The defensive side of the ball didn’t disappoint when it comes to the 2016 rookie class. Some teams really needed that boost to the defensive part of the roster and here are the players that were able to deliver for their squads in their first season as professionals.
5) Keanu Neal, Safety, Atlanta Falcons – When they took him with the 17th overall pick in the first round, many people said that they reached for him. But, he was an amazing contributor for Atlanta in his first season as he finished with 106 tackles, five forced fumbles, and nine pass defenses. Very smart, good hitter, Kam Chancellor-like.
4) Deion Jones, Linebacker, Atlanta Falcons – Jones is one of those new linebackers that focuses on his speed and running towards the ball. He recorded 13 starts in 15 games and finished with 108 tackles, which is most among the rookies. He also had three interceptions for 165 return yards, with two of those going all the way for a touchdown.
3) Eli Apple, Cornerback, New York Giants – Apple has given that boost to this Giants defense that they desperately needed after being one of the worst teams on defense in 2015. He can play both inside and outside and will be an NFL cornerback for a long time.
2) Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars – Ramsey proved why the Jaguars took him with the 5th overall pick. He is not one of the fastest guys, and yet, he always finds a way to get to the right spot and cover his man. One of the smartest players out there, Ramsey is the cornerback that you want on your team.
1) Joey Bosa, Defensive Lineman, Los Angeles Chargers – He was holding out on playing at the beginning of the season. But, when he came back, he was a true beast on the field as he recorded 10,5 sacks and 46 quarterback pressures in 12 matches that he played. Bosa won Defensive Rookie Of The Year and rightfully so.