Top NFL rookies (Kamara) and biggest disappointments (Ross)
Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore give the New Orleans Saints a chance to become the first team in 50 years to collect NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in the same season.
The only time it ever happened? When Mel Farr and Lem Barney of the 1967 Detroit Lions did it.
Kamara, a running back, and Lattimore, a cornerback, are just two of the many rookies around the league who have made significant contributions this season.
Not every newcomer pans out as planned right away, of course.
A a look at some of the best and worst members of the 2017 rookie class:
ALVIN KAMARA, RB, SAINTS
Stats: 608 rushing yards for a 7.0 average; 62 catches; league-high 11 TDs
Scouting Report: One way to understand Kamara’s significance is what happened Thursday night. He left in the first quarter because of a concussion, and New Orleans’ big-scoring offense ground to a halt in what became a 20-17 loss to Atlanta.
MARSHON LATTIMORE, CB, SAINTS
Stats: 3 interceptions
Scouting Report: Already a top cover corner, his importance became obvious when he left early against the Redskins in Week 11, and a defense that had been allowing an average of 12 points over the previous four games suddenly gave up 31.
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY, RB, PANTHERS
Stats: 284 rushing yards, 64 catches for 501 yards; 6 TDs
Scouting Report: Leading his team in receptions and third in rushing, he brings some versatility that helped Cam Newton make the offense go while Greg Olsen was injured.
KAREEM HUNT, RB, CHIEFS
Stats: 930 yards, fourth in the NFL
Scouting Report: Has slowed down since topping 100 yards in four of his first five games.
EVAN ENGRAM, TE, GIANTS
Stats: 51 catches rank seventh among tight ends, just behind Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, tied with Jason Witten, and ahead of Kyle Rudolph and Benjamin Watson.
Scouting Report: He’s in some pretty good company and doing that on a bad team without many options on offense after a bunch of injuries, including to Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall.
LEONARD FOURNETTE, RB, JAGUARS
Stats: 822 yards, seventh in the NFL; 7 TDs
Scouting Report: He’s a bruiser who helped Jacksonville suddenly become relevant.
JOHN ROSS, WR, BENGALS
Stats: Zero catches, one rush, one fumble.
Scouting Report: Limited by offseason shoulder surgery, the speedster appeared in only three games before landing on injured reserve last week.
COREY DAVIS, WR, TITANS
Stats: 22 catches, fifth on the team.
Scouting Report: Has appeared in only seven games, so still not clear what the Titans have with the No. 5 overall pick in April’s draft.
O.J. HOWARD, TE, BUCCANEERS
Stats: 21 catches.
Scouting Report: Has nine fewer catches – and two more fumbles – than 49ers tight end George Kittle, who was drafted 127 spots later.
DESHONE KIZER, QB, BROWNS
Stats: 6 TDs, 15 INTs, 52.5 completion percentage, 58.1 passer rating.
Scouting Report: Yes, it’s early to judge. Yes, he’s on a terrible team. But still, Kizer – whose rating is the lowest of anyone in the NFL with at least 100 pass attempts this season – has hardly looked ready for the pros.
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