Wednesday, January 19, 2022

NFL Week 18 Rookie Power Rankings: Ja’Marr Chase moves up after playoff-clinching performance

NFL Week 18 Rookie Power Rankings: Ja'Marr Chase moves up after playoff-clinching performance

How Trey Lance looked in his start for the 49ers

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Only one week remains in the 2021-2022 regular season. At that point, the final rookie rankings will be revealed and it is clear that a handful of really good performers are going to be left off that list. The rookie class has exceeded all expectations and made a big impact on their respective teams.

49ers quarterback Trey Lance is not going to get the exposure that he needs to appear on this list even if he starts the last game. I did want to do something a little different and take a snapshot of Lance’s performance against the Texans. It is a lot of what should be expected of a young quarterback. He was able to rip it when his first read was available. There were some moments where he held onto the ball too long or tried to make a play scrambling but was inaccurate. His touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel was encouraging. Samuel’s route was taking him to the end zone but he was covered over the top. Lance threw underneath, forcing Samuel to flatten his route and make a play after the catch. The interception was an example of a young quarterback trying to make a play that is not there. George Kittle was being targeted — generally a good strategy — but the angle was not there. Houston’s underneath coverage dropped a bit into the passing lane. Once given more repetitions, the hope is that those mistakes begin to dissipate.  

We will be tracking rookie performers each week and identifying those who stood out. These rankings are not based on statistical performance but rather overall play. Without further ado, the cumulative regular-season rookie rankings as we head into Week 18:

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