Players from the New York Jets, Cincinatti Bengals, and Houston Texans are among those to feature...
What would an NFL team featuring only rookies look like at this point in the season? Here is the offense...
The importance of a strong offense was shown as three of the first four picks in the 2013 NFL Draft went on offensive tackles, but the beauty of the draft is that not one of those players makes this mid-season all rookie team...
QB Geno Smith, New York Jets
Smith has blown hot and cold, but has looked good at times. The mistakes are normal for a rookie, especially for one who showed inconsistencies at West Virginia in 2012. The Jets need to build around Geno in the upcoming draft, and whilst his TD:INT ratio stands at 8:13, he's shown enough to demonstrate his ability as the future of the franchise.
RB Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
There were a number of candidates here, with Eddie Lacy and Andre Ellington also impressing for the Packers and Cardinals respectively, but Bernard has added a spark to the Bengals running game. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a good short yardage back, but Bernard has shown that he can do it all – churn out yards, break off big runs and be a threat in the passing game.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
My personal favourite at the position last year, Hopkins has been as advertised – making touch catches and running crisp routes. The Texans needed to find an option across from Andre Johnson, and they now have one in Hopkins – all they need now is a quarterback who can get him the ball consistently.
WR Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Another of my favourites from the 2013 draft class, Keenan Allen has rapidly become one of Philip Rivers' key targets in San Diego. A big bodied receiver, Allen now has three touchdowns on the season after his third receiving game of over 100 yards in his last four appearances. For a third round pick, Allen has outperformed his draft position – though it's worth noting that he slipped in the draft as a result of injury and off-field concerns.
WR Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints
Stills had only caught 13 passes before Sunday, but three of those were touchdowns, and he has shown his ability to be a big play receiver in the Saints' offense. Stills exploded against the Buffalo Bills, racking up two touchdowns and over 100 yards, and the former Oklahoma Sooner is proving to be worth far more than a fifth round pick usually does at this stage.
TE Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Tyler Eifert of the Bengals has been impressive in patches, but Washington's Jordan Reed has become a huge part of Mike Shanahan's offense. Having hauled in 34 passes and 2 touchdowns over 388 yards, Reed is establishing himself as one of Robert Griffin III's favourite targets having been drafted in the third round out of Florida.
OT David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers
Despite three offensive tackles going in the first four picks, the selection here is David Bakhtiari, the fourth round pick out of Colorado for Green Bay. The injury to Bryan Bulaga thrust him in at left tackle, one of the premier positions in the NFL – but despite a down week against the Cincinnati Bengals, Bakhtiari has been fairly solid on the left side of the Packers offensive line.
OG Kyle Long, Chicago Bears
Shock first round pick Long has played every snap for the Bears this year, and his play in the run game has been impressive, and whilst his pass protection has been slightly up and down, he has only given up two sacks and one QB hit. An athletic guard who impressed at Oregon, Long figures to continue his good start to the season for years to come in Chicago.
C Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys
The penultimate pick of the first round, the pick of Frederick was derided by many, as the Wisconsin lineman was predicted to go between the second and third rounds. However, Frederick has been impressive for the Cowboys so far, excelling in the run game and giving up few pressures in the passing game, proving many people wrong in the process.
OG Larry Warford, Detroit Lions
Warford was a third round pick from Kentucky, and has been a crucial player on the Lions offensive line. Thrust into a starting role as a rookie, Warford has yet to give up a sack and has given up just 10 pressures in 581 total snaps and has performed well in both run blocking and pass protection – far exceeding expectations of a third round rookie lineman.
OT D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers
Drafted as a fantastic run blocker but suspect pass protector, Fluker has actually been very solid in both aspects of the game. His game at left tackle against the Jaguars was one of his worst so far in the NFL, showing that his future remains at right tackle. Either way, the Chargers' offense has been improved this year, and Fluker has been a key part of that.
image: © Zennie Abraham