Rookie Watch – Week 1

Stock Up

Penei Sewell:

This week Lions starting left tackle Taylor Decker was placed on injured reserve after finger surgery and this meant the 1st round rookie Penei Sewell was moved back to left tackle. After struggling in pre-season to adjust to right tackle it was amazing to see Sewell prove all his doubters wrong by having an incredible performance at left tackle vs some elite competition on the 49ers front. Sewell gave up 0 sacks, 0 QB hits and only 1 QB pressure on Sunday vs a very good defensive line. The question now is will the Lions move him or Decker back to right tackle? After Sunday’s dominant performance I hope the Lions realise that Sewell has to be their left tackle.

San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Ja’Marr Chase:          

Our 2nd player on this list is another 1st round stud that was the victim of a lot of negative press during pre-season. Ja’Marr Chase was by the far the best wide receiver coming out of college football, but this summer he was the victim of bad camp reports and a bad pre-season outing that saw him have 4 drops from 5 targets. This Sunday vs The Vikings he was paired with former LSU teammate Joe Burrow for the 1st time in his NFL career and the connection was still there. Chase finished the game with 5 catches on 6 targets with 0 drops and 1 touchdown. Chase showed his skillset of getting open down the football field as he streaked away from the Vikings secondary for his 50 yard TD reception. Chase looked much more comfortable in his first NFL game and showed that ability to get open at a great level, Vikings corner Patrick Peterson will want to forget his day vs a fellow LSU star.

DeVonta Smith:

Our 2nd wide receiver on our stock up list is former Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith who starred in the Eagles win over the Atlanta Falcons. Smith had 6 receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Maybe not as many yards as you would think but that’s because the Eagles QB had the lowest yards per attempt of any starting QB on Sunday. Smith was getting open constantly and also managed to turn his 1st NFL catch into his 1st NFL touchdown, a truly instant impact. Hurts and Smith look like they could form an instant connection on this offense which is amazing news for any Eagles and Alabama fans.

Anthony Schwartz:

Schwartz was projected to be WR4 on this deep Browns roster, however he was a significant part of the game plans vs the Chiefs. Yes OBJ was out in week 1, but the Browns still schemed up 2 throws just for Schwartz to beat the defense. Schwartz beat the defense on a designed crossing route in the 1st half, highlighting how much he was part of the pre-game game plan. Schwartz finished the game with 3 receptions for 69 yards and 1 rush for 17 yards, a very good stat line for a rookie that people were not even drafting in fantasy football redrafts.


Stock Down:

Trey Sermon:

Trey Sermon was listed as an inactive prior to the 49ers trip to Detroit on Sunday, coach Kyle Shanahan stated after the game that they didn’t see Sermon as a top 3 running back coming out of training camp. This is a real worrying sign for Sermon who was outperformed by 6th round pick Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell also took his chance by having a 100+ yard 1 td game. Shanahan is a coach that relies on trusting you to run his complex offensive scheme, Sermon and 2nd year receiver Brandon Aiyuk are prime examples of him not picking players to play purely on talent or draft status. After another injury to starting running back Raheem Mostert it looks like Sermon may get more of a chance to impress vs the Eagles next week, lets see if he can take advantage.

Jalen Mayfield:


After a few injuries across the O Line in training camp Mayfield won the starting job at left guard. However his debut left a lot to be desired if you’re a Falcons fan! Mayfield had 2 sacks allowed and 8 pressures allowed vs the Eagles this Sunday. The whole line did struggle vs a very good Eagles defensive line, but grading wise he was the worst starting left guard in the NFL this Sunday so Matt Ryan will be desperate for him to improve immediately. Mayfield was seen as more of a guard in the draft process, but did play tackle in college, lets hope as he learns the guard position at pro level he can improve.

Jamin Davis:

Another 1st round pick that did not have the ideal debut on his first NFL Sunday. Technically Davis wasn’t starting for the Football Team on Sunday, but he did play 45 snaps at the linebacker position. He was expected to help the team be more aggressive in coverage and vs the run, however Davis had two missed tackles, was beat badly on a rushing TD and was dominated by the O Line in the screen game. Davis plays a role that is difficult to learn at the pro level, but we still expected his athleticism to shine through and on Sunday it certainly did not.

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