This preseason I highlighted 5 rookies each on offense and defense that I thought would be difference makers this season in Madden. So while we’re at about the halfway point I thought I would give a look at how those players are doing as well as some that weren’t highlighted but are playing great. OFFENSE QB Blake Bortles – Jaguars Ninersfan80 1424 Passing yards, 4 TD, 14 INT, 61% Bortles is having trouble getting adjusted to the speed of the NFL. If he takes his time and slows down while going through his progressions, his interceptions will come down. WR Sammy Watkins – Bills coachgaddy 15 Rec, 287 yards, 2 TD Watkins is not having the impact the Bills imagined when they traded up to get him in the draft. He will have to improve as the Bills have their sights set on a divisional crown. TE Eric Ebron – Lions Warhawk AKA dreadman 21 Rec, 358 Yards, 3 TD Ebron is doing what many envisioned he would do and that’s control the middle while Megatron does his thing on the outside. WR Brandin Cooks – Saints ThaBayouChef 11 Rec, 157 Yards, 2 TD Even with the plethora of weapons available to Drew Brees, Cooks’ numbers are not what many expected of him in his rookie season. QB Johnny Manziel – Browns LtJustice 1151 Passing Yards, 5 TD, 26 INT, 51% Flat out, Manziel is playing like garbage. With Hoyer being released during the preseason, the front office has no choice but to let Manziel play through his struggles. Surprises WR Marqise Lee - Jags Ninersfan80 29 Rec, 386 Yards, 2 TD Lee has been a bright spot for a spotty Jags offense and may emerge as their potential #1 WR. RB Bishop Sankey - Titans @heath 304 Rushing yards, 5 TD Sankey is the only rookie RB with more than 80 yards and while his YPC isn’t impressive, he is getting the job done in Tennessee WR Kelvin Benjamin - Panthers CSteud 20 Rec, 313 Yards, 1 TD With their top 3 WR options gone from last year, the late 1st round pick has been a nice addition and should be dangerous as he matures and improves his route running. DEFENSE OLB Jadeveon Clowney - Texans dakota7 25 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 INT As the #1 overall pick and all of his youtube, Clowney’s expectations were through the roof. While he has played well, he is not shown to be the difference maker we expected. OLB Khalil Mack - Raiders RVallee 22 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT To some, Mack should have been the 1st overall pick in the draft and with comparable, if not better numbers than Clowney he is showing he had the talent. CB Justin Gilbert - Browns LtJustice 6 Tackles, 3 INT Gilbert was touted as the best corner in the draft and as evident by his 3 interceptions so far he is proving that. OLB Anthony Barr - Vikings JSimms 7 Tackles Barr has been nonexistent this year. With only 7 tackles it makes you wonder if he will be a bust. MLB Ryan Shazier - Steelers 26 Tackles, 4 Sacks Shazier is having a solid season and leads all rookies in sacks. Surprises FS Lamarcus Joyner – Rams Coach KO 38 Tackles Coming out of nowhere, Joyner the FSU product leads all rookies in tackles. Jason Verrett – Chargers niner_empire86 15 Tackles, 4 INT A late 1st rd pick that seemed to be forgotten by most, Verrett leads all rookies in interceptions. Prince Shembo – Raiders Michael Overman 32 Tackles, 1 FF The 4th round product out of Notre Dame is 2nd in all rookies in tackles. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Packers redlishus 29 Tackles, 2 INT Clinton-Dix has showed he has the range and ability to play in the box thus far this season and is looking like the best safety prospect in the draft.