NFL Rookie Rankings Through the First Four Weeks of 2020
A quarter of the way into the season is a great time to assess the top NFL rookies. One thing that’s clear about the NFL rookie rankings is that first-year offensive players from LSU are littered making their presence felt.
Of all 2020 rookies, an Ed Orgeron disciple is leading in passing yards (Burrow), rushing yards (Edwards-Helaire), and receiving yards (Jefferson).
Let’s see who else joins this trio as we start on the offensive side of the ball.
The 8 Best Offensive Rookies
1Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals
Week 3 was a productive one for the #1 overall pick. The Bengals picked up their first win of the season as Joe Burrow collected his third straight game with at least 300 passing yards. However, Cincy still needs to do a better job of protecting their top asset. Only Deshaun Watson has been sacked more.
2Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
Watching last Sunday’s Chargers game is all the evidence you need to know that Tyrod Taylor’s stint as the starting QB in LA is over.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians said he told Chargers coach Anthony Lynn after the game that he has a “great one” in Justin Herbert: "For a rookie to make plays like that, you know they’re special."— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) October 4, 2020
Herbert connected on two deep bombs – throws that most rookies would have severely underthrown. This kid made them look easy.
3Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
Say hello to the guy who made the biggest climb in this week’s NFL rookie rankings. Jefferson is now 8th in the league in receiving yards after posting his second consecutive 100+ yard game. Kirk Cousins may have lost Stefon Diggs to the Bills, but this is quickly looking like Minnesota actually upgraded at the position.
Justin Jefferson: the highest-graded WR in the NFL ? pic.twitter.com/YFGcKkCppZ— PFF (@PFF) October 6, 2020
4Tristan Wirfs, OT, Buccaneers
Blue-collar offensive linemen don’t get the credit they deserve – especially when it comes to voting on the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. With that being said, Wirfs dominated the first three weeks of the season and rendered Joey Bosa useless (1 tackle, 0 sacks) in Tampa Bay’s week 4 victory. So much so that Bosa commended Wirfs for his performance.
5James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
Leading all rookies in yards from scrimmage (446), James Robinson continues to get it done for Jacksonville in the wake of Leonard Fournette’s release. Averaging an impressive 4.8 yards per carry and has caught 10 of 10 targets across the last two weeks.
6CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
The Cowboys rookie wideout is being aided in the box score by Dak Prescott’s bloated numbers. Nevertheless, it’s easy to see that CeeDee Lamb is the real deal and on his way toward becoming a Pro Bowl wide receiver. 59+ receiving yards in all four games.
7Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
Andy Reid’s lead back leads all rookie RBs in rushing yards and is proving to be yet another weapon for Patrick Mahomes to put to use. The way the Chiefs offense is rolling, CEH is on pace to rack up some stellar numbers by season’s end.
8Antonio Gibson, RB, Football Team
One of the lone bright spots in the nation’s capital has been the rookie running back from Memphis. Antonio Gibson has rushed for a TD in three straight games while week 4 was his coming-out party as a receiver. In the game versus Baltimore, Gibson caught four passes for 81 yards and posted a notable 95.1 receiving grade, per PFF.
The 8 Best Defensive Rookies
1Jaylon Johnson, CB, Bears
After an underwhelming start in week 1 against Detroit, Jaylon Johnson suddenly looks like an All-Pro cornerback.
#Bears rookie CB Jaylon Johnson has been really impressive through four games.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 5, 2020
– Ranked 2nd in the NFL in passes defended (7)
– QBs have a 45.5% completion rate when targeting him
A matchup up against Mike Evans on Thursday Night Football in week 5 gives Johnson a chance to shine in the national spotlight.
2Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Buccaneers
On the other sidelines in the TNF matchup is a ferocious young safety who is a perfect fit for what Todd Bowles wants to accomplish. Antoine’s physicality and versatility have both been on full display through the first four weeks of the year.
3Jeremy Chinn, OLB, Panthers
His 36 tackles are the most among all defensive rookies. More than that, Jeremy Chinn has demonstrated he can wreak havoc all over the field. Despite being listed as an outside linebacker, Chinn lines up as a safety most of the time.
4Patrick Queen, MLB, Ravens
After looking solid early on, Patrick Queen erupted with 12 tackles and three stuffs in week 4 versus Washington. All signs are pointing toward Baltimore’s search for a dependable middle LB being in the rear-view mirror.
5Chase Young, DE, Football Team
An absentee from Washington’s past two games, I felt obligated to drop Young a couple of notches in this week’s NFL rookie rankings. Although his groin injury is not being considered “serious,” it’s a bit alarming that he’s already missing time.
6Javon Kinlaw, DT, 49ers
The defense in San Francisco has taken some massive hits losing Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas. While this defensive front won’t stand out like it otherwise would have, Javon Kinlaw is cementing his status as a surehanded DT.
7L’Jarius Sneed, CB, Chiefs
It’s unfortunate that L’Jarius Sneed sustained a fractured collar bone that has sent him to IR until at least week 7. The 4th-round pick out of Louisiana Tech was looking like one of the true steals of the 2020 NFL Draft.
8Derrick Brown, DT, Panthers
Carolina is quietly 2-2. Derrick Brown isn’t making any waves as the 7th overall pick, but he does lead all NFL rookies in tackles for loss. If he can continue to build on his week 4 performance, Brown will be a fast riser in our NFL rookie rankings.