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Rookie Performances of the Week: Week 3

I love the draft, you love the draft and now we're going to look at which 2014 NFL draft prospects performed this week.

Grant Halverson

As always, I will do my absolute best to spot all notable rookie performances, but as one man I'm sure there are some that I miss. Usually I generate these from watching red-zone and then any game I can, along with several condensed games.

First of all I just want to mention some players who stood out. Buffalo punter Colton Schmidt had a good game against the Chargers, averaging 44 yards per punt and downing two inside the 20. Kyle Fuller had a very decent game against the Jets with an interception and 2 forced fumbles. Jeremy Hill had another touchdown for the Bengals, that's his second on the season and he's now averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Rookie corner Darqueze Dennard also had a decent game for the Bengals, registering a sack.

Cleveland had a good outing from a rookie wide receiver in Taylor Gabriel who registered two catches with one going for over 70 yards. He ended the day on 82 yards receiving. Corey Fuller had a 52 yard reception for the Lions. Ha-Ha Clinton Dix came through with an interception, but I'm still not sold on his positioning. Blake Bortles had an up-and-down day for Jacksonville throwing for two touchdowns but also two interceptions, although he was 14/24.

While we're talking Jacksonville, Allen Hurns had another big play. 1 reception, 63 yards and a touchdown. You'd want to get him more involved, but if a UDFA gives you a touchdown per game, then you're in good stead. Kelcy Quarles a undrafted rookie also got on the board with a sack for the Colts. Anthony Barr registered a sack for the Vikings.

Alfred Blue ran for 6.0 yards per carry against the Giants, 78 yards on 13 attempts. Bashaud Breeland the SS of the Redskins had a forced fumble. Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Hitchens had a 12 tackle game against Saint Louis. 49'ers rookie running back Carlos Hyde only carried the ball three times, but one of them was for a touchdown, that's his second score of the season.

Chandler Catanzaro, the rookie kicker for Arizona also went 3/3 on field goals with a long of 51!

Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers, Wide Receiver, Round 1, 8 receptions, 115 yards, 1 touchdown

This is Kelvin's second appearance on this list and I don't expect it will be his last. Just a big, tough, physical receiver. The scary thing is, he's still extremely raw but Carolina just throw the ball up and he usually comes down with it. 253 yards and two scores so far this year and he could end up around the 1,100 mark with close to 10 scores. He really is learning the ropes right now and if he can become a refined route runner, there is every possible chance he becomes one of the elite in this league. It's still early but you never know.

John Brown, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals, Round 3, 4 receptions, 52 yards, 2 touchdowns

John Brown brought in two big touchdowns and then drew a late pass interference call to all but seal the game for Arizona. He's now got over 100 yards on the season and three touchdowns. He was matched up a lot on the 49'ers safety and he really took him to town with his routes and crisp cutting. I read that he ran the incorrect route on the 3rd play of the game and got an earful for his trouble. However good players make up for mistakes by performing on the field and he did that, major props to Brown who's looking like a good player early.

Isaiah Crowell, Running Back, Cleveland Browns, UDFA, 11 rushes, 55 yards, 1 touchdown

This is looking to be one of the great UDFA pick-ups. He just looks superb, there is no other way to say it. He runs yard, he's elusive, he's got pace and strength and he now has 141 yards, 3 touchdowns and a 5.2 yards per carry average on the season. The Browns offensive line has been very solid to start the season but Crowell's running makes them look just as good as they make him look. He could be something quite special, I'd watch out for him as the season progresses and damn I'm irritated we didn't pick him up.

Terrance West, Running Back, Cleveland Browns, Round 3, 12 rushes, 36 yards, 1 touchdown

204 yards, 2 touchdowns and 4.2 average on the season for West now and he really does present a great one/two punch with Crowell. Opposing defences just don't get a chance to relax when these two are on their game. Another player who finds the holes and really does earn some tough yardage. He also added a couple of emergency catches out of the backfield, which only went for 5 yards but having a back with reliable hands can be a very important positive. Again, Cleveland look to have done well with their backs.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens, Round 4, 18 rushes, 91 yards, 1 touchdown

The Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns game really was the battle of the rookie runners. Three rookies had good games and it was perhaps Lorenzo who had the best one. Lorenzo runs hard and is extremely tough to bring down, he had a hole to fill over there in Baltimore but he made a great start. He doesn't have the elite break away speed, but if you do everything else right, you don't need it. Lorenzo came from Coastal Carolina and you know I love to pull for these small school guys.

Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles, Round 2, 8 receptions, 59 yards, 2 touchdowns

After being held in check by the Colts and Jaguars, Matthews really introduced himself to the NFL with a two touchdown performance against the Redskins. Matthews isn't the quickest player on the field, but what he does have his sound technical ability along with a good understanding of routes and how to use his body to box players out. He used all 6'3 of his frame against the redskins and Cousins seemed to trust him to make catches in traffic. Hopefully this is the start of a budding season for Matthews, who has a lot of talent.