Week 16 Rookies of the Week

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With just two weeks left in the regular season, rookies are still bursting onto the scene and impressing as two new names earn our top honors in our Week 16 Rookies of the Week. The cornerbacks keep impressing as well! Let’s dive right into the awards.

Offensive Rookie of the Week: James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills visited the Chicago Bears in Week 16 in a game marked by frigid temperatures. Neither team found much success in the passing game, and thus the Bills uncharacteristically turned to the running game to lead them to a 35-13 victory. Rookie second-rounder James Cook played a large part in the win, rushing 11 times for 99 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown in the third quarter. He also added a catch for nine yards as well. Cook was one of my highest-graded running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft, possessing great burst and speed that allows him to be a big-play threat. Despite starting off his rookie season buried on the depth chart, Cook has been given more opportunities as the season has progressed, and he turned in the best performance of his rookie year on Saturday. He has become a dangerous weapon for this Bills team dreaming of a Super Bowl and could play a big role in this upcoming postseason.

Runners-Up:

Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Purdy is becoming a regular in these honors despite having waited until the last selection of the 2022 NFL Draft to hear his name called. Purdy completed 15 of 22 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in a win over Washington. 

Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Tyler Allgeier has been on a roll the past few weeks, and that continued this week as he totaled 117 yards on 22 touches. Allgeier has shown that he can be a reliable blocker too and deserves to be the RB1 moving forward. 

Defensive Rookie of the Week: Cobie Durant, CB, Los Angeles Rams

Fourth-rounder Cobie Durant had a breakout game on Christmas, as the Rams crushed the Denver Broncos 51-14, which ended up being the last straw and led to the firing of offensive-minded head coach Nathaniel Hackett. Durant’s performance greatly impacted the outcome of this game, as he totaled two pass breakups and two interceptions, one of which he returned 85 yards for a pick-six. He reached 21.5 mph on that pick-six, the second fastest recorded speed of the week, second to speedster Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. Durant struggled with injuries to start his rookie season but played very well this week and showed some potential for a struggling Rams squad that is depleted of last year’s starters due to injuries. With minimal draft picks, Durant is one of many mid-round rookies that the Rams have and will need to hit on to fill out their roster. 

Runners-Up:

Tariq Woolen, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Woolen’s sustained production and playmaking have been on display all season, and this week against the Kansas City Chiefs was no different. He allowed just one catch for six yards in Seattle’s loss.

Marcus Jones, CB, New England Patriots

Jones was the catalyst of an unlikely Patriots comeback that just fell short against the Cincinnati Bengals. Down 0-22, Jones scored a 69-yard pick-six and later recovered a fumble in Cincinnati’s territory to give New England a chance to win the game.