The 25 best rookies from the 2022 NFL season
USA Today Images

The 25 best rookies from the 2022 NFL season

One season in, and the 2022 NFL draft class appears to be a strong one based on rookie performances. So with that in mind, these are the 25 top rookies of the 2022 NFL season.

1 of 25

1. Sauce Gardner, CB, Jets

Sauce Gardner, CB, Jets
Vincent Carchietta / USA Today Sports Images

Gardner is following in the footsteps of former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis as an elite cover corner. He's likely to win Defensive Rookie of the Year after making the Pro Bowl and leading the league in passes defensed.

2 of 25

2. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Lions

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Lions
Lon Horwedel / USA Today Sports Images

Hutchinson was as advertised as the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, helping provide the Lions with a formidable pass rush after recording 9.5 sacks and 52 tackles. He stood out as the season progressed as one of the most impactful defensive players in the league.

3 of 25

3. Tariq Woolen, CB, Seahawks

Tariq Woolen, CB, Seahawks
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports Images

The 6-foot-4 Woolen showed raw tools through the draft process but fell to the fifth round due to his lack of experience. Head coach Pete Carroll has shown a keen eye for late-round defensive backs in his tenure with Seattle, and that continues with Woolen, emerging as a Pro Bowler with a league-high six picks.

4 of 25

4. Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets

Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets
Vincent Carchietta / USA Today Sports Images

The Jets' quarterback situation has been a mess for most of 2022, yet Wilson didn't let him stop him from accumulating over 1,000 yards receiving in his rookie campaign. The 10th overall pick in the draft established himself as the top wideout of his draft class in 2022.

5 of 25

5. Chris Olave, WR, Saints

Chris Olave, WR, Saints
Cary Edmondson / USA Today Sports Images

Olave emerged as the top target in New Orleans, staying on the field for most of the year while veterans Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry struggled through injuries. He finished the season with just over 1,000 yards and four scores.

6 of 25

6. Jaquan Brisker, S, Bears

Jaquan Brisker, S, Bears
Brian Fluharty / USA Today Sports Images

The Bears found some encouraging signs from a limited rookie class led by Brisker. He had 104 tackles, four sacks, and one interception in 15 games.

7 of 25

7. Dameon Pierce, RB, Texans

Dameon Pierce, RB, Texans
Nathan Ray Seebeck / USA Today Sports Images

Pierce was one of the few bright spots on the Texans' roster this season, leading all rookies for most of the season with 939 rushing yards. The bruising back looks like a steal out of the fourth round and a building block for the team.

8 of 25

8. Kenneth Walker, RB, Seahawks

Kenneth Walker, RB, Seahawks
Jay Biggerstaff / USA Today Sports Images

Some questioned why the Seahawks would spend a second-round pick on Walker when they had Rashaad Penny. Penny's midseason injury allowed Walker to emerge as the starter, and the former Michigan State back averaged nearly five yards per carry with over 1,200 yards from scrimmage.

9 of 25

9. Tyler Allgeier, RB, Falcons

Tyler Allgeier, RB, Falcons
Brett Davis / USA Today Sports Images

The running back is more important in Arthur Smith's Falcons offense than most other teams with a run-heavy scheme, and Allgeier has been up to the challenge as a rookie. The fifth-round pick garnered more work late in the season, accumulating over 1,100 yards from scrimmage.

10 of 25

10. Tyler Linderbaum, OC, Ravens

Tyler Linderbaum, OC, Ravens
Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports Images

Linderbaum was part of a Ravens offensive line reboot, making an immediate impact at center after being drafted 25th overall. The Iowa alum has further strengthened his alma mater's reputation as an offensive line factory.

11 of 25

11. Brock Purdy, QB, 49ers

Brock Purdy, QB, 49ers
Stephen R. Sylvanie / USA Today Sports Images

Mr. Irrelevant, as the final pick of the 2022 draft, Purdy has already proven opposing teams wrong with the success of his rookie season. He could lead the 49ers in the playoffs after going 5-0 as a starter during the regular season, showing the same accuracy and vision that he did at Iowa State. With Trey Lance returning from injury next season, San Francisco has an embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position.

12 of 25

12. Kenny Pickett, QB, Steelers

Kenny Pickett, QB, Steelers
Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports Images

There have certainly been some hiccups for Pickett in his rookie season, but the first-round pick showed nerves of steel with four game-winning drives. Pittsburgh hopes to build a better roster around Pickett in the offseason.

