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Atlanta Falcons Rookie Report Card: Week 5 vs. Giants

The rookies didn't have a great game against the Giants, unfortunately.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't a great game for the rookies in this one, either by poor play or minimal snaps. Let's not dwell on that for the moment and move on to the snap counts.

LT Jake Matthews, 72 snaps

Let's not dress it up in frilly hats for the fair, now: Jake Matthews got beat like a drum. He had easily his worst game of the season and couldn't keep up with Jason Pierre-Paul, in particular. Some of that was likely due to Matthews trying to compensate for Harland Gunn's poor pass protection right next to him, but Matthews was bad. Those kinds of game will come for rookie tackles, absolutely, but have to acknowledge it was a lousy game.

Look for him to bounce back against the Bears, though.

Grade: D-

DE/DT Ra'Shede Hageman, 7 snaps

No snaps for Shede, who got an even smaller slice of the pie this week. He's a project who should start making a real impact in 2015, but I'd like to see him get a few more snaps to accelerate his growth.

Grade: INC

FS Dezmen Southward, 10 snaps

A man on the rise. Southward has shown he can make a hit and he's been better in his limited coverage snaps than I would have deemed possible this early in the season. I'm not expecting him to carve out a major role until 2015, but he appears to be growing.

Grade: INC

RB Devonta Freeman, 16 snaps

Freeman's big run came in garbage time, but he looked improved and should be in line for more carries going forward. He didn't meet the threshold for the week, though.

Grade: INC

ILB Prince Shembo, 56 snaps

Shembo was in on a ton of tackles against the Giants and got a little bit of work rushing off the edge, but I wouldn't say he had an impactful game. He certainly had his struggles against the run and is a work in progress, but like last week, I'm pretty encouraged by his ability considering he's playing inside as a rookie. He'll be an asset sooner than later.

Grade: C

OLB Tyler Starr

Starr was—hold on, you may be shocked by this—inactive. He will continue to be inactive unless injuries strike.

Grade: N/A

Your thoughts on the rookie class in this one?