
Bradford has been incredibly impressive so far this season, throwing for nearly 1,500 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions, and leading a team that went just 1-15 last year to a 3-4 record so far. Suh has looked like he’s a star in the making as well, posting 4.5 sacks, 17 tackles and an interception through six games.
A few other rookies have shined as well, including Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, Chiefs safety Eric Berry and Lions running back Jahvid Best, but for the most part, the rookie class has shown some talent but little results.
That’s not necessarily uncommon. It takes time for rookies to get acclimated to the NFL game, and also to the preparation and focus they need to have to succeed at the pro level.
Because the Ravens have a talented roster, it will be tough for the rookies to break into the starting lineup this season barring an injury to one of the front-line guys.
But rookies like Cody and Dickson will learn as they go, and as talented as they are, they’ll start to feel more comfortable and work their way into more playing time as the season goes on.