13 of 25

13. Charles Cross, OT, Seahawks

Charles Cross, OT, Seahawks
Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports Images

Seattle has been searching for a young left tackle for many years, and Cross looks like he will fill the role just fine. The ninth overall pick in the draft has performed very well and started every game.

14 of 25

14. Jalen Pitre, S, Texans

Jalen Pitre, S, Texans
Nathan Ray Seebeck / USA Today Sports Images

Houston is rebuilding its defense, with Pitre playing a big part. The second-round pick had 147 tackles and five interceptions as one of the most productive safeties in the league.

15 of 25

15. Christian Watson, WR, Packers

Christian Watson, WR, Packers
Jasen Vinlove / USA Today Sports Images

Green Bay's wide receiver room appeared barren following the offseason, though Watson's development gives them something to look forward to in the future. He's shown flashes as a star, scoring eight touchdowns in four games from Weeks 10-13.

16 of 25

16. Devin Lloyd, LB, Jaguars

Devin Lloyd, LB, Jaguars
Trevor Ruszkowski / USA Today Sports Images

Lloyd has been a tackling machine for an emerging Jags defense. The first-round pick had 115 tackles and three picks, showing his elite physical tools.

17 of 25

17. Brian Robinson, RB, Commanders

Brian Robinson, RB, Commanders
Stan Szeto / USA Today Sports Images

Robinson is a remarkable story, surviving a gunshot wound from a carjacking attempt during the preseason not only to return but lead the Washington backfield. The third-round pick became a clear workhorse during the second half of the season, helping lead a lackluster offense to playoff contention.

18 of 25

18. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Giants

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Giants
Vincent Carchietta / USA Today Sports Images

Thibodeaux overcame early-season injury issues to have a strong rookie season. He added more talent to the Giants' front seven with four sacks and 49 tackles.

19 of 25

19. George Pickens, WR, Steelers

George Pickens, WR, Steelers
Robert Scheer / USA Today Sports Images

Pickens' rookie production was inconsistent, but the second-round pick showed more than a few flashes. His highlight catches will live on forever, and he looks like a potential star as he garners more experience.

20 of 25

20. James Houston, LB, Lions

James Houston, LB, Lions
Ed Mulholland / USA Today Sports Images

Emerging on the roster during the second half of the season, Houston has been a revelation for Detroit's defense, with eight sacks over a six-game stretch. The sixth-round pick out of Jackson State will be out to prove he's not a flash in the pan next season.

21 of 25

21. Drake London, WR, Falcons

Drake London, WR, Falcons
Joe Nicholson / USA Today Sports Images

The No. 1 receiver job was there for the taking in Atlanta, and London ran with it. The first-round pick had 72 catches for 866 yards and four touchdowns, stats more impressive with the fact that the Falcons' offense was so run-heavy.

22 of 25

22. Kyle Hamilton, S, Ravens

Kyle Hamilton, S, Ravens
Paul Rutherford / USA Today Sports Images

Baltimore desperately needed to shore up their secondary entering the 2022 season, and Hamilton was a strong contributor. The first-rounder out of Notre Dame emerged as a starter late in the season with 62 tackles and two sacks.

23 of 25

23. Isiah Pacheco, RB, Chiefs

Isiah Pacheco, RB, Chiefs
Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports Images

The speedy Pacheco was a key part of the Chiefs' offense after Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down with an injury, averaging nearly five yards per carry. The seventh-round pick looks like a draft steal and future contributor for the high-powered KC offense.

24 of 25

24. Breece Hall, RB, Jets

Breece Hall, RB, Jets
Ed Mulholland / USA Today Sports Images

The first running back drafted in 2022, Hall played the part with touchdowns in five of seven games before suffering a torn ACL in Week 7. He had nearly 100 yards from scrimmage per game and looks like an offensive star if he can get healthy for 2023.

25 of 25

25. Jack Jones, CB, Patriots

Jack Jones, CB, Patriots
Mark Hoffman / USA Today Sports Images

There were some doubts about the Patriots defense after losing significant talent in the offseason, though Jones helped keep the unit as one of the best in the league. The fourth-round corner is already 25 and played like an experienced veteran before a season-ending knee injury.

Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter


Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.