NFL 2023 Super Wild Card Weekend: Ranking the rookies in order of their importance to the team’s first-round success

Established stars are on screen and shine in the NFL playoffs. However, these seasoned players aren’t the only postseason items. And sometimes, the main supporting actors who make for a great drama finale every January are rookies.

This postseason has a lot of first-year players who will appear in the first round.

Let’s rank these starters, not by their individual quality but by their importance in Super Wild Card Weekend.

I felt wrong not including Wollen after the impressive regular season he was the rookie, but I was already in 10 name, so I made a UTSA first-year pro honorable mention. Wolin led the league with six interceptions in 2022 and caught 16 pass breakups as well as a career-high total polled. He is basically a lab at over 6 ft 4 in at 4.26 in and 42 in vertical. The Seahawks are underdogs and tackle well 49ers Machine. Why isn’t it higher?

Because Woolen served as cover on the field, and San Francisco’s offense centered around passing and YAC. In addition, Kyle Shanahan is obsessed with creative ways of football management, and his team is a master at it. Wulin’s influence was lessened by the rivalry set in this playoff contest. He’s great, however, his development has been accelerated this season.

Will Cook be the “dude guy” in the Bills’ backcourt for these playoffs? Devin Singletary is very effective on the side but was stumped when the Bills were deep on their end against Patriots At the conclusion of the regular season. Most likely due to this mishap, Singletary only played nine takes in the entire competition. Cook outscored him by 13 catches and took nine carries for 46 yards (5.1 yards per attempt).

About halfway through the season, Cook appeared to be comfortable on Buffalo’s offense, and that showed in his effectiveness. Since Week 11, the rookie has hit the Rock 47 times with a combined 6.23 yards per carry. Don’t get me wrong, the Bills are a pass-through club. That is why he is in the tenth position on this list. But Cook’s presence and big-playing abilities could be useful for Buffalo to keep defenses balanced and possibly shut out games late.

Thibodeau providing the Giants with a monster effort will go a long way as the Giants run away from Minnesota with a victory on Sunday. Is it an absolute necessity? Not right. He ranks ninth here as a former Top 10 player who plays the outstanding position.

On Christmas Eve, a last-second defeat at the hands of VikingsThibodeaux had one pressure on 46 pass shots. His edge-finding and sprinting prowess would influence New York’s attempt to slow Dalvin Cook. And without the right intervention of star Brian O’Neill, there’s a small opening for Thibodeaux to make Kirk Cousins’ uncomfortable pocket life.

Run soccer and play defense. Ask your dad or grandpa for their keys to winning the playoffs, and that’s probably what they’ll tell you. In today’s NFL, you probably want to run well and block the pass, but I’m going to give the older generations due respect for this encounter from a Seahawks perspective — if Seattle can roll on the floor, they have a knockout chance. (The senior statesmen in your family will have this reference.)

And I don’t expect Seattle’s offensive line to control the line of scrimmage on this one. The best remedy for a ground game when a blocking unit can’t physically take control is a very elusive wizard and balance wizard when running back. Walker showed flashes of this kind of comeback as a rookie. He had a 21% forced tackle rate during the regular season, not one of the highest in the NFL but the exact same number as Austin Eckler. He’s a bowling ball who rolls down the fairway at 5-foot-9 and 211 pounds, too. A big game from Walker would greatly boost Seattle’s chances of upsetting the Bay Area.

Kroos is not ahead of fellow rookie striker Abraham Lucas for one specific reason. Headed over to write on Lucas for this reason. But, of course, Cross had to be included as the former No. 10 left tackle to protect Geno Smith from a ferocious 49ers defensive lineman.

Cross did not have All-Pro rookie Tristan Wirfs campaign. However, he was more than keeping to himself. A dancing bear with quality handwork, the Cross can outlast most outdoor sprints. The strength component of his game is not yet fully developed, as is the case with most young blockers. He’ll have to cut his act in front of Nick Bosa & Co on Saturday afternoon.

