NFL cutdown day is here, which means we can reflect back on an entire, three-game preseason.
As I did for the first two weeks of the exhibition outings, grades will be handed out, meaningless game or not. Yes, I was pumped to watch these prospects, who I studied for months, on a professional field.
These are preseason grades for the final preseason contests for first-round rookies. Before I begin, if a rookie isn't listed, it's either because he did not play in his respective team's most recent game or, due to a variety of reasons, wasn't able to make much of an impact at all, bad or good.
1. Bryce Young, QB, Panthers
Young's final tune up for the regular season was lightyears better than his first two outings in the preseason. After a few easy completions to start, Young flashed his vintage creativity avoiding the explosive James Houston with a nasty bake juke after the quarterback flipped his head around on a play-action bootleg and had the second-year rusher in his face. He drastically cooled after that, with most of his throws falling incomplete, and Young was sacked in the red zone. He finished by hitting Adam Thielen on a deep over, before a scramble and a dime to Thielen at the front left pylon for a touchdown.
2. C.J. Stroud, QB, Texans
Short and sweet preseason finale for Stroud. He dropped one in the bucket to Nico Collins to start the night, but the downfield pass was knocked away at the last second. After a misfire on a scramble-drill throw toward the sideline to Robert Woods, he hit Dalton Schultz over the middle and got the ball to Collins, who was open on a short crosser, for a touchdown.
7. Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Raiders
Wilson had a nice one-armed tackle while gliding across the formation on a run and a highlight-reel bull rush of the Cowboys backup right tackle in his preseason debut for Las Vegas. Other than that, he was slowed by rookie tight end Luke Schoonmaker on a pass-rush attempt and didn't make much of an impact.
11. Peter Skoronski, OG, Titans
Skoronski was again rock-solid at left guard for the Titans. He did an admirable job dealing with the larger, more powerful front of the Patriots in the final preseason game but wasn't quite as sturdy in pass protection.
13. Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Packers
No registered pressure for Van Ness against the Seahawks, but his first few reps were awesome. Slippery swim move to beat the left tackle on a pass and run play. For his size -- Van Ness is over 270 pounds, he's proven to be explosive and fluid changing direction this preseason.
14. Broderick Jones, OT, Steelers
To my surprise, Jones wasn't overly comfortable blocking for the ground game against the Falcons. A few defenders he had squared up slipped off his blocks earlier than expected. He did hold his own in pass protection, which is of course, more vital.
15. Will McDonald, EDGE, Jets
After arguably the best preseason debut of any rookie from the 2023 first round, McDonald cooled in the second preseason game and came back to Earth even more against the Giants albeit on a small 13-snap sample size. No pressures and only provided some help on one tackle.
18. Jack Campbell, LB, Lions
Campbell is good to go for the regular season. He was again hyper-active in his third preseason audition. There was one minor missed tackle on an underneath toss to tight end Ian Thomas. Campbell counteracted that negative play with a remarkable shed of a climbing offensive linemen en route to one of his tackles in the game.
21. Quentin Johnston, WR, Chargers
Two grabs from Johnston against the 49ers, the first came on a nifty sell of a double-move that snapped into a comeback route. The other was another grab near the sideline.
25. Dalton Kincaid, TE, Bills
After a splashy showing with 45 yards on three grabs against the Steelers, Kincaid went catchless against the Bears in Chicago, however he did draw a pass interference deep down the field, and he sold it well. There was more progress made as a blocker, a low-key important development for him.
26. Mazi Smith, DT, Cowboys
Smith wasn't repeatedly overwhelmed in the preseason finale like he was the week before, yet nothing moved the needle positively as a pass rusher -- no pressures -- but Smith did help on two tackles, one of which came when he scraped across the line on a stretch run.
27. Anton Harrison, OT, Jaguars
Harrison had a few reps against ascending pass rusher Jaelan Phillips in which the veteran was able to soften Harrison's corner en route to Trevor Lawrence. No pressure allowed though. Otherwise, Harrison was rock solid, just like in the preseason opener.
28. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Bengals
Murphy showcased quality get-off and had a clean win on an inside counter relatively early in the third preseason game. After that, minimal impact before a chip near the end of the half actually accelerated him to the quarterback.
29. Bryan Bresee, DL/EDGE, Saints
Bresee looked like the former No. 1 recruit in the nation in the preseason finale against the Texans. Four pressures. Two came on powerful swipe moves. The others were on incredible spins that left the guards assigned to block him completely helpless.
31. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Chiefs
One super-clean win with an inside counter on a pass-rush rep for Anudike-Uzomah, and his other two pressures came on a stunt and when he was unblocked. He didn't impact the game much otherwise but did chip in with a tackle in the run game.