This here will be a new staple to the MBL Draft Pros group, a top 10 prospects article, similar to what you see in Baseball and for the NCAA Football Players, but solely for rookies in MBL. This article will be based on stats from recent weeks, the season as a whole, and the potential of the player based on where they are drafted (but that is only a small factor as you can see). Players may rise up the list or fall down the list based on performances. In the future, if a player falls off the list, I will include their name at the bottom and a previous rank will be listed next to each players name. Format may change in the future, but enough of this boring explanation stuff, let’s get to the rankings!
HB Will Stevens, New England Patriots (Vanderbilt University, 4th Round, Pick 23)
Stats (3 Games Played): 26 Rushes, 124 Yards, 4.8 YPC, 3 TDs, 41 YPG, 0 Fumbles, 0 Broken Tackles, 9 Catches, 231 Yards, 77 YPG, 2 TDs
Will Stevens was taken in the middle of the draft in the 4th round and has been making a name for himself around MBL. After a stellar training camp and preseason, this rookie has taken over as the lead back for the Patriots, surplanting HB Sony Michel. He leads all rookies with 231 receiving yards through the early portions of Season 41. He is developing into the perfect security blanket for Tom Brady, as the Patriots look to repeat as champions this season.
QB Emmett Dwyer, Minnesota Vikings (North Dakota State University, 1st Round, Pick 20)
Stats (4 Games Played): 59/90, 65%, 851 Yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs, 213 YPG, 90.5 Passer Rating, 10 Sacks
Emmett Dwyer was the third QB taken in this draft with the 20th pick in the 1st Round, and he has looked like a steal for the Vikings. Coaches were very pleased with the poise of this 22 year old, as he has a good grasp of the offense. He lit up the scoreboard in his first game against the Eagles, throwing for 5 TDs. In the Vikings lone loss this season, Dwyer got turnover happy, throwing 4 INTs, but in their three wins, he has thrown for 6 TDs and only 2 INTs. If Dwyer can minimize his TOs, he may prove to be the best QB in this draft.
QB Luke Windsor, New Orleans Saints (Auburn University, 1st Round, Pick 2)
Stats (3 Games Played): 58/89, 65%, 773 Yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, 258 YPG, 89.7 Passer Rating, 15 Sacks
Coming in right behind Dwyer as the third best prospect in the rookie rankings is the Saints’ signal-caller, Luke Windsor. This QB was the second pick of the draft, and he has lived up to expectations. Windsor models his game after Peyton Manning, even taking his number 18 when joining the Saints. While playing at Auburn, Windsor was a little erratic and loose with the ball, so Saints coaches have tried to slow the game down for him. Windsor has responded, as he looks a lot more methodical in his approach to these games, only throwing a rookie low 3 INTs so far this season.
SS A.J. Chapman, New York Giants (University of Oklahoma, 1st Round, Pick 4)
Stats (3 Games Played): 8 Tackles, 1 TFL, 2 Sacks, 2 INTs, 2 Deflections, 1 Forced Fumble
The Giants badly needed a playmaker in the secondary. Many thought they would target a shutdown CB, but the team went after this Strong Safety out of the University of Oklahoma, A.J. Chapman. Chapman has played stupendous through the first 3 games of this season. He has forced 3 TOs in his past two games, to go along with two sacks, forming quite the dynamic duo in the deep middle of the field with S Jabrill Peppers. Chapman’s rare height and speed combination has proved crucial for the Giants’ early season success.
HB Antwan Holloway, Denver Broncos (University of Georgia, 1st Round, Pick 9)
Stats (4 Games Played): 47 Rushes, 288 Yards, 6.1 YPC, 3 TDs, 72 YPG, 1 Fumble, 2 Broken Tackles, 6 Catches, 39 Yards, 9.8 YPG, 0 TDs
Even though the Broncos have the talented HB Phillip Lindsay, the front office saw HB Holloway as too talented to pass up, taking the best player available with the 9th pick in the rookie draft. And boy did this rookie take the league by storm in the first two weeks, rushing for over 200 yards and 3 TDs. Everyone knew this former track star at Georgia was fast, but he has shown his quickness, explosion and knowledge of when to use his speed early on this season. Teams have recognized his talents though in the past two games, as he has not rushed for over 50 yards in those games, but the talent is there. Watch out for this speedster in the future.
