Brock Purdy‘s remarkable rookie season rolls on, with the quarterback set to lead the 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs Sunday — but he’s not the only first-year pro who shined on offense this season. After scanning the outstanding debut efforts from the regular season, I present my Offensive All-Rookie Team of 2022. And be sure to check out Kevin Patra’s Defensive All-Rookie Team.
NOTE: Regular-season performance only — not postseason performance — was considered when selecting players for this article.
DRAFTED: Round 7, No. 262 overall
This spot came down to the first and last quarterbacks selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. Ultimately, Purdy got the nod, despite Kenny Pickett (pick No. 20 overall) taking on a tougher task in Pittsburgh. Mr. Irrelevant did exactly what was asked of him when he took over for Jimmy Garoppolo, closing out the regular season with six straight wins, the NFC West crown and the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. In the six regular-season games in which he played more than 80 percent of the offensive snaps, Purdy completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 1,308 yards, 13 passing touchdowns (against just three interceptions) and a 112.0 passer rating. And while it didn’t factor into his placement here, I have to praise him for his playoff debut, in which he logged 332 passing yards and four scores (three passing) against zero picks. What Purdy lacks in arm talent, he makes up for in composure and decision-making — traits any team values in their quarterback, especially in the playoffs.
DRAFTED: Round 2, No. 41 overall
Walker solidified his place in this list long before Week 18, when he racked up 33 yards — 20 of which came on one play — on the game-winning drive in overtime, or Week 17, when he dashed off a 60-yard scamper on the first play from scrimmage. He made plays like that all season to help the Seahawks ultimately reach the playoffs. Walker missed two games — he was inactive in Week 1 due to a hernia procedure and in Week 14 with an ankle injury — and still led all rookies in rushing yards (1,050) and rushing touchdowns (nine). In a wide-open Offensive Rookie of the Year race, Walker has a real chance to be the first running back since Saquon Barkley (2018) to win the award. The Seahawks couldn’t get past the Niners on Saturday, but they have a key piece for the future in Walker.
DRAFTED: Round 4, No. 107 overall
An ankle injury that ended Pierce’s season in Week 14 kept him from reaching 1,000 rushing yards, but he still managed to lead all rookies in rushing yards per game (72.2). Before the injury, he was often the highlight of a poor Texans offense and an “Angry Runs” regular as a tackle-breaking machine. Per Pro Football Focus, Pierce finished fourth among all running backs in missed tackles (62) and 12th in yards after contact (722) . He’s going to be one to watch once healthy in 2023.
DRAFTED: Round 1, No. 10 overall.
The Jets really hit this rookie class out of the park, with Wilson leading that group offensively after Breece Hall‘s midseason season-ending injury. Wilson ranked first among all NFL rookies with 1,103 receiving yards, good for 15th overall. That’s also the most by a Jets rookie all time. New York was plagued by rocky quarterback play for much of the season, but Wilson was a bright spot. Presuming the Jets get their next offensive coordinator hire right, imagine how good the promising wideout would be with a consistent passer and a healthy run game (led by Hall) on his side.
DRAFTED: Round 1, No. 11 overall
Though it’s not much of a surprise after watching them ball in their respective offenses all year, Olave joins Wilson to round out an Ohio State receiver sweep. The rookie was thrust into a big role early with veterans Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry battling injuries, and he was every bit the playmaker the Saints hoped they’d get when they traded up for him. New Orleans’ offense was very up-and-down, but Olave was steady, leading the team in receptions (72), receiving yards (1,042) and games of 100-plus receiving yards (three). The offense is likely to undergo changes this offseason, particularly at the quarterback position, but Olave has proven to be a building block.
DRAFTED: Round 4, No. 143 overall
Quite a few solid rookie tight ends — Greg Dulcich, Cade Otton, Jelani Woods, Daniel Bellinger and Isaiah Likely — posted steady campaigns with some splash plays sprinkled in. Okonkwo stands out from the group as a pass catcher, though, finishing with the most receiving yards (450) among rookie tight ends on just 32 catches and 46 targets — 19 fewer targets than Otton, the rookie category leader in Tampa. Okonkwo’s yards-after-the-catch total (257) is also impressive, as is his receiving-yards-over-expected total (97), which led all rookies, per Next Gen Stats. The Titans must be happy with what they saw from Okonkwo, with Austin Hooper set to hit free agency in March.
DRAFTED: Round 1, No. 25 overall
The Ravens’ offense certainly had its fair share of struggles, especially when Lamar Jackson was lost to a knee injury, but Linderbaum lived up to his draft standing, holding his own against veterans like Steelers three-time All-Pro Cam Heyward on a weekly basis. Though he was snubbed by the Pro Bowl, Linderbaum played a key role in the Ravens’ second-ranked rush offense, garnering a run-blocking grade of 84.2 from PFF, fourth-best among centers this season, while his 74.7 overall grade placed him sixth among centers.
