My first inclination in doing this article was to list 22 players who represent the best of the best so far in the 20232 NFL Rookie class. But I soon realized that was going to be unfair to a significant number of players. So I have added a few extra spots on the list, like WR where I have 4 players instead of 2 or 3. So here we go…
Pigskin Paul’s Mid-Season All-Rookie Team
QB C.J. STROUD Texans By a wide margin right now, although others are picking up steam.
RB JAHMYR GIBBS Lions He runs catches & scores. But must share touches with MONTGOMERY.
DEVIN ACHANE Dolphins Is on the Injured list right now but should be back soon. Averaging over 10 ypc.
BIJAN ROBINSON Falcons Has shown flashes but is also sharing touches. Has 500+ yards though.
WR PUCA NACUA Rams Is 3rd in the League with 64 receptions. Was a lifesaver during KUPP’s absence.
JORDAN ADDISON Vikings Have fit right in as a slot guy and are picking up the slack with JEFFERSON hurt.
ZAY FLOWERS Ravens Key factor in LAMAR’s uptick in their modified Offense under Monken.
JOSH DOWNS Colts Despite losing their 1st string QB, this guy is solid finally filling HILTON in the slot.
TE SAM LaPORTA Lions Has been a perfect fit replacing HOCKENSON. Both Iowa guys.Blocks better.
DALTON KINCAID Bills Getting touches with the injury to Knox and stepping up big.
OL STEVE AVILA Rams Plug and play from Day One after the Draft. Monster big with agility.
JON HARRISON Jaguars Starter at LT during Robinson’s suspension, now starting at RT.
PARIS JOHNSON Cards Talked in Camp about moving him inside, but no need he’s fine @ OT.
CODY MAUCH Bucs Moved right into place at RG and gets better with every game.
JOHN-MICHAEL SCHMITZ Giants Their OL is still not good but this man gets the job done at OC.
DARNELL WRIGHT Bears After a stellar 2022 season with VOLS he was plug & play.
MATTHEW BERGERON Falcons Made a move inside and has not missed a beat. A solid pro.
EDGE BYRON YOUNG Rams Has looked every bit the young replacement for Leonard Floyd in the rebuild.
WILL ANDERSON Texans Not the booming star that STROUD has been, but starts & produces.
DL JALEN CARTER Eagles Carter has to share snaps in DL rotation but is an impact force.
BRYAN BRESEE Saints Productive, athletic inside force in their DT group rebuild.
KEEANU BENTON Steelers Tomlin doesn’t often play Rookies, but HEYWARD’s injury changed that.
LB HENRY TO’OTO’O Texans Has been in the lineup since the start of the season. Athletic with very high FBI.
JACK CAMPBELL Lions Has some rough edges to smooth out but is athletic & flies to the ball.
TULI TUIPULOTU Chargers Doesn’t always start but sees plenty of play time as a QB chaser.
CB DEVON WITHERSPOON Seahawks Everything that hoped he’d be. Ball skills, tackling skills, et al.
DEONTE BANKS Giants Best all-around CB the Giants have had in years. Hits a ton, ball skills.
JOEY PORTER Steelers Long-limbed, athletic player who now starts. Needs polish but is an upgrade.
S BRIAN BRANCH Lions Can play anywhere in secondary. Elite tackler, with ball skills to boot.
SYDNEY BROWN Eagles Were starting til BYARD was acquired. Now a versatile hitter in sub packages.
PK BRANDEN AUBREY Cowboys Soccer star in college, starred in USFL re-boot. Has yet to miss a FG try.
P BRYCE BARINGER Patriots Tough choice in crowded P group. Has a chance to average 50+ yds/gross.
RS/WR MARVIN MIMS Broncos As of mid-season he is averaging over 20 yards/return. Also KR.
I also want to mention two highly regarded Rookies who failed to last beyond September but should be back next season after injuries ended this year with both of them as starters.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON/QB/COLTS CHRIS GONZALEZ/CB/PATRIOTS
There are already additional Rookies getting more and more playing time as the second half of the season begins this weekend. Thus expect changes by the end of the regular season when I will revisit this list.