Throughout the NFL season, we’re ranking the top 10 rookies in the league based on their progress. Here’s the breakdown following Week 16:
10. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Chase Claypool: It’s been a relatively quiet few weeks for the Notre Dame product, but only 13 NFL players have scored more touchdowns this season than Claypool (10).
9. 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. He still belongs on this list.
8. Washington Football Team RB Antonio Gibson: The third-rounder out of Memphis averaged 6.1 yards per carry in his return to the lineup in Week 15, and he’s averaged 5.5 yards per rush with eight touchdowns in his last seven games. The future is bright.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson: The undrated Illinois State product missed Week 16 after suffering an ankle injury in Week 15, but he still ranks behind only Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook in rushing yardage.
6. Washington Football Team edge Chase Young: The No. 2 overall pick out of Ohio State has 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, and he’s played a critical role for a Washington team that’s fighting for a playoff spot. His impact has been much larger than his numbers suggest.
5. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor: Following a solid performance against the tough Steelers defense, the second-rounder from Wisconsin is 84 yards short of 1,000, and he’s one of just four rookies with double-digit touchdowns.
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 15 games. He should probably move to left tackle in 2021.
2. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert: The No. 6 overall pick out of Oregon now has a rookie record 28 touchdown passes to only 10 picks in 14 games. He’ll be viewed as a top-12 quarterback entering 2021.
1. Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson: The first-round LSU product trails only six wide receivers with 1,267 yards. He also ranks fourth in the NFL with 11.2 yards per target. The Offensive Rookie of the Year race is essentially a toss-up between the two Justins.