The 2016 draft class has proven to be fairly loaded, both on offense with Prescott and Elliot already at the top of the league at their positions on the offensive side of the ball and Bosa and Deion Jones leading on the defensive side of the ball. See someone you feel deserved to be on the list??? Let us know in the comments below.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Round 4) – 3,667 Passing Yds, 23 TDs, 4 Interceptions, 282 Rushing Yds, 6 TDs
Prescott was not only the best rookie quarterback in the league, but one of the best overall qb’s in the league. Dallas looks to be set at the quarterback position moving forward and Prescott should only get better.
Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys (Round 1) – 1,631 Rushing Yds, 15 Rushing TDs, 32 Rec, 363 Yds
See above. Like Prescott, Elliot isn’t only the best rookie at his position but possibly the best in the league. The tough runner burst on the scene as a rookie and completely re-energized the Cowboys running game and offense.
Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (Round 5) – 1,313 Rushing Yds, 6 Rushing TDs, 29 Rec, 298 Yds, 1 TD
Howard gets shadowed by the performance of Elliot this year, but make no mistake at 1,313 on a pretty brutal team is quite the accomplishment. Look for him to carry the Bears offense for years to come.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (Round 2) – 92 Rec, 1,137 Yds, 9 TDs
Thomas watched as 5 receivers were taken ahead of him come draft day. He proved everyone wrong and lit up the league as a rookie, it helped him to be in a pass happy offense but he took full advantage of it.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (Round 5) – 61 Rec, 593 Yds, 6 TDs, 267 rushing yards, 3 Rushing TDs, 3 Special Team TDs
Whether he was catching balls, rushing out of the backfield, returning kicks, or returning punts he produced …. and by produced I mean ripped it up. Was one of the most dynamic players on the field.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (Round 2) – 65 Rec, 683 Yds, 8 TDs
Shepard took over the #2 receiver spot for the G-Men and was a great compliment to Odell Beckham Jr.
Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (Round 2) – 36 Rec, 478 Yds, 8 TDs
While splitting time with Antonio Gates Henry still managed to put up solid numbers as a rookie. Look for him to take the lead in 2017.
Jack Conklin, Tennessee Titans (Round 1) 16 Games Started
Helped the Titans run game thrive in 2016 along with taking Mariota to the next level.
Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions (Round 1) – 16 Games Started
Started the entire season and looked the part. I had my doubts on Decker and thought it would take him a year or two, but I was …. completely wrong.
Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins (Round 1) – 14 Games Started
Tomlinson was taken near the end of round 1 and lived up to that billing. He started 14 games and played real well.
Joe Thuney, New England Patriots (Round 3) – 16 Games Started
Thuney had his share of penalties, but proved more than worth to be on this team. Helped give Brady constant time and Blount tear up opposing defenses.
Cody Whitehair, Chicago Bears (Round 2) – 16 Games Started
Became a strong point for the Bears offensive line, helped fellow rookie Jordan Howard top 1,300 yards.
DeForest Buckner San Francisco 49ers (Round 1) – 70 Tackles, 6 Sacks
Buckner was a lone bright spot on a dismal 49ers season. He was as advertised and showed the ability to absolutely take over games. He is someone the team can build their defense around in the future.
Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers (Round 1) – 36 Tackles, 9.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
Bosa got a late start on the season but made an impact the minute he stepped on the field. He was a pass rushing beast, racking up a rookie best 9.5 sacks, in just 11 games played.
Maliek Collins, Dallas Cowboys (Round 3) – 23 Tackles, 5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
Collins was a big reason the Cowboys defense was so tough this season. He was stout against the run and could also provide inside pressure. He turned out to be quite the value for the Cowboys.
Sheldon Rankins, New Orleans Saints (Round 1) – 20 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
Rankins only appeared in 9 games due to injury, but it didn’t take him long to make his presence felt. He was everything the Saints thought he would be and it’s not out of the question to think he may have hit double digit sacks if he was active for all 16 games.
Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Round 2) – 108 Tackles, 3 Interceptions, 1 Forced Fumbles, 2 Touchdowns
Jones who racked up 100+ tackles as a rookie leads the way at the linebacker position.
Jatavis Brown, San Diego Chargers (Round 5) – 79 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles
This 5th round pick turned out to be a huge steal for the Chargers. He was a game changing type of linebacker making plays all over the field.
Darron Lee, New York Jets (Round 1) – 73 Tackles, 1 Sack
Lee was a solid choice for the Jets. He was able to rack up 73 tackles, despite missing a handful of games due to injury and should be a leader on this Jets defense for years to come.
Daryl Worley, Carolina Panthers (Round 3) – 88 Tackles, 1 Interception, 1 Sack
Worley really came on about half way through the season and was throwing up some crazy tackle numbers per game. He turned out to be a big steal, and was one of the few positives on an otherwise forgettable season for the Panthers.
Artie Burns, Pittsburgh Steelers (Round 1) – 65 Tackles, 3 Interceptions
Burns narrowly beat out fellow first round corner Vernon Hargreaves for this coveted spot on our All Defense Team. He was a force against the run and showed great ball skills coming down with 3 interceptions.
Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons (Round 1) – 106 Tackles, 5 Forced Fumbles
Neal was a beast during his rookie season. He didn’t grab any interceptions but more than made up for it with his abundance of tackles, and forcing a handful of fumbles.
Vonn Bell, New Orleans Saints (Round 2) – 87 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 Forced Fumbles
Bell was well worth a second round choice for the Saints. He was all over the field making 87 tackles, and held up well in coverage. The team should be pretty stoked for his future.
Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints (Undrafted) – 28/34, Long 57
Lutz wasn’t even thought of on Draft Day, and wasn’t even listed in nfl.com’s draft tracker. He worked his way onto the Saints roster, and was easily the best rookie kicker this year.
Riley Dixon, Denver Broncos (Round 7) – 3,677 Punt Yds
Dixon was a 7th rounder who turned out to be the best punter in this year’s rookie crop.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (Round 5) – 592 Return Yds, 2 TDs
Hill was electric this season and already made this team as a receiver. He was a good kick returner too, but was by far the best rookie punt returner this season, and was a threat to score any time the ball landed in his mitts.
Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals (Undrafted) – 810 Return Yds
Erickson went undrafted but carved out his niche on the Begnals as a kick returner. He never found pay dirt, but routinely put his team in good field positions with his returns.