Throughout the NFL season, we’re ranking the top 10 rookies in the league based on their progress. Here’s the breakdown following Week 15:
10. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Chase Claypool: It’s been a quiet few weeks for the Notre Dame product, but only 10 NFL players have scored more touchdowns this season than Claypool (10).
9. Washington Football Team RB Antonio Gibson: The third-rounder out of Memphis hasn’t been on the field since suffering a toe injury early in Week 13, but he’s still averaged 5.4 yards per carry with eight touchdowns in his last six games. The future is bright.
8. Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow: Five interceptions in 10 starts is pretty damn impressive when you consider Burrow’s lack of support in Cincinnati. It’s a shame we won’t see him again until 2021. We’ll keep him on the list until somebody shines enough to move ahead of him.
7. Washington Football Team edge Chase Young: The No. 2 overall pick out of Ohio State has 5.5 sacks, and has played a critical role for a Washington team that’s fighting for a playoff spot. The numbers aren’t quite there, but it’s just a matter of time.
6. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor: After a slow start, the second-rounder from Wisconsin has averaged 5.8 yards per carry the last four weeks. He might wind up with 1,000 yards and 10-plus touchdowns.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson: The undrated Illinois State product was quiet before suffering an ankle injury in Week 15, but he still ranks behind only Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook in rushing yardage.
4. New England Patriots OT Michael Onwenu: The sixth-round pick from Michigan (sound familiar?) is the top-rated rookie offensive lineman at Pro Football Focus. He’s been responsible for just three sacks this season.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Tristan Wirfs: The No. 13 overall pick out of Iowa has been responsible for just one sack on Tom Brady through 14 games.
2. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert: The No. 6 overall pick out of Oregon threw two more touchdown passes and no picks in helping the Bolts play spoiler against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 15. He’ll likely wind up with more than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns under tough circumstances as a rook.
1. Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson: Following his sixth 100-yard game of the 2020 campaign, the first-round LSU product trails only six wide receivers in that metric. He also ranks third in the NFL with 11.5 yards per target.