Ranking the 2020 NFL Rookies After Three Weeks

| October 1, 2020 6:10 am PDT

Tyrod Taylor did nothing wrong to lose his job in LA.

Just don’t expect the veteran signal-caller to regain the starting quarterback position in Los Angeles anytime soon. Justin Herbert looks the part, and there’s no turning back for Tom Telesco and the Chargers organization now.

The former Oregon Duck QB is among the many NFL rookies who have shined through the first three weeks of the year. Keeping that topic in mind, here are the NFL rookie rankings heading into week 4.

The 7 Best Offensive Rookies

1Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

Joe Burrow is yet to win a game, but boy does this guy look like the real deal under center. Over the Bengals last two contests, Burrow has accounted for 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and is averaging 314 passing yards/game.

2Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs

All the preseason talk about Clyde Edwards-Helaire being tailor-made for Andy Reid’s offense has shined through thus far. CEH currently ranks 4th in carries and 6th in rushing yards. He looks like he’s only going to get better.

3James Robinson, RB, Jaguars

16 carries in each of the first two games before breaking out for an outburst in week 3 (129 yards, 2 TDs). So much for wondering who would be the lead back in Jacksonville following Leonard Fournette’s departure.

4CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys

After playing 83% and 82% of the snaps in weeks 1 and 2, respectively, Lamb’s snap count dropped to 60%. However, that didn’t stop him from hauling in five or more passes for the third straight week.

5Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers

Two starts into his career and Justin Herbert has already racked up a couple of games with 300+ passing yards. After impressively completing 66.7% of his throws during his first start versus the Chiefs, Herbert connected on 71.4% of his passes last Sunday against the Panthers.

6Tristan Wirfs, T, Chargers

Tristian Wirfs might actually be better than advertised. This Tampa Bay rookie is one of 13 NFL tackles possessing a grade above 73.0 in both pass-blocking and run-blocking. After contributing valiantly through the first two weeks, Wirfs completely manhandled Bradley Chubb in week 3. The pair were matched up one-on-one eight times – Wirfs didn’t lose a single matchup.

7Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings

Bisi Johnson’s time as the Vikings #2 wideout was short-lived. Justin Jefferson exploded onto the scene in week 3 earning the highest PFF grade among all offensive players (93.8). With Kirk Cousins and Minnesota desperately searching to get back on track, look for Jefferson to keep the ball rolling.  

The 7 Best Defensive Rookies

1Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Buccaneers

Tampa Bay’s stout defense was missing a hard-nosed safety, but now they’ve got one. Antoine Winfield Jr. has wasted no time bringing an added element to Todd Bowles’ ferocious attack. Three weeks into the season and the University of Minnesota product ranks first among safeties in pressure rate (36%) and pass-rush grade (91.2), per PFF.

2Jeremy Chinn, OLB, Panthers

Quickly turning into a “do-it-all” guy in Carolina. This outside linebacker has the strength and football IQ to be dominant against the run, plus he’s got the quickness and athleticism needed to defend tight ends and running backs. Has played all but one defensive snap for Matt Rhule.

3Chase Young, EDGE, Washington

A groin injury sustained early in week 3 is likely going to keep Chase Young sidelined in week 4. Nonetheless, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble already clue us in that the Washington pass rusher is on his way to becoming elite.

4Jaylon Johnson, CB, Bears

The 7th cornerback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft is arguably playing better than any of the six who were picked ahead of him. In fact, there’s really nothing to debate.

Jaylon Johnson has been on the field for 207 of the 211 defensive snaps the Bears have taken. He’s one of two NFL players (James Bradberry) this season who have compiled at least five pass deflections.

Say hello to an up-and-coming shutdown CB in Chicago.

5Patrick Queen, LB, Ravens

Second on the team in tackles and assuming a major role in the middle of Don Martindale’s defense. After Baltimore fans got used to seeing Ray Lewis and C.J. Mosely plugging gaps, Patrick Queen had a big hole to fill. So far, so good.

6Jordan Elliot, DT, Browns

Myles Garrett and Sheldon Richardson anchor one mean defensive front in Cleveland. Third-round pick Jordan Elliott is the other piece to the puzzle that makes the wheels go round.

After another productive outing in week 3, Elliott is firmly entrenched on this list of NFL rookie rankings heading into week 4.

7Javon Kinlaw, DT, 49ers

With no Nick Bosa and no Solomon Thomas, Javon Kinlaw will be counted on heavily in San Francisco. His pass-rushing abilities will continually be developed, but he’s already a force to be reckoned when it comes to stuffing the run.

Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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