Every year, the NFL draft hauls up plenty of rookies who hope to make an impact for their respective teams. However, this year is one of the most unusual off-seasons. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc, but things should hopefully settle down soon. There are several hopefuls like Tua Tagovailoa, Chase Young and Joe Burrow, who all hope to attain glory.
However, the question remains, Who will become the 2020 NFL Rookie of the Season?
Ruggs is a clear case of a player whose impact can’t simply be measured by his stat line. He’s going to create more room for his teammates to make plays just by taking the field, as defenses have to respect his blazing 4.27 speed. Ruggs adds a dose of explosiveness that Derek Carr and Co. sorely needs.
Lamb leads a much-ballyhooed group of receivers on this list for various reasons, however the best thing is the situation he enters. Dallas had the No. 1 pass offense in the league last year, and there still should be plenty of opportunities for the rookie. Especially when it comes to catching passes from Dak Prescott. Lamb is also expected to fill the void left by Randall Cobb and Jason Witten.
The only thing standing in the way of a monster debut season for Taylor is fellow Colts RB Marlon Mack. The power of road grader Quenton Nelson and Taylor put together could make for fun viewing in Indy. Colts OC Nick Sirianni even dubbed Mack and Taylor a “1-1 punch” instead of a 1-2 punch,.
Queen fell into the hands of the Baltimore Ravens with the 28th pick in Round 1. Now teams who snubbed him must pay the price. It’s not yet clear whether he’ll play on the weak side or in the middle, though it may not matter. Queen has a good defensive line in front of him, the burst to close running lanes in a hurry and is smooth dropping into coverage, too.
His production totals might not end up jumping off the page in his rookie campaign. Okudah has recorded three interceptions, and defended 18 passes in three seasons. So, most quarterbacks will be wary of throwing in his general direction. He has all the tools to become a shutdown corner at the next level. A defensive-minded head coach like Matt Patricia can get the most out the draft’s third overall pick in his man-coverage-heavy scheme.
According to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Cardinals plan to play the draft’s most versatile defender at linebacker. That still leaves the door open for him to move around a bit. This is important for when Isaiah Simmons morphs into a blitzer, in coverage or as a spy against dual-threat QBs.
Tua is reportedly steadily recovering from hip surgery. However, there is a question mark on giving him a chance to relieve Ryan Fitzpatrick of his starting duties. Miami hired coordinator Chan Gailey who can design a spread offense that will play to Tagovailoa’s strengths.
Edwards-Helaire possesses the ability to wreak havoc in the offense. As per Andy Reid, Edwards-Helaire is better than his star all-purpose back from his Eagles days, Brian Westbrook.
Jow Burrow was the best QB under pressure last season, according to PFF. He even led the nation with 17 touchdown passes in those situations. The arrival of Joe Burrow, from the best season ever by a college quarterback, gives Zac Taylor a chance for a smooth recovery.
Widely considered the best player in the draft, Young joins a defensive line that was already loaded. He is in excellent company with Jonathan Allen, Ryan Kerrigan, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat. That talent is going to create opportunities for him and vice versa. NFL Network draft guru Daniel Jeremiah even compared the 6-5, 264-pound player to Julius Peppers and Mario Williams.