2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7 – New Names Make the Grade

2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7 – New Names Make the Grade – At almost the midway point of the 2017 NFL season, several trends are beginning to emerge. Chief among them is the strength of the sophomore class and the front-runners for Rookie of the Year honors.

Here is a look at the players who made our list on the 2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7. Find their NFL licensed rookie cards and autographs in 2017 Panini NFL football card products.

2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7 – New Names Make the Grade – Quarterbacks

C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers (3rd Round, 104th Overall, Iowa) – Beathard had a rough introduction to the NFL in his career debut in the 49ers 10-40 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He was sacked five times and fumbled twice. However, on the plus side, he threw for 235 yards on 22-of-38 passing attempts for a completion percentage of 57.9. He didn’t throw any touchdowns but he didn’t throw any interceptions either. He rushed for 30 yards on five carries with one touchdown.

At Iowa, Beathard led the Hawkeyes offense as a junior, earning team MVP and second-team All-Big Ten honors by completing 61.6 percent of his passes for 2,809 pass yards, 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He wasn’t nearly as effective as a senior (56.5 completion pct, 1,929 yards, 147TD, 10 INT) but is still considered a solid developmental prospect.

C.J. Beathard NFL Rookie Cards Image Gallery

2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7 – New Names Make the Grade – Running Backs

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (5th Round, 182 Overall – Texas-El Paso) – Jones is starting to prove he can be a more than capable back in the Packers’ offense. With the lose of Aaron Rodgers due to injury, the Packers’ ground game will have to excel to continue to compete in the NFC North. Jones rushed for 131 yards on 17 carries for a 7.7 yard average with one touchdown in the Packers 17-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Playing for the UTEP Miners, in 2014, he earned second-team All-Conference USA honors with 1,321 yards (5.5 per) and 11 scores (also 30-293, three TDs receiving). After missing his entire junior year with an ankle injury, Jones exploded in 2016 after that redshirt year. He ranked fourth in the FBS with 1,773 rushing yards and scoring 17 times (28-233, three TDs receiving). As a result, he earned a first-team All-Conference USA selection.

Aaron Jones NFL Rookie Cards Image Gallery

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs (3rd Round, 86th Overall – Toledo) – Hunt continues to be a tough match-up for opposing defenses. Whether he is carrying the ball or catching it out of the backfield, he has proved to be a versatile weapon. In the Chiefs narrow 30-31 loss to the Oakland Raiders, he rushed for 87 yards on 18 carries (4.8 YA), good for another Top 10 finish among all NFL rushers. He also chipped in 30 receiving yards.

Kareem Hunt NFL Rookie Cards Image Gallery

2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7 – New Names Make the Grade – Receivers

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1st Round, 19th Overall – Alabama) – Howard had a breakout performance despite the Bucs 27-30 loss  to the Buffalo Bills. He snagged six receptions for 98 yards with two touchdowns.

Howard had a huge year for the Crimson Tide in 2015. He caught 38 passes for 602 yards in the regular season. In the national championship game he earned Offensive MVP honors with 208 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just five catches. He was a factor in the passing game in his final year with the Tide (45-595, three TD), earning third-team All-American and second-team All-SEC honors.

O.J. Howard NFL Rookie Cards Image Gallery

2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7 – New Names Make the Grade

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2017 NFL Rookie Tracker: Week 7 – New Names Make the Grade