Every NFL draft class has enormous potential. Somewhere within all of these rookie players is a few that will change the sport or the fate of their new team. The excitement in the air when your home team drafts a highly anticipated prospect can be immense, but unfortunately, not all players that are drafted in the first round end up being stars. Here’s a look at some of the NFL 2020 rookies that are performing well this season.
Draft picks spent on running backs are always a gamble. Luckily, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has already proven to be an athletic phenom. In the course of just over half of a season, Edwards-Helaire has helped raise the American football betting odds for the Chiefs which would have seemed impossible considering how they were already heavily favored in most of their matchups. After 10 games, he has 655 yards for the year. The only downside for Edwards-Helaire thus far is he doesn’t get as much time with the ball as he would on another team because the Chiefs run a throw-heavy offense with quarterback Mahomes.
Since taking over as the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers in week two, Herbert has been very impressive. It's clear that the Chargers were placing a big bet on Herbert by selecting him #6 overall, but thus far it looks like this was the smart move. In 9 games, this young talent has thrown for 2,700 yards, not bad by any means. Given some more time to mature and understand the professional level and we may have the franchise quarterback that the Chargers need.
Right alongside Herbert in the quarterback rankings is the #1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow. The Bengals needed a big change if they want to have a successful future and Burrow is a step in the right direction. Burrow is a Heisman Trophy recipient who should still be elated from his win in the Clemson vs LSU National Championship game in 2019. In his first month as the starting QB, Burrow had 3 consecutive 300-passing yard games. In week 7 versus the Cleveland Browns, Burrow posted over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns. While the Bengals record may not reflect it, they are coming together and showing promise with Burrow at the helm.
In Tampa Bay, quarterback Tom Brady has been just as productive as his time in New England. He should be thanking his offensive line for the opportunity as players like rookie Tristan Wirfs have been working overtime. His natural athleticism allows him to cover up speed rushers and his bulk and strength aid him in keeping opposing players from breaking through the line. Wirf has shown he understands how to play at the professional level and has been a very consistent OT.
Young missed some game time from injury and had a few unfortunate penalties, but overall he has been a promising defensive end for Washington. He puts serious power into his pass rushing, and has produced 3.5 sacks for 25 tackles so far this year. While his numbers aren’t extravagant, he consistently shows that he affects the opposing quarterback when he is on the field and if given some more experience, he could be a feared defensive talent down the road.
Jefferson has really been phenomenal for the Minnesota Vikings this season and he doesn’t look to be slowing down. Already, he has multiple games with over 130 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns for the season. While theoretically he should have more TDs, quarterback Kirk Cousins commonly looks to other players in the red zone. Jefferson has shown that he runs routes exceptionally well and burns defending cornerbacks on a straight sprint. With 850 total yards for the year, keep an eye on Jefferson as he could be a top-ten receiver in coming years.
Without quarterback Dak Prescott, there has been a lack of adrenaline-fueled, highlight-reel worthy plays this season for the Dallas Cowboys. However, first-round pick CeeDee Lamb had one miraculous touchdown catch versus the Minnesota Vikings in the Cowboys’ last game. This season, Lamb has been showing some promising feats of athleticism that feel like meer glimpses of his true potential. He has put up over 600 yards and 4 touchdowns this season marking a very productive rookie year.