Because there’s only five weeks left in the current NFL Season, we thought it might be a good idea to see what rookies on both offense and defense have shown flashes of stardom. Keep reading for the list as well as rookie of the year predictions for the 2020-2021 NFL Season. That said, let’s get right to it so you can keep making your bets against their NFL odds.
NFL Rookie Rankings: Have Burrow and Young Done Enough?
Top 3 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Candidates
- Joe Burrow, QB – Cincinnati Bengals
Before the LSU Heisman Trophy winning quarterback blew out a knee, he had thrown for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns. Burrow had just 5 picks in 11 games and had completed over 65% of his passes. If Burrow were still playing, he’d be a lock to win the award. But he isn’t. Has Joe done enough?
- Justin Herbert, QB – Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert, the third quarterback taken in the first round of this past April’s draft, took over for Tyrod Taylor on Sep. 20 in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and hasn’t looked back. The former Oregon Ducks signal-caller has thrown for 3,015 yards and 23 touchdowns. He’s thrown just 7 interceptions while playing in 9 games. He also completes 66.9% of his passes.
- Justin Jefferson, WR – Minnesota Vikings
Jefferson is already one of Kirk Cousins favorite targets. Double-J has caught 52 passes for 918 yards. He ranks fourth in average yards per catch at 17.7. NFL statisticians project Jefferson finishing with 76 catches for 1,335 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Top 3 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Candidates
- Chase Young, DE – Washington Football Team
Young’s stats aren’t Lawrence Taylor like. He’s got just 4.5 sacks, 22 solo tackles, and 2 forced fumbles. But opponents must double-team Chase, which is why Montez Sweat on the other side of the defensive line has 6 sacks. There are other ways to help your team as a defensive end besides getting sacks. Young is proving that.
- Antoine Winfield Jr., S – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
44 solo tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble puts safety Antoine Winfield in the discussion. AW also has 2 sacks and 25 assisted tackles. Winfield Jr. is one of the reasons the Bucs rank first in rushing yards allowed per game.
- Patrick Queen, LB – Baltimore Ravens
Queen has racked up 46 solo tackles, 24 assisted tackles, and 2 sacks. The Ravens always seem to have a great linebacker and Queen is that and then some.
NFL Offensive Rookie and Defensive Rookie of the Year Predictions
Although many ROY voters will want to cast their ballot for Joe Burrow, it’s impossible to do so because he’s done for the season. Burrow has the look of a future all-pro quarterback if he can get past this injury, though. So, he probably won’t dwell on it for long if he doesn’t win Rookie of the Year.
Because Burrow won’t win, either Jefferson or Herbert will. NFL award voters love to give hardware to quarterbacks. However, the Chargers are a bad football team, which means the award will likely go to Justin Jefferson.
At 5-6, the Vikings still have a chance to make the playoffs. Jefferson could eclipse 80 catches, exceed 1,500 yards receiving, and score 10 or more touchdowns. That will be enough for ROY voters.
On the defensive side, it will be hard to give an award to a player with just 4.5 sacks. If Young increases that sack total to 8, if he goes on a run in the next five games, the award is his. Winfield Jr. steps onto the field for a likely playoff squad, though. He can change a game from the safety position.
Give the award to Antoine Winfield Jr. unless Young steps it up. Patrick Queen also has a shot, but Baltimore has taking a turn for the worse. Heading into Wednesday’s game with Pittsburgh, the Ravens have lost 3-of-4. That could hurt Patrick’s chances.