Here’s a look at how the 2015 Rookie Club fared in their second professional campaigns.
After a somewhat quiet rookie season, Beasley exploded in 2016 for 15.5 sacks and six forced fumbles. Both of those numbers were league-highs, and according to Pro Football Reference, he is one of just 13 NFL players to record that many sacks and forced fumbles in a single season. As his coaches and teammates said throughout the year, Atlanta’s Pro Bowl outside linebacker broke out by taking his work ethic to a new level – on the practice field and in the film room. His presence helped the Falcons make significant improvements to their pass rush: In 2015, they finished last in the NFL in sacks (19), but in 2016, their 34 sacks ranked 16th overall.
After enduring a four-game suspension to begin his second year, Collins steadily improved throughout the season and received a starting job when
The immense potential Coleman displayed as a rookie has quickly turned into production. In the regular season, he scored 11 touchdowns – eight on the ground, three through the air – more than all but 12 players, and his five rushes of 20-plus yards ranked 15th. Not bad for someone who missed three games. Coleman remained dangerous in the playoffs, gaining 178 yards on 36 touches and three scores.
As a member of Atlanta’s deep wide receiving corps, Hardy developed into a reliable target with a penchant for moving the chains. He finished the regular season with 203 yards on 21 targets (a 9.7 average), 17 first downs and four TDs. He made two catches in the playoffs, both of which resulted in first downs.
At this point, it’s safe to say Grady Jarrett is one of the best fifth-round picks in recent memory. The powerful defensive lineman established himself as a force at nose tackle, contributing in all situations and eating a lot of space up the middle. His breakout may have occurred during SBLI: On football’s biggest stage, he tied the Super Bowl record for sacks by dragging down Tom Brady three times behind the line of scrimmage.