NFL Week 2 Rookie Rankings: Puka Nacua, Bijan Robinson, and Marvin Mims Make Headlines

    With plenty of memorable performances from Week 2, how do the NFL rookie rankings shape up after two weeks?

    After some memorable Week 1 performances by several rookies, many of whom will appear on this current list as well as ones to come, the future of the league looks bright. Seemingly every team has had some stellar rookie play so far this season, which makes my job here ranking them rather difficult.

    NFL Week 2 Rookie Rankings

    1) Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams

    Coming off of a fantastic breakout party last week against the Seahawks, Puka Nacua drew plenty of eyes as the clear-cut top target for Matthew Stafford with Cooper Kupp out. Nacua finished as our top rookie last week, and he ranks just as high again this week. Through two games, Nacua has 25 catches for 266 yards on 35 targets.

    Nacua is the first player in NFL history to have 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in each of his first two career games. He also set the NFL record for the most catches through a player’s first two weeks, becoming the first player to record 20+ receptions in the first two games.

    No matter what teams have tried against him, Nacua has come up with big play time and time again and has become Stafford’s go-to target in must-have situations.

    2) Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

    We knew Bijan Robinson had all the ability to be a dynamic playmaker from the very beginning, and he’s hit the ground running (pun fully intended) so far in the NFL. Robinson followed up his Week 1 performance with a dominant one against the Packers in Week 2.

    Robinson’s athleticism was a huge factor in the Falcons’ comeback win against the Packers, and he quite literally won them the game with a huge 4th-and-1 conversion right at the end of the game.

    While the Falcons are still sorting out the numbers game with their touches, Robinson has proven he has the ability to be the focal point of Atlanta’s offense and can be one of the best running backs in the NFL early in his career.

    3) Marvin Mims Jr., WR, Denver Broncos

    Marvin Mims Jr. was a big play machine waiting to happen coming out of Oklahoma, and that has translated to the NFL so far. Mims got off to a hot start early after catching a deep bomb from Russell Wilson in the first quarter.

    Mims followed that up with another deep catch down the sidelines and a 45-yard punt return, giving him over 150 all-purpose yards on the day. The Broncos had high hopes for the rookie when they traded up for him in the draft, and his big game today is a great sign for him moving forward.

    4. C.J. Stroud, QB, Houston Texans

    While C.J. Stroud didn’t walk away with the win, he was impressive playing behind a makeshift Texans offensive line today. Stroud finished 30 of 47 passing for 384 yards and two touchdowns with zero picks despite getting sacked six times and hit nine times.

    Stroud’s poise and accuracy were evident all game long, and he did a great job avoiding putting the ball in harm’s way, despite being down the entire game. That’s an encouraging sign for a rookie.

    Anthony Richardson would be on this list as well if not for his early departure due to a concussion.

    5) Byron Young, LB, Los Angeles Rams

    The Rams had plenty of questions to answer defensively, namely the pass rush outside of Aaron Donald. Byron Young helped provide part of that solution against the 49ers, providing consistent pressure in big situations. Young finished the game with a sack and two QB hits to go with five total tackles.

    6) Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens

    After an impressive debut against the Texans last week, Zay Flowers continued his superb playmaking ability in the Ravens’ impressive divisional win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Flowers has so far answered the call to be Baltimore’s No. 1 receiving option. And in Todd Monken’s new offense, they’ve featured him in numerous ways. Flowers should continue to thrive all season in this multi-faceted role the Ravens have built for him.

    7) Tank Dell, WR, Houston Texans

    Joining teammate Stroud on this list, Tank Dell scored his first career touchdown this week against the Colts. Dell flashed impressive playmaking ability and diced up a young Colts secondary to the tune of seven catches, 72 yards, and a touchdown.

    MORE: NFL Week 2 Winners and Losers 2023

    Despite the loss, Dell and Stroud showed off impressive chemistry that should have Texans fans excited for the foreseeable future of these two offensive playmakers.

    8) Christian Izien, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    While undrafted rookie Christian Izien isn’t a household name, he absolutely deserves to be on this list after his performance this week.

    Izien became just the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to record an interception in both of his first two games and the first since 2013. His interception today sealed the Bucs’ win over the Bears.

    Izien came out of nowhere to earn the starting nickel job for the Buccaneers, and his play so far has been incredibly encouraging. A storybook opening for the undrafted rookie out of Rutgers.

    9) Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Minnesota Vikings

    Another undrafted rookie making this list, Ivan Pace Jr. has been a ferocious player for the Vikings’ defense. Pace is lapping the field with 14 total tackles and six total run stops through two games.

    Minnesota moves him all around the formation, deploying him as a pass rusher and stand-up linebacker.

    MORE: Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

    Pace is an ideal linebacker for the Brian Flores-led defense and has been a terrifc playmaker for the Vikings up front. That should continue moving forward.

    10) Jayden Reed, WR, Green Bay Packers

    The Packers had to have playmakers show up with Christian Watson inactive for the day, and Jayden Reed helped pick up the slack with two touchdowns in Green Bay’s loss to the Falcons.

    Reed showed impressive change-of-direction ability, and the Packers did a good job getting him in space to showcase his playmaking skills. He and Jordan Love have already begun building a rapport. Reed should continue to be an important part of their offense.

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