QB Frank Sweet, Pittsburgh Steelers (Arizona State University, 1st Round, Pick 15)
Stats (3 Games Played): 44/80, 55%, 664 Yards, 5 TDs, 4 INTs, 221 YPG, 82.4 Passer Rating, 16 Sacks
The Steelers took a gamble in the draft, opting not to take a QB with the 3rd pick in the draft, and then selecting the mobile QB, Frank Sweet over the true pocket passer in Emmett Dwyer. So far, the team has seen why the mobile QB was lower on most teams’ draft boards, as Sweet has been a little erratic, as most expect with rookie QBs. However, Steelers coaching staff has shown the trust and belief they have in him, as he has taken over for the legend Ben Roethlisberger. Although they are winless this season, Sweet has thrown for 5 TDs and 2 INTs in their past two games, so there is hope in Pittsburgh that this rookie may turn out better than most expected.
RG Brooks Carney, Baltimore Ravens (Oregon State University, 1st Round, Pick 10)
Stats (3 Games Played): 0 Sacks, 156 Downs Played, 202.7 Team Rushing Yards Per Game
The Ravens had oodles of weapons on offense for Lamar Jackson to play with, as seen in Season 40. The Front Office and Coaching Staff for the Ravens knew coming into Season 41, they had to protect Lamar Jackson better. It was no surprise when they selected the LT out of Oregon State, Brooks Carney. While he did play LT at Oregon State, many projected him to move inside to guard and that is the Ravens did, as they have two quality tackles already in Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. Carney has helped solidify this Ravens offensive line, helping them be one of two teams so far this season to average over 200 rushing yards per game. Although many don’t see this as a “sexy” pick, especially since it was a top 10 pick in the draft, the Ravens appear to have found a stud to help anchor their O-Line for years to come.
HB Melvin Shepard, Buffalo Bills (Auburn University, 2nd Round, Pick 17)
Stats (3 Games Played): 36 Rushes, 141 Yards, 3.9 YPC, 3 TDs, 47 YPG, 0 Fumbles, 3 Broken Tackles, 9 Catches, 99 Yards, 33 YPG, 0 TDs
The Bills came into this offseason looking for a running back. After striking out in Free Agency, the Bills think they have found their guy for the future in the second round of the draft. Melvin Shepard was overshadowed at Auburn, as everyone had eyes on QB Luke Windsor, but Shepard has shown that he has lots of talent as well. Shepard has incredible straight line speed, as he showed in their week 1 win over the Bengals. However, he still needs to learn how to tone down his speed and be more patient, as he looked overmatched in their past two games. Once Shepard returns from his injury, lets see if the game can slow down for him and he can wait for holes to open and utilize his linemen instead of his speed.
LT Bruce Walton, New York Giants (Wake Forest University, 2nd Round, Pick 4)
Stats (3 Games Played): 1 Sack, 98 Downs Played, 110.3 Team Rushing Yards Per Game
In Season 40, then rookie QB Daniel Jones was sacked a whopping 53 times. The Giants may have found a future stud of a LT in Bruce Walton, whom they selected in the 2nd round. Some thought Walton was talented enough to go in the end of the first round, but the Giants lucked out getting him with an early 2nd round pick. The Giants own the 5th best rushing attack so far in MBL Season 41, and Daniel Jones has only been sacked 9 times this season (on pace for 36). Walton has held his own against some of the games’ best pass rushers so far, as he has only given up one sack while playing against Aaron Donald, DeMarcus Lawrence and Montez Sweat. Look for Walton to continue to excel in the teams’ upcoming games against the Bucs and Bengals.
DE Hudson Talley, Oakland Raiders (Clemson University, 1st Round, Pick 1)
Stats (3 Games Played): 8 Tackles, 1 TFL, 2 Sacks, 0 Forced Fumbles
This former Clemson Star has been a welcomed sight for fans in Oakland, as the team as a whole struggled to get pressure on the QB or HB much of last season. Talley offers a unique combination of strength and speed that was too difficult for the Raiders to pass up with the first pick in the draft. So far in Season 41, he has drawn double teams throughout most of the games, but has pressured the QB on a consistent basis and has recorded 2 sacks so far in Season 41 (tied for the rookie lead), to go along with numerous QB hurries and hits. Many believe he could develop into a J.J. Watt type of player and if he keeps up this play we have seen early in the season, he could be well on his way.