Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer 76d

Rookie receiver race: Cooper Kupp still strong, Kenny Golladay close behind

The impact, frankly, just hasn’t been there yet. Rookie receivers across the league are still learning the game and how things work.

It's showing both in how rookies are being used and the statistics they are putting up. Just 10 rookie receivers caught passes in Week 3. None had over 50 yards receiving. Only one -- San Francisco’s Trent Taylor -- scored a touchdown.

With that in mind, here’s a look at rookie wideouts (excludes running backs and tight ends) through three weeks in the NFL (according to ESPN Stats & Information):

Corey Davis, Tennessee (YTD stats: 7 catches, 73 yards, 13 targets, 51 routes): Davis sat out Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. It’s been a lingering issue, too. He dealt with it during the preseason and tweaked it again in Week 2. Based on what Titans reporter Cameron Wolfe reported, it sounds like the team is being cautious with the injury now to ensure it doesn’t flare up again later.

John Ross, Cincinnati (YTD stats: 1 carry, 12 yards; 0 receptions, 0 yards): The speedster has missed two of his first three NFL games with a knee injury.

Zay Jones, Buffalo (YTD stats: 3 catches, 39 yards, 9 targets, 94 routes): He was targeted twice after running 30 routes Sunday. He’s run more routes than any rookie receiver -- a sign that opportunity is there -- but his rate of targets per routes run (9.6 percent) is the lowest among any rookie with a catch.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina (YTD stats: 4 catches, 12 yards, 8 targets, 40 routes): He had five targets Sunday -- second-most among rookies. His production wasn’t great, though, with only two catches for five yards. He was targeted on 18.5 percent of his 27 routes. The good news for Samuel is he seems to be more involved in the offense by the week.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh (YTD stats: 5 catches, 55 yards, 1 TD, 10 targets, 75 routes): Smith-Schuster had a rookie-best six targets against Chicago, catching two of those for 39 yards. He was targeted on 16.7 percent of his routes -- a reasonable amount considering Pittsburgh’s other receiving options in Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Le’Veon Bell and others.

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (YTD stats: 9 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD, 14 targets, 63 routes): Kupp had a quieter game Thursday night than he did the previous Sunday, when he led all rookies in targets. He caught both of his targeted passes for 17 yards on 21 routes. He continues to be one of the more intriguing rookie receivers. Kupp still leads all rookie receivers in receptions and yards.

Taywan Taylor, Tennessee (YTD stats: 5 catches, 72 yards, 6 targets, 33 routes): Taylor was targeted three times, catching two passes for 16 yards in Week 3.

Kenny Golladay, Detroit (YTD stats: 7 catches, 102 yards, 2 TD, 14 targets, 79 routes): Golladay has come down after his big debut. He was targeted four times by Matthew Stafford on Sunday against Atlanta, catching two passes for 25 yards. He still has deep-play capability and is solidly Detroit’s No. 3 receiver, but his production is going to be hit-and-miss. He is still the rookie receiver leader in touchdown catches.

Mack Hollins, Philadelphia (YTD stats: 3 catches, 32 yards, 3 targets, 21 routes): Hollins was active Sunday, but did nothing. For the second time in three weeks, he was not even targeted. On Sunday, he ran just three routes.

Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams (YTD stats: 1 catch, 28 yards, 1 target, 9 routes) Not much work for him Thursday. He ran only two routes and was not targeted once.

Amara Darboh, Seattle (YTD stats: 1 catch, 16 yards, 3 targets, 20 routes): Darboh was minimally involved in the Seahawks offense, running 11 routes with one target and no catches.

Chad Williams, Arizona (YTD stats: 2 catches, 23 yards, 4 targets, 7 routes entering Monday night): Williams picked up one catch and Carson Palmer targeted him late in the fourth quarter as the Cardinals tried to mount a comeback -- but defensive pass interference was called on the play.

Trent Taylor, San Francisco (YTD stats: 6 catches, 46 yards, 1 TD, 9 targets, 60 routes): Taylor had an active Thursday night, catching three of his four targets for 32 yards and the only touchdown among rookie receivers this week. His fourth target, though, was a drop. He seems to be gaining some rapport with Brian Hoyer as he was targeted on 15.4 percent of his routes.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay (YTD stats: 3 catches, 44 yards, 5 targets, 21 routes): Godwin caught all three of his targets for a rookie-best 44 yards and had a really good target-per-route percentage of 30 percent. It’s a crowded Tampa Bay offense, but it seems Godwin might get some work.

ArDarius Stewart, New York Jets (YTD stats: 3 catches, 34 yards, 5 targets, 32 routes): Stewart had one catch for 24 yards Sunday -- a pretty impressive catch at that.

Noah Brown, Dallas (YTD stats: 1 catch, 13 yards, 1 target, 1 route entering Monday night): Brown played sparingly in Week 2 and picked up his first NFL reception on Monday night. He's still way behind other Dallas options.

^ Back to Top ^