After 13 weeks, the 2022 NFL rookie class still looks impressive. It’s possible that a few running backs may finish the season with 1,000 rushing yards, and a few receivers are on track to do the same.
As a group, the rookie defensive unit has recorded 70.5 sacks and 40 interceptions so far this season. Several members of the unit have already reached the three-sack mark. Brock Purdy, who will start for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers, is among the quarterbacks with game experience.
At this point of the 2022-23 NFL season, the contenders for Rookie of the Year are dispersed. Only a little before the end of the regular season, and it has already been months since these rookies joined the professional ranks. As of right now, these are the three best NFL rookie players, as per NFL.com.
3. Tariq Woolen
Despite entering the NFL as a developing prospect, Woolen has been technically sound thus far, which has helped showcase his exceptional athleticism. There have been four interceptions made by the long, nimble corner.
Woolen has kept the young Seahawks’ secondary organized and on the right track. His length and zone coverage have been outstanding, and he is a perfect match for the system. He has exceeded anyone’s expectations heading into the end of the season.
2. Chris Olave
With his refined route-running and surprising quickness, Olave has stood out as the most promising rookie wide receiver. The rookie from Ohio State has more receptions (43) and receiving yards than any other player (618).
Olave has improved route-running skills and perimeter speed, allowing him to glide past defenders in the vertical passing game and generate separation on second-level cuts. On the season, Olave has caught 11 balls that turned into big plays, and he has a catch average of over 15 yards.
1. Sauce Gardner
Gardner is well on his way to becoming one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. His two interceptions this season have been game-changers for the Jets, and he had another in their recent upset victory against the Bills.
Gardner has a chance to become the first rookie from the Jets to be picked for the Pro Bowl since safety Erik McMillan in 1988. The amount of times quarterbacks has begun to turn the other way already shows his true stature among his peers, more so than the plays he has made, such as his involvement in restricting Justin Jefferson to 45 yards in Week 13.