Time for a new Rookie Big Board, my ranking of the best rookies of the 2017 NFL season. You won't find first-round picks Deshaun Watson, Dalvin Cook, Jonathan Allen or Malik Hooker here, as all four are out for the season with injuries. That's the tough part of this -- they flashed their talent at times, but health and consistency really matter. So here's my top 25, plus where each player landed on my final top 300 prospects list before the 2017 draft.
Here are the parameters (same as always):
This is a measure for all games played this season -- not just last week.
Total snap count matters. Staying on the field is a measure of value.
Positional value matters, but overall performance and impact on the team matter more.
Relative value matters. I ask: Would this player be a starter on most teams or on a good team?
1. Marshon Lattimore, CB, New Orleans Saints
Previously ranked: 4 | Final 2017 Big Board rank: 9 | Where he was drafted: 11
Lattimore has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and he's my pick to be Defensive Rookie of the Year. He has two interceptions (one for a touchdown), eight pass breakups, 36 tackles and a forced fumble, and he has been a huge part of the Saints' defensive improvement. New Orleans' 2017 draft class looks really solid. Lattimore is a ridiculous athlete. He ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash and had a 38½-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump at the combine. He also has a high ceiling. Remember: He started only one season at Ohio State.