NFL rookie rankings at midpoint of 2022 season: Four Seahawks in top 25, but Jets’ Sauce Gardner at No. 1

With the 2022 NFL regular season at the halfway mark, former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah has reviewed his notes to rank the top 25 rookies in the league today.

NOTE: Arrows reflect changes from first-quarter rookie rankings.

Gardner has already established himself as one of the league’s premier cornerbacks. He’s making impact plays every week, having just nabbed his second pick of the season in the Jets’ upset of the Bills. 

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Olave has been the most impressive rookie wideout thanks to his combination of route polish and suddenness. The Ohio State product leads all newbies in catches (43) and receiving yards (618).

Woolen was viewed as a developmental prospect coming into the NFL, but he’s been technically sound in Year 1, allowing his unique athleticism to shine. The long, speedy corner has already picked off four passes. 

Pierce has quickly earned the respect of NFL coaches and players. He is a no-nonsense runner with burst and power. According to Next Gen Stats, Pierce has gained 637 of his 678 rushing yards (94 percent) after contact.

Wilson, who ranks second among rookies in catches (42) and receiving yards (521), has emerged as the clear No. 1 target in the Jets’ passing attack. He has really excelled after moving from the slot to the outside. 

Walker has brought balance to the Seahawks’ offense since taking on a leading role in the backfield, racking up 424 yards and six touchdowns in his four games as a starter. He’s producing explosive plays each week. 

Hutchinson leads all rookies in sacks (4.5) and QB hits (9). Also, he picked off an Aaron Rodgers pass on fourth-and-goal last week in the Lions’ win over the Packers. 

Lloyd has shown tremendous range and playmaking ability, while also providing outstanding coverage. He has stuffed the stat sheet through nine games, piling up 69 tackles, seven pass breakups, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Walker doesn’t have eye-popping pass-rush production (2.5 sacks, 5 QB hits), but he’s been a rock against the run and his effort is outstanding. 

London plays in a run-heavy offense, but he still finds ways to make plays. He knows how to use his 6-foot-4, 213-pound frame to wall off defenders and he’s very physical after the catch. 

The fourth-round pick has been the steal of the draft. Jones has exceptional instincts and ball skills, as evidenced by his Week 5 pick against Detroit, a savvy, toe-tapping gem that drew extensive praise from Bill Belichick.

Linderbaum has been a steadying presence at center for the Ravens. He will lose an occasional rep in pass protection, but he’s been outstanding in the run game, where Baltimore ranks second in the league (168.1 yards per game).

Thibodeaux missed a few games to start the season, but he’s produced key pressures late in closely contested games for the surprising 6-2 Giants. His effort has been spectacular.

Pierce is a big (6-3, 211 pounds), explosive (4.41 40-yard dash and 40.5-inch vertical leap at the NFL Scouting Combine) weapon in the pass game. His numbers — 25 catches for 396 yards and a touchdown — would be even more impressive if you could account for the penalties he’s drawn from defenders down the field.

Pitre needs to become a more consistent tackler, but the high second-round pick is a versatile, dynamic player with a GPS for the football. This is another stat-sheet stuffer: 57 tackles (including five for loss), two picks, two passes defensed, a sack and a fumble recovery.

Looks like the Steelers unearthed yet another receiving gem beyond Round 1. Pickens has made several “wow” plays, and his role should continue to grow following the trade of Chase Claypool.

Walker has been highly productive against the run and his closing speed jumps off the screen in coverage. There’s plenty of room for growth in his game, but the raw tools are impossible to ignore.

Ekwonu continues to get better each week. He’s playing more under control as his rookie season wears on, allowing his plus athleticism to take over.

It’s been a rough year for the Packers’ offense, but this fourth-round pick has been a bright spot. Doubs has suffered a few key drops, but he’s also produced a bunch of explosive plays.

Brisker is outstanding against the run. He takes excellent angles, closes quickly and is a reliable tackler. Not to mention, he’s racked up three sacks.

Rodriguez relies on his instincts and quickness to collect tackles in bunches. He has outstanding lateral range. This isn’t just a fun Hard Knocks story — the Lions found a keeper in Round 6.

Lucas and fellow rookie tackle Charles Cross have both played well for the Seahawks in Year 1. The third-round pick has been a little better than his first-round teammate in the run game and he’s very steady in pass protection.

At 5-11 and 220 pounds, Allgeier runs with purpose, and I’ve been very impressed with his balance and instincts. Nice early return for the Falcons on a fifth-round pick.

Overshadowed in Seattle by Tariq Woolen — much like he was overshadowed at Cincinnati by Sauce Gardner — Bryant leads all rookies with four forced fumbles, and he’s played well in the slot.

Salyer stepped in at left tackle after Rashawn Slater was lost for the season and he’s held up just fine in pass protection. In fact, he’s yet to allow a sack.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter.

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