Nobody gives crows a chance against Bengals. Honestly, the overall thought has credibility. Baltimore probably wouldn’t have the former starting quarterback, and it was no surprise that the offense was tanking without him. The Ravens haven’t scored 20 points yet without Lamar Jackson as a starter, and Cincinnati dealt with Baltimore in Week 18.

I can bet the Ravens offensive line doesn’t care about any of that. That’s a solid set of ground game plows carefully orchestrated by general manager Eric DeCosta to Greg Roman’s versatile running scheme, and Linderbaum was born to play at this Ravens club center after his stint at Iowa. And he’ll be challenged against the wide and athletic DJ Reader at nose tackle for the Bengals. The Ravens can stay in this game if they control the clock to keep the ball out of Joe Burrow’s hands. They can do this by grinding the soccer ball into a paste by running. Amidst all the injury news coming out of Baltimore this week, there is a glimmer of light — JK Dobbins and his average of 5.7 yards per attempt are likely to return. How the Ravens’ blocking unit plays position will be very important Sunday night.

5. Abraham Lucas, OT, Seahawks

Nick Bosa played 743 snaps during the 2022 regular season, and less than 60% of those snaps came on the left side of the 49ers defensive line. This indicates that Lucas is likely to have the most one-on-one encounters with a bossa in this game. Bossa has hit 90 pressures this season. banana. He is slippery when rounding a corner and deceptively strong when he decides to lunge into the bullpen.

Lucas does not back down from any challenges. Remember early in the season when there was a viral pie block of Lucas like every week? If he can slightly curb the mess Bosa has made in this game, it will greatly improve the Seahawks’ chances of winning.

Hamilton has been quietly getting along this season after falling a bit later than expected in the last April draft. He made some mistakes in coverage early on but really hit his stride and made a lot of noise lately for the Ravens defense. He’s had three pass breakups and two interceptions since Week 15 and looks like he’s earned it in terms of the big responsibilities he has on Baltimore’s defense.

Of course, one of the keys to the Ravens’ upset this weekend is a stellar defensive effort from Mike McDonald’s crew against Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ deep, slick slate. And Hamilton is continuing in a different alignment before the snap. He often takes turns late to a different area, with a different assignment. His influence cannot be overstated in this clash between his northern rivals in Asia.

In the blink of an eye, Purdy has gone from Mr. Irlevant to the most relevant man on the 49ers roster. Sure, he’s running a brilliantly designed scheme with a solid offensive line and an embarrassment to YAC’s fortunes. He still needs to make the right readings, react correctly to pressure and throw with the right timing and positioning of the ball.

Right now, he is not facing the Boom Corps defense of the Seahawks. But this game marks the beginning of the pressure on Purdy as he is moved as the rookie who was the last pick in the draft to take the offensive reins for the #2 seed in the NFC.

Straight Out With It – Neil didn’t have a good rookie season. He wasn’t 100% healthy even when he came back, Neil wasn’t close to the Giant Bulls he was in Alabama. Lots of sad scrolling actors too. In all, he allowed 39 pressures on 453 professional shots. This put pressure on Daniel Jones every 11.6 dips. Yikes. In the first game between the Giants and Vikings, Neal succumbed to seven tremendous pressures.

Daniel Hunter is mostly aligned on the left side of the Minnesota line, so Neil will see plenty of ancient Vikings out back, whose body looks like a statue in the middle of a city square in Europe. The way Neal plays will have huge ramifications for the outcome of this potentially tight matchup between the Vikings giants.

How could Thompson not be in first place? must be. He is a 7th round rookie starting on the road against the #2 seed in the conference. Sure, he’s got Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and a fancy scheme put together by Mike McDaniel. But the environment is hostile for the former Kansas State star.

Coming into this contest, his stats don’t look good – 57.1% completion rate, 5.1 yards per attempt, one touchdown, three interceptions. However, there is some athleticism to his game, and Thompson has shown a willingness to attempt at least hard throws beyond 10 yards. How Thompson handles the atmosphere in Orchard Park and executes it in so many moments will have a massive impact on this game. No newbie could move the needle across a wider scale this Super Wild Card Weekend.

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