Week 6 of the NFL season not only witnessed the offensive exploits of rookies but also celebrated the emergence of defensive talents who left an indelible mark on the gridiron. These young stars showcased their skills and made their presence felt with remarkable performances and savvy plays that belied their rookie status.
In this comprehensive examination of Week 6’s Defensive Rookies of the Week, we delve into the accomplishments of these budding talents who are already making waves in the league. From a confident cornerback who shines in coverage to pass rushers with advanced techniques and a knack for setting up moves, these rookies are proving that they belong among the NFL’s elite. Join us as we celebrate their achievements and anticipate the bright futures that lie ahead for these rising stars in the world of professional football.
Defensive Rookies of the Week
CB Devon Witherspoon, Seahawks
Devon Witherspoon’s performance against Cincinnati showcased the kind of confident and instinctive play that made him a standout at Illinois. His versatility was on full display as he seamlessly carried routes downfield while also making impactful plays in the flat. This first-round pick is quickly establishing himself as one of the NFL’s best at his position.
Throughout the year, Witherspoon has disrupted 17.2% of passes as the primary defender in coverage. Opponents have struggled to complete less than 50% of their pass attempts in his direction, yielding a mere 128 yards, according to TruMedia.
EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Texans
When Will Anderson Jr. faced off against veteran right tackle Ryan Ramczyk for the majority of snaps, it was a heavyweight battle that often saw Ramczyk emerging victorious. While Anderson occasionally managed to get on Ramczyk’s hip and bend the edge, he struggled to consistently beat the seasoned pro. Half of Anderson’s eight pressures came against left tackle Trevor Penning or Cesar Ruiz, who replaced Ramczyk in the late stages of the game.
EDGE Byron Young, Rams
Byron Young stands out as a rookie pass rusher who possesses a remarkable understanding of setting up pass-rush moves and not overcommitting in his rush. His ability to bait veteran left tackle D.J. Humphries into straying from the pocket, creating opportunities to rush inside underscores his advanced skill set.
Young has already displayed an array of moves, including a spin move and a hop chop, all while showcasing his impressive length, quickness, and burst. In Week 6, Young earned recognition with five pressures, marking the start of what could be a bright future in the league. Fans should remember his name.
It’s important to acknowledge other notable defensive rookie performers, such as Bills linebacker Dorian Williams, Vikings linebacker Ivan Pace Jr., Giants cornerback Deonte Banks, and Rams defensive tackle Kobie Turner. These rookies are making waves and warrant attention as they continue to make their presence felt in the NFL.