The Best Rookies in the NFL

For sports analysts, football fans, and fantasy players alike, tracking the new rookie players of the season can be incredibly rewarding. Many of these dedicated football fanatics have followed these players since their college days and have been waiting to see what their true potential is when they reach the NFL level. Of course, there are always draft busts among these players, but those that are truly great can end up changing the game. Here are a few of the best rookie players so far this season.

Joe Burrow

After the abysmal 2-14 season the Bengals had last year, it was clear something needed to change. Normally in these situations the organization kicks out their current quarterback and goes all in on a young talent. This is exactly what we’re seeing in Cincinnati and thus for, the results have been promising. Their new quarterback Joe Burrow has demonstrated a level-head and some exciting abilities and gradually, we are seeing the Bengals discussed more and more by sports analysts in the NFL picks. However Burrow is not the automatic savior of this team. We can’t be too excited for the Bengals because he is still rough around the edges and has a lot of growing to do.

What Burrow shows is promise, dependability under pocket pressure, and a willingness to devote the time and energy needed to become an elite quarterback. Essentially, everything you could ask for from a rookie in this crucial position. The talent may certainly be there but it’s too early for the Bengals to tell if they can build a future team around him.

Chase Young

With all of the negative offseason media attention, Washington is carrying a lot of pressure this year without many things to be optimistic about. With a mediocre 1-5 start in the books, fans are already starting to drop out. Luckily there is one silver lining thus far and that is the rookie defensive end Chase Young. After being selected 2nd overall, he certainly has high expectations to live up to. Thus far, he really has demonstrated exceptional ability when it comes to pass rushing. Many of the top NFL scouts predicted Young would be the clear Defensive Rookie of the Year and even despite missing two games with a groin injury, he still appears to be on track.

Justin Jefferson

Despite what the Minnesota Viking’s record would allude to, the team has one of the best receivers in the league with Justin Jefferson. Overall this year’s draft class was expected to be receiver heavy, so the fact that Jefferson is doing so well even in comparison to other rookies is quite impressive. In just his first 6 games of the season, Jefferson has 28 receptions for 537 yards including 3 touchdowns. Counting yards alone puts him in the top 5 receivers in the entire league so far. Right now Jefferson does not look like a rookie in any aspect, and in fact his confidence and skills in the slot position and running routes is reminiscent of a much more experienced player. It’s clear that Justin Jefferson could potentially be Rookie of the Year if he can keep up this impressive pace and stay healthy.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Kansas City Chiefs were absolutely stacked with talent last season so there was some discussion as to how they would end up using their first round draft pick. Obviously a new quarterback wasn’t considered and they already had several talented wideouts as well. In the end, they selected LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire with their #32 pick and thus far, it’s safe to say it’s working out well for them.

Edwards-Helaire is having an exceptionally good rookie season. After signing the troubled ex-Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, we assumed the Chiefs would be eager to try him out in their offensive scheme. That was until the most recent Chiefs game versus the Buffalo Bills where Edwards-Helaire ran for 161 yards. Through five games, Edwards-Helaire has now stacked 505 yards and 1 touchdown, making him 2nd in the league in rushing yards. Almost certainly Edwards-Helaire will stay the starting running back and he is on track to have a major rookie season.

AFI
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