August 8, 2022

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Ranking the best and worst NFL rookie performances…

2 min read
Ranking the best and worst NFL rookie performances...

Najee Harris

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

NFL rookies were in the spotlight in Week 1 with debuts from Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Najee Harris, Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith and others.

One of the best parts of Week 1 of a new NFL season is getting a glimpse of the class of rookies making their pro debuts.

Things are always hit and miss for the young players. You might be like Bengals kicker Evan McPherson and take the chance to win the game in overtime for your team. Alternatively, you could be Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson, fumbling away your first career carry.

It was a dream for some and a nightmare for others.

Worst NFL rookie performances in Week 1

Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence got the “Welcome to the NFL” treatment against the Texans. In his Jaguars debut, the quarterback tossed three interceptions and suffered the first regular-season loss of his entire career going back to high school.

Completing 54.9 percent of his 51 pass attempts, he did put up 332 yards, which is the fourth most in an NFL debut, per ESPN Stats & Info. He also hit three touchdown passes.

Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck each threw three interceptions in their debut, so it’s not the end of the world, but it’s not going to get significantly better for the quarterback on a team that looks headed for a long season.

Najee Harris

Najee Harris is used to running behind a dominant offensive line at Alabama. He didn’t enjoy the same experience in his first Steelers appearance. Playing every offensive snap, he had 16 carries for 45 yards, with 18 of those coming on one run. His yards per carry average of 2.8 yards left plenty to be desired.

Ranking the best and worst NFL rookie performances of Week 1