DRAFTED: Round 1, No. 17 overall
This rookie class didn’t offer a ton of great guard play, but Johnson was, hands down, the best of the group. A Week 1 starter at right guard, Johnson played 99 percent of the Chargers’ offensive snaps as one of two rookie offensive linemen upon whom the team relied this season (Jamaree Salyer took over at left tackle in Week 4 for an injured Rashawn Slater). Johnson experienced the expected rookie growing pains but finished with PFF’s highest overall grade among rookie guards. At this point in his career, he thrives as a run-blocker and still has some work to do in pass pro, having allowed five sacks on 771 pass-blocking snaps in 2022. Hopefully improvement in that area will come with time.
DRAFTED: Round 3, No. 90 overall
Like every NFL rookie along the offensive line, Parham had some inconsistencies this season. He also showed some versatility, playing snaps at left guard, center and right guard, garnering PFF’s second-highest overall grade among rookie guards. Parham graded slightly better in the run game — paving the way for the league’s leading rusher in Josh Jacobs — but has the potential to become a well-rounded interior lineman after setting a solid foundation in Year 1.
DRAFTED: Round 1, No. 24 overall
Smith had huge shoes to fill at left tackle after All-Pro Tyron Smith‘s knee/hamstring injury in training camp that required surgery. The first-round pick was a key cog in the Cowboys’ ninth-ranked rushing attack, paving the way for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard on the left side, and when Tyron Smith returned, Tyler stayed at left tackle while Tyron moved to right tackle. Smith shifted to left guard at the end of the regular season, then jumped back to left tackle during Dallas’ wild-card game against the Bucs when Jason Peters suffered an injury. There is still room to improve as a pass-blocker — Tyler Smith allowed six sacks on 589 pass-blocking snaps in the regular season, per PFF — but he also garnered the third-highest overall grade (71.4) among rookie tackles while logging the most offensive snaps (1,095) in that group, which speaks volumes about how he’s adjusted to the pro game in Year 1.
DRAFTED: Round 5, No. 168 overall
Drafted well after the top-rated tackles were off the board, Jones proved to be one of the biggest surprises of the class. Claiming the starting left tackle job by Week 1, Jones allowed four sacks within the first four weeks but just three more after that, per PFF, and he ended up playing every single offensive snap for the Bears. He was instrumental in the league-leading rushing attack and Justin Fields‘ record-setting campaign. Like Smith, there is room for the Southern Utah product to improve in pass protection, but he finished the year with PFF’s highest overall grade among rookie tackles (75.4).
Follow David Carr on Twitter.
With Super Wild Card Weekend on tap, which teams could have trouble putting points on the board? David Carr identifies the three playoff offenses that concern him the most. Plus, his final ranking of this season’s top 15 offensive players.
David Carr identifies five quarterbacks who could save their careers over the final two weeks of the season — in addition to one who can repair his legacy. Plus, Kirk Cousins enters Carr’s top 15 offensive player rankings for the first time this season.
David Carr reveals four offensive superstars who are playing below expectation as playoff races heat up. Plus, Christian McCaffrey cracks the offensive player rankings for the first time this season. See the full pecking order, 1-15.
With the 2023 Pro Bowl Games rosters set to be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 21, David Carr fills out his own ballot with deserving offensive players from each conference. Who makes the cut in the AFC?
With the 2023 Pro Bowl Games rosters set to be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 21, David Carr fills out his own ballot with deserving offensive players from each conference. Who makes the cut in the NFC?
What’s next for franchises without a true answer at the game’s most important position? David Carr spotlights four teams that’ll almost certainly bring in a brand new starting quarterback next season. Plus, an updated ranking of the top 15 offensive players in the game today.
Jimmy Garoppolo is enjoying a nice season for the San Francisco 49ers, but the 31-year-old is set to hit free agency in March. Which NFL teams should be in the market for the veteran QB’s services? David Carr identifies three fits.
David Carr breaks down why benching Zach Wilson was the best move for Robert Saleh’s Jets — and how it could help the quarterback’s development in the long run.
With Pro Bowl fan voting opening today, David Carr reveals 10 offensive sleepers — five NFC and five AFC. Plus, Tua Tagovailoa enters the top-15 offensive player rankings. Where does he land?
There’s a new No. 1 in David Carr’s top 15 offensive player rankings at the midway point of the 2022 NFL season. See how the pecking order shakes out heading into the second half.
How quickly would David Carr jump on Justin Fields if the 2021 QB class were redrafted? Would Trevor Lawrence still go with a top-10 pick? Check out how the highly touted group shakes out in Carr’s eyes.
You won’t want to miss a moment of the 2022 season!
NFL+ gives you the freedom to watch LIVE out-of-market preseason games, LIVE local and primetime regular season and postseason games on your phone or tablet, the best NFL programming on-demand, and MORE!
© 2022 NFL Enterprises LLC. NFL and the NFL shield design are registered trademarks of the National Football League.The team names, logos and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. NFL footage © NFL Productions LLC.